Like all self-actualized twenty-somethings, I know that my body is a temple full of kombucha tea and organically grown kale. So I knew we would like my grass-fed, cage-free, gluten-free, vegan, buzzword, organic, local, eco-friendly dinner at Ellary's Greens. Despite a few inconsistencies across the meal, Ellary's manages to satisfy any type of person and any type of taste with wholesome offerings.
Let's start with the menu itself. Ellary's has printed their offerings on recycled boxes of produce in case you somehow didn't read the word "organic" enough times during the course of your meal. Did you get it yet? Big hint: this place serves organic food.
My group started with the Brussels Sprouts with roasted apples, hazelnuts, and verjus, which was sweet and nutty and took one of my favorite veggies to a surprisingly new, fruity level. As a part of our make-shift appetizer course, we also tried the Black Eyed Peas with kabocha squash, umeboshi, and cilantro. Unfortunately, the black eyed peas tasted like...black eyed peas. In addition to being undersalted, the flavors of the squash, pickled plums, and cilantro were entirely lost in the muddy dish. No Boom Boom Pow. Sigh.
We ended our little vegetable medley with the Pan-Roasted Sweet Potato topped with pickled zucchini and cilantro. While the sweet potato itself was perfectly cooked and full of its natural, sweet and cinnamon-y flavor, the zucchini ended up feeling out of place. It was like Ellary's just learned that pickling is trendy now and needed to use up some leftover zucchini in the kitchen.
For our main courses, though, we went for the Chickpea Burger with roasted tomato jam on a house-made English muffin, which remains one of the best of the restaurant's offerings. The patty itself was hearty and peppery, and the sweet jam just proved that ketchup is definitely not going to survive natural selection when tomato jam is a competitor.
The Chipotle Chicken Panini with roasted zucchini, ancho aioli, and queso fresco was a winner, though not as hot as we would have expected, and our Curly Kale Salad with toasted quinoa, cremini mushrooms, and butternut squash was also a happy, if simple, success, particularly with the bites of cold mushroom that just popped flavor in every forkful.
We then ended our meal with a guiltless selection of virtually impeccable desserts, including the slightly-too-dry coconut date crumb bar, the vegan and gluten-free brownie, which could have fooled any wheat and dairy lover, and probably our best bite of the entire evening: the almond butter and chocolate ganache sandwich cookie.
With their promise to satisfy every type of taste from carnivores to vegans with healthy and filling food, it would have been easy for Ellary's to bite off more kabocha squash than they could chew, but I certainly left impressed by the creativity and diversity of the very green menu.