I stopped in to the grand opening of B.Good, the “Food with Roots” healthy fast-food chain restaurant that just opened up at 102 Central St. in Wellesley in the former Boloco space, and already it was packed with the usual suspects. There were four Wellesley moms at one table having a meeting, plotting either on how to run the town, or maybe how to pump up the numbers for the next march out there in the world. Meanwhile, students huddled at another table, likely planning how to run the world after they escaped from this town. Downstairs, corporate suit types disguised as hirsute hipsters hung out looking cool and productive all at the same time, surely deep in discussion about B.Good’s march toward world domination. Meanwhile, local Wellesley College employees stopped by, as well as resigned firefighters there to meet their new next-door neighbors.
And they were all happily eating. Toddlers were deep into their burgers or grilled cheeses or hot dogs. Their moms were relieved that they didn’t have to join right in with such fare and could enjoy a nice Kale & Grain bowl or a seasonal salad of basil chicken, Tuscan kale, romaine, parmesan, tomato, croutons, and vinaigrette. Some of them even ordered up a side of crisp veggies (which included kale), and washed it all down with a Kale Crush smoothie. Bang! Everybody’s good for veggies for the day.
Like all healthy chain restaurants today, B.Good’s story follows a familiar, folk tale-like narrative. It’s all about Anthony and Joe, just a couple of crazy childhood BFFS who grew up eating honest, homemade food in good old Uncle Faris’ kitchen. The linoleum may have been cracked, the formica countertops Harvest Gold, the refrigerator Avocado Green, but by gum the kids were served slow food before it was a movement, made with love back when that was always the main ingredient. Dear Uncle Faris surely did not slap microwaved chicken fingers in front of growing boys with the barked order, “Hurry up and inhale that, I’ve gotta get you to piano lessons and then soccer practice.”
With my own personal memories of childhood lunches heavy on PBJ sandwiches and Wise potato chips, I breathed deeply and ordered the Power Bowl, a bed of kale with organic quinoa, sesame carrots, brussels sprouts, crunchy chick peas, pepitas, tomato vinaigrette, topped with a (local, of course) easy-over egg. The egg was just so lovely, a crowning achievement of protein, its yolk nice and runny when I broke into it and mixed it in with the rest of the ingredients. I was in love with the entire thing for so many reasons. It answered my demand that what I order at a restaurant I shouldn’t be able to make at home with a mere flick of my wrist, and better than the staff at that. Well, I assure you, ain’t no organic quinoa, sesame carrots, etc., etc., just sitting around in my fridge. And you know how long it takes to steam kale into edibility. Indeed, I could not throw such a meal together without a long grocery list and lots of planning. Screw that forever and anon. From now on, I’m going to let B.Good do the work when my kale cravings strike. Yes, you read me correctly. Kale cravings. With the advent of B.Good, kale cravings are officially a thing in Wellesley.
On my next visit, I brought a high school friend I hadn’t seen in about 20 years, and I know this is a restaurant review and not a friend review, but I still must tell you that she was just so lovely and as satisfying to the soul as a good meal, and it was absolutely delicious to see her. Food and friends just go together that way.
The long and the short of my visit with my dear high-school friend: we loved the Pineland Farms all-natural burgers, cooked just right and topped with exactly what we asked for, but were unimpressed with our side of sweet potato fries, even though they were hand-cut and finished in the oven. Despite this level of care, they came to us mostly limp and unevenly cooked, some even more raw than cooked in the middle. Sorry to say, they weren’t worth the calories or the time it took to chew.
Other than that, I would say go ahead and bring your teenagers. There are all-natural beef burgers, turkey burgers, and antibiotic-free chicken sandwiches for them.
Go ahead and bring your toddlers. There are grilled cheeses and all-natural local beef hot dogs for them. Plus, they have both kinds of milkshakes — vanilla and chocolate. There are acai berry, strawberry-banana, and blueberry smoothies too. And kale smoothies. Always the kale at this place.
Go ahead and bring your huddled masses, yearning to eat antibiotic-free. Just know this. It’s food served up fast, but don’t expect fast-food prices. But you already knew that when you heard the word kale, right?
One thing: be careful with the parking. I was actually towed from that lot last year from an admittedly questionable space where, frankly, everybody else parks. Everybody else except me, that is, ever since that unpleasant towing day last spring. In fact, yup, there was one of those everybody else-type people parked in that questionable space on the very day I made my first visit to B.Good. I came out after my lunch, and they weren’t towed, and I don’t begrudge them that. In fact, I wish them all the good parking fortune in the world. I wish the same for you, dear ones. However, you’ve been warned.