According to their mission statement Greenplate offers a host of “healthy, great tasting” foods. That intrigued me as I’d never before read those words written in that combination. Their tagline of “eat good, feel good, live good” sounded like a dare with the Holiday Season coming up. I opted to stop in for lunch this November 25th to determine whether or not they could meet their own hype.
For a space located in the Pep Boys Plaza off Route 130, the ambiance well exceeded my expectations. The fusion of light and dark gray colors on the floor made it appear like marble. The bright green and white colors on the wall gave the establishment an inviting feel.
The cleanliness impressed me upon entering. I couldn’t locate any dirt or dust in the entire building. They placed bottles of hand sanitizer next to the touch screens. I liked that idea. It saved patrons a trip to the rest room before eating. The staff dutifully put on gloves prior to preparing meals. Diners could see into the kitchen and watch the staff cook. All of this showed me just how seriously Greenplate takes hygiene.
I found the customer service phenomenal. A staff member greeted me when I walked up to the counter. He asked if I’d dined at Greenplate in the past. Since I hadn’t, he explained that patrons order through one of the several touch screens. He offered to assist me, but I discovered the screen very easy to use. In fact, I decided to change one of my choices and did so without difficulty.
Greenplate also accommodates those who may not be as comfortable perusing modern technology. A hard-copy of the menu hung on the storefront window. Two large screen televisions mounted on the wall above the kitchen listed the selections. I appreciated these features. They provided a general understanding of the offerings prior to using the touch screen.
Another big screen television in the dining area showed the Flyers game. The choice of programming surprised me. Those of us in the South Jersey area know that nothing will ruin a person’s appetite like watching Philadelphia’s sports teams play. As the Rangers pulled ahead two to nothing, I thought: Greenplate must have enormous confidence in their food quality to subject diners to this. When I received my meal I understood why they did.
My dining endeavor commenced with the Broccoli Salad. I thought the $4.99 price tag for a “side” slightly high, but the quality justified it. The salad consisted of broccoli, red onions, granny smith apples, raisins and bacon along with the Greenplate light and sweet dressing. The latter tasted tangy and enhanced the overall flavor. I wouldn’t have expected this combination of ingredients to complement each other so well, but they did. The chef deserves credit for devising such a unique and delicious side. While I enjoyed all the products I sampled at Greenplate, I liked this one the most.
For my main meal I ordered the Dragon Ginger Stir Fry. Patrons may order this dish with several options. I chose chicken, wheat noodles, carrots, bell peppers, red onions, cilantro and the dragon ginger sauce. The cook even delivered it to my table when he finished preparing it; an exceptional display of customer service. I remember one time at an Indian restaurant they gave me a meal that smoke continued billowing off of for five minutes after it sat on the table. Fortunately, the staff at Greenplate served this meal at the perfect temperature. It was warm, but not to the point it burned my mouth. I enjoyed the meal and found this stir fry reasonably priced at $9.49.
I should add that Greenplate uses organic chicken in this dish. This delighted me. My dog is a fussy eater and will only eat organic chicken. I have one guiding principle as a food critic: the dog can’t eat better than I do. For the first occasion in some time, an establishment understood that.
For a beverage I tried the Boylan Bottling products lemonade. I thought it very sweet and lacking the harsh, bitter aftertaste of most lemonades. That’s probably because all natural cane sugar served as the sweetener. All the fountain drinks are sensibly priced at $2.25.
I only had one issue with my visit to Greenplate. The menu touted their “world famous” Butternut Squash Soup. That got my attention. The cool weather put me in the mood for some soup. I looked forward to feasting on this legendary fare. It didn’t appear on the touch screen when I went to place my order, although another soup did. This disappointed me. If an establishment raves about one of their offerings, people will want to try it. The quality of the other items I tried compensated for the letdown, however. I didn’t leave feeling slighted.
Since I ate a healthy lunch containing many greens, I figured I’d earned a treat afterwards. As I’ve been suffering from pumpkin pie withdraw since yesterday afternoon, I ordered the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. (Once again, Greenplate exposed me to words I’m familiar with presented in an unfamiliar combination.) This beverage contained pumpkin, almond milk, banana, honey, and pumpkin pie spice. It tasted delicious, but at first I thought the price high at $5.95. Since the menu calls it a “fall season specialty item”, I later re-evaluated and figured the cost acceptable.
Greenplate proved it possible to prepare “healthy, great tasting foods.” I’m glad I discovered them when I did. With the New Year fast approaching, many will no doubt make resolutions to eat better in 2017. With the outstanding meals this establishment offers, those of us in South Jersey won’t have to wait until after the Holiday Season for the motivation to improve our diets.