Located inside the nondescript City Center Plaza East, the Green Gecko is potentially easy to overlook, but definitely worth seeking out. The two-year-old cafe calls to mind the deli counter of a high-end natural-foods grocery store, minus the grocery store. Executive chef and owner Bob Wall is usually on-site making all the food from scratch using locally sourced organic ingredients and happily serving samples of nearly 100 different artisanal cheeses. The 12-inch pizzas ($9) go above and beyond traditional pepperoni and sausage into delicious variations like smoked duck breast with buttermilk blue cheese. Tapas options include baked local ham and Gruyere, Spanish garlic mushrooms and smoked oysters, all sold by piece ($1), ramekin ($3), six pieces ($5 to $7) or plate ($9).
Poultry is all cage-free vegetarian chicken, and the freezer is stocked with local grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, elk and bison that customers can purchase to take home. Even the pastries are made with whole grains. There's a microbrew selection for carry out, and a dozen wines are available by the glass ($5 to $10) for customers who want to pull up a chair to the lunch counter or grab a small table near the mall escalators.