I had the pleasure of dining this week at The Greenery in Leucadia (Encinitas), and I have to say that if you want to sample a lunch that I guarantee will be one of, if not THE, healthiest, freshest and best tasting you have ever eaten, you need to plan a visit.
The Greenery is an all natural, organic, raw, vegan restaurant. Now, before you roll your eyes and move to find another blog to read, give me a moment to explain. Most people think of those who adhere to a raw diet sitting down to a plate full of carrot slices, some nuts and some raw leafy greens…boring and definitely not something you would get your family to eat, right? But if you truly understand the raw diet and actually taste what can be created with a little bit of know-how, you will be AMAZED.
Melissa and Chris Carrier, the owners of this restaurant, make all dishes fresh daily, with organic produce. For lunch everything is pre-packaged and you choose your items from the refrigerator. I tried the “burger,” which consists of a sprouted buckwheat bun topped with a veggie walnut patty, sun dried tomato ketchup, mac/pine nut “cheese,” mustard, carmelized onions, lettuce and tomato. It was so tasty I ate the whole thing, plus the fresh greens salad made with kale and a delicious creamy dressing. My husband had the pizza, his favorite, which is made on a butternut squash crust, with fresh marinara, sun dried tomatoes, and mac-pine nut “cheese” topped with kalamata olives, leeks and red bell peppers.
Some other offerings may include Vegetable Curry, Pad Thai, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and a Cream Cheese Sandwich. Aside from the incredible flavor of these dishes, you will likely notice you feel better after eating this “live” food. It is so beneficial for your body and provides natural energy.
One last thing, although we were full we wanted to try one of the homemade desserts. Skeptical as to whether a raw vegan dessert could actually satisfy a sweet tooth, we were pleasantly surprised by the scrumptious Banana Cream Pie. It had an almond-date “crust, with almonds and dates inside, loads of fresh bananas, and a creamy topping made from fresh coconut. I have to tell you that my sweet tooth was satisfied, and to think that it was actually good for me! There is no refined sugar, preservatives, chemicals, frying, cooking, fats, dairy or processed foods used in any of the dishes. But you will never miss them one iota…trust me!
Menu items may change daily, but there are a few staples that are usually available. Dessert items vary daily as well. Prices are reasonable, with a typical item costing between $8 and $12. I recommend going with a friend and sharing a few items so you can sample all the different flavors. Dinner is served from a menu and made to order.
The Greenery is located at 133 Daphne Street, in Encinitas, on the corner of Daphne and Highway 101 directly behind Mozy Cafe (the entrance is on Daphne). The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30-3:00 for lunch and 5:30-8:30 for dinner. Be warned that weekends are crowded, so plan accordingly. The number is 760-479-0996. To learn more you can visit their website at http://www.greeneryrawcafe.com/. Bon appetite!