Green & Grilled–Oklahoma City, OK

Green & Grilled
6320 Northwest Expressway
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 563-2605

Update: Green & Grilled moved from its old location at 8547 N. Rockwell Ave. in October 2016. The Edmond location has closed, but they are still operating a food truck in Bricktown.


Sometimes I lament the lack of real choices in restaurants, and it begins to look as if they have to specialize in greasy fried foods to survive. I eat my share of this type of food, but one of the purposes of this web site is to seek out places (particularly little known restaurants) that are different from the norm. Green & Grilled is one such place that provides a contrast to the average diner or burger joint. Green & Grilled concentrates on healthy foods, but with satisfying flavors. It is a little different, but I found it to be very good.

Green & Grilled serves American food, including grilled meats, salads, and soups. If I had to describe a down side to the restaurant it would be the limited menu (although once people try it I think they will be happy with what is served). In fact, the small menu, casual setting, and lack of table service are not normally characteristics of a restaurant to which I would give such a high rating, but the food really is that good.

The Menu

Chicken, salad, and rice

Chicken, apple and spinach salad, and brown rice is my favorite combination

A “regular order” here consists of grilled meat (marinated with adobo flavoring), a half salad, and a side dish. Soup can be substituted for the salad at no extra cost. Most other changes would involve paying extra (such as getting both a soup and a salad). I get full either doing it this way or getting the standard dinner.

A full order of salad is not only larger, but also gives a choice of meats that can be added.

Three kinds of soup are served every day, and additionally they offer a daily soup Monday through Saturday. Several of the daily soups are my favorites when they have them, but in a couple of cases I prefer the ones that are available all the time. If you go in the evening they run out of the daily soups more frequently than the ones they have all the time (I would say it is about 30 to 40 percent of the time that they sell out of at least one of the soups).

The meat also has a unique flavor that sets Green & Grilled apart from other restaurants. The owner is from South America, and specializes in adobo flavored meats (the tofu is also adobo flavored). In this case I think the restaurant has incorporated the best elements of South American cooking into what can otherwise be described as American food. Everything here, though, is healthy (I’m taking their word for it that the brownies would also fall into this category).

The Meats
Grilled Chicken has been my favorite of the meats served, and I was very impressed with the quality of the chicken, the way it was cooked, and the adobo flavor. The adobo was mixed with pineapple, and I thought it had a very Latin American taste (although it is not spicy).

Grilled pork

Grilled pork, spinach and apple salad, and brown rice

The Grilled Pork is also excellent, and I would say is sometimes better than the chicken (the inconsistencies of the pork are more because of the amount of fat or gristle than because of the flavor or the way it is cooked). Either chicken or pork is an excellent choice– I would suggest ordering based on the type of meat you normally prefer.

I sampled the Sirloin Steak and thought it had a good flavor. The beef tasted particularly good with the adobo flavor, and tasted somewhat like the Worcestershire sauce and other spices used in a sirloin patty. In 2013 the restaurant started charging more for beef than the other meats, and to me the other (less expensive) meats are equally good.

Tofu

Tofu with soup and salad

Tofu, spinach soup, and apple and spinach salad

I am a big proponent of substituting tofu for meat whenever possible (provided you do not give up the flavor or major characteristics of the dish). The Grilled Tofu served at Green & Grilled, though, came in a large slab and there was no way to disguise its flavor or texture (neither of which I found to be very enjoyable). The adobo seasoning, though, was as good as it had been with the meat dishes, and overall I did not find this to be a bad dish (just one that is not of much interest to me).

Salads

Salads are a large part of the menu, since a half order comes with every dinner plate or a full salad can be ordered. I have found the variety of salads to be quite good, and each one has its own house made dressing.

The Apple Spinach Salad has been my favorite so far (and is shown in several of the above photos). The salad comes with spinach, diced green apples, cranberries, walnuts, and an orange vinaigrette dressing, but I have to say that the main reason I like it better than the others is because of the fruit.

Bacon and spinach salad

Bacon and spinach salad full order

The Bacon Spinach Salad comes with spinach, olives, chopped eggs, and bacon with honey mustard dressing. The menu states that the salads are all natural, and the bacon consists of bacon bits sprinkled on top.

Chicken, tropical salad, cauliflower soup

Grilled chicken, tropical salad, cauliflower soup

The Tropical Salad probably has the best dressing of any I have tried here, and is a very flavorful salad as well. I generally do not have a very high opinion of salads covered with yellow cheese, but this one is very refreshing and lives up to its name as something that reminds me of the tropics.

Soups

Three soups are available every day: Vegetable, Portobello Mushroom, and Creamy Butternut Squash. I think I have yet to try the squash soup, but of the remaining two I prefer the Portobello Mushroom Soup. I think I liked the fact that it had a mushroom flavor but it was puréed so that it did not have a mushroom texture. The Vegetable Soup had a little too much of a pepper flavor for me.

Daily Soups
My favorite of the daily soups is the Spinach Soup served on Wednesdays. To me it is perfect in flavor and texture.

I think the Cauliflower Soup (served Mondays) is also very notable, and although it is peppery like the vegetable soup, I do not consider the pepper to stand out as one of the prominent flavors. I think I only tried the Broccoli Cheese Soup (served Tuesdays) once, I thought it was very good as well. I have come to appreciate the Carrot Soup (served Thursdays) more as I have eaten it more.

Side Dishes
I would definitely recommend the Brown Rice as a side dish, and to me this is the best choice they offer. It sounds like something that would not have much flavor, but I think it goes well with the food.

Chicken, apple spinach salad, carrot rice

Grilled chicken, apple spinach salad, carrot rice

The Carrot Rice is more visually appealing, but to me it is more like rice you can get at other restaurants (while I don’t think anyone has brown rice as good as the one at Green & Grilled).

Steamed potato as a side dish

Dinner with a steamed potato

The Steamed Potato is probably the most filling of the side dishes served here, and I also think it is one of the best.

Half Soup and Half Salad

Half soup and half salad combination--apple spinach salad and mushroom soup

Half soup and half salad combination–apple spinach salad and mushroom soup

The “Half Soup and Half Salad” is not listed on the menu, but is available. To me it is not a very good choice budget-wise, because it is almost as expensive as a regular dinner (but you do not get the main dish with it).

Desserts

Brownie

Brownie

My current favorite dessert is the Brownie which has a rich chocolate taste and which is big enough to last me for two or three desserts (I have no idea whether the brownie is actually considered “healthy” or not, but it does not taste “watered down” like most things that are supposed to be healthy).

Pineapple zucchini cake

Pineapple zucchini cake

The Pineapple Zucchini Cake is a good choice for those who like a lighter and less sweet taste (although the pineapple and zucchini gave it a vibrant flavor). For those like me who are not sure they would want a dessert with zucchini, I will say that the flavor that could best be discerned seemed to be the pineapple.

Both the brownie and zucchini cake are prepared by an outside company (Debbie’s Sweet Stuff) and are usually but not always available at the restaurant.

Flan

Flan

Flan is a very good choice to go with the Latin American flavor of much of the food here, but I do not always see it in the display case.

Things to Know About the Restaurant

This is a casual restaurant where they bring the food to your table but after that you are on your own to get drinks, silverware, etc. The food itself is almost fine dining in its quality and flavor, but it is really just simple food prepared well and which provides something as healthy as possible. I don’t consider it expensive, but they have raised the prices over the years so that they can maintain the same quality.

The items I like here are chicken and pork (they do have a good salad option but this is not really something that interests me very much). What they do offer, though, is so good that I keep coming back (and I do not consider it boring to get basically the same things every time).

With Latin flavors and healthy food, this covers many of the bases I am looking for in restaurants to include on this blog.


RATING: 24

Cuisine: American
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking

Most Recent Visit: Apr. 18, 2017
Number of Visits: 10+
Best Items: Grilled Chicken, Grilled Pork, Apple Spinach Salad, Spinach Soup, Butternut Squash Soup, Mushroom Soup, Brown Rice, Pineapple Zucchini Cake, Flan, Brownie

Special Ratings
star 5 Grilled Chicken
star 5 Grilled Pork
star 5 Grilled Sirloin Steak
star 3 Grilled Tofu
star 5 Apple Spinach Salad
star 5 Bacon Spinach Salad
star 4 Tropical Salad
star 5 Mushroom Soup
star 5 Butternut Squash Soup
star 3 Vegetable Soup
star 5 Steamed Potato
star 5 Brown Rice
star 5 Spinach Rice
star 5 White Rice with Carrots
star 5 Flan
star 5 Pineapple Zucchini Cake
star 5 Brownie
Daily Soups
star 5 Cauliflower Soup (Mon.)
star 5 Broccoli Cheese Soup (Tue.)
star 5 Spinach Soup (Wed.)
star 5 Carrot Soup (Thu.)
star 4 Lentil Soup (Fri.)

Jonathan’s Cork–Tucson, AZ

Jonathan’s Cork
6320 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
Tucson, AZ
(520) 296-1631
Jonathan's Cork

Jonathan’s Cork


Tucson has more than its share of upscale, fine dining restaurants, and selecting one can be somewhat of a formidable task. From the reviews I have read patrons are not likely to have a bad experience at any of them, with Tucson seeming to have a dining scene that rivals Santa Fe or other Southwest dining meccas.

One restaurant that does not receive a lot of reviews is Jonathan’s Cork, a restaurant that has been established for a number of years to the point that many people may overlook it in favor of the newer, more trendy places. Jonathan’s Cork is not located in the foothills with a view of the city and it is not part of an expensive country club. Instead, its building in a strip commercial area does not look as impressive from the outside as it proves to be when you receive the food.

If a requirement for dinner does not include a view of the city, Jonathan’s is a good choice. A comfortable bar is available as well as tables set in small rooms that allow for quiet conversation.

Jonathan Landeen and his wife, owners of Jonathan’s Cork, serve enough variety to make the food interesting but try to concentrate on top quality for everything that is offered. Jonathan’s Cork is primarily a steak restaurant, but many of the entrees and side dishes are prepared with a Southwest influence.

This is not the type of Southwestern food that includes green chile cheeseburgers and other concoctions that are a step away from Mexican food. These are steaks, chicken, fish, and game meats that can either be served plain or with salsa butter, appetizers that can be either traditional or spicy, and either Mexican corn soup or something more traditional. I did not find any Mexican food on the menu, but there are definitely dishes that are Mexican influenced. I have found many Mexican restaurants to serve marginal cuts of meat that are spiced up to taste better. At Jonathan’s Cork, though, the best cuts of meat are used that taste good either plain or with extra spice. You really can’t go wrong either way.

Jonathan’s tradition of blending different styles of cooking began with his training as a chef in New Orleans. The New Orleans influence is also found in the food, but Jonathan has used this training not only to serve several very good New Orleans style dishes, but also to perfect his Southwestern style cooking. I am sure many restaurants in Tucson have good steaks. To me the main reason to come to Jonathan’s Cork is to take advantage of Jonathan’s creations to have a style of food that cannot be found everywhere. I tend to like spicy foods of all kinds, and both Southwest and New Orleans cuisines fall into that category. The spices here are not overwhelming in terms of heat, though, but tend to subtly enhance the flavor of the food so that it truly becomes a memorable experience.

The Menu
One thing I found rather surprising was that the menu does not limit what can be served, but is only a start. The traditional steaks are a given, and some Southwest style dishes are listed. The menu explains Jonathan’s training in New Orleans, but does not list a wide variety of New Orleans style dishes. It turns out that the menu lists the dishes that are the most requested, but Jonathan can also prepare a wide range of dishes that are not listed. If you want something that is not listed, or you want to experiment with different ways the menu items can be prepared, it is best to ask the chef. Considering the number of years Jonathan’s Cork has been operating, I really think its prime goal is to please customers and make them want to return.

Nightly Specials

Salmon

Salmon with lemon butter sauce

Nightly specials are offered, and these usually include fish. When I went one of the specials was Salmon with Lemon Butter. This was a fresh, perfectly cooked fillet with fresh vegetables and potato. By giving it a five-star rating I do not want to mislead any Pacific Northwest or other readers into thinking this was Alaska King salmon flown directly to the restaurant. The waitress stated it was farm raised, and it was definitely some variety other than Alaska King. However, it did not taste farm raised, and if the waitress was correct they must have found a way to produce better tasting farm raised salmon than in the past. The color was rather light, and it seemed to be without artificial colors that I suspect are sometimes used with farm raised fish. The freshness, flavor, the way it was prepared, and the sauce all made this an excellent salmon compared to just about any I have had in the Southwest, and even some in the Northwest. In fact, the Seattle area tends to have very good salmon, but very few places even in Seattle can make a sauce as good as the one at Jonathan’s.

Prime Rib

Blackened prime rib

Blackened prime rib is one of the way it can be prepared

The Blackened Prime Rib was ordered as a result of Jonathan coming to our table and working with us to make suggestions. I noticed on the menu that blackening can be added to any dish, but I did not really think about ordering it on prime rib until Jonathan made the recommendation. I can tell readers that if you have the opportunity to ask Jonathan for suggestions it is well worthwhile. I was impressed that he not only made good recommendations for what I should order, but also what I would probably not like based on my preferences. Regular diners at Jonathan’s Cork probably do not need this consultation but as a first time customer, I thought it was tremendously helpful.

I have eaten enough mediocre blackened dishes to recognize one of top quality as it was at Jonathan’s. I would say that if you have a craving for traditional prime rib to order it that way, but if you want something different that will provide a very pleasant surprise, have Jonathan “do his thing” with the blackening, and I do not think you will be disappointed. Although I sampled the salmon and liked it a lot, I personally thought the prime rib was the standout dish.

Jonathan prepared a salsa butter in a small bowl for dipping the meat (shown in the top of the photo). I tried the prime rib both ways and although I thought the meat was good enough to be eaten plain, the dipping sauce added a flavor element that made this a very special experience. The salsa was just spicy enough to add a Southwestern flavor.

The prime rib shown in the photo is the small cut, but a larger cut is also available. The one I ordered had a low fat content.

Side Dishes
The fresh vegetables were crisp and outstanding. Enough vegetables were served that I actually considered it a side dish rather than merely a garnish as some restaurants like to do.

The garlic flavored mashed potatoes were my least favorite aspect of the meal. I would have preferred potatoes with less “stuff” in them and more like my mom makes. Most people seem to love them, and I have no complaints with everything else being so good.

The bread was outstanding and the basket was emptied quite quickly. They probably would have brought more but it was too much of a temptation to ask for a second serving.

House Salad

House salad

Jonathan’s house salad

The House Salad was the ultimate in freshness, with a very good dressing. Several types of salads are available, and all look interesting.

Things to Know
In talking to Jonathan I learned that he is able to prepare special orders of vegetarian dishes and a number of meat dishes if you either make a request for the dinner you want or you let him make suggestions. Although I was very satisfied with the food I ordered, I think the opportunity to try some of Jonathan’s other creations has to be one of the most interesting I have heard in a long time. Jonathan’s Cork pretty well has meat, fish, and game covered by the menu, but if there is something else you want it would be worth asking. It would be especially worthwhile for vegetarian dishes, which are limited on the menu. Some dishes might require advanced notice, but inquiry can be made when making a reservation.

In my dining experiences I like to find things that are a little bit unusual. Jonathan’s Cork is both unusually good and unusually interesting for what is mainly considered a steak house. It is not really a New Orleans style restaurant, but Jonathan’s background in the Big Easy makes the food both better and more varied. Vegetarians do not have to be shortchanged here either. I am sure the newer, trendy places are good, but Jonathan’s Cork should not be overlooked.

Jonathan’s Cork is very reasonably priced compared to comparable places I have eaten in other cities. I did not sample the wine but this is the other area in which Jonathan’s is reputed to excel.


RATING: 25
Cuisine: Fine Dining & Steaks
Cost: $$$$
Hours: Open daily at 5 pm
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Full Bar
 
Most Recent Visit: Nov. 7, 2007
Number of Visits: 1
Best Item: Prime Rib
 

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Prime Rib
star 5 Salmon
star 5 House Salad