Budget Beat

Green: Lunch $10 and Under

Hannah E Williams

​"Where's the beef?!" Not here.

But if you want a totally veg meal that's so filling you won't be asking, Green is just the spot. And with all menu items $10 or under, it's more than worth every penny. So grab a friend and get ready to go meatless. (Your favorite Boca-burgered-out vegetarian will thank you.)

Green's totally vegan "new American comfort food" ranges from salad to "ice cream" with pizza, po-boys and noodle bowls filling out the in between. Think of it as an introductory course in herbivore-ism. Splitting dishes will allow you the most bang for your buck and guarantee a cross-sampling of the menu... as well as leaving room for a can't-miss tsoynami.

Grab a menu at the counter and place your order. Then take your pick of any open seat in the house, preferably with a view of the quirky recycled car door decorated wall, and listen closely for your name to be called. Some of the food runners are a bit soft-spoken.

Start with a vegan-classic done right, like edamame ($3) or green hummus ($4). Or opt for a delicious side of tahini coleslaw ($3), which is a tasty, light-on-the-vegan-mayo mix of cabbage and carrots with a distinct nuttiness.

An array of mock meats make familiar dishes like "spicy buffalo 'wings'" and "mum's meatball po-boy" possible, but just be prepared for the next-to-real thing. We recommend meat- and/or veggie-purists stick to the dishes that are up front about their meatlessness, i.e., those with produce and tofu.

The Asian-inspired noodle/rice bowls (all $7.50) are your best bet if you're splitting a meal. There's a wide variety to choose from, you get to pick your protein, and they come in bowls big enough to share.

The apricot miso we ordered came highly recommended by the girl taking our order and did not disappoint - sweet apricots, pineapple and pears mingled with fresh broccoli, carrots, onion and zuchinni in a spicy sambal and rice vinegar sauce that packed a spicy kick. While the brown rice provides a solid backdrop for the food flavors to shine, we'd recommend the pan fried noodles.

The po-boys, while tasty, are a bit small for sharing. The just-right buns - crispy crust, soft bread, warm and toasty - and spicy buffalo sauce on the "original 'g'" could merit blowing the budget by just a teeny bit ($8 each including a side, add $1 for vegan cheese).

With all the inventive meatless options salad and pizza seem a bit ordinary, but our wandering eyes saw some delicious options come out of the kitchen. The big salads ($9) come in the same over-sized bowls, so consider a budget-friendly small instead ($6).

Vegan drink options are available in the cooler by the cash register (next to an array of vegan goods) or try a fresh-brewed vegan lemonade or iced tea ($1.50). Sodas are also available for those craving preservatives.

Make sure to leave room for desert, because you won't want to leave without trying a tsoynami ($4.50), a vegan answer to a DQ blizzard, and a million times better. Start with soy soft serve and mix in any pre-designed tasty combination that takes all the guess work out of a delicious dessert... if you can agree on one.

We tried the Almond Oy'Vey, and it was heavenly. It tasted a bit like frozen yogurt but lighter with a somewhat grainy texture and was jam-packed with super-thin sliced almonds, coconut and chocolate syrup. So. Damn. Good. We'd come back just for one of these. Again, and again, and again.

Lunch for two will put you just over the $20 mark including tax and tip, but as you're finishing your non-dairy dessert, you won't even care. You might even be considering another for the road...

Tucked at the end of a strip mall on Scottsdale Road in Tempe near the Scottsdale border, it's pretty easy to miss, but we recommend you don't. We overheard the owner talking about opening another in CenPho, too, if there's enough demand. Stop by and let him know we're all clamoring for one.

Green New American Vegetarian
2240 N Scottsdale Road #8

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Hannah E Williams