Fast food, and all that goes along with that idea, has generally speaking, "skeeved" me out. Aside from rock stars like Boloco and a few other nearby eateries that can serve good food fast, I tend to run, as quickly as possible from any type of fast food eatery. Something about the extremely high sodium levels, or the high saturated fat content....or the oddly high sugar contents...or just the general amount of grease that is used/visible around their products that turns me off. Earlier this week however a new type of "food truck" opened in the South Station area of Boston, also known as Dewey Square, one that caters to healthy, fresh, local fast food.
Since I was headed down to the Farmers Market in the same spot during lunch today, I thought I might as well check out this new phenomenon known as the Clover Food Lab. The "lab" is very simply an RV, parked in various spots of the far corner of South Station (I've been stalking it for a few days). Two extremely helpful and friendly gentlemen who will take your order, make change, and answer any questions you may have. I had several. Luckily other people did as well- so I listened to the answers and didn't have to ask too many myself. I settled on a Barbecue Seitan Sandwich, and a container of Jicama Slaw.
What is Seitan you might ask? Well that is a great question-apparently it is wheat gluten, with the moisture drained out until it has a firm texture. This is then cooked in a variety of different ways, and eaten. Clover Food Lab painted these nuggets with a spicy barbecue sauce and what appeared to be pan seared them. They then placed these in a whole wheat pita with a little Mayo, fresh lettuce and tomato. The end result was incredibly tasty having all the flavors of a summer barbecue sandwich with the fresh vegetables and the great sauce. Having never had Seitan before I did not know what to expect and the texture definitely threw me a bit, as it was a bit mealy, but overall it was a delicious sandwich and one that I would order again.
The Jicama slaw was also delicious, dressed with lime juice and cilantro and mixed with shredded carrots and red and yellow bell peppers. Light, crunch and satisfying- I felt as though it was a perfect summer compliment!
The Clover Food Lab prides itself on changing up it's menu frequently to accommodate what they have access to. The thing I loved the most though is that when you ask what the ingredients are for certain dishes, they can name the farm that grew them. You just can't beat that for freshness! Also while they don't serve any meat that I can see, they are able to customize your order to be completely vegan if you wish.
The Clover Food lab just opened this week and are still working out their kinks but are open for breakfast and lunch, Tuesday through Thursday with hours that seem to vary between 7:30 and 8:00 am and 2:00 to 3:00 pm.