I think there are opportunities to expand dining options, particularly lunch, in the CBD. Delis and good salads seem in short supply. I’ve been hearing the hype about the new City Greens which opened in the First Bank and Trust building at 909 Poydras and been interested in checking it out.
Last week my coworkers were looking for light fare (all still trying to address the post-holiday poundage) and asked where we should go. The weather was great so I figured why not walk down the street and see what this hydroponic green place is all about?
City Greens is slightly hidden, tucked away behind a set of elevators in the rear of the main lobby, but once you notice the big glass doors you know you’ve found the right place. It is bright and airy on the inside with simple and modern tables and chairs. Overall, I found it to be rather welcoming (and they had ‘OZ on the radio).
As I perused both the menu and the selection of salad ingredients behind the counter I was impressed by the variety available. There were several salads that looked interesting as well as wraps and a few soups thrown in for good measure.
Instead of a blow by blow of my almost lunch hour, I’ll summarize below:
It is one-of-a-kind in the CBD so it definitely fills a void.
Once you figure out where the actual restaurant is, the atmosphere and staff are very welcoming.
WWOZ on the radio is a win for me.
If you are a salad lover, this is a very good selection. There are 9 different salads on the menu (each of which can be converted to a wrap), including Greek (my choice), arugula, and roasted beets and fennel, among others.
What I didn’t so much groove on:
The entire root system of a plant in my coworkers salad was pretty much a turn-off. There’s a point at which ‘non-processed’ food goes too far.
The pricing. While my salad and bottled water was just under $14 (yes, I think that is a little steep but worth it for a fresh salad on occasion), my friend’s build-your-own came in at over $17. I don’t know about you, but I don’t frequently shell out almost $18 before tip on a salad for lunch. That’s a premium number for a counter-service salad and a drink.
Ultimately the jury is out on this one. I will definitely go back as there were several things on the menu that I still want to try and I really like the idea behind the place. It also helps that it is a stone’s throw from the office. I am concerned about whether there is enough of an organic-seeking market who is willing to pay the premium. My short answer is to stick to the menu and don’t build it, as that seemed to be the most cost-effective solution. As I further formulate my opinion, I’ll update accordingly.