Brandon Douglas, executive chef, and the culinary team at Green Leaf Grill are on a mission to prove food can be prepared healthily and tastefully.
Photograph by Janet Warlick
[dropcap]The[/dropcap] café, located in downtown Little Rock, is a great place in which to dine — it’s an open space with windows and comfortable seating.
Each day, the Green Leaf team offers Simply 600, an entrée comprising a protein, a starch — usually whole grain — and two vegetables; the meal has the equivalent of or less than 20 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 600 milligrams of sodium and 600 calories. Many of the items served are sourced from local farmers and purveyors and are minimally processed. For example, they offer bread with five ingredients, all pronounceable and familiar.
Green Leaf’s salad bar is attractively set with four choices of protein and a selection of fresh greens, vegetables, fruit and nuts along with a number of dressings. They also offer made-to-order (MTO) burgers — beef, turkey or veggie — deli sandwiches and flat breads as well as a MTO meal.
“Green Leaf is about healthy options, getting people to eat well and having fun with food. We are trying to change the culture of what it is to eat well,” Douglas said.
For instance, pictured is a Southern 600, an encrusted and pan-seared catfish filet, served with Southern-style beans and a pear, fennel and cabbage slaw served with a lemon-dill dressing. It was flavorful and delicious. Other choices for that day’s Simply 600 meal included sautéed mushrooms, carrots and green beans and steamed vegetables — tasty selections offered by a friendly staff and well presented.
Diners also will find a variety of packaged, to-go items, a half-sandwich/salad combo and a selection of beverages, including Starbucks coffee.
Mission accomplished, Brandon and staff.
GREEN LEAF GRILL
601 S. Gaines • Little Rock • 501.378.2521
Mon. through Fri., 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Breakfast served until 9:30 a.m.
Lunch begins at 10:45 a.m.