On the Menu: Our Green Affair – A sassy little salad, soup and sandwich spot in Pacific Beach

The Hummus Where the Heart is bowl at Our Green Affair.
The Hummus Where the Heart is bowl at Our Green Affair features a kale and quinoa base with hummus, alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, pickled onions and sunflower seeds topped with a cilantro tahini dressing.
(Courtesy - Our Green Affair)

Sisters Jackie Gleicher and Jeanette Gaistman (the younger of the pair) have been fantasizing about “a passion project” since childhood — to establish their own healthy eatery after finishing their schooling.

During spring 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, this dream partially materialized when Gleicher launched Our Green Affair on Garnet Avenue in the heart of Pacific Beach, bringing their dad on board until her younger sister finished her studies in marketing.

Serendipitously, the COVID curse turned into a blessing when the whole family joined the ranks, including Gaistman, following the mass exodus of employees.

“We put our heads together, and created something a lot bigger and better,” said Gleicher, as the sisters are now preparing to open their third salad shop, this time in Solana Beach before Labor Day (as of the time of this writing). Their second location is already bustling on University Avenue in Hillcrest.

The Heart Skips a Beet sandwich at Our Green Affair includes a choice of seasoned chicken or falafel.
(Courtesy - Our Green Affair)

The concept is a fun and flirty one, taking a cue from the name.

“We want customers to have a promiscuous palate as they explore the right combinations of colors, textures and flavors,” Gaistman said. “We also want to rebrand the meaning of healthy. Diners need to realize that healthy food doesn’t have to be bland and boring.”

The menu has a large selection of build-your-own options, including bowls, salads, soups and wraps featuring a spinach flour tortilla, along with a slew of seasonal items and sides. The menu format nicely accommodates those with food allergies and assorted dietary restrictions, and each item has a playful and puny innuendo in its name.

The Hot Chick wrap at Our Green Affair has a base of spinach and quinoa.
(Our Green Affair)

Let’s start with “Hot Chick,” a big bowl blending grilled chicken with spinach, quinoa, roasted corn, avocado, goat cheese and tortilla chips, tossed with house-made Caesar dressing.

For unforgettable Southwest flavors there’s “Taco ‘bout Us” packed with spinach, cabbage, cilantro, pickled onions, tortilla chips and avocado, with a satisfying portion of roasted, sustainable salmon, then all tossed in a sassy chipotle vinaigrette and finished with a lime squeeze.

Or Gleicher’s favorite pick, “Romaine in My Bed,” shaking things up with romaine lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, green apples, Japanese peanuts and house-made tuna salad tossed in scratch-made “undressing,” which Gleicher jokes is “the sexiest vinaigrette ever.”

The Let Your ManGo bowl includes spinach, quinoa, tofu, carrots, cucumbers, mango, watermelon radish and Japanese peanuts.
(Courtesy - Our Green Affair)

Another provocative choice called “Let your ManGo” is loaded with spinach, quinoa, carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, mango, watermelon radish and Japanese peanuts drizzled with miso vinaigrette.

Sandwiches — which are new to the menu — “are for people who aren’t convinced that they’re ready to plunge into salads just yet,” says Gaistman.

Let’s start with “Great in Bread” featuring multigrain or sourdough sourced from the local Bread and Cie bakery, enveloping melted Parmesan cheese, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, grilled chicken, roasted corn and finished with a lime squeeze and chili flakes.

The Slawpy sandwich features hot chicken topped with kale, cabbage, carrots and pickled onion.
(Courtesy - Our Green Affair)

Then there’s “The Slawpy” with the same bread choices filled with a superfood slaw of kale, cabbage and carrots, in addition to pickled onions and hot buffalo chicken drizzled with Mama’s mustard dressing.

Finally, warm the cockles of your heart with a satisfying, homemade soup that pairs well with either sandwich, salad or wrap, including spinach broccoli, tomato, lentil, corn chowder or such seasonal flavors as black bean, vegetable, avgolemono (Greek lemon chicken), carrot cabbage (see recipe below) or butternut squash bursting with the spices of autumn.

Want to visit?

Our Green Affair

Address: 980 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach


Phone: 858-352-6641

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Good to know: It also offers a catering menu through its website.

As for the pre-adolescent palates, the sisters are averse to promoting a diet of chicken fingers and fries, wanting kids to acquire the good habits of a healthy diet at a young age by encouraging such dishes as teriyaki marinated tofu in a bowl or wrap, or a variety of healthful sides that will please developing taste buds.

In keeping with their clean, green philosophy and mission to foster good relationships with customers and members of the community, the siblings take pride in every dish being lovingly prepared in-house from scratch (except the bread), and sourcing their ingredients organically and locally. Where possible, they are eager to promote other San Diego businesses.

The décor of the fast/casual eatery also reflects their healthy, honest ethos. The airy, open concept is filled with vibrant and whimsical pinks and greens, along with the shop’s focal point — a glass-doored refrigerator to display “the fresh ingredients while maintaining a transparency between us as a company and our patrons,” Gaistman said.

Guests can choose take-out or dine-in, although the tables are limited inside, but abundant on the patio along with welcoming ocean breezes.

The interior of Our Green Affair in Pacific Beach.
(Courtesy - Our Green Affair)

The fledgling restauranteurs said they are particularly impressed with the assortment of diners who frequent their establishment, including seasonal tourists, locals and San Diego denizens up and down the coast spanning generations, from teens and young adults with little kids to middle-aged couples and elders all equally enjoying healthy and exciting food choices.

It’s not surprising that Our Green Affair received a Yelp award for “Most Loved by Customers,” a Door Dash award for “Top-rated and Most Reliable” and it was a finalist in several “Best of” categories in The San Diego Reader.

The whimsical wordsmiths are living their dream, which is ultimately to reinvent healthy eating by navigating people out of their gustatory comfort zones into unexplored taste territories.

“We want to help people realize that you don’t have to force feed yourself a stick of celery to be healthy,” Gaistman said.

So, when you’re ready to turn over a new leaf, head to Our Green Affair in Pacific Beach.

The Shake Your Cauliflower bowl at Our Green Affair.
(Courtesy - Our Green Affair)

Recipe from Our Green Affair

Carrot Cabbage Soup


• 1 tsp. olive oil

• 1/2 C. chopped onion

• 1 clove of garlic, crushed

• 4 C. cabbage, coarsely chopped

• 2 C. of carrots, cubed

• 2 C. of potatoes, cubed

• 4 C. water, chicken or vegetable stock

• 1 bay leaf

• 1/2 tsp. salt and cracked black pepper, to taste


1) In a large soup pot on low heat add oil and sauté onion, garlic, cabbage and carrots until tender.

2) Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, and simmer covered until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.

3) Remove bay leaf, and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

Courtesy of Our Green Affair