Mack and I were attending a seminar over the supper hour on Wednesday, so needed a place near the University to grab some take-out. I remembered Chris’s post on The Greenhouse, a salad bar that shares a space with the Good Earth Cafe on campus, and after consulting their website, decided to give them a try.
Salad bars are all the rage in larger metropolises, and fall into the trend towards healthy, fresh fare. Though The Greenhouse does have an option for the “undecided”, I was impressed by their very creative menu. For example, the “Sleepless in Seattle” features a Bailey’s and espresso dressing and white chocolate garnish. The Caribbean-inspired “You Jerk”, includes (of course) jerk chicken, mangoes and a coconut lime vinaigrette – these are definitely not your average salads! I also like their “80% healthy, 20% naughty” philosophy – in moderation, particularly when the base greens are nutritious anyway, it’s only right to include some *other* embellishments!
I called in my order about a half hour before, and when we arrived, we found our meal nearly ready, and took some time to chat with the friendly owner while waiting. They’ve been open for about four months, and though many of their customers have been calling for their expansion, he said they are still coming to terms with this location. We commented on the lovely decor – bright green walls with red accents and a cozy fireplace – he responded that they had to do quite a bit of work to liven up the space. The only change we would have recommended would have been an easier-to-read menu. Posted high above the order counter, the font size could have been increased somewhat.
Once settled into our seminar room, we opened up our boxes. Unfortunately, for the price we paid, we were expecting a larger serving. Mack had ordered a large Sol Caesar ($12), which had a blackened chicken breast, sundried tomatoes, turkey bacon, whole-wheat croutons, Pecorino cheese and a golden Caesar dressing. While he loved the croutons and the cheese, he would have preferred a more traditional creamy Caesar dressing, or to have had no dressing at all, particularly as his salad had been quite overdressed.
I had ordered a soup and salad combo ($11.50). The tomato chickpea soup (one of their two soups of the day) was disappointing – there were no chickpeas! The Greens and Protein salad was great though – the lemon and roast garlic steak (albeit a small portion) was cooked to a perfect medium rare, and I loved the inclusion of eggs (a play on steak and eggs, perhaps?), edamame beans, chickpeas, peanuts, apricots and camembert. The slightly thicker consistency of the balsamic dressing was also appreciated, even though my salad was also overdressed. The proetin variety in my salad left me completely satisfied, though it is worth noting once we returned home after the seminar, we were both hungry again.
Greens and Protein
I would consider going to The Greenhouse in the future, if not only to see what other innovative salads they have introduced to their menu (on special that day was Tandoori chicken), but I would look to supplementing the meal with something else.
8623 112 Street
Open daily 11am-7pm