BITE-SIZED

Going Green

This bistro with Persian roots offers kabobs to vegan fare

Three signature flatbreads – California, eggplant and organic tempeh – are large enough to share or take home. Each is topped with goat cheese, mozzarella and various toppings. Photos: Caron Streibich
Caron Streibich
The soup of the day was a thick bean, barley and herb Persian stew that was warm and hearty.
Caron Streibich
The chelo kabob jujeh fits four huge pieces of saffron-spiced chicken breast on a skewer, served with a mound of basmati rice and two grilled tomato wedges.
Caron Streibich
The large community table is perfect for chatting with friendly fellow diners.
Caron Streibich
The all-white-meat chicken salad with chives, shallots, grapes and whipped mayo-free curry sauce is topped with chopped pecans.
Caron Streibich
Ordering half of a Green Erth Apple Salad is a smart choice. The bed of organic mixed greens is topped with slices of crisp Granny Smith apples, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries and green onions tossed in a homemade sherry vinaigrette.
Caron Streibich
For $3, the herb tray is a fantastic appetizer – a variety of fresh herbs, a block of crumbly feta cheese, onion and warm lavash bread paired with olive oil and balsamic.
Caron Streibich
Goat cheese and mozzarella top a crisp flatbread along with slices of sautéed eggplant, roasted red peppers, raw red onion and a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley.
Caron Streibich
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Posted

1520 Hendricks Ave., San Marco

398-9156

green-erth-bistro.com

Caron Streibich covers dining out throughout Northeast Florida. If you have information about new restaurant openings, menu changes or other food-related news, contact her here. Streibich is also the host of our regular Folio Weekly Bite Club gatherings. Follow the Bite Club on Facebook or Twitter to learn more about it.

Just minutes from Downtown, San Marco's Green Erth Bistro is a family-owned Persian restaurant that also provides healthful vegan and vegetarian-friendly options.

When you walk inside, you see the large community table that invites strangers to sit together. There are also several four-top tables along the perimeter, creating a cozy atmosphere as natural light streams in from the front windows.

A menu board touts daily specials. Our waitress brought us out a sample of the soup of the day — vegetarian barley ash, a thick bean, barley and herb soup-like stew — and the next thing we knew, we were staring at the bottom of the cups we ordered. It was warm and hearty, with parsley, cilantro, garlic and mint providing a lot of flavor.

We also ordered the herb tray, which featured a generous heap of fresh herbs including parsley, mint, dill and basil, a block of crumbly feta, onion and wedges of lavash bread. Drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, this was a refreshing treat.

On a recent lunch visit, I enjoyed the curry chicken salad. Chunks of white meat are tossed with a whipped mayo-less curry sauce, grapes, shallots and chives, then topped with chopped pecans. The concoction is served atop a mix of organic greens, bright red juicy tomato slices, crisp cucumbers and red onions.

Another hit was the assortment of flatbread pizzas, which were large enough for two meals. The California was topped with mozzarella, goat cheese, pressed garlic, fresh basil, balsamic glaze and sun-dried tomatoes (we subbed roasted red peppers). The crust is thin and crispy at the edges. Order a half-sized salad — I recommend the Green Erth Apple Salad with housemade sherry vinaigrette, chopped walnuts, cranberries, green onions and slices of crisp green apple — if you want to pair your pizza with something green.

You can choose from a number of kabobs, combination kabobs and skewers (along with sandwiches, wraps, salads, soups, chilis and specialty meat stews). The chelo kabob jujeh fit four huge pieces of saffron-spiced chicken breast on one skewer, served alongside a mound of basmati rice and two grilled tomato wedges.

Dessert offerings include freshly baked cookies, Persian ice cream, cakes and tiramisu, but I'm unfortunately always too full to partake.

I want to try the traditional Persian bademjan on my next visit: Sautéed beef, eggplant, onion and spices served with basmati rice sound great for dinner.

Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and Tuesday-Saturday for dinner, Green Erth also serves beer and wine. The parking can be tricky if you're unfamiliar with the area. Try the parallel spots across the street or in the small lot behind the building.

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