My favorite kind of flower is the snapdragon. Growing up in my mother’s garden, she would walk me through her carefully curated plants telling me which were perennials and which were annuals, why certain beautiful buds were considered “weeds” and others worthwhile blossoms, and which flowers the bees would inevitably gravitate to (aka which to keep my distance from). When we came upon the snapdragon, my mom showed me their playful side, how you can gently pinch the base of each bud and the flower will open, like a dragon’s mouth. Since then, I have spent time exploring the floral world, falling in love with tulips after visiting Amsterdam, discovering dahlias at the farmers’ market during college and walking under endless cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin in DC. Though snapdragons will forever be my favorite, the sight and smell of all flowers will inevitably bring me happiness, knowing spring is here and beauty is again in bloom.
All these poetic words aside, let’s talk business. Spring has sprung, and with it Pleasant Pops is excited to introduce our new lunch and dinner menu. The hot sandwich press is gone and the soup warmer is in hibernation until the fall, leaving room for delicious fresh ingredients. While keeping some favorites on the board for now (like the Egg Salad Sandwich and the Dijon Sprout Salad), we have a new soup, two new salads and four new sandwiches for you to try.
Firstly, our chilled Gazpacho is reliably refreshing and the perfect mid-afternoon snack. Made with tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, garlic and olive oil, the vegetables are blended until they’re nearly smooth and then topped with homemade, crunchy za’atar croutons. As a vegan option (and one easily made gluten free without the croutons), our gazpacho is worth a try. Our two new salads are improved versions on items we served last summer. The Strawberry-Mint Salad is made on a bed of spinach and topped with diced strawberries that have been infused with fresh mint. With a sprinkle of sliced almonds and a scoop of goat cheese, the salad is topped with a poppyseed champagne vinaigrette. The Quinoa Black Bean Salad brings an almost tex-mex taste to our menu. On top of a spinach base is a giant scoop of black bean salsa, diced avocado, chopped red pepper, shredded white cheddar cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Both salads are healthy and satisfying, both gluten free and easily made vegan.
With four new sandwiches on our menu, we’ve created something for every pallet. The Pimento Cheese Sandwich is served on toasted sourdough bread and has our homemade pimento cheese topped with slices of fresh tomatoes. Pimento cheese, the southern delicacy, is made of shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and peppers and is summertime’s answer to the grilled cheese. Next, the Red Pepper Hummus Sandwich is perhaps the most complex of all the new items on our menu. On a toasted ciabatta loaf, we spread garlic hummus on one side and a feta spread on the other. With thinly sliced red peppers, some avocado, a handful of spinach and a bit of arugula, this is a vegetarian’s dream. For those of you who love mushrooms, let me introduce the Mushroom Reuben Sandwich: roasted mushrooms, melted swiss cheese and our housemade thousand-island slaw on top of toasted rye bread. Finally, the Caprese Sandwich is a familiar item. On toasted ciabatta we use our homemade walnut pesto, fresh mozzarella cheese and slices of fresh tomato and finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
Every new spring menu item has been carefully concocted based on what’s in season, what we think will be delicious, and the kinds of food you, our loyal customers, keep coming back for month after month. Let us know what you like, what you miss (I know, the Avocado Sprout Sandwich and the Fall Salad…) and what you’ll want to see from our menu in the future!