Common Ground Cafe (CLOSED)
2255 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02124
The word "unusual" doesn't even begin to describe the Common Ground Cafe in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester. From its improbably dark interior (like something out of a children's fantasy book, with a bit of ski lodge mixed in) to its owners (The Twelve Tribes, a religious community that is also known as the Commonwealth of Israel) to its food (mostly organic, with everything made from scratch), this is indeed just a little different from your typical Applebee's or TGI Friday's. But the food is good, the people are friendly, and the atmosphere is very appealing, so if you like truly offbeat restaurants, then please read on...
The exotic, almost ancient feel to the interior of the Common Ground Cafe is certainly reason enough to come to this restaurant. Cozy wooden tables with dim overhanging lights make for a romantic atmosphere, and some tables are placed in little nooks of the dining room, adding to the intimate feel. A natural foods market is attached to the restaurant, with patrons often making their way over there to buy goods after finishing their meals. Male servers have beards and pull their hair back in ponytails, while female servers wear long, flowing dresses.
Food at the Common Ground Cafe is mostly basic, lighter fare, including soups, salads (both the garden salad and the Greek salad are about as fresh as you will find), sandwiches (including hearty roast beef and tuna sandwiches with cheese and vegetables on homemade bread), wraps (the turkey wrap has all kinds of veggies in it, and the Greek wrap is basically the aforementioned Greek salad placed in pita bread), pizza (different and unusual but tasty, with spelt used for making the crust), and a number of tasty desserts (including muffins, cookies, and granola). Drinks are especially good, with the house iced tea having a nice mix of mint and lemon, and the rooibos tea having quite a robust taste to it). Common Ground also has smoothies and fresh vegetable juices, including a healthy wheat grass juice.
It should be stressed that the Common Ground Cafe is not for everybody; if you are a burger and beer type of person, or you like your food (and atmosphere) to hold no surprises, you may be better off at some of the other restaurants that can be found in Dorchester or nearby Quincy. But for the rest of us, the Common Ground Cafe is a fun, interesting restaurant that is certainly like no other place in the Boston area.
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