Waffle Wednesday evokes healthy lunch
If you workout, whether at an intense, macro-tracking level or at a level that just keeps your health up, chances are you also are more weight-conscious and think about healthier foods that have a ton of benefits, from the effects of "good" fats to the feel-good regulation of digestion. I am one such person. I love kale and avocados and almonds. I also love thick slabs of bread, cheese, and ice cream. I am human so, as I focus on eating cleaner and greener to improve my health and fitness, I try to moderate my eating of taste-good-but-worse-for-you foods.
I first heard about the daily green (Ed note: The restaurant uses only lower case letters in its name) from coworkers and local foodies. This restaurant touts itself as "Gainesville's premier vegetarian and vegan" spot, and my interest was immediately piqued and my quest for healthy options only amplified when I learned the restaurant served mostly organic, local greens in their purest form (not cooked, pureed, etc).
The first time I was exposed to a few of the daily green's unique menu creations was at the Union Street Farmers Market on a Wednesday at Bo Diddley Plaza. My food adventurer and health-conscious sides seemed to meld into what the daily green offered, and I was growing eager to visit the spot tucked off of SE 2nd Street.
So on one Wednesday at lunchtime, that's exactly what I did. Mariel and I walked into the small health food spot, where a few tables lined the wall next to the counter, and I was immediately drawn to the chalkboard of specials and the extensive menu. From healthy salads with kale(!) to sandwiches with local Vine Bakery bread, it seemed that I couldn't go wrong with any option. However, seeing that it was "Waffle Wednesday," I had to veer my attention toward the list of waffles/cone options. I wasn't looking to carb-overload — I usually save those times for when the carbs seem too good to resist — but I wanted to try out one of the interesting-sounding waffle cone "dishes".
I landed on the Daily Turmoil, which sold itself as containing "world-famous broccoli slaw" and BBQ black-eyed pea tempeh. It was like combining lunch with ice cream, which was a no-brainer for me. I am a fan of this alternative meat option, which has a typically nutty taste, but I didn't taste the BBQ part of the description and it lacked much texture. I love broccoli slaw, especially the pre-made kind from restaurants that probably has full-fat dressing and I don't care. However, I can't imagine this as "world famous"; it tasted very plain and I was not a big fan of the dressing .
The Norwegian-style cheddar chive waffle cone was a very interesting choice and I'm glad I chose it, but the meal choice overall was nothing to write home about, despite it being one of the more unique concoctions I've consumed. I also ordered the almond cardamom macaroon, which was nothing memorable albeit tasty.
I may have built my expectations too high having been so excited that there was a vegan/vegetarian-friendly place with many different sandwich and salad options, as well as a few crazy twists, a.k.a. my diet. I do want to return and try one of the delicious-sounding sandwich options on the very tasty local Vine Bakery bread and possibly one of their waffles, but other than that I was not over the moon about the experience. For $10, I feel that my lunchtime money may be better spent somewhere else for less.
The Pluses and Minuses of the daily green restaurant
daily green + indicators: Many vegetarian/vegan options, open 7 days a week, diverse, locally-sourced
daily green - indicators: A tad pricey, nothing particularly special, out of the way if you don't live downtown.
Lunch stop surprises with unique entrees
The last time I was in the daily green building, it was in 2010 and Louis Lunch was closing up business after serving lunch and breakfast for over 82 years. Applause and kudos to the daily green for keeping Louie's Lunch dream alive in SE Gainesville close to the Gainesville Regional Transit Bus Depot.
An interesting characteristic of the daily green is they have carved out a cross section of customers from all walks of life in 2014, just like Louis Pennisi did when he opened his lunch stop back in 1928.
The daily green is a perfect Meatless Monday lunch stop with a varied menu of all things healthy, green, and meatless, if that is you desire. But hold on to your red meat proteins lunch solutions for a minute GLOBers. The daily green menu (link below) also lists several sandwiches with meatballs made of buffalo and pork and Cherry Wood Cowboy Bacon.
From soups, to salads, to sandwiches and waffle cones, this lunch stop has eating healthy covered. Did I say waffle cones for lunch? You can choose between a Norwegian style cheddar chive waffle cone or a Sicilian style gluten free savory vegan waffle cone in four different entrees including the Daily Turmoil. The DT is loaded with BBQ black-eyed pea tempeh, and served with the DG "world famous broccoli slaw."
In the GLOB Master's quest to to discover the best grilled cheese sandwich in the Urban GLOB, of course I opted for the Luxurious Gainesville Grilled Cheese. This was very tasty sammie that I was able to customize with my own desire for tomato, avocado, and onions included with my choice of Monterey Jack Cheese sandwiched between slices of Vine Bakery Country Loaf bread.
I added an interesting side order of dried tomatoes that were sautéed to a crisp, very tasty flavor. There is a varied list of healthy side items including kale salad, broccoli, vegan mac and cheese, farro with dried onions, and crispy frit balls.
My Luxurious Gainesville Grilled Cheese was very good, toasted to perfection, with all my ingredients mixed and happily surrounded with melted jack cheese. The toasted bread added a nuance of flavor to the sandwich, however I'm beginning to think one of the 'special' points of a good grilled cheese is a nice thick slice of unique, special flavored bread that can hold it's own in a battle royal of flavor, texture, and all around lunch time yumminess.
For the healthy eating gladiators the DG also has an extensive list of 100% organic smoothies and juices plus you can order a shot of WHEATGRASS SHOTS, GINGER SHOTS, POWERSHOTS (WHEATGRASS AND GINGER). The DG dessert menu has a different Dreamcake every day, plus a Chocolate Espresso Tart. You can check the DG webiste for today's Dreamcake flavor.
The daily green is a great lunch stop to shift your gear and think back to the good 'ol days when folks met downtown to discuss daily events, politics, grandkids . . . Florida Gator football.
I'm going back to the daily green very soon. It might not be a Meatless Monday lunch, but I swear I hear a cone of Tarragon Yogurt Chicken Salad topped with cucumbers and grape tomatoes screaming, "Over here GLOB Master!"
The Pluses and Minuses of the daily green restaurant
daily green + indicators: Varied lunch menu with many interesting entrees to try.
daily green - indicators: A special, unique lunch stop that crosses all social boundaries and that could be a not so good thing for some lunch outers.
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about daily green. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 352 226-8288
- Address: 436 SE 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: Downtown
- Web Site: daily green
- Latitude: 29.647321
- Longitude: -82.323234
Paula Monday, 02 October 2017 06:41 Comment Link
Daily Green is a great place! It's all about how you eat ~ if you eat typical restaurant fare (filled with sodium, GMO's and highly processed foods AKA JUNK) you are not going to taste how fantastic Daily Green is!