Healthy Eats Done Right at Greenhouse Manchester
Story and photos By Stacy Milbouer
Fiddlehead Contributing Editor
Necessity is not only the mother of invention, but it was the inspiration for one of the city’s newest eateries — the Greenhouse Manchester, which opened this spring.
“When we were building Cheddar and Rye whiskey bar (on Hanover Street in Manchester), we would work hard and need something to eat,” said owner Andrew Thistle. “But we were eating fried food and pizza and afterward felt weighed down and tired and didn’t really feel like working.
“We wanted to eat something hearty and healthy to give us the energy to work, and that was something we couldn’t find near us.”
So, Thistle created a restaurant that was exactly that and opened the Greenhouse Manchester literally next door to Cheddar and Rye. In fact, the two establishments share a kitchen. The small counter-service eatery has a small but specialized menu of quick, affordable and healthy meals, which fit a variety of dietary needs.
Those include rice and grain bowls ($8.95), smoothies ($7-$8) and toast selections ($5), which are primarily vegan- and vegetarian-based with the option to add proteins like ahi tuna or eggs if a customer chooses.
The bowl options — like rice noodles with edamame, cabbage, carrot, mushroom, tofu and a pork lager broth or the rice and quinoa bowl with sweet potato, beets, corn, black beans and a chipotle barbecue sauce — are hearty helpings served in huge vessels. For extra charges (which vary due to market prices) pulled chicken, boiled egg, ahi tuna, salmon, tofu, sunflower seeds and avocado can be added.
The toast dishes, like House Toast with black sesame hummus and avocado or the 5-Grain Toast with sweet potato sauce and sunflower seeds, are enough to keep you going all day. That’s especially true if accompanied by a smoothie like the Pick-Me-Up, made with banana, peanut butter, coffee, oats, milk and yogurt, or the meal-in-a-glass Banana-Nutella smoothie with cold brewed coffee and maple.
Smoothie add-ons include spirulina, hemp protein, quinoa, oats, peanut butter and bee pollen.
The eatery on the corner of (889) Elm and Hanover Streets, looks just like what you’d think a healthy food café would look like. There are green mosaic dining islands, high-top window seating, wooden floors, lush greenery, whimsical garden statuary and lots and lots of natural light.
That’s not a coincidence.
“We’re very concept-oriented,” said Thistle, 35, who was trained in the hospitality business at Les Roches in Switzerland and has been in the food business for 20 years. “A good chef can make good food. But you have to be able to create an environment to draw people in to taste that good food. Next door at Cheddar and Rye it’s the same thing. It’s the concept of a Kentucky whiskey bar.
“We are a welcoming place,” said Thistle. “We take pride in the diverse culture we live in. We want a place that people of all cultures and backgrounds and ethnicities want to eat and feel comfortable going to.”
While Thistle has traveled across the country and around the world for his work in the food industry, he’s from and lives in New Hampshire.
“When I was a kid growing up in a family without a lot of money, I couldn’t try a huge variety of food. But now I want to allow everybody to have the experiences I’ve had because of my career,” he said. “People don’t go into the restaurant business to get rich. We go into it because we have a passion for food, and I want as many people as possible to share in that passion.”
For more information, call 232-3872 or visit greenhousemanchester.com.