(CNS Foodie): The Greenhouse Restaurant, located in the new strip of shops across the street from Casanova (North Church St), specializes in fresh, local ingredients prepared with love. Gluten free, paleo, vegan, vegetarian and allergy friendly options are made primarily from locally sourced goods or imported natural or organic as needed. This cute establishment boasts a friendly atmosphere with home made reclaimed wooden tables with bright colored chairs and local art on the walls — even their menu speaks in casual jargon, making it known throughout how easy it is to be accommodating to everyone’s dietary needs and expectations.
The Greenhouse is one of the few restaurants in Grand Cayman that offers all day breakfast, which is nice because sometimes you just can’t get your act together before noon! With five breakfast items to choose from, you won’t be disappointed. We loved their menu so much we came back for two visits so we could try as much as possible. The portions are generous and the prices can’t be beat.
Today we tried a few of their Munchie Bits (which are mostly CI$5, with the mini sausage calzones for $9 and steak taquitos for $12). The flavorful Avocado Hummus Dip was deliciously creamy and served with pita wedges, although it would be great with some crispy chips as well.
The Hot Feta & Arugula Dip, also served with pita wedges, was good but I felt it could have used some tomato salsa to compliment the bold and tangy flavor of the cheese. The ratio of arugula to feta was also off, I guess I was thinking it would be more green-based and have the warm feta binding with the peppery arugula. My friends, however, thought it was divine.
Our server, Bonny, was fantastic and friendly. She had her hands full on both visits, being the sole server with a restaurant full of patrons, but she handled everything perfectly and didn’t skip a beat. It was a little odd that the owner didn’t bother to help out while she was so busy, but I guess she has that much faith in her staff’s ability to give good service.
However, they mention on the menu that there is a 15% service charge because “we are a little team, everything is split evenly amongst each staff member for encouragement to provide good service, a happy atmosphere & great food made with Love”. You would think that means the owner gets off the chair to help when all the tables are full. That’s just an observation; as I said, Bonny was on point, and didn’t need help… but if you’ve ever worked in this business, you know how nice it is to get a hand when you’re in the weeds.
Okay, back to food chat. The menu has been updated as of 1 December, so if it’s been a while since you’ve been here, please stop by because these menu items are quite inventive. On the two occasions we visited, we tried the Coconut Catch ($14), Jerk Burger ($11), Backyard BBQ Chicken ($11), Slow & Spicy Red Curry, slow cooked Pulled Pork ($10) and the vegetarian Grass is Greener ($10).
All of the above items are included in the Salad/Wrap/Panini section of the menu, whereby you get to choose how you want it prepared and any wraps or sandwiches are served with homemade sweet potato fries, which were fabulous thinly-sliced wedges cooked to perfection. It must be noted that they make their own ketchup and hot sauces and their chef has won the Jerk cook-off this year. His sauce is also available on the tables to dollop over anything you order.
The bowl of sauces are placed in recycled glass jars, lowering the amount of waste, another bonus point. The Pulled Pork Sandwich was juicy and tender, the homemade scotch bonnet bread was grilled but still so soft and an amazing compliment to the pork. It came with local mixed greens and sweet peppers — everything about it was amazing!
We tried the Coconut Catch with the local wahoo as a wrap, and there was so much fish in the wrap it was almost too much to finish the whole thing. It was served with a coconut pesto cream sauce, tomato, red onion and mixed greens. The local mixed greens are so flavourful and somewhat spicy with the mustard greens, they really add a depth to any wrap or sandwich.
The smell of someone’s Jerk Burger was so enticing we ordered one as well and were so glad we did. Made on the bread of the day, garlic arugula, this jerk, sweet pepper, red onion mash up burger was bursting with flavor and the roasted pumpkin was just enough sweet to balance the spicy. If you’re looking for a feel good burger, this is the one.
On the complete opposite of the spectrum, the Grass is Greener was loaded with a sweet potato and bean veggie patty, cucumber, quinoa, roasted veggies and the local greens. Although everything packed in this wrap was tasty, it was missing a sauce, so I added some of their homemade cranberry and almond vinaigrette, which would have been perfect if it was added prior to being rolled in the wrap.
The BBQ chicken wrap was filled with thinly sliced chicken, back bacon, fresh mozzarella, tomato, red onion and mixed greens and there’s really nothing bad to say about this one either. The ratio of chicken to sides was well balanced and what’s nice about all their wraps is they hold together very well, without falling apart and becoming a nuisance to eat.
We ran out of space in our bellies to try one of their homemade flatbread pizzas, but will be back soon to test those out.
The Greenhouse also serves creative boozy drinks ($6.75-8), beers ($4.50) and wines ($7) along with Saucha Kombucha ($6.50), local teas, smoothies and cold pressed juices ($5.50). I highly recommend checking out The Greenhouse, and the best bonus comes in the form of the large parking lot available from Rock Hole Road off of Mary Street.
Readers’ ratings for The Greenhouse:
Category: Golden Spoons Review