Green District, based out of Louisville, Kentucky, did their best to whip up excitement for their newest location in northern Colorado Springs. But we have so many chains opening these days. Can this one be any different? (Did you read that in Chandler Bing’s voice?)
The physical space, all high ceilings and exposed ductwork (“industrial light”) sports pale gray/green walls, low-top and high-top tables, and an energetic vibe. High points for a cheerful greeting, plus an employee who took the time to explain how everything worked. Anyone who has eaten at a fast-casual restaurant with a customizable menu will find the setup familiar. I perused the set menu of salads, all of which could be converted to a wrap or a grain bowl. I also had the option to customize any of the salads, wraps or bowls, or could choose to build my own. Having so many choices can be overwhelming, so I elected to be less whelmed and chose two of their standards.
The GD Special Salad comes with a combo of romaine and iceberg lettuce, the latter of which has fallen out of favor in the trendy nutritional foods Olympics. All the same, it’s hard to beat it for straight-up crunch factor. Both greens, impeccably fresh, gave this salad a refreshing base to build on. The GD is detailed with garlic roasted chicken (juicy, but not particularly garlicky), black beans and a corn-and-poblano blend that’s heavy on corn and light on poblano. Also brightening the salad: cherry tomatoes, red onion, slices of buttery ripe avocado, and shredded cheddar. The tortilla strips were scant, but the salad had plenty of crunchy texture without them. I chose to have the Green Dream dressing — a very mild avocado ranch dressing, creamy, smooth and cool — mixed in, as opposed to on the side.
Next I sample the Fall Guy grain bowl. It makes me want to stand on top of the table and sing. The explosion of flavor and texture combines tart, tangy, sweet, crunchy and chewy. Based on a nutty wild rice blend, it also has their signature Kale Power Blend (kale, Napa and red cabbage, shaved Brussels sprouts) and spinach in just the right amount. The bowl is studded with roast turkey breast, golden cubes of roasted butternut squash, firm and juicy green apple, dried cranberries and goat cheese. For garnishes: a heap of crispy fried onions and a vinaigrette redolent of roasted onion, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. This dressing, new for the season, could become permanent if other customers love it as much as I did. My only complaint? The slice of focaccia on the side of each salad rates utterly forgettable, not up to the quality of the rest of the menu.
Green District makes everything fresh, in-house, every morning, from prepping the fruits and veg to roasting the turkey and chicken to mixing up the dressings. They offer baked tofu as one of the proteins, along with boiled eggs, salmon, shrimp and more. There’s also a dozen salad dressings and the “options” list is long and wide-ranging, with a variety of greens, fruits and vegetables, cheeses, garnishes and more. So, yes, while Green District adds one more chain to town, at least they bring fresh alternatives. A Spectrum Loop location will open soon, and they plan two more Colorado Springs locations in 2023. I’m ready.