In clover

If you had told me five years ago that almost every lunch out I ate while at the office would be vegetarian, I would have asked you where you left your marbles.

It’s no secret that I love food. For many years at the office that translated to food runs for lunch that ended at delicious but fattening destinations. Among the stops in the rotation: chicken parm subs from the local pizzeria, loaded Bravo Italian sandwiches (prosciutto, sopressata, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil and basil) from La Cascia’s, Indian takeaway from the surprisingly good stand in the mall, and lots of H-Mart Spicy Pork.

Then I stumbled on Clover. I wasn’t thrilled by the concept of a totally vegetarian menu, but some of the other aspects—no freezers ever, 100% fresh locally sourced produce, seasonal fast-service menu—had me intrigued. And then I tried their falafel (aka the famous chickpea fritter sandwich), with a side of rosemary fries. And I was completely hooked.

At this point I’ve had every sandwich on the ever changing menu, even the BBQ Seitan (not a favorite), the Pushpir (spectacular), the secret-menu Mayor Menino BLT (with soy “bacon” and garlic mayo, which became an obsession for months), etc. Now I look in advance of my week to figure out which days I don’t have noontime meetings so I can go get my Clover fix.

I’ve gotten slightly more adventurous about cooking vegetables at home as a result of all this Clover. Not crazy, because most of the family are reluctant vegetable explorers, but I’m now trying things I never dared before—cauliflower, broccoli variations, random beans, ramps—and finding real winners. Useful when one lives across from a farm.

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