By TESS OSMER
While I’ve been home, I have been realizing how much time I have to accomplish tasks, read or listen to music and write, which took me awhile to understand.
On Sunday, Nov. 27, I was on a walk with some friends, May Payne, junior Spanish major at the University of Mary Washington and her boyfriend, Drew, a junior at the University of Virginia, it took us maybe five minutes to get to Greens and Grains for a bowl of soup.
We walked from the Monticello Apartments off Cowan Blvd to Eagle Village through a back road littered with snacks of the past and even snacks associated with Thanksgiving, such as pumpkin pie and wheat thins.
I had never been to Greens and Grains before, located at 1133 Jefferson Davis Hwy across from the UMW campus.
Their menu is full of variety boasting items such as Crab Bisque, Beef Chili and Pasta Alfredo. I chose the Crab Bisque and I paired it with sliced tortilla chips and a smidgen of goat cheese. While there, I could not help but feel like I was back in Brooklyn, N.Y., my usual hideout with friends. The walls of the small cafe were lined with artwork created by local artists Graciela Slyer and Van Anderson. There was also a wooden cat hanging above a set of menus with sample items and specials written in chalk, which really emulated the hipster-esque feel of the place.
“Salad Creations has turned a new leaf,” the take-out menus read, as it is in the same location as the old restaurant, “Salad Creations.”
For me, a single 21-year- old, it was weird going to lunch with a couple. But when I walked through the doors of the cafe I noticed a very eccentric older married couple, well, very old, married couple.
The husband was the one that really caught my eye. Not only was he wearing glasses, one of my favorite accessories on men, they were framed with leopard colors and cleanly cut around his face. It didn’t stop there either, he was wearing a blue and white striped shirt tucked into blue corduroy pants and held tight by blue suspenders. To top it off, he had Velcro-strapped tennis shoes on.
This same couple bought the crab bisque too, and they called out to the General Manager, Kevin Raley, as they left, that it was, “very good.”
In fact, I thought it was delicious. As my friend May Payne put it, it tasted like “punchy [spicy] tomato chili.” Similarly, her boyfriend Drew described it as “really good; sort of like chili, but [he could] also taste the crab.”
Raley makes all the soups and dressings in house for Greens and Grains and is also the locally owned franchise’s marketing coordinator.
Greens and Grains just passed its first year anniversary in October. In addition, the cafe has a great working environment for young people, as Raley noted, “all team members are hired as supervisors…[with] the opportunity to learn leadership skills.” Customers are allowed to create their own salad and choose from locally baked bread from Eileen’s Bakery, located in downtown Fredericksburg.
“The chicken salad would have to be my favorite menu item,” Raley said, “as well as the soups.” Greens and Grains also offers fresh smoothies, tea and coffee.
Greens and Grains is also looking forward to gaining its ABC license and will be offering local wines and beers. In addition, they want to be able to host Poetry and Open Mic Nights along with live music.
Greens and Grains also has another location in Harrisonburg, VA. The number of Fredericksburg’s local location for carry out for UMW students is (540)-433- 1702. Additionally, their website is: www.GreensAndGrainsVA.com.
More information about local artists Graciela Slyer and Van Anderson can be found at www.graciela-slyer.com and look for Van Anderson on Facebook.