West Oak Lane: New Eco-Friendly Restaurant Offers Quick and Healthy Options

Repeat customer Troy White ordered a Mango Jerk Salmon Salad for the second time. He said it's the best salad he has ever eaten.

Four months ago, brothers Benjamin and Robert Bynum opened up Green Soul, their third and newest restaurant.

Repeat customer Troy White ordered a Mango Jerk Salmon Salad for the second time. He said it's the best salad he has ever eaten.

Rather than serving the Southern comfort food cooked up at their restaurant Relish, found just across the street, Green Soul caters to those who want healthy options on the go.

“Today, the trends towards healthier eating are certainly important,” Bynum said. “In this community in particular, there weren’t a lot of places with food geared towards this.”

Located at 7169 Ogontz Ave., the small restaurant offers a wide variety of options.

“We’re not serving bland food or soy cheese. We really just want to expose folks to other options that are both enjoyable and good for you,” Bynum said. “If you’ve gone to health food places and you try their food, it can be like a rice cake, like chewing styrofoam. In lieu of that, we try to offer options that people will want to come back for.”

The menu lists an array of soups, salads, sandwiches and agave-sweetened sodas. The most popular item on the menu is Green Soul’s Cajun Salmon BLT, featuring their spiced salmon, turkey bacon and Cajun mayonnaise.

The Bynum brothers designed the menu with a lean focus in mind. Turkey replaces the traditional fatty meats like beef and pork found on most takeout menus, agave syrup is used in exchange for sugar, and the mayonnaise is constructed from an oil-base.

“I enjoyed the food so much last time, and the prices are good,” said customer Leslie Fletcher who ordered the Cajun Salmon BLT because she wanted a protein-centered lunch. “The ambiance is nice, and it’s just a good overall experience.”

All of the food served is free of antibiotics and pesticides, with the majority of it sourced from local farmers.

“We need to think about sustainability. We need to think about the environment,” Bynum said. “There’s not too many tractor trailers driving to get the food across the country to here.”

While the restaurant serves primarily takeout customers, the renovated atmosphere provides seven tables that are frequently occupied. The tables were made from reclaimed wood, along with the trim that lines the front of the food prep area. The wooden menu signs hanging on the back wall were all made from wood recycled from imported coffee bean boxes.

With so many other fast food options in the area, Bynum said healthier options like the Green Soul are important.

“Obesity is extreme in our community right now, and we’re starting to see a situation where people are graduating towards better food,” Bynum said.


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