Crisp & Green is a fast casual eatery, and they just opened two new locations in St. Paul. They have some suburb and Minneapolis locations with further expansion plans in the works. You can either select from their salad or bowls menu, or build your own. They also have smoothies which are all vegan and feature pea protein.
I started with the Strawberry Sunrise Smoothie which includes banana, strawberries, mango, and unflavored pea protein. If I’m being honest, it tasted like pea protein with a couple strawberries thrown in. Pea protein has a granular flavor to me, so I’m not a fan, and I wish the fruit flavors came through more. My friend ordered the Date Night Smoothie which was much more flavorful with banana, Medjool date, almond butter, cacao nibs, and vanilla pea protein.
For the salads and bowls, you get in line and order cafeteria style. If you’re only getting a smoothie, order at the register. I decided to build my own bowl and went with brown rice, spinach, chickpeas, carrots, cucumbers with pesto vinaigrette. They’ll ask if you want bread, but it contains honey so it’s not vegan. I opted for blue corn tortilla chips. For vanity reasons, I wish they left everything separate in the bowls instead of mixing it all together for you. After all, it’s all about the gram, right?
Vinaigrettes and dressings are marked if they’re vegan and/or gluten-friendly. I went with the pesto vinaigrette which was nice and light, and the pesto flavor definitely comes through. Unfortunately, when I took my first bite, I was met with a crunch. The brown rice was not cooked all the way. Is everything at Crisp & Green supposed to be crisp? Just kidding. We alerted the staff who offered us something else, but we decided to power through and eat it. I hate wasting food. I was happy with the rest of the bowl and would get it again.
My friend ordered the Chef Curry Bowl which includes brown rice, tofu, napa cabbage, carrot, roasted yams, curry cauliflower, fajita peppers, onions, mint, lemon, and ginger-curry vinaigrette. He subbed the vinaigrette for Thai peanut dressing, though, which made it extra savory.
Crisp & Green offers a wide range of fresh options, and it’s great for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. If you’re pressed for time, you can also order ahead online. They also offer fitness and yoga classes at various locations. I have mixed feelings about my first experience with them, but I’ll give them a try again sometime.