At Green Leaf, vegans and vegetarians rejoice

From left, Bala Shanmugam, Gopal Krishnasamy, and Liz Whitaker.

Cheap Eats
By Ellen Bhang | Globe Correspondent February 25, 2014

It’s no easy feat to please opinionated patrons who range from lifelong vegetarians to occasional forgoers of meat to committed vegans. The team of chef Bala Shanmugam, formerly of Red Lentil in Watertown, business partner Gopal Krishnasamy, owner of Dosa Temple in Ashland, and Liz Whitaker, another Red Lentil alum, are trying to meet that challenge at Green Leaf in Framingham.

The space, painted vibrant green with prints of global market scenes on the walls, looks updated from its former incarnation as assemble-your-own-omelet spot Eggcetera, Etc. Among our group popping in for Sunday brunch are a vegan and a self-described “flexitarian/mostly vegetarian.” The dining room is only half full, but we have to wait for someone to greet us at the door.

Cinnamon-walnut fig waffles ($8) offer everything you could want from this breakfast favorite — crispy edges and fluffy interiors, with dried Mission figs, softened in real maple syrup, topping each golden piece. These are vegan (also available gluten-free on request), and offer the same texture as a version made with eggs and milk.

An oyster-tofu scramble ($8.50) features oyster mushrooms, caramelized onions, and tiny cubes of pressed tofu. It needs more salt and a moister bean curd. Huevos rancheros ($9) — two sunny-side-up eggs on soft corn tortillas, topped with a garlicky green cilantro salsa and two creamy slices of avocado – are very appealing, especially with a splash of hot sauce.

Smoothies are everything they should be, especially a magenta-hued mango berry blast ($5) that tastes like all of its constituent fruits. Green lemonade ($6), with freshly pressed apple, cucumber, kale, and lemon, is refreshingly vegetal and not too sweet.

At Green Leaf, vegans and vegetarians rejoice
By Ellen Bhang | Globe Correspondent February 25, 2014

It’s no easy feat to please opinionated patrons who range from lifelong vegetarians to occasional forgoers of meat to committed vegans. The team of chef Bala Shanmugam, formerly of Red Lentil in Watertown, business partner Gopal Krishnasamy, owner of Dosa Temple in Ashland, and Liz Whitaker, another Red Lentil alum, are trying to meet that challenge at Green Leaf in Framingham.

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