Jackie Riley opened Grains & Greens after realizing how hard it can be to find fresh, organic take-away food in Alameda.
Riley - who trained at the Culinary Institute of America, as well as in high-end restaurants in Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC - knew that a market existed for artisan foods on the island. So, when space became available at Alameda's Marketplace, she jumped at the chance to offer light and innovative fare made from locally produced, organic ingredients, including grains, greens, beans, chicken, and home-pickled vegetables.
Just how innovative is the food? Well, one of the most popular salads at Grains & Greens is a red quinoa salad with crispy snap peas and nutty sesame-flavored dressing. There's also a tangy Caesar salad made with romaine and deep green (think super-healthy) kale. Or try the creamy farro (yes, that's a grain), asparagus, and feta mix. Or the rocking Vietnamese-themed sandwich that stars tofu, Asian slaw, pickled daikon, and miso aioli.
Can't decide? You can create a "custom-crafted salad" from the ever-fresh, organic salad bar. Or try a "custom-crafted meal" – either a sample of three salads or a sample of two salads plus a quarter roasted natural chicken from Mary's. (Yes, you can buy whole rotisserie roasted chickens, as well.) And remember – it's all based on whole grains, organic ingredients, and a passion for fresh flavor.
"This is the kind of food that's good for our bodies and grown in a way that's good for the land," Riley says. "We're delighted to be able to offer it on the island."