Where to have lunch. Some see it as a timeless dilemma, while others view it as an opportunity to be bold and try somewhere new.
Toyota Music Factory has three restaurants open now — and plenty more on the horizon — that are attuned to the lunch rush. Next time you need to be in and out while still enjoying a great meal, consider one of these three spots.
Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill
This Portland import is a major step up from your basic pub grub, with an abundance of healthy options rounding out the menu. Its lunch selections are vast, but hungry diners should definitely check out the green chili chicken sandwich, which is topped with roasted pasilla chilis, avocado, cilantro, jalapenos, pepper jack and cotija cheese, Napa slaw, and chipotle aioli on grilled ciabatta.
More in the mood for salad? Take your pick from the blackened salmon Caesar, grilled steak, Cobb, or roasted beet and grilled chicken. There's even a trendy ahi poke bowl, with sushi rice, avocado, carrots, cucumbers, pickled radish, fresh mango, daikon, nori, sesame seeds, Napa slaw, a ginger-soy glaze, and Thai peanut vinaigrette.
The Canadian fast-casual chain focuses on bowls, wraps, salads, burritos, juices, and smoothies, often with a seasonal twist. Right now the goodness includes the Good Roots, which combines kale, brown rice, sweet potato, goat cheese, beet slaw, dried cranberries, green apple, pumpkin seeds, and balsamic vinaigrette.
You can energize any meal with the addition of falafel, tofu, chicken or steak, and make kale or quinoa the base. Don't forget to grab some low-fat probiotic frozen yogurt to end lunch on a sweet note — you can choose from almonds, strawberries, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, green apple, honey, mango, or walnuts as your two toppings.
You might think this restaurant more of a happy-hour go-to, but flatbreads, sandwiches, burgers, and salads abound — a welcome sight for the hungry. Whether you want to chow down on a Voodoo sandwich (blackened chicken breast, pepper jack cheese, andouille sausage, sauteed peppers and onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo on a brioche bun, served with tots or fries) or the BLT wedge salad (iceberg lettuce, bacon, bruschetta tomatoes, green onion, egg, blue cheese crumbles, and blue cheese dressing), the options are seemingly endless.
Don't forget about an appetizer or two for the table. The Bavarian pretzel sticks (served with a trio of cinnamon butter, queso, and honey mustard) and the ginger sesame chicken lettuce wraps are eminently shareable.