|Thai Chicken Wrap from City Greens.|
It's been approximately 34 hours since my resolutions began, and I am still going strong. Sure, I was sleeping for 16 of those 34 hours, but give me some credit. Last year I only made it to 7:14pm on New Year's Day, when I violated the pork fat resolution after a breakfast of guanciale and eggs followed by bacon braised brussels sprouts for dinner.
Even though we all know in the back of our minds that new year's resolutions have a life span about as long as Lindsay Lohan's stints with sobriety, making a change for the better, no matter how short lived, is a step in the right direction. Thanks to City Greens, starting off the new year with a healthy lunch has never tasted so delicious. After a brief stint popping up on Sunday nights in the former location of Vizard's on Magazine Street, City Greens made the big move to the basement of 909 Poydras, where the salad specialist immediately earned a strong following with CBD office workers in search of a tasty lunch option which would not do much damage to their waistlines.
All of the raw ingredients are of impeccable quality, and the menu adjusts to the season. Don't be surprised to see mango omitted from the Thai Chicken Wrap when fresh supplies are tough to come by. Most of City Greens' greens - bibb, arugula, etc. - come from a hydroponic farm located just north of Seaside, Florida that is owned by City Greens' co-owner Ben Kazenmaier and his dad. Much of the other produce is sourced from Covey Rise Farms on the Northshore.
The menu lists 8 salads offered year round, a few seasonal salads, and 5 wraps. From the regular menu, my go to choices include the Thai Chicken Wrap (basil, cilantro, cucumbers, peanuts for crunch and sweet and silky peanut sauce) and the Greek salad - Boston bibb, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, shaved onion, and feta tossed in a yogurt ranch. The chicken pesto wrap has peppery arugula, chunks of grilled chicken breast, chopped tomato, whole cloves of roasted garlic whose potency outmatches their sweetness, and parm tossed in a rich walnut pesto dressing. I recommend foregoing the croutons, which provide a nice crunch but also unnecessary richness.
The specials of the day though have always been tough to beat. One day in October there was a wrap of juicy chunks of roasted turkey, diced sweet potato roasted till barely fork tender, shaved onion for sharpness and heat, with a backbone of sunflower sprouts and mixed greens all tossed in a lemon garlic dressing that brought everything together with the perfect hint of acid. Another more recent special was curry chicken w/ roasted red pepper, sweet onion, pickled Hawaiian hearts of palm, boondi (fried chickpea flour for added crunch), and bibb.
First timers may get overwhelmed with number of options available to create your own salad or wrap, so I suggest to stick to ordering off the menu at first. Besides, designing your own salad can quickly run up the bill when overloading on the number of ingredients. I'm glad that they started offering "medium" as a quantity of choice for your dressing, in addition to "light" and "heavy." Don’t forget to check the display case for discounted pre-made salads and wraps which are ready for grab and go.
I can almost guarantee that City Greens will be the only business more crowded today than your gym. But instead of your trainer yelling at you to finish those last few reps, City Greens offers a much more positive motivational trainer. That would be Big D, the best wrapper in the city. The man always has a great attitude and will be sure to wish you a happy new year and good luck in fulfilling your resolutions.
City Greens - Birdie
909 Poydras Street
Mon-Fri Breakfast & Lunch