Greenleaf: a decent lunchtime haunt 

I'd read about Greenleaf Sandwich and Bubble Tea in Avon from a single five-star rating on Yelp. Boredom and hunger will make a woman go far: The place isn't exactly a destination restaurant.

That's not to say that it isn't good. It's just more like a quick, neighborhood eatery with a twist.

It's set up inside the shell of a former Quiznos, and still not too far removed from that prototypical setup. It uses the eatery's chairs, tables and Q-circled "open" sign out front, all in shades of Italia's flag. I think they may have even kept the same chip and drinks offerings in front of the food-making station, which gets confusing: You expect to build your order on one end of the line and pay right after, but our "server" behind the counter said we could even up on the way out.

But even Quiznos wouldn't part with a sandwich for just $3.85, the price for the Asian-flavored shredded chicken sandwich. This was a long, halved sandwich filled with julienned carrots, jalapenos, cilantro and a mysterious aioli-like sauce that was a bit hard and yellow. It was a little dry, but palatable.

The rest of the menu is an American-Vietnamese hybrid, including spring rolls, bubble tea, pork dishes and pho.

I ordered a taro bubble tea ($3ish). Now, I'm not typically going to Avon for Bubble Tea. No way, when Taiwan Teahouse is far enough on 86th street from where I live in Central Indianapolis. Teahouse bubble teas also seem frothier, likely because they blend their fresh flavors with ice. At Greenleaf, they use a non-dairy creamer flavored powder, which they simply mix with water.

Still, I sucked it down, filling my belly to the brink with liquid before even touching my soup. I had ordered the combination pho ($6.50) with flank steak, beef ball and eye of round steak. Next time I will order mine without that gelatinous boiled beef ball. Some will appreciate it, but its rubbery texture is not for me. The other cuts of meat had a delicate but robust flavor, belied by their grayish hues.

The meat didn't originally meld with the rest of the soup. The bowl had very separate, subtle flavors: thinnish, hot broth, that was just starting to pick up heat from the jalapenos; clean tastes of mint and cilantro delivered plateside; and neutral, slightly underdone oodles of rice noodles. But the more everything steeped, the more it came together. So order some spring rolls first.

Some things at Greenleaf underwhelmed, but the pho was enough to bring me back.

Food: 3 stars

Service: 3.5 stars
Ambience: 2 stars

Green Leaf Sandwich & Bubble Tea

10240 U.S. 36 Avon, IN 46123-7769

(317) 271-2288

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Jennifer Litz

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