From alongside steaming ceramic coffee pots, gluten-free Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes at Abyssinian Ethiopian Restaurant radiate imported spices. In the golden glow of wall sconces, sautéed beef and chicken morsels marinate in butter, cardamom, and fresh ginger. Patrons sop up savory remnants with warm injera, an East African flatbread made from high-protein teff flour that lets fingers grab food, unlike trying to grab a frustratingly realistic painting of fruit. Meals flanked by complimentary portions of collards parade to tables, and caterers cruise past with brimming portions for meetings and shindigs.
Any veggie burger that makes it onto Boston Globe Magazine's list of the area's 25 Best Burgers is bound to be something special. But only an extra-special veggie burger could deserve to be called "an edible symbol of completeness." Yet that's exactly what the magazine dubbed Red Lentil's Zen burger, a flavor-packed vegan patty made from black beans, brown rice, corn, carrots, red peppers, garlic, and onions and served with housemade thousand island dressing. That chart-topping meatless masterpiece is just one way this vegetarian and vegan restaurant is helping diners painlessly part ways with their favorite animal proteins. The rotating menu features seasonal produce at its freshest, ensuring dishes such as moussaka pizza, butternut-squash polenta, and ginger miso soup never lack flavor. As an added bonus, Red Lentil also includes many raw, macrobiotic, or gluten-free dishes on its menu and is careful to differentiate between items that contain nuts and those made with legumes that are just a little eccentric sometimes.
Specializing in vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals, Health in a Hurry combines convenience and commitment to a natural and organic gourmet diet. The vast assortment of prepared foods let healthful diners lunch on such made-from-scratch options as chickpea-of-the-sea or beet-marmalade wraps stuffed with arugula and goat cheese ($6.95 each). Healthy burgers free patty-eaters from the oppressive ruling of wheat and soy with an amalgamation of vegetables including lentils, brown rice, squash, shredded carrot, portobello mushrooms, and red pepper ($10.75/package of two). Enjoy desserts, including sesame-raisin cookies and ginger crisps ($1.50 each), without going into refined sugar-shock—all sweets are made with brown-rice syrup, maple syrup, agave nectar, molasses, honey, and sweet lies to trick the tongue. Each healthy delicacy can be enjoyed on the go or on the outdoor patio under the right meteorological circumstances.
At CC Carvers, owner Chuck Carlette fashions freshly roasted meats into hearty submarine sandwiches and steaming hot panini’s. Sturdy hard rolls accommodate the heft of chicken parmesan, shaved sirloin steak, or slow-roasted beef, while the panini press leaves their distinctive tread marks on caprese or grilled zucchini and eggplant. As glasses of beer and wine brought from home click together, customers also enjoy custom salads or smoothies that blend passion fruit and mango with strawberry and pina colada.
The chefs at River's Edge Bistro culled their recipes from the culinary traditions of the 21 countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea. They make hummus from scratch and flame-broil skewered chicken and shrimp doused with classic Mediterranean spices. Lamb gyro tucks into a pita with a dollop of tzatziki sauce, and crispy falafel balls are drizzled with tahini sauce.