Being the ultimate foodie and nutrition junkie that I am, I stood in front of the new Green Café on College Ave. and small tear trickled down my cheek. I opened the glorious doors to my new haven and the smells of salvation exploded in my face.
The opening of the heavenly café couldn’t have come at a better time. The repetition of everyday life is driving me mad. Wake up, eat granola at Becker, go to class with coffee from Martha’s, eat a salad at one of the cookie-cutter dining halls of West Campus, study, eat bland food for dinner, go to the gym, study, sleep, and repeat. Over and over and over and over again. Not to bash Cornell dining, but it’s so damn repetitive. Maybe it’s in my head. But I swear I eat the same thing every night. Salad, some rice or grain, a strange mash of overcooked vegetables, a scoop of ice cream. But from the wreckage has risen a delicatessen that focuses on fresh ingredients and elegant spices that preserve the integrity of the food. There is nothing bland about it. Thank the good Lord.
Green Café. How do I love thee? Oh, just let me count the ways. One is the Razzamatazz smoothie. A fresh blend of raspberry, pineapple, blackberry, and guarana. I think the novelty is in the fresh fruit. I stood there as they cut a mango out of its peel for my friend’s smoothie and thought about how long it had been since I ate fresh fruit. The bright red berries and shining yellow pineapple mock the huge tray of canned fruit that the dining halls offer daily. Two is the homemade tofu. They actually make tofu from scratch. It is presented in huge blocks that you can buy to take home with you. The gleaming white hunk of protein is begging to be slathered in soy sauce and baked to perfection. Third is the Thai chicken wrap stuffed with pineapple and cashews and a whole lot of delicious. Fourth is the fact that all of this is just the beginning. The Green Café is more than just a juice bar and sandwich shop. They offer a huge buffet of diner entrees for $6.99 a pound. Behind the buffet is a sushi station that offers fresh fish and vegetable combinations. The great thing about the café is that you watch as they make your food. Its not pre-packaged and heated up. It is the definition of fresh. The salad bar is packed with unique ingredients that really have me revved up. You can pile your concoction with avocado, fresh tomatoes, onions, spinach, different fruits, and healthy grains. And to top it all off, the dressing isn’t Ken’s Steakhouse bottled dressing. Hallelujah!
The variety at the Green Café is endless. Sandwiches, wraps, Paninis, sushi, hot dinners, juice, smoothies, snacks, coffee, and desserts. While it seems that the new restaurant has an overwhelming menu, it has really found its niche in the community and hasn’t overreached its boundaries. To me, the Green Café is a perfect addition to Ithaca. Serving fresh food for a community that truly appreciates it. And let me tell you, I really appreciate it. So welcome Green Café. I’ll be seeing you almost everyday.