Arts restaurant review

Veggies with style

Whole Heart-healthy food

8599 torri yearwood   whole heart provisions opening night 0933
Workers bustle about at Whole Heart Provisions' opening night.
Brian Samuels

Whole Heart Provisions
Vegan, $
298 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA
Monday–Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Whole Heart Provisions just opened up their newest location in Central Square on Mass Ave (their original location is in Allston). The brainchild of Rebecca Arnold (chef/owner) and James DiSabatino (who also owns the nearby restaurant Roxy’s), Whole Heart Provisions offers its customers fast, casual, vegan food for around $10–15 per meal. Arnold, a Boston native who has worked in many upscale restaurants around town, relishes in creating healthy, colorful bowls that taste expensive, but are cheap enough for students.

Talia: I got the Levant bowl (goes for $11.25, plus tax). This large bowl contained: smashed cucumber, japanese eggplant, tomato, red cabbage slaw, pickled cauliflower, tahini, harissa, crispy chickpeas, sesame, and falafel on top of kale and jasmine rice (per Arnold’s recommendation). While the hipster decor and bowl names seemed a little pretentious, the food was not. The myriad veggies complemented each other well, as did the dressing on top, and the crunch of the crispy chickpeas was really gratifying. My only critique is that the falafel was overcooked and, well, not that good; if you really want falafel that is close to campus, just go to Clover.

Both of us agreed that while the seared avocado was a hit (the crispy lentils on top were delicious with the smooth avocado), neither one of us would have been willing to shell out $4.50 for a half an avocado, no matter how good the lentils are.

Kaitlyn: I ordered the Tazon ($8.85, plus tax), a Mexican-inspired bowl that brought in some Korean flavors. I loved it for its fruitiness. The kale and brown rice base was dressed in lime vinaigrette and tossed with pineapple bits. On top, you find spin-offs of typical taco ingredients (the non-meat ones, at least): pickled jalapenos, red cabbage slaw, and corn nuts which look like corn kernels but taste like fried tortilla chips to name a few. The spices on the cucumbers and Korean black beans infused the dish with flavors of banchan. Judging from the name, I was not expecting a Korean-Mexican fusion dish, but I appreciated how well the ingredients came together.

I admire the chefs’ efforts to bring fine-cooking to the average consumer quickly and (usually) at a price under $10. While the food was a step above other fast-casual restaurants, I believe that some of the terminology used in the descriptions was a bit exaggerated. The “smashed” cucumber really just tastes like a normal diced cucumber, and the “cured” tomatoes are not much different from regular cherry tomatoes. For the most part, though, the toppings that dress their dishes would satisfy any foodie’s dreams.

For the rest of the month of May, you can bring your student ID in and get a free housemade drink. Also, they’re launching a new app on Monday, May 7 and when you download it, you will automatically get $5 off your first order of $15 or more.