A new Tender Greens opened in Walnut Creek. It is a new offshoot of the small Southern California chain. I eat there regularly when visiting Southern California, so I was excited to see a new one open close by.
The focus is on locally grown, fairly healthy food. They have big salads, a few specials, soups, and 4-5 main dishes (beef, chicken, albacore, grilled veggies, and maybe something else) that can be served as sandwiches, or as "hot plates" which come with mashed potatoes and a small salad. There are also some desserts, wine, beer, agua frescas, lemonade and fancy sodas.
The environment is fast casual - you order, walk down the line as your meal is being prepped, and pay and pick it up at the end. The room is really lovely (for a fast casual place!) and if you're eating there the food is served on real plates, with real utensils and glassware.
I loved my food. The tuna was nice and rare, with lemony herbs. All the veggies were really fresh, in both the salad (I chose spinach with goat cheese and hazelnuts) and the grilled veggies (spring onions, some kind of bitter green, asparagus, zucchini, tiny carrots). It was a delicious, fresh and filling meal for $10.50. I also tried a black and white cookie ($1.50) which was good, but a little bit chewy. It is certainly not fine dining, but I think there is a great deal of value in this family friendly place.
I ordered to go. Service was very quick and friendly. There were a couple of minor issues (they asked if I wanted silverware, and I said yes, but they didn't give me any, the salad was supposed to be tossed but the dressing was on the side). Everyone eating in the restaurant seemed relaxed and happy.
Has anyone else tried it?