Somerville Plaza, on Somerville Avenue, has fallen on hard times. Brooks Pharmacy moved down the street, Rent-A-Center closed, and the Planet Fitness that was supposed to move in never got off the ground. But in the midst of this sprawling emptiness sits City Farm Café, a bright oasis that took the place of Nonna’s, the pizza joint notorious for its cardboard-like crusts and less-than-punctual delivery. City Farm owner Moe Taha bought the place, cleaned the grease out of the kitchen, and slapped on a cheery coat of bright-orange paint to complement his fresh-from-the-country philosophy.
Pizza remains a menu staple, but the similar "pita pitza," with its thin crust and Mediterranean flair, will better satisfy a pizza craving. Moe’s pitza ($7.75) features smoky baba ghanoosh as a base for charbroiled chicken, feta cheese, and scallions. The baba also shines as part of the vegetarian-combo plate ($7.95), an assortment of the best of City Farm’s vegetarian fixings, including dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), falafel, and the nearly addictive hummus.
Among the pita pockets listed on the menu, the chicken Madras pocket ($4.95) is an exotic treat. Its medley of curry, applesauce, raisins, and walnuts brings to mind a Waldorf salad converging with a huge plate of chicken curry. Less overwhelming is the falafel pocket ($4.95), with fresh vegetables and petite, crispy falafel patties.
City Farm has plenty of seating for dining in, and Moe is happy to chat with patrons and steer newcomers to the best selections. He plans to put tables outside during the summer and serve seasonal items, like gazpacho ($2.95), once the weather gets hot. The menu, however, is fresh and satisfying all year round.
City Farm Café, located at 622 Somerville Avenue, in Somerville, is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call (617) 625-1111.