Newbury Street teems with temptations. Take even a short stroll, and you suddenly realize the pressing need for a new pair of Steve Madden shoes, a Kate Spade bag, a French Connection blazer. Sure, new, warmer clothes are necessary as winter approaches, but a more immediate craving takes precedence: lunch. The haute steak houses, Italian-fashion cafés, tapas bars, and Indian bistros lining Boston’s tony boulevard set the taste buds tingling and the stomach grumbling, but ultimately, the final decision is left to the wallet.
Bodhi Café, under the same ownership as the neighboring Trident Booksellers & Café, offers interesting eats and a sleek, lively ambiance, while providing the comforting knowledge that you’ll have sufficient funds left over to pay your electric bill. Floor-to-ceiling windows and brick walls lend an air of rustic sophistication, while high, expansive counters maintain a level of coziness characteristic of old-school neighborhood delicatessens.
To satisfy the initial urge that brought you here, there’s an array of deli subs made to order ($4.95). Bearing in mind that the Buddha sat beneath a bodhi tree when he achieved enlightenment, those looking to elevate their appetites might be interested in the blackened-chicken panino ($6.25), which features Cajun-seared chicken smothered in Swiss cheese and ranch dressing, or the slightly tangy veggie-meatball sub ($4.95). Start it all off with a bowl of veggie chili — made with cashews and almonds, it’s well worth its crunch. There’s no guarantee that the meal will lift you to higher planes of consciousness, but capped with a soy-protein-boosted smoothie ($3.50), it will offer nutrient enrichment at the very least. And who knows? Maybe you’ll even be inspired to do some worldly shopping and pick up that Armani belt on the way home.
Bodhi Café, located at 335 Newbury Street, in Boston, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (617) 536-6977.