The Boston Phoenix
March 30 - April 6, 2000

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The vegan-industrial complex

by Sarah Lariviere

on the cheap
  • Palenque, March 23
  • Irish Embassy, March 16
  • Bamboo, March 9
  • What is it with metal wallpaper in Davis Square? The industrial-chic look started at Joshua Tree and spread to Diesel Café, the Aquarium, and now the neighborhood's newest addition: Celia's Fresh Market and Deli. At Celia's, the copper paneling is softened by yellow walls and some photos, giving a little warmth to this ambitious health-food store and café.

    Although Celia's does serve roast beef and chicken, what's distinctive is the wide selection of vegan food. Beyond deli sandwiches, there's a case of side dishes and salads, and some groceries of the unhydrogenated sort. Celia herself offers free samples at the counter, which is good, because at this stage of the game you may want to be a little choosy. We found the Cajun grilled tofu too watery, and the quinoa in the quinoa salad not quite cooked. The BLT, though, is a hit, with awesome wide strips of lean bacon and a giant mayonnaisey piece of romaine lettuce smooshed up against the secret ingredient -- avocado! -- on Iggy's bread.

    Despite some shakiness, Celia's has promise -- it's intriguing and friendly, and it stocks seaweed. You can sit at tables, or on stools at the sleek black lunch-counter-from-outer-space. And the food should be able to hold its own once the cooks warm up and get some feedback from the neighborhood.

    Celia's Fresh Market and Deli, located at 236 Elm Street, in Somerville, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (617) 591-1922.

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