I've been meaning to share about Life Alive ever since my sister Kyoung and her partner Marjorie introduced me and Laurel to it following a fun downtown outing in February. We visited the Central Square location (they also have a home in Lowell, and will open another in Salem) on a Saturday -- the two-floor café has a casual yet warm vibe and was bustling with adults and kids, all happily munching on and sipping organic, vegetarian, unprocessed fare. (Kyoung and Marjorie kindly suggested we visit this café since Laurel is a vegetarian.)
I was, admittedly, a little overwhelmed by the large menu -- I'm the type of diner who prefers to have less choice. However, this was a good type of abundance. Life Alive offers warm meals, wraps, salads, soups, smoothies, and other accompaniments, and I was glad to have my sister as my menu guide. Kyoung recommended going the warm meal route -- these options are available in small or large sizes or in wrap format. On Kyoung's recommendation I ordered The Adventurer (corn, beets, broccoli, dark greens, shredded cheddar, tofu, and tamari almonds over quinoa and brown rice) and it was amazing -- the food truly felt nourishing and was super yummy. I'm a big fan of chopped salads, and the assembly of ingredients was perfect, as was the sesame ginger sauce that tied it all together. If you're a fan of curry, Marjorie's favorite is The Swami -- which includes a sweet curry miso sauce with tamari almonds, raisins, carrots, broccoli, dark green, and pearl onions over brown rice. YUM.
When I went home, I attempted to simulate the Life Alive warm bowls based on the ingredient list and making my own sauce. It was, admittedly, passable but not spectacular. I'm eager to return to Life Alive soon to get the real deal, and highly recommend you try it if you're looking for café style or take-out food that's affordable, tasty, and good for you.