I noticed that whenever people learn that I’m a food fanatic, they usually think that all I eat are the rich, ‘unhealthy’, and sinful stuff. Oh, they are ever so wrong! There are foodies out there who love eating pretty much anything, but I do appreciate my greens. It’s funny how I get surprised reactions whenever I tell others that I love to eat ampalaya. I think it’s a common misconception that ‘pigging’ out is only for meat-loaded meals. You can also get a gustatory veggie delight! In fact, I had just that when I visited Greens along Tomas Morato.
Eat Your Greens
Greens Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafe is located at Scout Castor Street (very near PenPen). This vegetarian nook at the Tomas Morato area is owned and operated by couple Wally and Mary Ann Duran.
“It wasn’t hard at all for my kids to be vegetarian, they don’t complain or even crave for meat,” she explains. And since her whole family is vegetarian, they thought of putting up a place that will serve food that appeals to their palate, and also to entice customers into seeing vegetables and vegetarian dishes in a different way. “Being vegetarian doesn’t mean we’re ‘deprived'”, she laughs, “you know, we have so many dishes that we can cook up.” So seven years ago, Greens was brought to life.
The Goodness of Green
We all know for a fact that eating your greens is good for you, but not everyone is able to truly go vegetarian. “It’s a lifestyle,” says Mary Ann, “but we’re not very strict or rigid when it comes to other people’s way of eating. We encourage them to eat healthily and simply try out more vegetables, because they really aren’t boring.” Greens’ line-up of delectable dishes range from familiar veggie feasts to interesting vegetarian takes on meat dishes.
Roasted Veggies Wrap
Our feast of vegetables started with the Roasted Veggies Wrap (P80), a mix of colorful vegetables served like a burrito. The play of colors, flavor and texture was simply appetizing.
Green’s Clubhouse Sandwich (P105) arrives on our table and I was delightfully surprised – it really looks as if it has slices of ham! And as I take bite after bite of the sandwich, I was amused to taste the flavor of ‘ham’, they were able to get its saltiness.
Veggie ‘Fish’ Relleno
A dish that I was really happy with is the Veggie “Fish” Relleno (P140), firstly because of how it was prepared and presented. Doesn’t it look like fish?
Pastel de Vegetal
The highlight of my lunch was the Pastel de Vegetal (P105). This is the dish that will make me come back to Greens more often. You see, ever since I was younger I love Chicken Pastel – its thick crust blending with the rich and creamy sauce, the chicken, potatoes, mushroom, sausage bits and mixed vegetables all combining into a burst of appetizing delight. Surely, I had high expectations when I was presented Green’s vegetarian version, and I was not disappointed at all. The crust was delicious and golden brown, and the diced gluten meat was able to hold together the over-all flavor of the pastel. The gluten meat’s texture cannot be compared to chicken meat, but the nuances of the gluten added character to the dish.