Yesterday, I worked at a clinic in Watertown instead of the Plainville office, where I usually work. I left my house fairly early, to ensure that I would arrive on time. While en route, I passed through Centre Street in Newton, a street which just-so-happens to house one of my favorite Massachusetts-based vegan restaurants, Prana Restaurant. A goofy grin inched its way across my face as I drove by, and I vowed right then-and-there to stop for a late lunch after my shift at the Watertown clinic was over.
And so it was.
One of my favorite things about Prana Restaurant is its lighting. Even if it’s a cloudy day, the room still shines with natural light and you can’t help but feel totally at ease.
Immediately, upon walking in, you are greeted by rows of homemade, dehydrated, raw goodies (think kale chips, goji berries, and flax chips) and some chilled delights (think chia pudding, monster-sized salads, and both vanilla and coco agave nectar).
I stood there for a minute, soaking in the calm atmosphere, before the waitress instructed me to sit wherever I pleased. I chose a small table-for-two.
While I would have loved to enjoy the restaurant with someone else, I also enjoyed the quality time by myself. It was my rest for the day. Since it was 2:00 p.m., sort of an awkward time to enjoy a meal, the restaurant was practically empty, which complimented my solo status rather nicely.
Prana’s menu was quite different from what I had remembered. Last summer, former owners Taylor and Philippe Wells sold Prana Restaurant in order to focus more on their five Prana Power Yoga studios, five children, and Taylor’s writing. Before, the menu was solely raw-vegan. Now, there are cooked options, which both surprised and pleased me. I love raw-vegan food but I think there’s something to be said about a menu that has both raw and cooked vegan food. I really appreciate that balance.
Looking over the menu, I was stumped. It would have been much easier if my stomach (and my wallet, for that matter) could handle every dish. I sipped on some water while my mind see-sawed between a few options.
Eventually, I settled on the Buffalo Wrap: grilled tempeh, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, homemade buffalo sauce, and cashew sour cream in a big collard leaf. The dish typically comes in a sprouted wheat wrap but, when I requested a collard leaf, the Prana team happily fulfilled my request. My entree came with Prana’s famous kale chips (!!!) and a side of root mash, made with acorn squash, summer squash, and turnip.
The homemade buffalo sauce was hot, but not too hot, and the cashew sour cream was to die for! I loved the constrast in textures between the grilled tempeh and the raw veggies. While it was a tad messy, that’s what made it so much fun to eat.
In true Heather fashion, I happily enjoyed every last bite.
While I had high hopes of enjoying dessert at my table-for-two, I was already satisfied so I decided to take home something I’d never tried before: the Creme Parfait. This actually worked out well. I kept it in the fridge and enjoyed it after working job number two. Just me, a parfait, and House Hunters on the couch.
The parfait is a blend of almond, cashew, and Brazil nuts, and is laced with a walnut-oat-golden raisin crumble, topped with fresh strawberries. In a word, heaven. It’s super rich, which really forces you to slowly enjoy every bite. After a day filled with Prana food, I felt like such a lucky girl!
Thank you to Prana Restaurant for such a lovely meal! Taylor and Philippe left the restaurant in wonderful hands and I can’t wait to make another trip back! If you’re a New England resident, I highly recommend making the drive to Prana Restaurant. Newton is just outside of Boston, so you can make it a jam-packed day of shopping, site-seeing, and, of course, vegan-friendly dining.
Enjoy your Sunday, friends!