Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Night Out at The Pulse Cafe - Somerville, MA

Oops, I did it again!  Obligatory self-explanation paragraph.  My last blog post, where I was explaining how stressed and busy I was, should have been an indication to me that I needed to slow down before I made myself sick, but I didn't figure it out until too late.  Last Friday, I left work early for some R&R, but within 3 hours I had a fever and chills and felt generally terrible.  I got smacked down by a flu/evil sinus infection combo that had me completely out of commission for four days.  Then John got it too, but only the flu part. He's better for the most part, but I'm still having some sinus symptoms.  Needless to say, I didn't eat much worth writing about last week.  Lots of Gardein Crispy Tenders and noodle soup bowls.  But last night, we had tickets to see comedians JB Smoove and Richard Lewis in Boston.  The tickets were one of my Christmas gifts to John, so there was no way we were missing it.  Smoove & Lewis, who are cast members in the wonderfully ridiculous HBO show "Curb Your Enthusiasm," are two of the funniest people ever to both John and me.

Before the show, we decided to try grabbing some dinner.  We've tried a number of the places in & around Boston, but the relatively new Pulse Cafe in Somerville is a place we've missed so far.  I checked out the menu on their website beforehand, and it looked like a good place to fall off the healthy vegan food wagon for a night of indulging, so we went for it.  We were able to find free street parking a block or so away, which was both miraculous and probably illegal.  The restaurant is 100% vegan, which is also miraculous (and thankfully not illegal).  I do think it's a great thing to go out to not 100% vegan places to ask for vegan options so that vegan-ness becomes more mainstream, but I will also say, there is something so fantastic about not having to worry about whether or not I can trust the restaurant staff to understand what "no animal products" means.  Behold the easy way to be a fat vegan:

Vanilla & Chocolate Milkshakes

This coconut milk-based shake was definitely Georgia-approved.


Appetizer - Loaded Fries - French fries with cheezy sauce, sour "cream", and tempeh bacon

Bacon Cheeseburger - House made patty, cheeze, tempeh bacon, garlic aioli, & veggies on a multigrain bun

Philly Cheeze Steak - Peppers, onions, seitan "steak", and Daiya mozzarella on flatbread

I ordered the burger and John ordered the cheesesteak, but we ended up swapping, because his sandwich was too cheezy.  It was supposed to come on a sub roll, which would have balanced out the cheeze better, but they had run out.  I loved it, but the lack of bread did make it a bit rich.  The burger was very tasty, if a little small.  I would probably get a side salad with it next time to round out the meal.  The loaded fries were just as delicious as they look; in fact, I wish I had some now!  They had a number of dessert options, but since we were in a bit of a hurry at that point, we ended up grabbing two of their homemade glazed doughnuts to go.  They were made to order and warm.  I was totally in love!  They were very doughy and not very sweet, but that was okay to me, because I am a bread maniac, but John wasn't that impressed.  I think he would have gone for the apple crisp with ice cream if we hadn't already had milkshakes.  

With tip, it was $50, which is definitely on the pricey side for an appetizer, two sandwiches, a couple of milkshakes and a couple of small doughnuts, but it's about what should probably be expected for dinner in Boston.  The portion sizes were on the smaller side as well, but considering that the food is rich, that's probably a good thing.  We would check this place out again sometime when we are in the Boston area for a night out, and they do brunch on the weekends as well, which would be worth a try.

John's out on an acting job tonight so I'm flying solo.  I went to the movies once already (saw The Rite - it was okay - standard demon possession stuff with the added bonus of creeptastic Anthony Hopkins), and I might go again later after I work on our short film editing project for a while, if I can work up the nerve to go back out again in the cold & wind tonight.  Quite a few things to post this week, and I'm hoping I can get to them.  Right now, I think I'm going to head into the kitchen and find something to eat.  I ran out of Gardein, so I might be in trouble!  :)


  1. i don't like stuff that's too cheesy either, but the cheesesteak still looks pretty tasty. and those fries, wow! looks like a great meal.

  2. Wow.. that looks amazing and super rich!

    I have yet to eat in a vegan restaurant. I've always been the one cooking in them..

    oh wait.. I did eat a burrito at Susty's once..

  3. Those shakes look awesome. In fact, everything at that joint looks amazing. Got to keep Pulse on my list if I'm ever up that way.
    Thanks for the review!

  4. Hey, Georgia! I'm tardy enough to this post that I imagine you're all recovered by now. At least I hope so! I'm glad your creeping crud didn't make you miss your fun night out you'd planned. I haven't watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm" but it's on my Netflix list! :-)

    I agree with you about dining out in veg-friendly vs. all vegan restaurants. Since there are no all vegan restaurants out here for several hundred miles, we have no choice anyway, but when we're somewhere with vegan restaurants it is such a treat!

    Those milkshakes look really good, even in the ridiculously frigid temps we're currently having (again!)

  5. Oh my gosh, that looks like what would be my favorite meal ever. Now I'm afraid I won't be able to stop thinking about having a milkshake, burger, and fries. I was sick recently, too, and it really got me down and put me behind on everything.

  6. Hello! I wanted to let you know that I awarded you the "Stylish Bloggers Award" on my blog.

    Thanks for having a great blog!