a guest post by Jenna Boyd
For my birthday, the lovely Miss Natalie Mathews who knows me all too well (being the food fiend that I am) gave me a gift certificate to the vegetarian restaurant Greens in San Francisco. Until I traveled around Spain, I had no idea that vegetarian food could actually be GOOD... in fact, I had always viewed it as strange concoctions of tofu and faux meat. Well, I learned my lesson. Vegetarian food can actually be AMAZING, and no more so than at the iconic Greens restaurant which is in the upper echelon of vegetarian cuisine.
Located in Fort Mason, the restaurant has stunning views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge with expansive windows lining the entire wall. After settling into our table and nibbling on some complimentary roasted almonds (which were delicious), I got down to business and eagerly started pouring over the menu. I could hardly contain my glee while picking the items I wanted to order. Normally, I exhibit slightly more restraint, but as I had this magical gift card, I felt as though I had free reign to order whatever I pleased. And so I did. I ordered two appetizers, an entree, and two desserts. Mind you, I was with two friends so I did intend to share some of this.
First came the potato and masa griddle cakes with jalapenos, green onions, salsa, and sour cream. These were delicious and quickly devoured– a great start to our meal. The menu changes regularly so unfortunately I do not have a menu to which I can refer. Next, came the artisan cheese plate with two different kinds of cheese, a small sampling of olives, and a fennel salad. The distinct taste of fennel complemented the smoothness of the cheese nicely as did the saltiness of the olives.
Our waiter, Gregory, had taken a liking to us by this point and insisted on bringing us all samples of the Italian butter bean soup. How could we resist? It was good, especially with the cheesy hunks of croutons which had soaked up some of the soup.
For my main course, I chose the risotto cake with grilled asparagus, turnips, and other veggies in a Meyer lemon cream sauce. The sauce was deliciously silky, and the asparagus was beautifully grilled. My friends ordered the veggie tacos and a leek pizza, but I have to say, mine was my favorite. I definitely cleaned my plate!
By this point, the other ladies had started discussing how full they were and did not need any dessert.. so I had to pull the birthday card and order two desserts which they seemed to have no problem eating once they arrived! The chocolate pot de creme came with a candle for me and two chocolate chip biscotti- perfect for dunking. The second was a fancy ice cream sandwich with Mitchell's (a SF favorite) baby coconut ice cream between two delectable chocolate chip cookies. Mmmm... I left full having blown my gift certificate out of the water.
Happy Birthday Jenna! Jenna has been doing a small restaurant tour of San Francisco for her 25th birthday festivities. As a side note, she is visiting world renown, Chez Panisse of Berkeley tonight, so be prepared for another SF area restaurant review coming up!