Green Acres Market
117 S. 7th St., Jenks, 918-209-5900
Food: 4 out of 5 stars
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
This week's review is a departure from the typical dining experience. The foraging foodie found herself in a grocery store, the antithesis of dining out. But this was more "mom-and-pop" than a mega-conglomerate. At Green Acres Market the focus is not just providing quality organic produce and meats, but a holistic approach to eating, both for purpose and for palate.
The concept is not new, and I will try to avoid the comparisons to certain other trendy stores that also provide organic goods and nutritional supplements. Green Acres began nearby in Wichita, KS, grew to Kansas City and now has sprouted in Jenks America. The concept is all about clean, wholesome foods -- fruits, vegetables, meats and non-meats -- and a resource for learning how great ingredients can lead to great health. Now, before you dismiss the rest of this as me advocating the "organic agenda," Green Acres' deli is appealing to even the biggest of carnivores. As for foodies? Well, they know that the fresher the ingredients, the tastier the food.
My duty was to hit the deli, but I was mesmerized by this quaint little shop. Warm and inviting, a bright and beautiful selection of produce invites you in. I found myself wandering the aisles where I discovered many of my favorites and some new brands and products I'd not seen in our neck of the woods. I even walked past a helpful associate who offered me breakfast. Yes, free breakfast with yummy yogurt parfait cups and pancakes. I passed on this morning, but tucked away this info for future use.
After ogling rows and rows of unique, gourmet accouterment and delights, the spotlight was squarely on their beautiful delicatessen. Though not as large as some other places in the same business, the selections were all delightful. In the cold case were luscious quinoa salads, a brightly hued beet salad, a Pharaoh Salad that was made of spelt and other veggies. It was a tough decision, but I decided on the Mozarella and Tomato Pasta Salad, Harvest Rice Salad and the Southwestern Quinoa Salad. All salads in the cold case ran about $7.99/lb. This may sound pricey, but when you see what a pound of pasta salad looks like and how many it ends up feeding, it's a value. And in this case, it was also beyond delicious!
Whole-wheat penne pasta mingled with fresh sliced cherry tomatoes and bocaccinos, which are pearl-sized bites of fresh mozzarella. The sauce was creamy and tangy and, surprisingly, comprised of vegenaise. I did not notice the difference, and I'm kind of a mayo maniac. This was bar-none one of the best Italian inspired pasta salads I've ever had.
The harvest rice salad was also a tasty delight, with brown and wild rice, butternut squash, green onion, cranberries, pecans. The sweetness of the berries and pecans, with a dash of honey, was offset by the savory addition of sage, bell pepper and apple cider vinegar. If you have not had a cold rice salad, you really must give it a try. If at all possible, Green Acres' would be an excellent start.
Quinoa is kind of a mystery to me still, as I've experimented with it at home. This "superfood" is like a cross between barley and cous cous, and its nutty flavor lends itself well to a variety of treatments. The southwest quinoa salad was mixed with black beans, corn, green onion, cilantro and lime. It was a light and flavorful treat. I could almost feel myself become healthier with each bite.
Now, as I said, this isn't all about being healthy; it's about the caliber of ingredients and preparation. The Green Acres' hot deli case was filled with some rib-stickin' favorites, and even a delicacy known as bierock. Bierock is like a meat pie, with a light pastry stuffed with an infinite variety of options. On this day, there was both beef and buffalo bierock ($5.49). A perfect puff pastry, that was less flaky and almost buoyant, was filled with ground grass-fed buffalo, bursting with that signature brand of beefy flavor, and a perfect balance of sautéed onions and savory herbs. This bierock "rocked" indeed.
Sitting primly next to the bierock in the hot case was a row of golden-crusted pot pies. Of all pies in the universe, pot pies top my list. Green Acres offers a beef and chicken for only $6.99, and this is no tiny pie. It is enough to feed two -- unless you are greedy, which is a possibility once you take a bite. The pastry was less like a pie crust which can be crumbly and stiff. Instead it was more of a puff pastry, yet with more rigidity. I saved this little gem for dinner, yet another perk of the take-home deli. I popped it in the oven for about 15 minutes and it was perfection. Generous chunks of chicken breast swam in a luscious, creamy sauce alongside mushrooms, peas and carrots. Pot pies are the hallmark of comfort food yet this pot pie was light, elegant and totally satisfying.
Sometimes dining out isn't really what you want, yet cooking at home sounds torturous. But you want something -- something good. To the rescue, Green Acres Market provides a veritable cornucopia of mouthwatering meals just there for the taking. So many fresh, delicious salads made from quality ingredients. They also have a spectacular array of sandwiches, from your standard Village Club ($7.99) to the Give Thanks ($7.99) with turkey, dill cream cheese, cranberry orange sauce, Swiss cheese on grilled walnut bread. Oh, and they always have a new line up of soups each day, like Sirloin Vegetable or Split Pea ($4.99 cup). Don't like the whole chewing thing? They can juice it up or make amazing smoothies for nutrition on the go.
The beauty of this place is not only that you can get meals ready to go, you can actually shop around and find the same ingredients to make your own creations. The salad bar has any item you can imagine (and then some), the deli case has the perfect items for your next fancy lady lunch, and you can pick up some amazing kitchen staples while you're there. Green Acres Market truly is the place to be.
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