Written by Shannon Fitzgerald, Edits by Sheryl Julian
A brightly-colored chalkboard menu greets customers, boasting music and city-related adjectives to describe the food that awaits: phat, gangsta, ballpahk. At first glance, Rhythm ‘n Wraps, located near the Boston University West Campus, is unassuming. The tables are small squares with basic wood chairs, reminiscent of a cafeteria. Every eating surface has a painted mason chair–red, green, or yellow, the color scheme of the shop–with a single battery-operated tea light inside. Aesthetics, however, should not stop you from eating here. Fans of the original food truck, or anyone trying this restaurant for the first time, are in for a treat.
Rhythm ‘n Wraps began as a food truck in Cambridge in 2013. Five years later, they opened a storefront in Boston offering vegetarian food that is full of flavor and originality. Every item on the menu is meatless, with vegan options to replace dairy ingredients. Each ingredient and spice is chosen specifically for their mind-body elements, according to the restaurant’s website. It provides a breakdown of the specific health benefits provided, stemming from Chef Lee Roy Sim (also known as O’Shinga RamaShinga) and his interest in Ayuervedic cooking (based on the holistic medicine system often tied to yoga and spirituality).
Fueguito, a taco with refried beans, cheese, guacamole, tomato, sour cream, and lettuce, comes two per order. Each has two soft corn tortillas encasing the warm fillings. The double layer allows the taco to stay together–one would have been too flimsy and soggy—and a chipotle seasoning provides a cohesive flavor throughout every bite.
The Ballpahk wrap, is a white-flour tortilla containing sautéed peppers and onion, vegan Italian sausage made of soy protein, garlic aioli, and relish. The wrap comes with an open, unfolded top. Colorful vegetables peek out, creating an appetizing image. Red and yellow peppers play into the color palette of the restaurant, matching the mason jar lights. Warm and well-cooked, the garlic aioli enhances the sausage’s seasonings.
In addition to main dishes, Rhythm ‘n Wraps offers sides and beverages. Grilled Mack ‘n Cheese, unfortunately, does not live up to its name. Although savory and cheesy, grilled is a misnomer. Topped with baked bread crumbs, the elbow macaroni itself is not crispy, but buttery and oily. This side seems to miss the comfort-food mark with both its name and the restaurant’s theme of healthy foods.
To drink, Rhythm ‘n Wraps has a house-made beverage: a hibiscus-based punch. The Rhythm Punch is tangy and a vibrant shade of purple. It is smooth; no seeds, leaves, or sediment in sight. Ginger and hibiscus battle each other for dominance, creating a different primary taste with each sip. Bitterness, expected from the combination of hibiscus, ginger, and lime, lingers long after the drink is finished.
Healthy, vegetarian, and affordable–nothing is over $20–Rhythm ‘n Wraps should not be turned down based on its appearance. The extensive, savory menu provides options for all tastes and preferences. While no health benefits were immediately recognized upon consumption, the food is filling: a benefit of contentment that cannot be denied. You don’t have to be a yogi to enjoy Rhythm ‘n Wraps food.
Brick-and-mortar location for Rhythm ‘n Wraps is at 1096 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA, 02134. It operates 11am-9pm Monday-Thursday, 11am-11pm Friday-Saturday, and 11am-7pm Sunday. Information about the restaurant and the food truck schedule can be found on rhythmnwraps.com or by calling (857) 829-1090.