Jacob Passy | A Bit Off
Truly delicious in Teele
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 08:10
I know, I know — this isn’t a column about food. But when the going gets tough, my stomach gets going. As midterms creep closer and closer to being a reality — seriously, when did it become October? — sometimes, you just need a good meal to keep the study-fueled crazies away. People use many things to fill those comforting cravings. My vice is waffles, undoubtedly a takeaway from my time studying abroad in Belgium, the land of the waffle.
The discussion over the best place for breakfast is something of a contentious debate for most Tufts students. It doesn’t help that the typical contenders in this battle happen to be right next to one another: SoundBites and Ball Square Café. However, there’s still plenty of delicious, syrupy goodness to be had beyond the confines of Ball Square.
Now, I should make a confession for those who don’t know me: I have allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. So the breakfast debate, for me, was a bit insufferable. I cannot express the number of times people have been shocked that I haven’t been to either breakfast joint.
To be fair, I’ve never tried to — when you’re allergic to as many things as I am, you tend to grow a bit pessimistic. The likelihood of any of the food on those menus being edible for me was slim.
So when I moved to my current house near Teele Square, I was delighted to find True Bistro, a tiny restaurant that serves a mean breakfast. That said, it’s time for another disclaimer: True Bistro is a vegan restaurant. Perfect for me — less perfect for all-things-animal aficionados.
Nevertheless, I’m surprised that the restaurant is never mentioned. Clearly, True Bistro’s entry into the Somerville/Medford breakfast battle goes unnoticed. Perhaps that’s because the square is known for other culinary adventures, such as the Indian food at Masala or the sordid beverages at Teele Square Liquors.
Of course, the restaurant’s location doesn’t help much. It’s pretty non-descript, tucked away into a deep recess on Broadway. Curtains in the main entrance further obscure the dining spot’s outward appearance. I’d passed by the place many times before I thought to even take a peek inside.
But when I walked inside, I was taken aback by the amazing waitstaff. My waitress knew the menu backward and forward and was quick to replace the menu in my hands when I told her about my nut allergy. She was very careful to confirm the severity of my allergy before letting me order anything from the menu — while the restaurant has nut-free dishes, it warns that there is a chance for cross-contamination since they are prepared in the same part of the kitchen.
I determined that it was not going to be too risky for me after firing off a few questions. And I can say I’m truly glad that I was able to enjoy True Bistro’s food for one reason: The Belgian waffle that I had there was amazing. Straight from the nut-free menu, it came with a great berry compote, warm maple syrup and coconut-based whipped cream. In short, yum.
There are, of course, reasons to go to the restaurant beyond eating a waffle, though. The menu is filled with all sorts of delicious bites, running the gamut from breakfast to post-dinner cocktails and desserts. True Bistro also provides diners with an additional feast — for the eyes. The eatery features artwork from local artists — this month it’s the work of Martina Marek.
If you go, be sure to grab some info on how to lead a vegan lifestyle. I’ll admit, I still love meat, but eating their food nearly had me convinced to make the switch.
Jacob Passy is a senior majoring in international relations. He can be reached at Jacob.Passy@tufts.edu.