Tender Greens recently opened up at Stanford's Shopping Center, its first and only branch currently in Palo Alto. Their menu not only boasts healthy, organic, and delicious-sounding salads and sandwiches, but also has comfort foods like Southern Fried Chicken. Tender Greens is a big name in the farm-to-fork restaurant arena, so we at Stanford Spoon wanted to investigate whether or not their fame is warranted. We are investigative journalists, after all. Is this restaurant really worth student's valuable time and money?
I ordered a Happy Vegan (a "big salad" with farro wheat with cranberry and hazelnuts, quinoa with cucumber and beets, green hummus, tabbouleh, baby greens), while Paulina got Harvest (a "big salad" with local fruit and nuts, artisan cheese, Scarborough Farms lettuces, golden balsamic vinaigrette). We also got a cookie for dessert:
Even before taking a bite, we both LOVED the portion sizes of our dishes relative to their prices. It picture is really not to scale. The "Big Salads" stayed true to their name, while the cookie looked like it survived a nuclear attack. We thought that they were big enough that we'd be able to take some leftovers home to snack on later. However, this didn't happen because the food was SO GOOD we had to finish everything right then and there. Even if we were really full, we powered through just because of how delicious our salads were.
The Happy Vegan was fresh and exciting, especially because of the various textures of the hazelnuts and quinoa, and flavors that came from the hummus and tabbouleh. The toasted bread they placed on top of the salad was also perfectly buttered and toasted, its crunchy and heavy nature complementing the lighter aspects of the salad. The vegetables were also well dressed and prepared. Overall, I felt like it was a home run - and I usually HATE salads.
The Harvest is also a must-try, with sweet, fresh fruit and a generous amount of artisan cheeses. While the Happy Vegan is more of an untraditional take on salad, the Harvest is perfect for classic salad lovers with lots of leafy greens and fresh ingredients mixed in. But the Harvest is far from boring - sweet fruit, tangy sauce, and rich cheese makes it the perfect balance of flavors. This way you can ~treat yourself~ AND feel good about eating a healthy salad. It's win-win if you ask me.
Our cookie was also delicious, because of the GENEROUS amount of chocolate they put into it. What good is a chocolate chip cookie if the cookie isn't at least 50% chocolate?
But more than just the food, we also enjoyed the service. The staff was incredibly accommodating, quick, and friendly, and the atmosphere for the restaurant was very chill. The huge windows also created lighting perfect for insta-worthy shots of the food and restaurant
This restaurant perfectly encapsulates the vibe of a student in California. The menu boasts superfood buzzwords like "quinoa" and "kale," but also has the classics barbecue chicken and tomato soup. Tender Greens is also perfect for students because service is fast, but food quality and portions are never sacrificed. You'll get to squeeze a trip here in between classes or meetings, and you'll definitely get your money's worth. And if you really can't make a trip to the Stanford Shopping Center, you can Door Dash their food! I also tried this to see if they'd skimp in portion sizes or quality, but I still got my full meal and it was as good as I remembered it to be in the restaurant.
And if you really can't make a trip to the Stanford Shopping Center, you can Door Dash their food! I also tried this to see if they'd skimp in portion sizes or quality, but I still got my full meal and it was as good as I remembered it to be in the restaurant.