Since I last took a look at Clover Food Lab, there’s been some expansion: they’ve opened up a brick-and-mortar location in Harvard Square! Having read my review of their truck, you know I’m already an enthusiast. But how did the restaurant rate? Walking in, it was a bit chaotic. The line to order begins on the right side just as you step through the doorway. This is actually a bit confusing because the register, kitchen and wait for food all happen on the left side. But after taking a second to assess the system, my dining companion and I figured it out and had our order taken by a hostess armed with an iPhone (to place orders and calculate price) and a coin dispensing hip holster. As we waited for our food, I had time to finally soak in the interior – an industrial-chic space with two floors of wooden, communal tables and white walls, which bounce the light around the airy, open-plan interior. With the kitchen exposed, I could see my food being made and even talk to the cook preparing my meal. After about 10 minutes, I was handed my wild rice soup and my egg and eggplant sandwich. I loved the soup since it was exactly what you are looking for on a cold, busy day. Its base was a well-balanced, flavorful broth. No cream. This means that I not only felt like it was healthy, but it actually was healthy and not food-coma inducing. The rice made it satisfying but not over the top filling. Even though the soup was light, it was still satisfying and there was no way I could have eaten the whole soup and still have finished my sandwich. Which, by the way, was good but not over the top crazy good. It definitely needed some hot sauce, so it’s great that they have a whole bowl full of hot sauce right by the cutlery. With condiment added, I really enjoyed my sandwich. It looked great and was given some extra punch and crunch by what appeared to be a cucumber relish. My foodie friend said she was a fan of the chickpea fritter sandwich. So overall, food was good and filling even for a meat-eater. And anything that dispels the idea that vegetarians only eat salad and tofu is a good thing. I’ll definitely be going back soon to try their seasonal sandwiches.
Clover Food Lab
7 Holyoke Street (in the Holyoke Center)