Walking into Green Soul on a Thursday night, the first thing we notice is how rustically modern it is. It reminds me of a repurposed log cabin—with high, slanted wood ceilings, floor–to–ceiling windows, ivory–washed walls, and dining and bar areas dimly illuminated by string lights and hanging bulbs. There’s greenery and hardwood accents all around us. Jazz piano softly accompanies the murmurs of conversations in the packed seating area.
I spot the small raised stage beside me. Although empty now, I can see Green Soul being the perfect venue for intimate performances—from jazz to poetry to coffeehouses—over dinner. There’s something unmistakably homey about this place. It’s fitting that Green Soul promotes an environmentally sustainable and local–business–friendly approach to food production.
The restaurant serves soul food, but with various health–conscious twists. We start with the parsnip and carrot “fries,” accompanied by ketchup and mustard BBQ. We are surprised at how pleasantly similar the dish tasted to sweet potato fries. The mustard BBQ adds an appreciated tanginess to counteract the carrots’ sweet taste, and the sprigs of parsnip sprinkled on top of the faux–fries came through, freshening up our palates in preparation for our next course.
Next, we order Green Soul’s black bean veggie burger, as well as their BBQ pulled chicken sandwich. Both of these seemingly basic entrées are delicious. The bread of the veggie burger melts in my mouth—wonderfully intertwining with the savory patty and the flavorful sauce. The chicken sandwich contains apple slaw—which adds a nice, crunchy texture to the meal. The sandwich mimicks the taste of pork, and Green Soul has no beef or pork on its menu, so this may be intentional. Both of these dishes are served with fresh salads—which are fine, but don’t add much to the main items as a whole.
While we chow down on our main course, our drink—a ginger lemonade—arrives. The mason jar it’s served in perfectly fits the rustic feel of the restaurant and the drink itself features enough ginger to be memorable.
We leave Green Soul’s cozy environment with a sense of fulfillment. Many of its dishes are fairly pricey considering their size—so it’s not a place we would plan on frequenting regularly. But reflecting on the friendly wait staff, warm ambiance, admirable business practices, unique culinary takes, and mouthwatering food—we know we’ll be looking for an excuse to come back.
TL;DR: A sit–down restaurant serving healthy soul food with Hip City Veg Vibes
Location: 1410 Mount Vernon Street
Hours: Lunch: Tuesday—Friday: 11 a.m.—3 p.m.
Dinner: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday: 5 p.m.—10 p.m.
Weekend Dinner: Friday—Saturday: 5 p.m.—11 p.m.
Happy Hour: Tuesday—Friday: 5 p.m.—7 p.m.