Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Greens Restaurant, San Francisco

I visit San Francisco quite often, but I've always avoided Greens for two reasons: (1) upon glancing at the menu, it appeared that although they are 100% vegetarian, there are very few vegan items and (2) I had heard there were few vegan options from others who have dined there. Well, I decided to finally give them a try and experience it for myself.

Zach and I parked at the marina, then walked around the warehouse to the entrance of Greens. Greens is located right on the Bay and has spectacular views of the mountains and water.  When we walked in, we saw the Greens To Go counter where they serve take-out food such as sandwiches and desserts. Right past that is the restaurant where we met the hostess. She kindly seated us against the window where we had a great view!

Once seated, the waitress quickly greeted us and offered to tell us about the menu. The menu at Greens Restaurant changes daily so although there are some core items that stay on the menu every day, many of the items will change. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, despite what I had heard, most of the menu items either were or could be made vegan.  We started by ordering a couple cocktails. Yes, I know it was lunch, but I was on vacation -- so there. My cocktail was a mix of Prosecco, raspberry and lemon. It was very refreshing.

For the appetizer, we wanted something light so we started with the Grilled Blossom Bluff Peaches. These grilled peaches were served on a bed of watercress along with non-vegan sides of Snyders honey and Bellwether fromage blanc.  The peaches themselves were good, but the dish was definitely lacking something. If the creamy side had been vegan and the honey had been agave nectar, I might have really enjoyed this dish, but without the toppings, it wasn't anything special and for $12, was grossly overpriced.

For our entrees, Zach and I chose the same dish as it sounded the most appetizing -- the Mesquite Grilled Brochettes. The Brochettes had mushrooms, yukon gold potatoes, peppers, corn, summer squash, red onions, cherry tomatoes and Hodo Soy tofu with Hamada dried fruit. One the side was pistachio quinoa and Moroccan carrot slaw.  The carrot slaw was nice and the pistachio quinoa was quite tasty -- nutty yet moist.  The brochettes were grilled nicely, but the charmoula sauce they were in left something to be desired. Not only was the sauce not flavorful enough for the dish, there wasn't enough of it. The grilled veggies really needed a thicker sauce and the tofu really should have been marinated in it for a longer period of time before grilling. The dish wasn't bad, but, like the appetizer, it wasn't anything special and was overpriced at $15 for a lunch entree.

After lunch, we inquired about the dessert options -- there were only a few vegan options that didn't sound that interesting. Instead, we stopped by the to-go area on the way out and picked up a chocolate chip cookie, but it was pretty dry and hard.

All in all, I think there are much better options for vegans in San Francisco. The drinks are good at Greens, but the food left something to be desired. The lunch ended up costing $80 including drinks, tax, and tip. You could take that money and get something much better somewhere else downtown.

Fort Mason, Building A
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 771-6222

Greens on Urbanspoon

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