When they received the call from chef-proprietor Justin Thompson, chef Neil Trumpy and catering manager Heather Dusenberry had nine days to open a brand-new restaurant at Guthrie Green to be called Green-Wich Sammie Shop & Market.
“I was having dinner with friends, and I get a call from Justin,” Dusenberry said. “He asked me what I thought about his idea to take over the Guthrie Green spot. I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”
Dusenberry is manager at 624 Catering, part of the Justin Thompson Restaurant Group that also operates PRHYME Downtown Steakhouse, Juniper, MixCo, Tavolo: An Italian Bistro and the recently acquired Farrell Family Bread.
“I was head chef at Juniper, and Justin recently asked me to take a new position of corporate chef,” Trumpy said. “He asked me to do this, to do that, and oh, by the way, we’re opening a new restaurant. He already had envisioned the menu he wanted at Green-Wich, and it was up to me to execute it.”
The Guthrie Green restaurant space originally was operated by Lucky’s. Mr. Nice Guys followed before recently moving to the new Mother Road Market.
“According to our agreement with Guthrie Green, we had nine days after we got the keys to get the new restaurant open,” Dusenberry said. “Neil and I stayed pretty busy over those nine days. The basic idea was to make this a family friendly place.”
That accounts for the children’s grilled cheese sandwich and the regular mac and cheese dish. Big kids might like the chili mac, regular grilled cheese and the loaded mac and cheese.
We decided to try the less cheesy portions of the menu during a recent visit. The menu is relatively small — one soup, chili, three salads, four sandwiches, a burger and the cheese items — but based on the dishes we tried, each was well-crafted and packed a lot of flavor.
The Burger on the Green ($10) had a rather thin patty topped with guacamole, mixed greens (spinach and frisée), bright-red tomato, pepperjack cheese and green chili aioli on a brioche bun. The flavors melded beautifully.
We also had the Italian Melty Sammie ($9) that was stacked with prosciutto, salami, pepperoncini, olives, tomato, mozzarella, provolone and spicy marinara on toasted Tuscan bread. The marinara complemented and did not overpower the other flavors of this sandwich.
Other sandwich choices included a Rise & Shine, a breakfast sandwich; a pizza melt and a herb chicken sandwich.
My wife decided we needed to eat something healthful at least once during the holiday season, and All The Roughage salad ($8) had the right ring to it. Turned out, it was delicious. The chopped salad included broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, carrots, feta cheese and pepitas in a Parmesan peppercorn dressing.
Butternut squash soup ($6) topped with pecorino Romano cheese and focaccia croutons was thick and flavorful, and the beef and bison chili ($6) was as meaty as a chili can get, a little spicy and topped with sour cream, white cheddar and chopped green onions. Either could be the main course of a dinner for me.
Hot cocoa has been a popular drink option during Green-Wich’s first month, and proprietary wines, local beers and cocktails made with Oklahoma spirits will be available soon.
A display case included some grab-and-go items, such as pesto pasta salad, marinated olives salad, cheese board, pimento cheese and roughage slaw. Cookies, brownies and pecan bars were provided by Farrell Family Bread.
Christmas boxes filled with suckers were on each table, and I assume they were available for kids of all ages.
I noticed the napkins and utensils are compostable. Sandwiches come wrapped in green-and-white checked paper, and salads are served in plastic boxes.
“Everything is designed for carryout,” Dusenberry said.
The dining room and exterior window paintings currently have Christmas themes. The glass walls leading to the park and patio areas can be opened in good weather. The carpeted dining room has nine tables with surprisingly comfortable wooden chairs, and plenty more dining space is available on the patio.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday and during events. Hours might be adjusted seasonally as we move into winter.
“This has been a lot of fun,” Trumpy said. “I’m super excited, and we want to be here for a long time.”