Second week of healthy eating and we’re still going strong! Although, it feels like we may be cheating because our path to a healthy January has led us to some yummy and fulfilling eateries in our area. This week’s stop at The Green Owl Deli is a perfect example of that.
Nestled between one of McAllen’s now typical plazas on North 10th Street, The Green Owl Deli is a perfect location for anyone dabbing in health-conscious foods. Don’t worry if this is your first time ever stepping into an environment like this, their warm and friendly decor and staff are sure to make you feel comfortable.
Walking into the The Green Owl Deli is like stepping into a Brothers Grimm fairytale setting. Large trees with strings of Christmas lights set the mood, while cozy nooks and pillows give you a sense of familiarity. Did we mention that right by the cash register there is a cookie tree? Yes, ladies and gents, you read correctly, a COOKIE tree. Dozens, of what appeared to be chocolate chip cookies, hung from a small tree to tempt us as we approached the counter. You might be thinking to yourself, “Gaby and Trisha LIES! Cookies?! How can I eat cookies if I’m eating healthy?” As you may have figured out, these particular cookies, like many of their other snacks, are gluten-free and vegan friendly. Don’t let words like these discourage you from ordering. They are incredibly delicious.
Almost immediately after being greeted and asked whether we were dining in or ordering out, and right as we sat down, a group of young, fearless (and way too chirpy for a Saturday morning) group of adorable Girl Scouts came rushing through the door. Is Girl Scout Cookie season purposely planned at this time of year? Hmmm...definitely some food for thought.
As soon as the tiny troop came up to our table, they whipped out a homemade cookie list made out of cardboard, presented their box of goodies, and proceeded to ask how many we would like to purchase. Before we could say, “Sorry, we don’t have any cash,” they pulled out a credit card reader, like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat, and exclaimed, “We take credit!” Did we just get hustled by a group of 8-year-old girls? Gotta love girls with gumption!
When the owner of The Green Owl Deli heard the commotion, she came out from the back to see what was happening. She, too, ended up buying cookies from the persuasive troop.
*Side Note: We’re well aware of the health kick we’re currently on, so please note that our cookie purchases were strictly made in efforts to support our local Girl Scouts and reward ourselves once this month is up. (wink)
As we skimmed through our menus, we noticed a flyer on our table that read, “Receive a free cup of lentil or vegetable soup when you check in on Facebook!” Since we’re suckers for free stuff, we checked in right away and our soups were presented to us in an instant, along with our drink orders, two unsweetened Hibiscus Teas and an Arnold Palmer.
Just like our previous visit to another “healthy” eatery, we were pleasantly surprised at the variety of dishes offered on the menu. Besides your typical salads and cold-pressed juices, The Green Owl Deli has Chicken Enmoladas, Chile en Nogada, Lasagna and Stuffed Avocados, just to name a few. There is also a vast section dedicated to vegan-friendly dining options.
Gaby: I can’t believe all of this is “healthy”. I had mentally prepared myself to eat raw veggies and some lettuce leaves. But when in Rome...I can’t believe I am saying this...I’ll have the Chicken Chilaquiles!
Trisha: Chilaquiles? Yum! Wait..NO...I’m going to take one for the team, go the extra “healthy” mile and order a low-carb meal. This Grape Chicken Salad on a bed of spring mix with avocado, strawberries, walnuts and The Green Owl Deli’s house dressing should do the trick.
Server: And what would you like Miss?
Our brave friend (brave for dining out with us) kept looking at the menu. A somewhat unsure look fell on her face as she uttered her choice of nourishment.
Friend: Yes, I will have the Enchiladas Sucias.
Trisha: Gaby and I looked at each other with a confused look before simultaneously breaking out into laughter. I finally asked, “Don’t you mean Enchiladas Suizas???”
Friend: Uhhhh, yeah, isn’t that what I just said?
Gaby: Sir, she’ll take the dirtiest Enchiladas you have!
We ALL started cracking up at that point. If laughter truly burns calories, it’s safe to say we earned dessert in those few minutes of hysterics.
Our plates arrived and we were delighted to see the abundance of food each had. These girls weren’t going to starve any time soon. The Grape Chicken Salad was beautifully dressed with greens and tasted slightly different (but in a good way) to other similar salads around town. We concluded it had a yogurt base which made it fluffier but kept it’s usual creamy consistency.
The Chicken Chilaquiles were topped off with a spicy green salsa and fresh mozzarella. The usage of baked crunchy tortillas kept this favorite Mexican breakfast on the lighter side. The Enchiladas Suizas were like a remix of the Chillaquiles, except that instead of pieces, whole tortillas were used in the process. Both were undeniably delicious.
Make sure to check out The Green Owl Deli located at 2901 N. 10th Street, Suite G, McAllen, TX 78501 Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. or Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You can reach them at (956) 800-4616 or follow them on their social media platforms @GreenOwlDeli.
Gaby Jones and Trisha Watts work hand-in-hand with the service industry. Jones is in charge of craft and imported beer for L&F Distributors and Watts is the communications director for Visit McAllen. Each week they will have a new adventure and provide an opinion on various locations throughout the Rio Grande Valley.