Mixt Greens is about to get some competition for lunch traffic in the Financial District: L.A.-based Tender Greens is moving in to Fremont and Market. Like Mixt, Tender Greens focuses on salads using local ingredients. But Tender Greens also offers hot plates loaded with protein like marinated steak, salt-and-pepper chicken, and herb-brushed albacore; garlicky, buttery Yukon Gold mashed potatoes; and a substantial simple salad, all for $12. (Check out the whole menu on the Tender Greens website.)
The new Fremont Street location has a patio, plenty of seating, and the reclaimed wood aesthetic of the Los Angeles restaurants. One difference is that food will be offered at night, like charcuterie and cheese plates in the early evening for a post-work crowd in for a glass of local wine and beer on tap. For dinner, there will be bistro dishes based on chef Sean Canavan's French-German cooking roots. (Canavan's a master butcher, so expect lots of braises and other cold-weather dishes as we move into winter.)
Tender Greens may be from SoCal, but its philosophy is pure S.F. "In many ways, Tender Greens was conceived in San Francisco," says CEO and Founder Erik Oberholtzer, who lived in the city for ten years before moving south. "My culinary heritage is from the Bay Area ... This is really bringing it full-circle."
To that end, the restaurant is sourcing most of its ingredients from the Bay Area, even down to olive oil from Lodi and vinegar from Sonoma. Lettuce will still be trucked in from Scarborough Farms in Oxnard, the source for the L.A. restaurants and an investor in the company. "We're really committed to make sure we source everything we possibly can from California," says Oberholtzer.
As I wrote when the expansion to S.F. was first announced, I'm a fan of Tender Greens from my L.A. days. I think the company does a great job offering filling, good-tasting lunches made from local ingredients. It'll be interesting to watch the chain find its footing in S.F.
Tender Greens, 30 Fremont St., S.F.