Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sweetgreen's new 14th & W location

Sweetgreen, a rapidly expanding Georgetown-born salad chain, recently opened their seventeenth location at 14th and W ST NW. (The actual address is 1315 W Street NW.) Unlike many of the other popular salad shops (like Chop't), Sweetgreen touts sustainability, offering up local and organic ingredients.
In this shiny, sterile warehouse-inspired space, you'll find a giant chalkboard that proudly lists their local produce purveyors. The large yet spare menu is also posted, with "V" for vegan options, under exposed CFL bulbs. (An even more detailed ingredient and nutrition run-down is available from Sweetgreen's online menu.) Below the menu is a well-staffed counter, where you place and follow your order assembly-line style.
The chic p
My boyfriend and I ate here on a rainy Saturday afternoon. We were interested in trying their wraps, but wraps didn't seem to be an option. Instead we had two salads with gratis sides of bread. My boyfriend got the Chic P, a mix of mesclun and spinach with crumbled falafel, whole chickpeas, cukes, peppers, and pita chips. It came with a lemon hummus tahini dressing.

You do get to specify your salad dressing amount at the tossing station. (Or ask for it on the side.) My boyfriend went with medium but thought that selection netted a rather skimpily dressed salad. In fact, he declared the entire salad bowl to be a light snack by his definition.

The spicy sabzi
I ordered the Spicy Sabzi, which had a kale and spinach base. It came with some quinoa, broccoli, carrots, raw beet cubes, sprouts, and tofu cubes. I went with light dressing, a ho-hum carrot chili vinaigrette. But I asked for heavy Sriacha sauce, which helped add some flavor.

It is hard when eating salads out at restaurants, not to compare them with your favorite healthy, large, and affordable homemade salads. I think if you were a salad newbie, these Sweetgreen salads would please. You may want to b.y.o.f., "bring your own fork," as the compostable flatware makes it difficult to spear some ingredients, like raw beets.

My boyfriend and I also split a Sweetpress juice, called Purity. This green juice blend has apple, kale, spinach, cucumber, lemon, and ginger. It was very light and fresh. Juice is something I still don't make at home, so this was a treat.  

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