Chef John Robinson emphasizes fresh ingredients and attentive cooking.
University of Minnesota students and staff -- and Gophers football fans -- listen up: There's a notable new dining option near TCF Bank Stadium.
At first glance, Green Spoon appears to stick to a fairly familiar format: waffles, French toast, omelets and pancakes in the a.m., followed by wraps, panini, salads, sandwiches and a sampling of entrees (a puff pastry chicken pot pie, beer-battered fish and chips) for the rest of the day.
But chef John Robinson distinguishes himself by emphasizing fresh ingredients and attentive cooking. It's the kind of place where a chicken Caesar wrap makes a favorable impression, and an imaginative soup has the ability to bowl a diner over. This one, anyway.
There's also an occasional flash of a Korean accent -- a layer of tangy kimchi in a pulled pork sandwich, bulgogi-style beef in a Philly-style steak sandwich -- a welcome influence, no doubt, from owner Jinsoo Park.
Robinson keeps prices affordable for the student-loan crowd -- breakfast can be had for $5, sandwiches run $7 or $8, and the top entree price is $12 -- and portions are more than generous.
Pastry chef Stacy Stapleton fills her display case with an ever-changing variety of cakes, cookies, scones, muffins and sweet buns. There's a modest beer and wine selection, the young counter-service staff is all smiles and the stylish setting could double as an Ikea showroom.