Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.
Like many things green, Green Cuisine, the food truck stationed weekdays in a fenced parking lot at Sixth and Chester streets, can boast of fresh ideas. But it's got a few patches that need mowing to this (maybe jaded) eye.
To get to the meat of this unconventional and vegetarian lunch truck eatery: The food is pretty good, the green truck — it looks more like a trolley — is adorable, ordering from a window is fun (but maybe not when winter really gets a grip). Vegetarians will love the (fairly few) daily offerings — it's not that easy eating green — and people who know it's healthier to be vegetarian but who can't resist a footlong if it's on the menu will feel virtuous.
Some superlatives: The quinoa salad. This crunchy side dish made of the edible seeds of plants in the goosefoot (chenopodium) family mixed with chopped carrots, cherry tomatoes and a dose of soy sauce had both good texture and taste. Green Cuisine gets a go on this one. We tried the sweet potato slaw as well, and if you like ambrosia, you'll like this sweet concoction of yam and pineapple.
The grilled vegetables on toasted whole wheat — ours with a sun-dried tomato sauce but we could have had pesto — was a good sammich, one we could even pull off at home (thanks, Green Cuisine). And home might be the best place to eat such a sandwich: As we lifted it to our lips, the onions, bell peppers, yellow squash and smoked gouda cheese, all melted and gooey, squoze out from their toasted bread blankets onto the paper wrapping we used as a plate. Ditto on the Philly cheese portabella sub: slippery provolone, mozzarella, marinated mushrooms, grilled onions and peppers on an open bun as large, and sinkable, as the Titanic. Had it been served on china, and not contained in an environmentally conscious cardboard box, who knows where it might have sailed off to. Tasty, very. Pretty, noooo. The bread was average.
Owner Lori Moore had given us the heads up — "They're really messy," she warned — so we weren't surprised at our bread's inability to hold on to its contents, though there's messy and then there's messy and these sandwiches were definitely the latter. This is, apparently, a trend at other eateries, so Green Cuisine isn't plowing new ground here.
A veggie quesadilla was much like the sandwich, though our lunch companion ordered it with vegan cheese (he's lactose intolerant, but fairly easygoing otherwise).
Offerings change daily; we got to the truck too late to order the chili special (straight up or over a potato) and they were out of pineapple, so we had to scratch the chipotle pineapple black bean quesadilla, which sounded really good.
Oddly, the drink offerings are water and several kinds of soda pop (including diet). Where's the carrot juice? The kelp shake? No, we don't really want a kelp shake, but a nice mango or other fruit/vegetable libation would have been welcome.
We should emphasize that for those who say "I'm too hungry to eat vegetarian," and by that we mean the person in the office who declined to partake, Green Cuisine doesn't stint on its servings. A side (the offerings include potato chips), an entree and a drink are $7 and will decently fill the stomach. Moore, who plans to expand the business, also brought our lunches to the car, since it was a little chilly to sit at the picnic tables (there are two, they're in the sun, so that's good).
6th and Chester
Check out daily menus on facebook or follow on Twitter @grncuisine.
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
All credit cards except American Express accepted.