As at most street food outlets, the Sprout House menu isn't exactly extensive, and some of the items are bound to sell out if you stop by at 1 p.m. instead of 11 a.m. The black-bean-and-crema burrito ($4), with black beans, zucchini, onions and chipotle crema, was sold out (damn!) when I stopped by for a late lunch; the most appealing available options were the quesadilla ($5) and Uncle Joan's Salad ($5).A concoction of cheddar cheese, pinto beans, bell peppers, onion and green chili folded into a white flour tortilla (why no whole wheat, organic torts?), the quesadilla was a surprise -- and a bit disappointing. The cheese hadn't melted entirely in the center -- probably a result of being cooked on a street corner instead of on a proper grill -- and the spices tasted more Asian or Indian than Southwestern, with a curry rather than chile heat. Uncle Joan's Salad was a much better bet. With black-eyed peas, green onion, chard, fennel, parsley, lemon-garlic dressing and (optional) cheddar cheese mixed together, this combo was closer to a bean salad than a garden salad. The lemon-garlic dressing came right on the dish and had been perfectly poured, neither drowning the ingredients nor leaving them woefully dry. The black-eyed peas were perfectly cooked, still firm and squeaky on the teeth; the dill gave the salad its crisp freshness.
Other menu options include a pita Caesar sandwich and hummus and pita bread; Smith also hawks all-natural Hansen's soda and bottled water from the cart. A side or two -- some baked chips, maybe? And how about those organic torts? -- would be welcome additions, but overall, the Sprout Cart is doing good things for downtown lunchtime diners ... and their waistlines.