210909GREENGROCER

Beth Webb, a member of The Gazette’s restaurant review team The Four Dishes, ordered this chia wrap during a recent visit to Green Grocer & Deli in Williams Bay. The dish featured avocado, cucumber, greens, spinach, onion, tomato, cream cheese, sprouts and chia seeds.

WILLIAMS BAY

Williams Bay is a fun small town, and it’s perfect for a quick summer road trip.

There are cute shops and restaurants, not to mention a gorgeous lake. Summer tourists from Lake Geneva and the beautiful beachfront in Williams Bay make this a busy, popular place.

In the historic Bay Centre building, visiting Green Grocer and Deli is like taking a step back in time—a time when we had many small local grocers who offered a mix of unique items and high-end health foods.

Green Grocer features organic local items as well as such treats as Peruvian chocolate, French lemon-lime soda and a great selection of boutique wines and artisan beers.

When I showed up at a weekday lunch hour, the place was packed, and the line was long. You might want to consider calling in your order.

I do plan to return (not during lunch) to try the pizza, which looked incredible. I also want to sample the gelato, of which Green Grocer has traditional flavors as well as some plant-based options such as vegan strawberry.

The deli menu has a varied selection of soups, salads and sandwiches. I always want to order the most unique items on the menu, and I had trouble selecting.

I eventually settled on the chia wrap ($9.49), which featured avocado, cucumber, greens, spinach, onion, tomato, cream cheese, sprouts and chia seeds. The chia seeds melt into the cream cheese so they won’t stick in your teeth.

My philosophy is the more fresh veggies, the better—and this wrap was chock full. Not only was it healthy, it was also pretty delicious.

I also couldn’t resist sampling a small cup of the “famous” tuna pasta salad for $3.20. While it was good, I’m not sure why it’s “famous.” Basically, it was a mayonnaise macaroni salad with added tuna.

I also tried the fabulous Snickers brownie ($1.99), which actually should be titled “famous.” This deep, fudgy brownie came with additions such as caramel, chocolate and peanuts on top. Delish.

Jennifer was in the mood for a wholesome sandwich on the day we ordered takeout. She went with the gouda bird ($9.49), which is served on either gluten-free bread or a Stacy’s organic flour tortilla. Jennifer opted for the bread despite having come away underwhelmed by past experiences with gluten-free breads.

This bread certainly changed her opinion. The sandwich was loaded with finely-shaved, high-quality deli turkey, gouda, tangy cranberries, farm-fresh spinach, sliced tomato, red onion with a rich and creamy pesto mayo. The taste was fresh and delicious, and she said it reminded her a bit of Thanksgiving.

For her beverage, Jennifer chose the Banana Bay smoothie ($6.16), which consisted of bananas, yogurt and mega-antioxidant juices. She found it lusciously thick, sweet and nourishing.

Helene was happy to order her favorite type of sandwich—the beef Vermont sandwich ($12.99).

Piled high with about a half-inch of soft roast beef, the sandwich was slightly salty and oniony with a hint of horseradish. The tartness of the sourdough bread combined with the creaminess of the Vermont cheddar really came through. The lettuce added no real flavor, but the fresh green color next to the pink beef made for a nice-looking sandwich.

Green Grocer also offers seasonal salads, which are sold by weight at $9.99 per pound. Helene added two to her order.

The first consisted of garbanzo beans with thinly sliced, super-crisp cucumbers, arugula and red bell pepper in a light oil. The other was a lemony, slightly bitter Brussels sprout slaw. Finely chopped, the slaw had a mayonnaise base with capers and a hint of Parmesan cheese. It proved very tasty.

Nikki ordered the chopped cobb salad ($12.99), which was a mix of ripe tomato, red onion, avocado, hard boiled egg, bacon, turkey and blue cheese crumbles on mixed greens.

The lettuce was whole leaf, not chopped, and there wasn’t a dressing (not sure if that was an accidental omission or if it would have been an optional addition). It didn’t really matter, because when she tossed it all together, there were enough flavors that the dressing wasn’t really missed.

Nikki also splurged on a cherry danish ($3) for dessert. The pastry was fresh, and even though it had a sugary crumble along with a drizzle of frosting, it wasn’t too sweet.

The Four Dishes—Nikki Bolka, Helene Ramsdell, Jennifer Spangler and Beth Webb—review regional restaurants for The Gazette.

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