I have a feeling that Sprouts Green Cafe is going to do very well in Emory Village. The organic, health-focused cafe opened in the former One Hot Cookie space last week—just as most students left town for the summer, and in a dismal economic climate for new restaurants, no less. But lunch business was brisk on the afternoon I stopped in to check it out, and the friendly guy taking my order behind the counter told me that it had been the same every day so far. Just wait until Emory’s back in session. The place is great for student budgets (nothing on the menu over $7!) and the nutritious concept will certainly appeal to those fearing—or attempting to lose—that freshman 15.
Sprouts’s airy, Earth-toned space stresses its green theme, applying that color to the walls and chairs. There are several additional seats at the counter, made from a slab of natural wood that gives the place a modern treehouse look. The menu—natural, organic, and local “as much as possible”—offers vegetarians and vegans lots of choices, but Sprouts is not meat-free. Regular omnivorous Joes can go for a grilled chicken wrap (preservative-free, of course) with house-made honey Dijon spread, a turkey melt with avocado, or a tuna salad sandwich, among other lean-protein dishes.
Out of curiosity, we sampled the only “raw/living” item on the menu thus far—uncooked hummus made with freshly-sprouted garbanzo beans. It’s quite similar to regular cooked-chickpea hummus (also on the menu), but a little bit coarser in texture and fresher-tasting. Since pita bread obviously breaks the rules of raw living, it was left off the plate in favor of celery sticks and cucumber slices. I didn’t even miss it.
I also ordered one of the rice bowls, a bed of spinach topped with brown rice, black beans, carrots, cabbage, and salsa. Chicken, tofu, or turkey can be added for $1.50. With the protein—I tried the smoky grilled tofu—and a squirt of Sriracha, this was a perfectly filling-yet-virtuous lunch.
Salads abounded at surrounding tables, looking generous and crisp, and next time I’ll try one with the lemony tahini dressing I sampled off my friend’s plate. Sprouts also whips up smoothies and fresh juices—wheatgrass grows right behind the counter, but if green juice isn’t your thing, there are plenty of mainstream options such as strawberry-banana, carrot-apple, and the like.
Better take advantage of this new spot this summer, before crowds of Emory sorority girls discover it come fall.
Sprouts Green Cafe, 1579 North Decatur Rd.; 404-474-2207; sproutsgreencafe.com.
Open from 7 am to 11 pm, Monday through Friday; Saturday 8 am to 10 pm; Sunday 9 am to 10 pm.