RGJ article – Organic Ingredients

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THE PLACE: Great Full Gardens is located at the end of a strip of businesses in the Reno Midtown district on Virginia Street. On a recent warm and sunny fall afternoon, the restaurant is overflowing with people with many of them sitting at tables outside. The parking lot runs adjacent to the building and offers limited parking during busy peak times at the restaurant, which includes my lunch hour visit.

THE LOOK: The inside of the restaurant bursts with life, color and what reminds me of a vegetable patch. There are paintings and murals along the walls and small details fill the space, from the spoons that accompany the homemade soups to the water carafes. The restaurant also is filled with light that streams in from the windows that line its front walls.

You also can see into the kitchen and watch as your meal is prepared. The servers are friendly and patient, especially when you’re talking too much with a friend to look at what you want to eat.

THE MEAL: My companion and I share the homemade hummus platter presented with a good portion of creamy hummus surrounded by carrots, celery, pea sprouts and naan ($6.99) and decide on bowls of the Krazy Kale Lentil Soup ($4.50).

The soup is outstanding. Served in a large bowl with a side of bread, the soup features kale and lentils covered in a fragrant vegetable broth seasoned with soy sauce, curry, cumin and turmeric. The combo of both is an ideal meal to nibble and sip on over good conversation.

KUDOS: There is immense thought and care put into the food. Whether it’s grown organically, is gluten-free or offers a mix of natural ingredients, the restaurant strives to offer the freshest and best combination of ingredients they can. It’s refreshing to find a place in Reno that focuses on its diner’s preferences first while being conscientious about the environment.

QUIBBLES: All the desserts look incredible. The only gripe is the food is so filling it’s hard to either have room to order one, or finish one once ordered.

ALTERNATIVES: The whole of the menu is focused on the vegan and vegetarian diners; however, there is a handful of menu items with meat, including tuna, chicken, turkey, ham, bacon and salmon including salads, sandwiches and breakfast items.

RETURN TRIP?: There are a variety of things I really want to try off the menu. First up will be a new soup. Owner Gino Scali, or “Gino the Soupman,” has 17 different soup recipes offered on various days at Great Full Gardens. It would also be worth it to have the Great Full Pizza or one of their pastas. Tomorrow, perhaps?