November 10, 2020

Hail King Brussels!

We wait patiently. And then we celebrate!

I look forward to this time every year. We’re about to launch the Brussels Sprout Sandwich for 2020. Yeah!!!!!

This sandwich is our best-selling seasonal sandwich of all time. Followed closely by the Japanese Sweet Potato.

Why don’t we sell it all year round? It wouldn’t taste as great. This is a subtle aspect of what we do at Clover, and one of the hardest for me to communicate clearly. Food doesn’t taste as great when it’s out of season. Why? It travels further, it’s likely to be older, it’s likely to be harvested at the wrong moment, it’s likely to be grown in a sub-optimal way, or be a varietal that emphasizes durability over tastiness. So we wait patiently. We don’t force it. Brussels sprout season was not at the end of September (despite some email marketing I received that claimed as much). The best brussels sprouts need those cold fall nights. Now is the time.

Tomorrow starting at 11, open our menu online ( and you’ll find the Brussels Sprout available at all of our restaurants.

If you haven’t had the Brussels Sprout Sandwich before, you owe it to yourself to try one. Especially if you think you don’t like brussels. I feel so strongly about this that if anybody isn’t sure about it, please email me. I’ll buy your first sandwich. Make the subject line: “I hate brussels” and I’ll try to change your mind.

I created this sandwich because I’ve always loved brussels sprouts. They’ve been my favorite vegetable since I was little. When I was a kid it riled me to hear people (including our president at the time) make fun of them. President Bush (the first one) thought it was tough or macho or funny or something to talk down about Brassica. He famously “banned” broccoli from Air Force 1 and talked about hating brussels too. Before Bush, Reagan also hated brussels. The 1980s were a tough decade for the Brussels Sprout. The truth is that Brassicas are not only absolutely delicious, they are also super nutritious and make us stronger and healthier when we include them in our diet. 

You might think I’m trying to make a not so subtle political point here. I’m not. And I’m not trying to poke fun. There is a reason we say people “don’t like” or “hate” a certain vegetable. There is visceral emotion there. And most of it is fear.

The point I’m trying to make is more about leadership. I know these 2 men were afraid of those vegetables. And it’s likely because they never accustomed themselves to the taste. Maybe they didn’t have a great first experience. Or – as is this case for many with food fears – they may have learned to be fearful from studying their parents’ reactions as children. But if we’re to lead others, it shouldn’t be from a place of fear. We owe it to the future to lead from a different place, a confidence in our collective ability to improve and make things better.

So let’s celebrate! To new beginnings and to leaders who expect us to explore brussels sprouts and make a better future.

Super quick FAQ:
Q: When is Brussels launching? A: Wednesday 11am
Q: Just the sandwich? A: Also the platter
Q: Boxes? A: Yes. And we can deliver them to your house. The Meal Boxes are amazing. Try them out. Sign up for the Thanksgiving Box pre-order.
Q: What’s this “Clover Club” thing I see on the app? A: : )

Recent Posts

November 29, 2023
I’m writing to share some news: we’ve decided to permanently close CloverROW, our outpost in the Assembly Row neighborhood of Somerville. The closure of this restaurant is part of the whole company’s focus on reaching financial sustainability and positioning us for future growth. These decisions are really hard, but they’re necessary steps for us to simplify Clover. And, happily, all the amazing staff at CloverROW, including the manager Joe, will be able to move into other Clover restaurants. The math is straightforward…
November 28, 2023
These sweet potato latkes date back to early days on the Clover food truck. They’re so yummy and the sweet potatoes lend them such a fun golden color. They’re probably the most popular item in our Hanukkah Meal Box, which you can get delivered on December 7th. Inside the box you’ll find: 
November 21, 2023
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. We will be closed Thursday 11/23 at all locations. For our kitchen team, it will be a good chance to rest after prepping a ton of Brussels casseroles for our Thanksgiving Box : ) As for the days surrounding Thanksgiving, we’ll be open normal hours, except for CloverFIN (Financial District) and CloverHSC (Harvard Science Center) which will be closed tomorrow and Friday. CloverHSQ (Harvard Square) will be closing early (at 8pm) tomorrow. 
November 16, 2023
I’m not a big believer in multitasking (which, in my experience, is doing a bunch of things simultaneously and badly.) But there’s a lot going on at Clover right now, so I had to break my No Multitasking Rule on Wednesday. I asked Michele and Greg on our Finance team if they’d mind if I took myself off video during a meeting to review Accounts Payable. “I have to draw a cartoon Delicata Squash,” I explained, reasonably.
November 16, 2023
Some of you have been asking for a sides-only box – and it’s true, sides are the best part, aren’t they? We’re making a limited number of boxes with mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and King Brussels’ Casserole. Each Sides Box serves 6-8 people and can be delivered to your door for 11/21 or 11/22. 
November 9, 2023
The moment you’ve waited for is here. Western Mass Brussels sprouts are back in the restaurants, which means the King himself has landed! What’s on this glorious sandwich and why is it the King of all seasonal sandwiches? A dijon-mayo spread, smoked Grafton cheddar, fried Brussels tossed with za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice blend), pickled red cabbage, and toasted hazelnuts.
November 6, 2023
On Friday we had a company meeting with all our leadership to talk about a decision we’ve made about the future of Clover. We are all focused on putting Clover on solid financial footing so we can continue to make the food you love for many years to come. COVID changed everything for restaurants like us. The way we eat, drink, work, and get together has shifted substantially and, while Clover has seen a steady recovery in sales…
October 29, 2023
Julia here. Today, October 29, is Clover’s birthday! 15 years of perfect pita, crispy chickpea fritters, countless sandwiches that cycle with the seasons, and of course the occasional birthday cupcake. How lucky are we? Although I’ve been working at Clover for a year and a half, this was my first week as CEO. I’m excited and honored to be stepping into this role. I’ve been a Clover enthusiast for a long time – since my first taste of a Blue Oyster Mushroom sandwich as a grad student in 2013. As COO and now as CEO…
October 26, 2023
If you stop by tomorrow (Friday 10/27) around 11am, you might be treated to a bit of Clover history in the form of a carrot cupcake with buttercream frosting. One per paying customer, while they last! And they may not last long : )
October 26, 2023
A bunch of you have been asking, and yes, we are doing a Thanksgiving Box menu again this year, with all the favorites from years past – Hubbard Squash glazed with maple-Sriracha butter, mashed potatoes, gravy, Ayr’s dad’s walnut-mushroom patè, stuffing – there’s even a limited run of Petsi pies. Free delivery to your door if you’re within 30 miles of us. Click here to reserve yours.
October 22, 2023
I’ve recently asked somebody who believes in Clover as much as I do to step into the CEO role. Julia Wrin Piper has been Clover’s COO for the past 18 months and will take over running the company day-to-day. I’ll be shifting my efforts to provide support for Julia and the team, work on growth opportunities, and pursue partnerships that will amplify Clover’s mission. I’ll remain a member of the Board of Directors and active as an advisor and mentor. Clover is facing a potent mix of opportunity and challenge right now and I know Julia is exactly the right person to lead the team through these twists and turns.
October 18, 2023
On 10/29 Clover will turn 15 years old. It’s been 15 years since we first pulled up a tiny white food truck to the MIT campus in hopes of testing a menu that could make a dent in global warming. Since then we’ve supported so many local farmers; had tons of adventures on board trucks and restaurants; and met tons of wonderful customers. And most of all we’ve made food. Lots and lots of food. In honor of our 15th birthday, we sent out a survey asking you about your favorite LONG-LOST MENU ITEMS. We’ve picked the top results and we’re going to bring them back for one day only – in the form of a Birthday Meal Box!