Now, I'll admit it's always intimidating trying to go somewhere by yourself to eat " lunch in the city". I mean who wants to be the chick sitting alone at a table? This fear stems back to my earliest days of traveling by myself. Usually I snag something at a place where I can find a quiet corner on a patio and put on my shades and pull out my phone or some work. Today I put on my big girl panties and got brave. I mean if you sneak in around 11:30, you beat the lunch crowd and thee are less people to see you!
Since I moved up here a year ago, I began hearing about and seeing this beautiful green building (building us so, so, the green is beautiful) in the curve anytime I turn on School Street to head to downtown. Which lately has been quite often so today was the day.
It was everything you expect from a place that has "green" in the name and grille wit the "e", well except for the free wifi. But that was just my reason to stay off the email and such.
I was completely torn when I opened the menu. Black bean and spinach quesadillas had me at hello. And then I began reading about their burger options which included things like goat cheese, avocado mayo and roasted garlic aioli. Now you see the dilemma!
I can kinda been thinking soup all morning so something lighter really was on my mind.
Phillip the waiter was lickety split after casually setting up the remaining tables in the dining room. I gave him my drink order-water. Had I taken the time to read the drink menu first, I would have ordered something that included one of their homemade flavored syrups (next time!). But my water was served with the cutest little petite slice of orange which is better than a lemon any day!
So my mind was almost made on my selection until Phillip, super chill and cad, came over with the specials. A variation on their Bahnmi sandwich, Bahnmi taco with tofu. I almost caved, but tofu encrusted in almonds was not the texture I was going for. But then he mentioned the other special and my heart began to sing!
Harvest Stew-(I know, right!)-Tomatoes, corn, kale, butternut squash and a timy sweet potato purée. My mind was made. I would indeed keep it healthy today. It was perfection. Gluten free and vegan, it had the welcoming base if my grandmothers Thanksgiving stew but took it one step closer to the earth by adding walnuts. Imagine this bite- perfectly stewed tomatoes floating in rosemary infused soup base accompanied by a cube of al dente butternut squash rounded out by and earthy walnut. Now pause, close your eyes and simmer on that thought.
To compliment I chose the Greenhouse Garden salad, substituting the citrus cilantro dressing. Perfect compliment. (I was grateful that Phillip suggested going with the half. It was just the right amount) I'm always a sucker for anything cilantro and with the fresh green apple tower, dried cranberries and toasted almonds on mixed greens was the exact sweetness to mix with the earthy du jour.
I did start the experience with a side entree of hot pita bread and house made hummus. It was a great way to get things started for this great experience.
As my dining experience was winding down a young lady took the stage and we had a little live music for dessert. The sweet melodies were the perfect way to end a most enjoyable lunch.
Signed-the girl on her phone in the corner