The deli chicken isn’t what made it stand out. It was the Dassi Farm tomatoes that brought it home.
I was cruising through Encinitas, and the words “organic café” caught my eye. I pulled over and parked, and before long I was noshing on a grilled chicken pesto sandwich on a casual patio, trading smiles and nods with a healthy bunch of yogis, surfers, and triathletes.
Okay, to the cynical among us, I sound like a So Cal stereotype. And I may be. But that doesn’t take away from what proved to be an excellent sandwich.
Only the word “organic” reveals the ethos within
I’d never heard anything about Goodonya before dropping in, and if not for the word organic I might never have visited. The boxy blue storefront doesn’t mention that the place also boasts locovore appeal. A chalkboard to the left of the café counter enumerates the ingredients sourced nearby: coffee roasted by Café Moto, bread baked by Prager Brothers in Carlsbad, and tomatoes and cucumbers grown in Leucadia at Dassi Family Farm.
I tried the cucumbers, part of a cashew-and-herb dip I ordered as a side dish for $3. While the skinny cucumber slices were fresh, the hummus-like dip itself proved forgettable — the sort of dish naysayers might invoke when bashing vegan dishes.
Of course the locally sourced, organic Encinitas café offers vegan as well as gluten-free options for many of its dishes.
1051 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
As for the sandwich, the shaved deli chicken isn’t what made it stand out. It was the Dassi Farm tomatoes. They provided a rich umami flavor, the ideal match for a verdant house-made pesto. The buttery, grilled Prager sourdough also served the sandwich well, the whole thing filled out with a healthy wad of baby spinach and melted jack cheese. I could eat like this every day and walk away mighty pleased with myself, especially with a surfboard strapped to the roof of my car.
Goodonya offers a playful name, making it easy to joke about self-congratulatory left-coast eating habits. But I do believe in efforts to source ingredients sustainably, even if it means a small grilled sandwich runs 11 bucks without any sides. Not only because I appreciate the nutritional benefits, but because it often tastes better than anything made or grown at a mass market scale.
Plus, even if you haven’t kept up with your yoga practice, patting yourself on the back is a lot easier when you’ve got a healthy meal in your belly.