Dear reader, if you are an organic-purchasing yoga-er who's into chia seeds and avocado toast, this column isn't really for you. You probably already know how to eat your vegetables. I'm preaching to a different choir.
So now that those people are gone, let me explain that when the buzzwords are stripped away, I'm a fan of mostly eating things that taste good and make you feel good. (Sorry, keg of nachos, that counts you out.) Yeah, I sprinkle chia seeds and homemade granola on my organic Greek yogurt after I do yoga in the morning, but I don't Instagram it. Usually.
Above all, I dig creativity. I want my breakfast, lunch and dinner to be interesting every day. I want color and crunch and umami and pickle-y things. And all of those elements are on the menu at Green Source, which opened last September as a cafe/juice bar with entirely organic ingredients. Co-owner Jess Maisel, who started the business as a smoothie delivery company a little more than two years ago, says she doesn't view plant-focused eating as a wild trend.
"We don't see ourselves as a specialty boutique or a niche market," Maisel says. "We're taking a shredded carrot and putting it in a smoothie so you can eat it."
Maisel will talk to you for a long time about the value of local, organic produce and the medicinal qualities of foods—she's a trained herbalist who used to work at Meadowsweet Herbs—and that's definitely the kind of person you want making your smoothie or quinoa bowl.
Green Source offers 10 types of smoothies with five add-ins and names like "Shine" and "Radiate." If that sounds daunting, take a deep, cleansing breath and order the $5 Daily Green smoothie, which usually contains something like kale, mango, apple and lemon. Maybe there's extra lemon in there on one day, or basil on another, but the result is always a satisfying, naturally sweet, vividly hued puree. (I'm really struggling to think of appealing synonyms for "smoothie" here, obviously.)
I personally suggest pairing Green Source's smoothies with the $2 ants-on-a-log. Unlike the woody slabs of celery and Jif that I remember eating as a kid, Green Source's version uses crisp organic celery, almond butter and juicy raisins. (Maisel says she included it on the menu because she has a young son and wanted to have something appealing to kids. Or, in my case, an adult woman on her lunch break.)
For a more proper sit-down meal, Green Source's energy bowls offer savory and sweet. The quinoa bowl is really similar to what I personally cook at home, so it's awesome for days when I'm too busy to pack my lunch. Expect a generously sized bowl of nutty quinoa starting at $7—which is hella cheap for the quality of ingredients—seasoned with miso or bone broth and topped with veggies, crunchy almond slivers and briny kimchi. Each bite offers different flavors and textures, down to the bottom of the bowl. You might not even notice that it's healthy.