All in the Family: Greenleaf Restaurant in Ashland
Reviewing restaurants right now feels like going for a bike ride in a wet-suit—awkward and unsettling in this new paradigm of how we do things. I was not ready to dine-in, but absolutely desperate for a meal not cooked at home without the accompanying dirty dishes. A teenager in the house during “stay home, save lives,” means unclean glasses and plates galore! So, it would be lunch with my folks “brought-in,” which is still “take-out” but psychologically feels different.
Chosen because of its healthy, gluten-free options, Greenleaf Restaurant, it would be! My first time ordering on their website was not quick since I had to go back and double check a menu item. My “cart” was emptied causing me to start all over again. That is when I called them instead—easier. But they are also open for dine-in (cafeteria-style) where you “order, pay, and take your tray” to a table. Kudos to management for minimizing contact and practicing social distancing.
Now for the food—Greenleaf is known for their gluten-free and vegetarian entrees. This is where they shine. My Mediterranean Quesadillawas made with sun-dried tomatoes bursting with flavor and offered my taste buds a foundation to enjoy the remaining ingredients: avocado, spinach, and feta cheese. Pickled, or at least soaked in vinegar, the lingering tang from the tomatoes in every bite was awesome. With four big triangular wedges accompanied by sour cream and salsa on a gluten-free tortilla wrap, it was plenty filling. My tooth could have done without the piece of avocado pit that came with it though.
As another lunch option, my son chose the Smoked Turkey and Bacon Club. It was a substantial sandwich with “tasty bread,” he complimented, but not as flavorful as he hoped. “It didn’t wow me,” he offered. Also, the fries came without many friends and a tad bit soggy as a to-go item. In contrast, the gluten-free Parmesan Patty Melt was a hit. The bun held together which is rare for gluten-free. When taking our order, they appropriately asked about “pink” or “no pink” and it came as specified. It had Swiss cheese and mushrooms for sure, but my Mom could not taste any caramelized onion jam promised in the description, and the kettle chips were left off the order.
Finally, my Dad optimistically dug in to his Reuben on gluten-free bread. Finding one in town is rare. He remarked that, “the bread was too small for the sandwich.” And when he cut it in half, there were no equal sides about it. In his opinion, the sauerkraut overpowered the meat so, it was the first thing you tasted and the last you remembered. On the up-side, the portion was adequate and a tangy Cole slaw side complimented the sandwich well. It would have gotten a B- on the grading scale. Harsh critics, and former college professors, my family can be grating—oh, I meant grading.
On the whole, my menu selection was the best, and I would recommend the quesadilla in a heartbeat. And with all that is going on with the pandemic, Greenleaf Restaurant is still on my list as top-notch. Perhaps next time, I will dine in and experience everything as it comes straight from the kitchen. Or I might consider visiting the alternate location;The Second Edition which is dedicated to literary works with 200 handpicked hard-backed and paperback pieces. Sounds divine to a writer like myself.
8 am – 8 pm, Tues. – Sun.
49 N. Main St., Ashland