Eat your heart out: Greenleaf Restaurant

Greenleaf Restaurant, as seen from across Lithia Creek, offers outdoor creek-side seating when the weather permits.

I’ll admit it: for living in Ashland for over a year now, I’ve done a horrible job at going out to experience local cuisine. I tend to eat out only if it’s cheap or a special occasion, but Ashland offers too many options for me to really stick to that rule. That being said, my good friend Kenzie and I set out to experience Greenleaf Restaurant downtown last week and we were very pleased with the results.

Greenleaf far exceeded my expectations. My friend and I had a late lunch/early dinner at around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon and the odd timing meant we pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves for a while. The atmosphere of the restaurant was very homey. There was booth seating (though Kenzie and I decided to sit at the bar for fun) and I saw an option of upstairs seating where you could overlook the creek. Outside seating is also available, though unfortunately the time of year for such an option seems to be coming to an end.

When we walked into the restaurant, Kenzie immediately noted how good everything smelled. As we looked over the menus we chatted about the music playing around us, a nice blend of pop/rock music from the ’60s, which made me in particular very happy. We must have come at the right time for mood lighting as well, because candles were set out and the lights were dimmed as lunchtime shifted into dinnertime.

The wait staff were very friendly and likable, particularly the waitress that served us. We sat at the bar which allowed us to chit chat with a few other employees as well, and everybody was very jovial.

I ordered a meatball sandwich (a favorite food of mine) which turned out to be awesome. I was actually very sad that I couldn’t finish it all. But in my defense it was very big (and therefore very messy). The chips were good, too, although I was focusing on my sandwich for most of the meal. The bread was very soft, which I particularly liked.

Kenzie enjoyed the teriyaki stir-fry she ordered. It came with the option of adding chicken or tofu to the dish, which she passed on; however, she said if she were to get the meal again she would add chicken for extra substance.

I was also pleased with the prices for the food, especially since the main reason I tend to avoid eating out is simply because of the expense. Food ranges from about $10-20 per meal and you definitely get your money’s worth. I was starving when we first got to the restaurant but was still unable to finish my entire plate. I had intended on ordering dessert afterward, but that simply was not an option for my full stomach.

According our waitress, some of the most popular meals at Greenleaf are their turkey burgers, grilled wild salmon and the peanut satay stir-fry. In addition to menu items deli sandwiches and salads are available. For breakfast, options include traditional favorites such as pancakes, waffles, French toast and omelets along with dishes like frittatas and weekend specials. Greenleaf offers full gluten-free menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Beverages include a variety of espresso drinks, a wide selection from the beer and wine cooler (which Kenzie and I thought was a neat display) as well as typical fountain beverages.

Greenleaf is located downtown in the plaza at 49 N. Main Street. They are open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and advertise to-go options that would allow for picnics in nearby Lithia Park.

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