The Green Spoon Restaurant Celebrates Third Anniversary
By Kirsten Telander:
The initial business plan was a cooking school with take out lunches, but quickly the demand for sit down service dominated.
“We started out with four tables from Shopko,” recalls Green Spoon owner Katie Gonzalez. “My mom asked ‘Do you think you have too many seats?’”
“I turns out one block over and one block north was a huge deal,” says Gonzalez.
The new name “Green Spoon” was birthed as many concepts are: in the shower or over alcohol. In this case, it was a few shots of Oban Scotch. It makes sense (the name, that is) because the spoon in Someone’s in the Kitchen, was green, and Green Spoon is a departure from greasy spoon. The restaurant has an extensive selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options trending on locally sourced ingredients, and there’s no deep fryer.
Gonzales and Soto transformed the once controversial marble-clad storefront into a fresh, fashionable eatery with plenty of cheery green, and expanded the menu. But when Soto decided to relocate to Bend last August, Gonzalez found herself in a bit of a pickle.
“I didn’t come into this with restaurant experience,” Katie admits. “Eating in them? Yes. Owning and running one?” She gives a look that reads are you kidding me?
Her choice was to step away or step up. Walking away may have been the easier choice for someone who never intended to run a restaurant solo (if at all), but fortunately for Walla Walla, Gonzalez was game on.
Gonzalez bought herself a drill for Christmas (in a green bag) and in January, she put in a bar – I like to call it the cute little bar – and not surprisingly, it’s green. She has since developed a creative cocktail menu with names like Toes in the Sand, Paper Airplane and Henry Miller. And, as if just for me (or the server Cody), the Sarah Jessica Parker. The drink allows me to live vicariously through the iconic Carrie Bradshaw of HBO series Sex and the City, who wrote an irreverent column for a New York City newspaper once a week and managed to afford a cool apartment in the city and cocktailing on a daily basis in designer clothes and shoes.
It has been hard for me to develop a favorite meal, because the menu is so varied. The half sandwich/soup or salad combo is a go-to. I typically combine the decadent Rachel – a sandwich with turkey, havarti, creamy slaw and Russian dressing – with the signature Green Spoon Chop – a yummy blend of romaine, garbanzo beans, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, salami and mozzarella tossed in a creamy Italian dressing with a sniggle of parmesan and basil.
When I’m feeling Humboldt County – think Julia Butterfly sitting in the redwood tree (Google it for a good story) – I order the curry bowl with peanut curry, tofu, quinoa, and veggies (other options are available).
Green Spoon has some killer sauces and dressings that are available for purchase. The chipotle chicken sandwich, for example, has Papi Chulo’s sauce named after Katie’s grandfather.
Gonzalez also started dinners – Thursdays are BOGO (buy one, get one free) burger nights, including lamb and veggie options – a screamin’ deal, not to mention creative burger toppings (think sautéed mushrooms and blue cheese, fried egg and shredded beets). Friday is spaghetti night and Saturday is taco night. Gonzalez also plans to bring back brunch and add a happy hour; check Facebook or the website for updates.
With the weather warming up the Green Spoon patio is the perfect spot to nosh and people watch. Not surprisingly, the patio is pet-friendly – when Gonzalez isn’t stepping it up at the restaurant, she can be found outside with her adorable dog, Fiona, whose photo hangs to the right of the cute little bar.
13 E. Main St.
Downtown Walla Walla
Lunch: Mon-Sat, 11 am – 3 pm
Dinner: Thurs-Sat, 5 – 9 pm
brunch & happy hour coming soon