From the TV show Chopped, to our own Brighton neighborhood, the owner of Dates and Olives has successfully made her way into our hearts. With delicious food and an impressive philosophy, Dates and Olives should become — if we may be so bold — the new go-to lunch and dinner place for BC students.
So as you are stumbling into Moogy’s or waiting in line at Fuel (Yes, both places are great but…. ), remember this article raving about Dates and Olives. Tell your grumbling stomach you don’t need breakfast AGAIN, and that your tuna sandwich can wait. What you really want is some mediterranean food that is affordable and damn good.
To start, meet the owner and chef:
It all began when Renita Mendonca got the much appreciated “ah ha” moment when she realized the world needed more FRESH food, free of preservatives (this is after being a superstar on Chopped and working in world-renown restaurants across the entire world). She took matters into her own hands, collaborated with local farmer’s markets, and then in 2015 moved into our favorite strip on Chestnut Hill Ave. Renita brings to Brighton a new, healthy, approach to Mediterranean cuisine, sacrificing time and profit to serve you the best quality food. To sum up her incredible food skills, Renita is equivalent to our own notorious Maria in Eagles.
Now to the juicy part, the food itself.
Setting the ambiance: You just walked in and are magically greeted by the humans behind the counter. You stare at the menu and ask yourself, “do I go right for the main entree?” NO. Our advice: don’t overlook the appetizers (ranging from 4-5 dollars). We started off with the fresh hummus platter and the Mediterranean favorite, Baba Ganouj. Both were TO DIE FOR.
The hummus… can’t even put it into words. Trying to find adjectives is impossible, but we can guarantee you that it was the best hummus that has ever reached our taste buds. And we consider ourselves hummus connoisseurs, so reflect on that.
Okay, moving on. Now you have the option of personalizing your own bowl (for around 8 dollars). With your options of rice, salad, or a pita wrap, you then choose from the numerous additional toppings. The possibilities are endless. Stressed about which toppings to choose? Tell her… she understands your struggles.
Our only advice when faced with this challenge: follow your gut and get it all.
If you don’t take away anything else from this BC-experience altering article, remember that Dates and Olives offers a different cuisine than that of the neighboring Fuel and Moogy’s. With all of their daily delivered local produce, the friendly staff of Dates and Olives creates their products in house. From cold pressed juices to personal pita pockets, Renita and her staff make it all. You can taste the fresh ingredients in each bite or sip you take.
Icing on the cake or extra hummus on the pita (if we are sticking to Mediterranean food puns), Renita caters to all types of people. Maybe you’re vegan but your boyfriend is paleo? (p.s. that won’t last) You can both happily eat here. Dates and Olives is equally loved by meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans and even people with food allergies (just let the staff know).
“I know all of the 7,000… 8,000 customers that walk through the door” -Renita
And we can attest to the fact that she wasn’t kidding. She knew the exact order of the next customer that walked in the door. So our advice, become a regular, or at least give her a shot. You won’t regret switching it up.
#SpoonTip: Before you leave, don’t forget to pick up a member punch card. After 9 bowls, you get the 10th free! (free food, hell yeah)
Dates and Olives is located directly next to Moogy’s and Fuel at 160 Chestnut Hill Avenue. They are open Tuesday – Saturday (11am-9pm), Sundays (10am-7pm), and closed Mondays. Walk in or call ahead for food-to-go.
Follow them on Instagram: @DatesOlivesBoston, Twitter: @DatesandOlives, and Facebook!