BOSTON - Our Arrival + Theatrics of Clover

(Clover the 24 hour vegetarian restaurant)

Our flight into Boston was delayed two hours, and then we waited on the runway for about thirty minutes until we final got to our gate. That being said, we arrived hungry!

Our friend and host, Salah, took us to a 24 hour vegetarian restaurant called Clover. Everything except for the ketchup and mayonnaise is home made and locally sourced. They purchase ingredients from farmers who cultivate the soil with a goal of producing delicious vegetables. Their motto is to keep things simple and to stand on the foundation of fantastic ingredients. Clover boasts of their turn around times at an average of 3.5 minutes per order, slower than McDonalds, they say, but they still consider themselves 'fast-food'. Here's what the founder and CEO of Clover has to say about what makes them different than their conventional fast-food competitors:

- Have no freezers. In the entire company. Not one.
– Change our menu day-to-day to stay in sync with the best tasting seasonal ingredients.
– Cut food as close as we can to when you’re going to eat (e.g., tomatoes are cut when you order)
– Keep your money in your region. (40-85% of our ingredients are from the Northeast)
– Use an unheard of amount of organic ingredients (typically 30-60% depending on time of year)
– Don’t EVER use any preservatives, “natural flavors,” “flavor enhancers,” “artificial flavors”*
– Make food that will improve your health (no need to tell the kids, but that food is good for them)
– Allow you to see us making your food. We have no “back of house” anywhere in our company.
– 100% of what we hand you is compostable. OK, nothing to do with taste. But it’s the right thing to do.
— Ayr Muir, http://www.cloverfoodlab.com/food/
All of It - Boston - Clover

They also carry organic grains, heirloom beans, cookbooks, and fresh local eggs right in the store. Not a combination you see everyday! I was quite intrigued! 

We arrived just a bit before 1:00 am, closing time for many of the surrounding bars. This place was a theater. We sat down with our giant fluffy pita bread sandwiches, which were stuffed with strips of carrots and cabbage, chickpea falafels, and drizzled with cashew cream.

Three drunken college girls joined us at a family style table and promptly told us that if we threw away any leftover food we would turn into frogs. (An explanation lasting much longer than needed) The veggie toppings had spilled out of the elephant ear sized pitas, and into a crumbled mess fit for finger picking.

Don’t worry, we didn’t waste it, the girls ate every single bit of food offered to them. This grossed me out a little bit, but I also hate to waste food, and Chris had already finished off most of my left overs.  

Next, a barely coherent man struggled to keep his head up and his eyes open while eating his pita that was spilling all over the floor. I was quite impressed by the staff who did what they could to accommodate him, including giving him a container to hold his food over, helping him to a seat at the table, and bringing him some water. Ultimately, they asked him to leave. He was so far gone, he couldn’t speak, his head would bob up and down and switch from smiling to a confused face. After no response or recognition that someone was trying to talk to him, one of the staff members helped him out of the restaurant. 

All of a sudden, we heard the beat of the song of Summer 2015, Watch Me. Reminiscent of Step Up, two insanely talented guys started dancing in the middle of the restaurant, slowly gathering fans.  In jumps a pale, carrot topped man (who was more out of place up there than we would have been), right off the street and in to the dance. After the song ended, carrot top called it a night, and quickly exited without much fanfare. In the first picture below, you can see him watching from outside. What a great collection of photos!!! 

As we left, we saw the drunk/high man swaying left to right while holding his balance with one arm onto a lamppost. Two guys walked up and tried to talk with him, they said they’d take him home. It was the most unsettling scene. 

There ends our first wildly entertaining evening in Boston! Or should I say, there starts our first day since it was after midnight?