How 'Bout Them Knockers: Greenz

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Each week in 'Knockers' we order from a different delivery restaurant, assessing their efficiency and keeping a running score.

Greenz
2808 McKinney Avenue, Suite 109
Dallas, TX 75204
214-720-7788

Promised delivery time: 30 minutes
Actual delivery time: 15 minutes

Scoring summary:
Using Google Maps to locate restaurant delivery near the office: 15
Being on a diet and realizing that most of these places don't deliver "healthy" options: -10
Finding a restaurant that specialized in salads AND delivers: 20
Wide salad menu selection for both herbivores and carnivores: 20
Having more than just salads (soups, apps, kids stuff): 20
Not being able to order just a salad for delivery because of the $15 delivery minimum: -10
What you see (menu photos) is not what you get: -10
Getting your food in HALF the time promised: 25
Lackluster starter item both in packaging and flavor: -15
Out of this world salad entree: 25

Total Score: 80

2010 Standings (So Far)
Hong Kong Express 82
Greenz 80
Sal's Pizza 74
Thai 2 Go 72
Chili's 68

See complete 2008-2010 standings here

In my past experience with "Knockers," finding some that I haven't already reviewed or has already been reviewed (recently) by someone else was getting more and more challenging. Fortunately, this time around, I have the task of searching for some knockers to deliver deliciousness to my home away from home, the office. Out of context, it sounds like an actionable offense, but in this case, if what's promised tastes as good as the photos look online, I might become a repeat offender.

Having something delivered just for moi here at City of Ate HQ was a first for me, as well as a first for ordering a SALAD to be delivered. A salad? Did anyone actually deliver those? One that's worth a damn? Enter Greenz ("Salads for Z' adventurous").

Using the ever-trusted Google Maps to locate "restaurant delivery" near HQ was brilliant. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to find diet-friendly fare that would actually deliver (like a salad), but lo and behold, the search results yielded Greenz just down the way over on McKinney Avenue. Upon visiting their website, I was reminded of the exterior of their joint and was at least familiar with it by that measure, having at least seen it before. It always seemed to be a place that I probably wouldn't ever visit myself, just not my style (no offense), but on screen, the spread looked and sounded promising, "At Greenz, we create unique, innovative salads using the freshest ingredients combined in the most distinctive ways to please everyone from the devout vegetarian to the diehard meat-eater." Interesting.

The menu offers quite a healthy list (both in quantity and quality) of selections, including soups, veggie-only salads, meatier salads, items for the kids, and starters. The apps menu was a plus considering that their meatier salads were priced pretty reasonably but delivery required a $15 minimum order. To fulfill this requirement, the notion of Panko Shrimp Skewers with a spicy lemon grass dipping sauce sounded like a nice way to start off, as well as actually getting my food to me. Being a big fan of shrimp in any form, I thought I would continue the theme into the main dish with the Grilled Southwestern Shrimp salad (also designated as a heart-healthy item, going as far as being "certified" by Medical City Heart on the online menu).

The ordering experience over the phone was clear, pleasant, and to the point -- always appreciated when I summon knockers. They politely promised my certified crustaceans would arrive in 30 minutes. A quick 15 minutes later, it was time to dig in. Wonderful! I could tell that the knocker herself could see how happy I was to receive this order exceptionally early, and she handed me my lunch with the same smile the plastic bag it came in had emblazoned upon it. Thank you, I think I will "have a nice day" today.

To start, the Panko Shrimp Skewers didn't look impressive at all, the 6 of them appearing to have had a rough and tumble trip over. Sliding around loose in the clear plastic box they came in (the same kind of container used for the salad), a lot of their breading had flaked off as they collided with each other and the container of dipping sauce also along for the ride. I blame poor packaging, not to mention overkill in terms of the size for such a small order. Seeing that presentation isn't a priority for their food, Greenz could stand to use a much smaller means of transportation for this item. Regardless, it's the taste that matters. Yet in this case, all the flavor came in the little cup of lemon grass dipping sauce. Trying a couple of the skewers sans sauce offered nothing by empty crunch on a stick. Without any spice of their own, the panko crust was indeed light and crisp as one would expect from such breading, but not even the jumbo shrimp it coated had any noticeable flavor of any kind. The sauce was an absolute must to consume this starter, but I'm of the contention that it such an item should be able to stand alone, sauce be damned. At least the jumbo decapods were in fact jumbo in size, and not fishy, just rubbery and neutral. Disappointed in my first foray into my shrimpy lunch, I hoped that the Southwestern styled crustaceans would not fail me.

The salad itself looked a lot better than the skewers did in the same container, almost over-flowing, a decently generous portion with plenty of gorgeous grilled shrimp strewn through out. I had to taste one solo before I introduced the cilantro-lime vinaigrette dressing. Moist and delectably coated in a spicy tomatillo-jicama relish, the sensation was both hearty and delicate. Hints of smoky grilling with the spice of the relish was a great combination, a vast improvement of flavor over their panko-coated cousins. Adding the vinaigrette took everything to a whole other level of yum.

Diced Roma tomatoes on a crisp bed of spinach and romaine leaves made the perfect stage for the shrimp and dressing to dance on, all topped with bright orange sweet potato straws, light an crunchy. All very fresh, all very flavorful, the combination of the relish with the cilantro-lime vinaigrette just made me dread reaching the end of road with this meal. The spiciness and kick of the tomatillo-jicama-cilantro-lime union beautifully complemented the lightly charred smokey shrimp. Impressive and formidable flavors one wouldn't typically expect out of a mostly green salad. Being good never tasted so good.

In the end, I've nearly forgotten all about skewers, for I found myself lamenting over the conclusion of such a delicious main entree. Oh the flavor! Admittedly, experiences like this tend to be from more "sinful" foods and not typically by the likes of a salad. This particular experience was out of this world, and I can safely say that this dieter will definitely be calling Greenz for another salad encounter of "Z' adventurous" kind.

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