This is part 10 of a 10-part series highlighting the healthiest chain restaurants in America, along with the efforts they’re making to promote healthy eating. Find part one here, part two here, part three here, part four here, part five here, part six here, part seven here, part eight here, and part nine here.
At Santa Monica-based Veggie Grill, which has 28 locations in Washington state, California, and Oregon, it’s literally all about the vegetables, because that’s all you’ll find there. It’s risky to open a restaurant that’s completely vegetarian, but this is one that’s clearly doing it the right way. The menu is divided into Snacks & Shares (panko-fried cauliflower, macaroni and cheese, herb-roasted veggies), Bowls & Plates (Harvest Bowl with Field Roast sausage, roasted vegetables, supergrains, steamed kale, porcini mushroom and miso gravy, and hemp seeds), Entrée Salads (bánh mì salad with organic pressed and glazed tofu, chargrilled eggplant, pickled carrots, white cabbage, jalapeños, basil, cilantro, mint, and marinated kale, tossed in a five-spice glaze), and Sandwiches (smoked tempeh bacon with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro pesto, arugula, and aïoli; veggie burger; fried “chikin’”; grilled Portobello). There’s also a rotating selection of seasonal items, as well as beer and wine.
Vegetarian food tends to be plain and boring when in the wrong hands, but one look at the Veggie Grill menu and it should be clear that if you visit, you’ll be in very good hands.