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Pulse Cafe, Somerville

A few months ago I learned about a new vegan restaurant called Pulse Cafe that opened in Somerville’s Davis Square, and have had it on my “must visit” restaurant list ever since. Reading a recent article on Hegans (he-vegans) in the Boston Globe reminded me about this restaurant so Funk and I headed there for a Saturday night date. The small restaurant was packed but we were seated quickly.

We started off with the Incan Salad which was loaded with quinoa, black beans, roasted corn (which didn’t seem roasted to me), and poblano chiles (don’t remember anything spicy) on a bed of romaine with an agave-lime dressing and a few tortilla chips. The ingredients in the salad were good, but the dressing was barely there. We were famished, so we scarfed it down. DSC_0015

I ordered the Barbecue Seitan which came with mashed potatoes and green beans, while Funk ordered the Chimichana. We were were surprised to see this was pretty much a burrito filled with ground seitan, refried beans, shredded cashew jack, brown rice, peppers and onions, served with sour cream (vegan) and kale. Funk and I typically order two dishes we both want, eat half, and then swap plates.

The seitan was delicious and made right in the restaurant. I loved the tangy, zesty BBQ sauce and felt like I was having a typical meat n’ potatoes meal. I don’t typically gravitate towards mashed potatoes, but these were good. The green beans were…plain. Don’t get me wrong, I eat my veggies plain all the time, but when I go to a restaurant I expect a little more than veggies that were merely steamed. I also think if you’re going to try to entice people to eat meat-free meals, you have to make the vegetables – the “meat” of the meal – delicious! DSC_0016

Funk’s chimichana was good. I didn’t care for the sour cream but he did. And I was so excited for the sautéed kale, which once again, was plain. It was tough even for me to enjoy naked kale. DSC_0019

We started to notice people coming in to eat and then promptly leaving. After this happened a few times, we heard it was because the restaurant ran out of food. At 8:45pm! Kudos to them for having such a large crowd, but ouch. Bad business. When we asked for the dessert menu, we learned the were out of the sweet stuff too. Bummer! 

I don’t typically give negative food reviews on this blog. I guess I had very high expectations for this restaurant and was so excited for the new vegan hot spot on the block. I think it has a lot of potential in Davis Square, which is swarming with Tufts students and unique restaurants. I do plan on returning, especially when Pulse Cafe opens its doors for Sunday Brunch, but I do hope they jazz up their veggies a bit and make sure they are prepared for a crowd before then! 

Equal Exchange Organic Chocolate & Coffee Pairing Gift Bag



When the words, “We’d love to send you a product for review of the Equal Exchange Organic Chocolate & Coffee Pairing Gift Bag” come across your email, you know it’s going to be a good day. And an even better day when that gift comes in the mail.


The nice people at MamboSprouts.com offered to have me try the Equal Exchange organic coffee and chocolate just in time for a sweet Valentine’s Day promotion. No problemo, I think I can squeeze that taste test into my day. My adorable Valentine’s package arrived just in the nick of time when I was craving a rich dark chocolate. This is a rarity – chocolate isn’t my vice – but man I was ready for it.

I dove into the Milk Chocolate with a hint of hazelnut first and actually “mmmmmm’d” out loud. I rarely choose milk chocolate over dark and this bar made me reconsider. The nutty hazelnut flavor was subtle enough to not overpower the bar. Then I took a nibble of the Extra Dark Chocolate Panama bar with 80% cacao! Best dark bar with that high of a cacao percentage I’ve ever had. It was so rich and the taste lingered on my tongue for a while.

What I loved the most about opening these bars was seeing a photo of the cacao farmer in Panama who played a role in creating the chocolate bars. It made it feel more personal, like this bar was a labor of love. There was even info on the inside of the bar’s wrapper about the farms and Equal Exchange. That’s what I like about Equal Exchange – Small farmers. Big change. Buying fairly traded products like these (and the Equal Exchange bananas!) supports a food system that builds stronger and healthier farming communities, creates a more equal trade model, and preserves our planet with sustainable farming.

We used the coffee in Funk’s AM brew. I’ve been caffeine free since my surgery so Funk took over taste testing this one. We tried the Mind Body & Soul variety and according to the package, this organic coffee is a smooth blend with mild acidity and hints of dark chocolate. The smell was heavenly and I took a teensy tiny sip – love it. I tried to actually pay attention to the flavors in the coffee which is something I never do. Coffee is one of those drinks I chug ASAP to get the morning buzz going! Not having had coffee in the past month, I could definitely pick apart the flavors and caught a hint of that dark chocolate. When I go back to my coffee routine, I’ll be sure to sip this one slowly. Funk is also a fan. We’re excited to have another bag of the Love Buzz coffee, which we’ve bought before.

Another nice treat in the package was the guide to chocolate and coffee pairing. How fun! There are instructions about how to have a taste test with the chocolate and coffee, as well as a chart to record your notes. This would make such a fun Valentine’s Day activity! Who knew there was a special way to taste chocolate? I’ll have to try this next time, as I devoured my first few bites in less than 5 seconds.

Good news for Eat Well with Janel readers: you get free shipping in the US if you purchase this package in time for Valentine’s Day! Just use the code chocolatelove on the following products:

Equal Exchange Organic Chocolate & Coffee Pairing Gift Bag. This kit includes a variety of organic coffee and chocolates and packaged in a 100% Recycled Printed Gift Bag. This gift is perfect for a chocolate or coffee lover – and very economical at $34.95 each. (FYI – Their other chocolate bars are currently on sale until February 14th)

Also, share the love with Equal Exchange’s fairly traded (Vegan and gluten-free) Organic Dark Chocolate Minis (55% cacao content). These deliciously rich, bite-sized chocolates are crafted using the best quality organic cacao (cocoa beans) from small-scale farmer co-operatives in the Dominican Republic and Peru. Swiss-made with only the purest ingredients, and soy- and gluten-free! Despite their small size, these minis have big impact. By choosing Equal Exchange fairly traded chocolate, you help provide small-scale farmers the resources and opportunities they need to build a better future for their families and communities.Price is $5.49 each.

Disclaimer: I am not being paid to review this product.

Announcing Dine Dish Delish’s Reviews Site!

Ok readers, it’s been too long. A few weeks ago I was flown out to sunny California for the first ever POM Wonderful Blogger Harvest Tour and because of some blog-um-regulations, I wasn’t able to post any reviews on the wonderful-ness of POM! So I started a Dine Dish Delish Review site where I can post reviews to my heart’s content!

So please hop on over to Dine Dish Delish Reviews (http://dinedishdelishreviews.blogspot.com) to read about my amazing experience on the POM Tour in three different posts.

I’ll be posting future reviews there as well and will always direct you that way when I do. And eventually when I get my act together, this entire blog site will be getting a makeover. Stay tuned!

Announcing Dine Dish Delish's Reviews Site!

Ok readers, it’s been too long. A few weeks ago I was flown out to sunny California for the first ever POM Wonderful Blogger Harvest Tour and because of some blog-um-regulations, I wasn’t able to post any reviews on the wonderful-ness of POM! So I started a Dine Dish Delish Review site where I can post reviews to my heart’s content!

So please hop on over to Dine Dish Delish Reviews (http://dinedishdelishreviews.blogspot.com) to read about my amazing experience on the POM Tour in three different posts.

I’ll be posting future reviews there as well and will always direct you that way when I do. And eventually when I get my act together, this entire blog site will be getting a makeover. Stay tuned!