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Green Bean Salads – Solid Concept & Execution

January 24, 2012

 I cannot tell you how many evenings – usually on a Sunday at the close of an over-indulgent weekend – when I have been craving something green and PB and I end up getting a wilted, caloric salad from Culpeppers.  In fact, we have outright wished that there was a salad centric establishment in some proximity.  Well lo’, not two months ago, such a place did open in the Central West End.   Praise the food gods.

Not only can you eat something green there, the restaurant itself is green; green driven decor and eco-green utensils, cups and bowls.  Pretty much everything except the napkins (which can be recycled) can go in the composting receptacle.  Oh, and they also recycle music.  When I was there for my first visit, they were playing some pretty sweet tune-age circa 1999.  Backstreet’s back.  Did you hear?

To the food.  There’s an array of pre-designed salads. We opted for a Cobb-Out (romaine/watercress, cherry tomato, avocado, hazelnuts, blue cheese, grilled chicken, egg, and mustard vinaigrette) and a Pueblito (romaine, corn, spicy pineapple, tortilla chips, queso fresco, and grilled beef, tomato chili lime dressing), both with medium dressing – you choose between light, medium, and heavy.  Green Bean’s strong suit is quite clearly the array of fixins it offers.  I mean just look at the Pueblito.  All those things are AWESOME when combined.  There’s many, many more to choose from and, rest assured, they present an opportunity for nearly endless salad combos.

In the event you can’t survive on water (or tea) and salad alone, Green Bean has you covered with a local beer on tap (most recently, an offering from Perennial Artisan Ales), as well as keg wine.  Yep, keg wine.  Another “green” element since they don’t have to recycle used bottles.

Just one critical comment concerning an otherwise very well executed/timely concept: the dressings – at least from the two I’ve sampled – need a bit more zip. More salt, more mustard, more spice, more zing.  Perhaps we just didn’t get enough by selecting the medium application, but the dressing – especially the tomato chili lime – was just a bit anemic.  Again though, the toppings are stellar and flavorful. Overall, I couldn’t be more thrilled to have a place like Green Bean nearby.

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