Hooray for Tender Greens!

Tender Greens Salad Nicoise

I could not believe that I was ignorant of the healthy California chain restaurant Tender Greens before two weeks ago.  It turns out that there’s a Tender Greens restaurant in Walnut Creek, just 15 minutes from my home. How could I not have known?

After all, it’s my kind of restaurant. The primary ingredients come from local, organic California farms and small food producers. When I read about Tender Greens online, it was in an LA Times article that included two recipes for items in their Happy Vegan Salad, a beet quinoa pilaf and a green hummus that’s made with arugula and spinach.

Within days, I headed to the restaurant for lunch. I ordered the Happy Vegan Salad and sat down to enjoy it. Although the flavors were amazing, I was disappointed on several counts. For one, the lettuce contained a fair amount of sand, which I unhappily crunched as I ate. Second, the quinoa salad was a too wet in either vinegar or lemon juice and the cucumber in it was soggy. Third, of the four sides which accompanied the greens, three were grains and one was a legume (hummus). In my opinion this weighed too heavily toward grains. Fourth, two of the three grain sides were wheat – farro pilaf and tabouli. As far as I was concerned, this was way too much wheat in an era when many individuals try to avoid gluten-containing grains as much as possible.

For several days, I tweeted my complaints, every single one of them. Much to my chagrin, I received no response from Tender Greens. Then, I tweeted my request for recognition. Finally Eric of Tender Greens in L.A. responded and asked me to phone him. Whew, I was relieved to have received a response! I phoned Eric to voice my complaints and suggestions for change. He respectfully listened and agreed with my recommendations. He said that he would be in the Walnut Creek restaurant this week to rework the Happy Vegan Salad, including replace the tabouli- probably with a legume salad. Wow, I’m pleased that Tender Greens responded to my complaints and suggestions! Such is life in the Twitter era. I cannot wait to re-try the Happy Vegan Salad.