by Zane Grenoble ’19
Customers walk through the sleek glass doors and they are welcomed by an inviting ambience and the aroma of various dishes. Chatter fills the air. Customers dine at rustic wooden tables. Cooking utensils line the walls and the exposed ceiling adds to the homey feel. Diners can sit at the communal table surrounding the fire pit on winter nights. Urban Plate (UP) currently has five restaurants and plans to open four more this year. The chain differentiates themselves from competitors Lemonade and Greens Up by offering more meal oriented plates.
As patrons enter the line, a friendly hostess explains how the upscale cafeteria-style restaurant functions. Customers line up at the different stations to order meats and sides, salads, soups and pizzas.
UP offers massive salads. The grilled steak salad consists of a pineapple-mango salsa, jicama, mint and coconut roasted cashews. The mild jalapeño mint dressing tops off the flavorful dish. The cashews create a crunchy contrast and mango cuts the spice of the jalapeño.
Entrees come with two sides. The steak is very tender and cooked to medium rare. Any of the salad dressings can be drizzled on top of the different meats. The buttery albacore served rare pairs perfectly with the jalapeño mint dressing. The roasted fingerling potatoes are well seasoned with rosemary, salt and pepper. The harissa (a Mediterranean spice) zucchini and cauliflower has a spicy kick.
As patrons near the register, they can choose from delicious drinks and desserts. The cactus pear, mint and jalapeño lemonade is one of the most popular drinks. The concoction mixes spicy, sweet and tangy flavors all in one. Customers can also choose from the 24 desserts. The chocolate macaroons are delightfully chewy with a nice contrast between the coconut and rich dark chocolate.
UP is a great restaurant to visit with friends and family because it offers a wide variety of healthy, fast and well-priced meals. Dishes range from $15 to $20 per person. Urban Plate lives up to their mission statement: “We are passionate about changing the way the world eats, by making fresh, wholesome and delicious food that is affordable and accessible to everyone.”