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Restaurant Review
Green Market Cafe
3150 Tampa Rd #1
Oldsmar, FL 34677
(727) 787-5494
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Date of Visit: 06/19/2014

Green Market Café, located on busy Hwy 19 in Oldsmar, is a local eatery serving salads, wraps, soups, and sandwiches. The café has expanded to include 2 other locations, including one in Clearwater’s Countryside Mall and a newer location on Gulf to Bay Ave in Clearwater. It appears that this restaurant is trying to turn itself into a popular chain such as Panera Bread (as evidenced by the “Pick Any Two” on their menu).

I personally do not see what the locals see in this bland, overpriced restaurant. The food is mediocre, flavorless, and overpriced. The service is extremely poor. Despite the café’s attempt to be the next causal chain, the service, food, and atmosphere are severely lacking.

Food

Green Market Cafe Food PreviewGreen Market Cafe Food Preview

Green Market Cafe's menu included a selection of: salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads, and rice bowls.

There are a few gluten-free and vegan options on the menu, however, most guests would not know this as the menu is not clearly marked. This is a problem which can easily be solved by making a few changes on the website and in-store menu.

Having to ask questions about ingredients in a busy café is both inconvenient and awkward for guests.

No gluten-free wraps are available, which leads you with a few salad options. Numerous menu items can be made dairy-free by omitting the cheese and substituting the dressing.

A free small cup of frozen yogurt is offered with each meal, although I cannot comment on the quality as I do not eat dairy. It seemed to be pretty popular with other guests.

The food was mediocre at best. The Veggie Bowl, which included: black beans, brown rice, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers was not very good. In fact, it was completely bland.

The Burrito Bowl, which included chicken, black beans, corn, red onions, salsa, and peppers wasn't any better. Add in that they messed up the order not once, but twice! More on that later...

When we requested hot sauce to spice it up, we were surprised to find out they didn’t carry any. I don’t know any restaurant which service rice bowls that does not carry hot sauce.

Menu items are drastically overpriced for the quality. A simple bowl of rice, beans, and a few veggies is priced at $8. Substituting avocado for cheese cost us an extra $1.50.

To pay almost $10 for a dish that would cost less than $5 at home just isn’t worth the trouble of driving over. Add to that, bad service and an unappealing atmosphere, and you have the recipe for a disappointing, overpriced disaster.

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Service

I was extremely dissatisfied with the service at Green Market Café. Staff was unfamiliar with any of the ingredients on their menu. They were unable to answer simple questions about allergens contained in various menu items. In addition, the menu itself provided little information on allergens. Besides listing gluten-free salad dressings, there was no further allergen information to be found. A full dairy free and gluten-free list of selections would have been helpful.

The kitchen staff was disorganized. Staff had to inquire about several ingredients for both our Veggie and Burrito Bowls as they didn’t know themselves. The Burrito Bowl came out with cheese on it, despite the fact that we specifically requested no cheese and avocado as a replacement.

After a replacement was brought out, we noticed that the avocado still had cheese on it, which basically means that they took the same avocado and placed it on another bowl. To mess up 2 times in a row is a definite no-no.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere here is very noisy and the design basically non-existent. Green Market Café features a very bland layout, resembling a plain chain such as Subway. There are a few outdoor tables, although the combination of boring views and brutally hot weather, leads to a less than desirable experience. As a plus, it is much less noisy that the indoor seating area.

Restaurant Photo

Final Remarks

Green Market Café would not be my first choice in the area. There are plenty of other great restaurants with better food, better service, and a more local vibe. Save money and make your own bowl or salad at home without going through the hassle of attempting to enjoy your meal here.

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