Eating Out, Shaping Up
How does a fresh spinach, Portobello mushroom and basil crepe sound? It sounds super-yummy. But it’s also super-healthy, according to Mary Marshall, a nutritionist working with the city’s Shape Up Somerville initiative (SUS).
Through its new “Shape Up Approved” program, SUS has partnered with restaurants to identify their healthy menu items. In the case of this crepe, SUS notes: “Basil is full of antioxidant flavonoids and vitamin A (mega cell protectors).”
During a June 29 tasting at Mr. Crepe (51 Davis Sq), customers savored free samples of this and other “Approved” delicacies. Mr. Crepe is one of nine restaurants to have earned the “Approved” moniker. The others are:
• Cantina La Mexicana (247 Washington St)
• Dave’s Fresh Pasta (81 Holland St)
• Fasika (147 Broadway)
• Neighborhood Restaurant (25 Bow St)
• On the Hill Tavern (499 Broadway)
• The Paddock (249 Pearl St)
• Snappy Sushi (420 Highland Ave)
• True Grounds (717 Broadway)
To join the program, restaurants and food markets must offer fruit and vegetables, lean meats and low fat dairy; highlight their healthiest options with signage; use healthy cooking techniques; and encourage diners to take half of their meal to go. “We want to make this as easy as possible for our restaurants because we know they are the busiest people around,” says Jaime Corliss, SUS director. For news about future tastings and participants, check facebook. com/shapeupapprovedsomerville.
Close to 300 pounds of food were sold at the June 18 debut of the Mystic Market (530 Mystic Ave), an outdoor farmers market running Saturdays through October from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mystic Market is intended to bring affordable healthy food to a low-income neighborhood that has needed those options, especially since the closing of the nearby Star Market (299 Broadway).
It was “exciting” to SUS Coordinator Nicole Rioles that on Mystic Market’s first day, it was attended mostly by residents of the Mystic Housing Development. SUS has targeted those residents for a while. “Instead of having to travel across the city [to the Davis Square or Union Square farmers markets], they literally had to roll out of bed and just find it at their doorstep.”
Some people go nuts over every bargain on Groupon. But here in Somerville, there are dozens of deals to be found. And you don’t need a computer to access them. All you need to do is not drive. During Walk/Ride Days – occurring on the last Friday of each month – many businesses offer discounts to customers who walk, ride, skate or take public transit to their locations. It’s that simple. The participating businesses are too numerous to list here, but you can find them at gogreenstreets.org/somerville sponsors.html. And the discounts – take our word – are significant.