A letter from our chef:
As we wind down from a toasty summer and cooler days are upon us, so too are a slew of vibrant and delicious new menu items, to keep us happy, satiated, and invigorated through the fall and early winter season. Each of these recipes feature some of the gems of the season, such as beets, pomegranates, radishes, cashews, rainbow carrots, and dried apricots. The common thread is that each new dish has a vibrant, energetic, veggie forward edge to it. Let’s dive in!
Occasionally, when we remove a menu item, we learn that it was perhaps loved and adored more than we realized – you always let us know! Yes, I’m talking about the Unreal Reuben and I, personally, loved it as much as you did too. While we haven’t figured out a way to bring it back due to various operational and supply chain challenges, we did create a tasty new plant-based sandwich! It’s called “The Happy Hippie,” and it’s a riff on that vintage veggie sandwich of yesteryear. You know, the one with avocado, cucumber, sprouts, LTO, cheese and mayo on whole wheat bread. Back in the 70’s and 80’s you could only find such veggie fare at health food stores or vegetarian cafes. Well, we thought it was time to dust off that old concept and “Mendo-fy” it up a bit. So, we added Kumato tomatoes, a sweet, yet tangy tomato with deep flavor like an heirloom. We added carrots for crunch. We added a swipe of housemade beet caviar and housemade garlicky hummus for big flavors and contrasting textures. We made a cucumber dill ranch to drizzle all over the broccoli sprouts. The result is an energizing sandwich that’s loaded with veggies, and an abundance of vibrant colors, clean flavors and contrasting textures.
THE HAPPY HIPPIE
avocado, cucumber, carrots, Kumato tomatoes, beet caviar, sprouts, hummus, white cheddar, cucumber dill ranch on toasted Mom’s seeded honey whole wheat
Want to make it vegan? Remove the white cheddar and request ciabatta bread
We haven’t dabbled in the cuisines of the Mediterranean very much lately, so we thought it was time to get back to it, and work the Mendo magic in that area once again. We came up with a salad that is dynamic in flavor as well as texture. The creamy pomegranate dressing is a knockout. It’s intriguing because it’s both creamy and tart/tangy at the same time. There are chunks of feta cheese to provide salt hits, slices of softened dried apricots for little bits of sweetness, fresh herbs (mint and parsley) to add aromatic top notes, pita chips for crunch, and a pile of fresh chopped vegetables for more crunch and to give you that eat happy kind of feeling;)
MEDITERRANEAN CRUNCH SALAD
shaved, roasted chicken breast, Persian cucumber, apricot, red pepper, radish, feta cheese, pita chips, fresh mint, parsley, scallions, chopped romaine, curly kale with creamy pomegranate dressing
Can be requested GF by removing pita chips
On Most Friday nights, after a productive week, I reward myself by visiting one of my favorite restaurants and treating myself to a hot bowl of one of my favorite Chinese dishes, Dan Dan Noodles. One of those Friday nights, as I sat alone slurping up those delightful noodles, I found myself pondering how to create a dish inspired by the tasty flavors of Dan Dan. After spending some time playing with the idea in the kitchen, our “Dan Dan Noodle Salad” was born. Our version is chilled, and while it does indeed feature the traditional flavors of sesame, soy, chiles, cucumber, and green onions, we did add “the Mendo twist.” We used almond instead of peanuts in the sauce. We added cashews for crunch. We added fresh squeezed lime to cut the richness of the sauce and brighten it up. We added sugar snap peas and rainbow carrots to, once again, bump up the veggie factor.
DAN DAN NOODLE SALAD (N)
ramen noodles, cucumber, sugar snap peas, rainbow carrots, scallions, cilantro, toasted cashews, sesame seeds, dan dan sauce
For the deli case, we’re also bringing back two fan favorites: Pickles & Dill Potato Salad, and Basil Pesto Shells
Pickles & Dill Potato Salad (V)
classic creamy potato salad with a little kick from sweet-hot mustard, chopped pickles, fresh dill
Basil Pesto Shells (VG)
pasta shells, basil pesto, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, parmesan, arugula
For seasonal soups, were bringing back my personal favorite soup, “Lemon Chicken & Farro,” as well as an old fan favorite that we haven’t run for a few years, “Roasted Tomato-Basil.”
Speaking of favorites, those of you that are fans of our annual November tradition, can anticipate yet another limited run of the best Thanksgiving leftover sandwich ever, our “November to Remember.”
warm carved turkey, mushroom-turkey sausage stuffing, spicy cranberry chutney, havarti cheese, herb aioli, shredded romaine on toasted cranberry walnut wheat
I hope you enjoy all the tastes of the upcoming season. We can’t wait for you to dig in & EAT HAPPY!
Chef Jeremy Bringardner