Veggie Planet: Creative pizza combos, folk music and reasonable prices

by Beacon Staff • December 13, 2006

It's hard to think of food as an art form, but at Veggie Planet in Cambridge, it isn't hard to believe. From the pizzas to the salads and everything in between, the colorful toppings and vibrant combinations speak to the eye and the mouth.,A place "where pizza is art."

It's hard to think of food as an art form, but at Veggie Planet in Cambridge, it isn't hard to believe. From the pizzas to the salads and everything in between, the colorful toppings and vibrant combinations speak to the eye and the mouth.

The restaurant is small and cheerful.

Bright blues, greens and oranges accent the walls.

There are no more than 10 tables, making the atmosphere intimate and casual. A nice backdrop is the "what's happening" board on the wall that displays events and inspiring quotes.

The restaurant picks up the pace at night because it is connected to Club Passim.

Listening to folk music and enjoying vegetarian/vegan cuisine is a nice way to relax and spend an evening.

If you're sick of all the holiday meats and sweets, Veggie Planet is the perfect place for a hearty and healthy meal.

Not only will your body feel better, but your heart will too. Veggie Planet donates 2 percent of all its profits to Food for Free, a non-profit organization that feeds the hungry in Cambridge and the surrounding Boston areas.

If you like the place, be sure to spend a little extra on a Veggie Planet T-shirt ($15). All of T-shirt profits also go toward Food for Free.

Veggie Planet is known for its pizza, but there are plenty of other treats on the menu. The restaurant offers personalized lunch portions, or you can try sharing two or more pizzas with the whole table at dinner.

Didi Emmons, one of the owners, created the dish Lunch/Dinner for Henry for her cat.

This pizza is a delicious choice with roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, sage, and asiago and goat cheeses topping an organic wheat crust ($6.62/10.43).

Another great choice for less daring taste buds is the Safe'n Sound topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzeralla and asiago cheese, basil and garlic ($6.62). Definitely add on the spinach since it doesn't cost extra.

Add spicy chili sauce and make it an Unsafe'n Sound ($6.62). All of the pizza crusts come from Haley House, a small non-profit bakery in the South End.

Aside from pizzas, Veggie Planet offers an open-face grilled cheese ($5.95), a soup-and-salad combination and a dish of peanut udon noodles ($6.62). The mild Thai peanut sauce over cold noodles, broccoli and tomatoes was good, mixing it all with lettuce gave the dish a soggy texture, which was disappointing.

Although raspberry lime rickeys are a staple here in Boston, peach lime rickeys are a nice addition to the drink menu.

For the environmentally conscious, order up an organic soda. Now that it's cold, go for the organic fair- trade coffee, hot cocoa, or spiced chai (soy available).

Try out the home-brewed ice teas and berry teas for just $1.52. Fresh-squeezed orange juice and lemonade are other great choices.

For dessert, Full Contact Brownies are a treat made with organic fair trade chocolate. Leave it naked or scoop on vanilla or mint-chocolate ice cream. Veggie Planet always offers a vegan dessert of the week. A popular pick is the homemade bread pudding.

Since the restaurant is connected to Club Passim, it can become very crowded during performances. During shows, a sign scrolls in bright lights to remind you to please keep it down. This can be upsetting when you're enjoying good food and conversation.

Meat lovers: this is not a place for you. However, if you're up for a new food experience, Veggie Planet is just the place to try.

Stop by the first Monday of every month for a special meal hosted by the restaurant staff. They serve up high-end food at reasonable prices.

Veggie Planet is located at 47 Palmer St. in Cambridge. Take the Red Line to Harvard Square.

Price Range: Lunch $5 to $7, dinner $9 to $11. Open 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., seven days a week. Sunday brunch: 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit veggieplanet.net for a full menu and directions.