After over a year of success near MIT, the Clover folks decided to add a second location at Dewey Square, right outside of South Station, which is just a twenty minute walk from my office near Copley. (This was a surprise for me - I never realized it was so close!)
Clover offers gourmet vegetarian breakfast, lunch, and dinner options every day: some seasonally changing staple sandwiches and salads as well as specials announced on Twitter.
When I arrived at 12:30 on Wednesday, the line was 23 people deep, but it moved fairly quickly. Five workers danced around each other surprisingly efficiently inside the tiny truck, building BBQ seitan sandwiches, pouring blueberry lemonade, frying rosemary fries. Two others, adorned with green Clover trucker hats, stood outside the truck: one took orders, one called out names to deliver the goods to the waiting hoards.
|The Financial District worker bees line up, staring at their smartphones until it's time to eat.|
I sat down on the comfy-looking grassy part of Dewey Square for a few minutes before realizing that the grass was leaving embarrassing wet spots on the back of my jeans. While I was there, I started sipping my ginger lemonade: very refreshing, but not as gingery as I had hoped. It tasted like high quality plain lemonade with the subtlest hint of something that almost tasted like ginger. I wish I had tried the day's special, blueberry lemonade ($3).
I moved to a bench and spent the rest of the meal fending off pigeons and gusts of wind. Despite its negative aspects, though, eating outside is really a wonderful thing, especially in the middle of a workday. The carrot salad was, well, quite carroty - in a good way! There were some sliced almonds in there, big squishy yellow things that I think were giant raisins, and a few other assorted ingredients, but this was pretty much a container of shredded carrots in vinaigrette. I could feel my eyesight improving as I ate it. (Just kidding about the eyes, but my skin does look faintly orange today.)
Rosemary fries, how I wish you weren't a mile away from my office. On second thought, it's a good thing you're far away. You're just too delicious for my own good. At the bottom of the stack, I found a ton of fresh rosemary, so these things are the real deal. Get them.
It was worth the mile there and the more-than-a-mile-because-I-took-a-wrong-turn back. It's great to find fast, healthy food coming from a truck. Don't get me wrong - I love a good late night street meat impulse buy, but it's nice that other options are starting to exist.
On Clover Food Lab's website, they mention a plan to open fast food restaurants eventually; the trucks are just a way to get things moving for now. I think a Clover fast food restaurant would be a welcome addition to Boston!
Gratuitous shots of the Dewey Square area using cheesy "toy camera" filter on new cell phone:
Clover Food Lab is a wonderful pick-me-up on a hectic day. As their motto says, "Everything will be different tomorrow," definitely something to keep in mind on that painful Monday morning or the endless Friday afternoon!