Senior Copy Editor
After suddenly closing down last June, Silvergreens has reopened in its original Isla Vista location, located on the corner of Pardall Road and Embarcadero del Mar.
Alongside the reopening is a reduction of the restaurant’s menu, which previously hosted a number of items such as burgers, the forte of another eatery managed by Silvergreens’ owners called Kyle’s Kitchen. According to a plaque standing on a table in the restaurant, Silvergreens has always been a “healthy salad restaurant” which focuses on soups, sandwiches, and, of course, salads.
In addition, the restaurant’s mission is to provide college students with fresh and healthy foods at an affordable price. This can be considered a valiant mission, considering the entirety of Isla Vista is populated by eateries which specialize in comfort food; to the mouth they are a delight, yet to the belly they are a fright. Silvergreens hopes to find that niche in Isla Vista of providing nutritious yet delicious food made from organic ingredients and local farms whipped up right in front of you in its see-through kitchen. With this purpose specified, it’s easy to see why the burgers were cut like a greasy tumor from the menu.
As wonderful as this mission is, it is all for naught if the food is bad or worse — boring. After being invigorated by the restaurant’s goals, my photogenic photographer and I chose to order two sandwiches and a salad bowl from the eatery’s smaller menu.
It was do-or-die; if Silvergreens could prove that its food tastes as good as it is healthy, then it would be a delightful spot for all in I.V. to grab a bite to eat without the need to immediately hit the gym after.
The first sandwich was a turkey bacon avocado sandwich for $7, which my companion ordered. The sandwich was slightly disappointing in size, appearing smaller than the average burger and looking more like a slider. However, this was remedied by the height of the sandwich, as these sandwiches are meant to be filled with a large variety of items.
The sandwich contents were also surprisingly provided in generous amounts, with the smashed avocado practically bursting from the seams. It was as if an avocado tsunami was born from the rustic avocado fields of South Central Mexico and concentrated itself into this one sandwich.
Silvergreens provided a satisfying amount of turkey and bacon, with the meats resting on a bed of freshly-cut tomatoes and arugula. The sandwich tasted how it looked: plain yet satisfying, with an extra pleasant taste from the wonderful avocado.
The turkey didn’t offer much, acting simply as a reminder that there was meat in the sandwich. Thankfully, the vegetables, bread, and avocado tasted incredibly fresh and clean. I felt like a wild cow roaming the wildlands of the Yucatan Peninsula, feasting upon the Earth’s green nourishment growing below my hooves, mooing in ecstasy. All of this was held together by the bacon which, though not groundbreaking, provided the necessary crunch and fat to balance out the lightness of the vegetables and turkey.
I felt like a wild cow roaming the wildlands of the Yucatan Peninsula, feasting upon the Earth’s green nourishment growing below my hooves, mooing in ecstasy.
For $7, the amount of food provided was satisfactory and left me feeling like I consumed a pleasant, healthy meal. Though I probably wouldn’t get this if I was starving after a long day of fun under the sun, it’s a nice meal to get for lunch without breaking the bank or the weight scale.
The second sandwich ordered, the grilled steak with pepperjack cheese, told a similar story. Though this sandwich was a bit heavier on the meat, packed with cuts of strip steak, it was still balanced out nicely by the sliced tomatoes and arugula. The bacon also similarly added a nice crunch to the sandwich.
Though the praise for the texture and light taste of these sandwiches is deserved, one large detractor must be taken into consideration: the dryness. After a few bites into a sandwich, my mouth was the Sahara Desert, desolate of water and completely arid. My taste buds begged and pleaded for even the most infinitesimal drop of liquid, only to be met with more dry bits of sandwich for them to suffocate on, their screams muffled by the zesty crunch of a tasty piece of bacon. The light and fresh nature of these sandwiches comes with the downside of not being as juicy as other sandwiches, such as burgers.
Though a bump in an otherwise smooth road, a quick swig of water quickly satiated my barren mouth after a few bites and allowed me to enjoy the rest of the sandwiches.
One thing to keep in mind is that the sandwiches can be purchased as a combo for $10, which provides either a choice of soup or a side and beverage. The sides are varied and unique, including choices such as chilled pesto pasta and Caesar salad, which can provide a more filling meal. The beverages are also quite unique, including iced teas, housemade agua frescas, and natural sodas.
The final item was the least pleasant one to experience: the teriyaki bowl for $10.50. The bowl was large and jam-packed with ingredients. This is not necessarily a negative though, as the gargantuan size of the bowl ensured that whoever purchased one would be getting their money’s worth.
The bowl came with either grilled or crispy chicken (in this case the former), roasted broccoli, cabbage, carrots, garlic edamame, and green onions, all resting on a base of rice. Teriyaki dressing was also provided on the side.
The chicken in the bowl was the highlight, as it was chewy and flavorful. Complementing the chicken was the teriyaki dressing, which added a pleasant kick to the plain white-meat chicken. The broccoli had a satisfying texture, as it was not too soggy nor too hard.
The rest of the vegetables and rice were like a cheap can of beer festering at the back of the fridge during an intense Saturday-night party where being drunk seemed to be mandatory. They did the job but were unmentionable. This is unfortunate, since the majority of the bowl consisted of vegetables and rice, with the chicken and broccoli acting as a sanctuary to the rest of the bowl. The bowl, though filling and containing some nice tastes, was not the most worthwhile thing I ate at Silvergreens, even if it did make me feel pleasant for consuming something so healthy.
At the end of the day, Silvergreens sets out to do one thing, and it does it well. It gives college students and members of I.V. some tasty food that is made fresh and with natural ingredients for an affordable price.
Silvergreens is the type of establishment that you would probably eat at consistently if you want to be healthy and do not cook at home. It’s not the type of place you would take a visiting friend for an only-in-I.V., amazing, delicious, greasy bite. There are already plenty of burger, pizza, and burrito joints for that. For anyone who is vegetarian, vegan, or simply wants to eat healthy and happy, Silvergreens is the place to go.