A vegan restaurant in South Boston? The menu at “Manna: The Natural Experience” says “ribs,” “chicken salad,” “hamburger’ and other dishes. So how could that be?
The answer is in the seasonings: “Chicken without seasonings has no taste whatsoever. If you take tofu or wheat glutens and season them correctly, it tastes the same as chicken,” says owner Kecia Kalu. She also offers herbs and teas and health food items, and in the back is an aroma therapy room for meditation. In the evening she offers health and cooking classes
Manna, which opened last year at 217B Main Street, is one of three major lunch places in downtown South Boston, all of them recipients of grants from Destination Downtown South Boston.
Joe and a Bow, which also opened for breakfast and lunch last year at 530 Wilborn Ave., is a hybrid mix of boutique children’s clothing along with a restaurant with sandwiches, main dishes and a salad bar. It also offers gourmet coffees, lattes, frappes, teas, milkshakes and smoothies, in addition to bakery items such as muffins and croissants. Its high ceiling and brick walls are reminiscent of the Star Laundry, which once occupied the building, part of historic South Boston.
Southern Plenty, at 206 Main St., recently opened the entire upstairs to help handle its volume of lunch and breakfast business and for an art gallery. It offers a variety of salads, quiches, cheeses, chilis, specialty groceries, deli boar’s head meats and sandwiches, one of them called “the kitchen sink.” It also sells coffees, smoothies, bakery items and other sweets, cakes to order and premade salads by the pound. Southern Plenty also teaches cooking and painting and wine sipping classes.