As excited as we are to spread the word about the cozy B Natural, we owe a preemptive apology to the Yalies that use B Natural as their secret study spot, their hangover-cure provider, the place they can cry in the corner talking to their mom on the phone with no one they know around to hear. We hope our readership knows better than to take your corner table, and we promise to buy you a Razzmatazz smoothie to make it up to you.
This Chapel Street spot and its sister location on Orange, previously called Woodland Cafe, embody health-food kitsch (see: name change). Walk in and find yourself face-to-face with whole fruits and ginger roots piled high; choose between “warm grain bowls” and “grain salad bowls” (the B Natural fan club will explain the difference). But really, when New Haven cuisine sometimes feels like it’s just people doing different things to cheese, an Avocado Hummus sandwich is a refreshing change.
On a recent visit to this hidden gem, we tried two grain salad bowls: the B-Natural Bowl and the Vegan Power Bowl. We loved the lime cilantro dressing on both and the ingredients were fresh — and surprising. We didn’t think we’d live to see the day when grapes, broccoli, and beets ended up in the same salad, but anything is possible in a B Natural bowl. While these are definitely appropriate portion sizes, we did notice that the Vegan Power bowl comes up a little short on “power.” Be sure to add avocado if you don’t want to be hungry an hour after eating this.
The egg white sandwich, which we ordered on a wrap and which came with spinach, cheddar, and a roasted red pepper spread, was filling and had a kick to it. It was a bit soggy, but what egg sandwich in a wrap isn’t? The avocado egg scramble with turkey will probably provide you a day’s worth of protein, and the tomato B-Natural sauce adds a nice flavor. We’re also big fans of the Acai bowls and the oatmeal, which both come topped with lots of fun fruit.
We don’t know whether it was the lure of a Spice Carrot juice or of a comfy corner chair that’s just begging to be Facetime-cried in, but we can tell you that Chew Haven will be back to B Natural. Is the fan club accepting applications?