CLOSED: The Pulse Cafe

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 8 reviews )



195 Elm St, Somerville, Massachusetts, USA, 02144

Opened in January 2010. Serving all vegan cuisine. Brunch on Sunday. See website for menu. Reported closed to HappyCow.

Category: Vegan, American, International, Organic, Juice bar, Take-out

Reviews (8)

First Review by sombralucy

Never had a bad meal here! Fav restaurant - Edit

Like the subject line says. Been there multiple times, am a very frequent customer. Fav appetizers are the nachos and buffalo tofu bites, sandwiches I love are the TLT and bacon cheeseburger. Quesadillass are fab. Desserts amazing and milkshakes best I've ever had.

If you're used to the Standard American Diet and eat about two to three serving sizes per meal, you will hate this place and maybe greasy Asian food will be better for you. If you like high quality comfort vegan food, you'll love this place!

Pros: great desserts, comfort food, wide variety

Cons: very busy at dinner

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Disappointed - Edit

After reading great reviews, we decided to take our omnivore daughter to The Pulse. Unfortunately, it only made her more resolute to remain an omnivore. There was one server for the whole restaurant. Our water was seldom replenished, and when it was, it was lukewarm. He must have forgotten to turn in our order as we waited as others were served. The burgers my daughter and husband got were miniscule and dry. Fries had to be ordered separately. My "cheese" steak was served on a huge bun and was nasty.
Never again.

Cons: small portions, poor service, warm water

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pretty good - Edit

Was in town for the Boston Marathon looked ahead of time for places to eat afterwards. The atmosphere was somewhat disappointing, however the food was good with some choices that even my omnivore boyfriend was able to tolerate. The smothered fries were a little too smothered for my liking but that's just a matter of personal preference. We also had tomato basil soup, bacon cheeseburger, and seitan gyro. All were decent; The brownie was fantastic! I would recommend the place to others.

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A little underwhelming... - Edit

Having heard quite a buzz around this cafe as well as getting a preview of their menu, I was quite excited to try it out. I left with my bag of take-out feeling quite confident I would again return when in the area.

Now, I fully realized that I was paying $8 for one burger with nothing else and was initially okay with that, but after opening my container to find something so miniature in size that I hoped as in the Back to the Future it was of the dehydrated variety and would yield much more than I saw, I stared sadly at the possibilities that could have been, and what could have perhaps filled that container around the lonely little burger.

While the customer service was wonderful, I felt the overall cost of my takings was rather high. For a couple of shakes, burgers, fries and appetizers we veered into the $50 price range. I was a little underwhelmed with both the portions here, especially with respect to the price.

The shakes were absolutely fantastic though, and the burgers were pretty good, but not remarkable. Maybe we'll have another go sometime, but having spent a fairly significant amount of money to not be impressed could very well make that less likely a possibility.
Updated from previous review on Saturday January 15, 2011

Pros: Great Shakes, Great Customer Service

Cons: Very Small Portions, Very Pricey

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Yuck from beginning to end - Edit

This was the WORST vegetarian experience I have ever had. The appetizer was utterly gross, the main course completely flavorless, and for one tea and one lemonade, two apps and two mains, the price was a hugely overinflated tad-under fifty bucks.

One got the impression that not a single person in the kitchen ever even tasted the dishes they made.

Don't be fooled by their website, the actual restaurant is nothing like it, not the color scheme, not the vibe, nothing.

And just because WE are vegetarian and IT is vegan is no reason to give this place kudos it doesn't deserve.

The place was just awful and we will never go back.

There are much, much better restaurants than this to spend your vegan money on.

And, oh my GAWD the lowest rating you can give a restaurant is two stars? How artificial a skew can you make it, HappyCow? Sheesh.

Pros: Not a thing

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Good, with potential. - Edit

When we first went here right when it opened, it was pretty rough. People were generally unenthused with their food. The lasagne was bland, the salad boring. The service was so bad as to be indescribable. It seemed to be more the kitchen's fault than the servers'. I left after AN HOUR having not gotten my appetizer, yet they kept taking phone orders. On the other hand, the mushroom calamari was a huge hit, as were the giant plate of nachos. We heard rumors of them continually running out of food in the following weeks.

I finally went back recently on a cold, rainy night, so it was really quiet. The service was friendly and efficient. We shared a yummy plate of nachos, though we could've used a bit more salsa and the beans were tough indicating to me that they might have been salted too early in the pot.

My friend got BBQ Seitan with slaw and sweet potatoes, which she really enjoyed. HUGE portion. I got Tripoli, a grain cake over some warm lentil mix and cool salad. It was quite tasty, but the lentils would have benefitted from more seasoning. Also a generous portion; we both took leftovers home.

They do need to work out a few kinks. It's a business, people don't care that your ingredients are so fresh and that's why you run out. But the food we got was good and Pulse makes a great addition to Davis Sq.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday March 02, 2010

Pros: good food, healthy food , great location

Cons: rough when busy

2 Responses

buddhaphilwisdom 22 Feb 2013 - Actually, the majority of people who go to a vegan organic restaurant do care about fresh ingredients. It's a relief to have Pulse Cafe, many "vegan" places have been opening up in the Boston area that are not vegan. The word "vegan" is now a marketing scheme.
True Bistro serves store bought gardein "chicken". Why would I pay someone to cook a store bought frozen fake meat to serve to me? It makes no sense. And it's *not organic.
Many owners and servers at these vegan places don't even know that conventional sugar is not vegan.

So to finally have a place where most of their ingredients are fresh and local is amazing! I truly do appreciate it Pulse Cafe!  

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andrea 22 Feb 2013 - You misunderstood the point, which is that people don't expect a professional establishment to constantly run out of food regardless of the reason (and this review is so old, I don't think that's generally a problem any more). Nearly all the vegan restaurants in Boston--including True Bistro--are owned by vegans; it's not a marketing ploy. What a ridiculous notion: "why would I pay someone to serve me frozen fake meat" For the same reason omnis go out and pay people to serve them real meat--the service, the unique preparation/saucing. You should understand that not every person, even vegans, lives exactly the same way or with the same goals.
And if you are a molecular vegan--someone worried about a molecule of a non-vegan by-product touching your food, it's probably best to not eat out at all.  

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great dinner, limited lunch options - Edit

I have been to the Pulse Cafe twice for lunch and once for dinner, and each time with non vegans. Everything I have had I've really liked, the tempeh reuben, the nachos (amazing!) barbequed tempeh over quinoa salad, and a couple of things i can't remember. The dessert i had with dinner was so good - chocolate covered matzah. so yummy. the lunch menu is a little bit limited, but everything on it is great.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, good portions

Cons: limited options

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Dynamic Menu & Friendly Staff! - Edit

The Pulse Cafe is an exciting new addition to Davis Square in Somerville. The Chef (and Restaurant Owner) likes to change the menu frequently, which makes Pulse a dynamic place to dine regularly. Don't worry if your favorite dish disappears temporarily - it is sure to revisit the menu in the near future! The Staff at Pulse is very friendly and knowledgable about the food, and work to accommodate food allergies (although many are already addressed on the menu). This menu appeals to vegan and non-vegans alike!

Pulse favorites to be sure to try on your next visit: Nacho Plate, with freshly made guacamole, the Incan Salad (a hearty salad with red quinoa, beans and corn), and the DECADENT Dessert of the day (cakes, cookies, mousse, and fruit crumbles galore!!)

Check the website frequently: for daily updates to the Lunch and Dinner Menu, as well as information on the SUNDAY THEME DINNER NIGHTS.

Pros: Excellent ALL VEGAN Food, Friendly Staff, Great Value

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