Lunch Box : Green Room Bistro
Walking into the Green Room Bistro and Juice Bar on High Street next to the Carlisle Theater for lunch this past Saturday I entered a cool oasis on a hot and humid central PA summer day. Greeted warmly by the hostess (she actually remembered my name from when I was there for dinner over a week ago!) and melting into a New Orleans jazzy/bluesy music vibe, I relaxed into the atmosphere, eager to spend a portion of my day here. Between the greeting, the music and the art displayed on the walls by local artists, the stage was set to expect a pleasant experience. I was not disappointed.
When I was there for supper last week, one of the menu items was a Cucumber Noodle Salad that looked cool and refreshing as it was being presented to other diners. That night, however, I was in the mood for a local, grass-fed beef steak, so I made a mental note to return soon for lunch and that salad. Today was the day, but, sadly, it wasn’t on the menu, although there were other desirable menu items from which to choose. My heart was set on that salad, though, so I asked my server about it. She said that she would ask if the ingredients were available and, if so, the chef would make one up, especially for me! Happily, the ingredients were on hand, and swiftly, the Cucumber Noodle Salad appeared before me, looking every bit as luscious as it had previously.
Heaped on the plate before me was a generous pile of thick cucumber shavings, thus the cucumber “noodles”. It was crowned with at least two colorful varieties of watercress and laced throughout with delicate haricots verts and thin slices of red pepper. Sprinkled on the top were deliciously salty salmon shavings which paired well with the subtle riot (yes, I know that’s a strange way to describe it) of flavors and textures before me. The salad was dressed with creme fraiche, an interesting choice. I think that it would have benefited from a dressing with slightly more oomph, personally, but I expect a culinary adventure each time I go to the Green Room and that is exactly what I experienced.
I felt obligated to try the juice from the Juice Bar portion of the Green Room’s name, never having done so before, and chose the carrot-ginger juice. I was presented with a tasty concoction of carrot juice with subtle hints of orange juice and ginger. It was thicker and saltier than I expected, but totally worth trying. Would I order it again? Probably not, but I would certainly try some of the other fresh juice offerings available.
And speaking of feeling obligated, I just had to have dessert to have the full Green Room experience. I had intended on having one of their highly original homemade ice cream flavors, this from a person who is not overly fond of ice cream. I make an exception when I’m at the Green Room. Unfortunately, they were all out of ice cream, but I chose a slice of Carrot Apple Cake with (drum roll, please) Goat Cheese Frosting. I am usually of the opinion that dessert isn’t dessert unless it’s chocolate, however, this little piece of heaven changed my mind. The cake, itself, was a moist wedge redolent with cinnamon and a thick slathering of that sumptuous, melt-in-your-mouth frosting with a refreshing tang of lemon that threw a party for my taste buds.
I spent way more than I usually would for lunch, $23.85, however, that is because I added the juice and dessert, something I would not normally do. In order to give you, dear reader and fellow gastronome, a complete picture of what is available, I “sacrificed” and added courses to my repast. One can dine for lunch or for dinner quite reasonably (BYOB) and can be assured that the food being served is healthy, fresh, and prepared with a passion for good food.
The Green Room is a marvelous addition to the Carlisle and Central PA restaurant scene, and with it’s emphasis on local, fresh ingredients and I expect it to be around for years to come. Be sure to give it a try.
Reviewer: CP2 | June 2012