Imagine being able to watch your dinner grow as you enter the restaurant. This is how it works at Public Greens Urban Kitchen in Indianapolis, Indiana. The restaurant employs a dedicated farmer to cultivate the block long urban garden of crops and edible flowers along Indy’s Monon Trail.
Even better, the profits from every bite you eat and every meal you purchase go to feed at-risk and food insecure children in the Indianapolis community through the Patachou Foundation. It kind of makes you want to order more to take home, doesn’t it?
Location: In the Broad Ripple Neighborhood, 902 East 64th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana.
There is a second location at The Fashion Mall, 8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis, Indiana
Menu: According to their mission statement, the menu at Public Greens is, “Locally grown produce, humanely raised proteins and house-made desserts.” The menu changes often, depending on what is growing in the garden.
Breakfast is simple during the week, with items like a Breakfast Sammy, Vegan Granola, Scrambled eggs and homemade pastries. On the weekend, more hearty features like a Smoked Brisket Breakfast Fried Rice Bowl and Crème Brulee French Toast are added.
Lunch and Dinner share the same menu, with broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflower and sprouts from the garden used in numerous ways. Eight salads were offered when I was there, along with house-made soups, pizzas, and tostadas. The proteins offered were chicken prepared three different ways and tri-tip steak. The proteins can stand on their own or be incorporated into a salad or bowl.
Even the beverages are house-made. Public Greens makes their own sodas, including root beer, ginger beer, sparkling apple cider, hibiscus lime soda and others.
Coffee is prepared any way you like it. Macchiato, cappuccino, cortado, latte, espresso, or cold brew. Yes, they will pour you a cup of plain old drip coffee, if that is what you really want.
Seven local draft beers were on tap during my visit. The cocktail menu also makes this a great weekend brunch place. There was a Mimosa, Sangria, Bloody Mary, and Cosmos. The Bourbon Bonfire sounds tasty, with Herber’s Applejack, apple cider, brown sugar, spice, and everything nice. The Sage Beekeeper must be medicinal, with a blend of Cardinal Terra Botanical Gin, smoked sage and honey. Perfect on a cold day.
Thoughts: Enter public greens and start studying the large chalkboard filled with menu options. The modern cafeteria-style walk-up counter keeps labor costs low, which means more money goes to the Patachou Foundation programs. Indoor seating is available year-round and outdoor seating is available, weather permitting. The large windows overlook the garden and the trail and bring lots of natural daylight into the restaurant.
A perfect Broad Ripple day would start with breakfast at Public Greens, then a walk or bike ride on the Monon Trail. Return to Public Greens for lunch and a cocktail. Then, grab some pastries to take home.
Price Range: Breakfast $6-$10. Weekend Brunch $ 4-$12. Salads $6-$14, Full Plates $12-$16. Proteins $8-$16. Snacks $6-$14 Cocktails $9-$10.
Disclosure: The writer was hosted by Visit Indy on her tour of Public Greens Urban Kitchen, but her opinions of the restaurant, their mission, and their fresh, delicious food are her own.
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