What I'm about to admit may seem a bit embarrassing for someone of my gender, but I ain't ashamed. I'm abnormally obsessed with salad. I don't eat it because it's allegedly healthy, or because I want to be skinny. I eat all the damn roughage because it's delicious. If I was stranded on a desert island and only allowed one food item for the rest of my life, I would choose salad (although cereal, as long as there was milk and a variety, would be a close second). And if the powers that be decided to be generous, they'd throw the entire Sweetgreen salad bar my way.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, you might understand why we're throwing a full review towards the first NYC outpost of this beloved DC-area chain. Sweetgreen has arrived in New York and, judging by the lines, there are plenty of people equally as excited about this situation as I am. Sweetgreen is simply the best at the make-your-own assembly line style salad. You know, the kind we all line up for at lunch time. Their ingredients are all organic, local, and fresh, and their salads are so much better than what you're used to eating in this mix, match, and toss situation. Additionally, they serve flavored iced teas, cold-pressed juices, and soft-serve frozen yogurt too. I now come here once a week for lunch, even though I have to get on the subway to do so. It's that good.
We've been impressed with how nice and well designed everything is here. It's a serious take-out operation you might actually want to hang out and eat in, which is pretty rare. They clearly put an emphasis on service, but they're friendly to a fault. While some amicable chit chat is nice, let's not lose focus. We're here to cook up a salad together, not make weekend plans.
Even before landing in NYC, Sweetgreen has done a fantastic job branding themselves. They've managed to create a lifestyle around salad, which is damn impressive. You may have heard of SweetLife Festival in Baltimore, the two year old music and food festival that Phoenix, Passion Pit and Kendrick Lamar headlined this year. Yup, that's their festival. Music and food, our kind of people.
The bottom line is that Sweetgreen is a salad game changer, and one that's going to do incredibly well in New York. They've officially put Chopt on notice, and we expect to see another 20 of these pop up across the city within the next year or so. If anyone would like to go on a salad lunch date, you now know my destination of choice.
Look, everyone has a different agenda at the salad assembly line. Personally, I rarely go with one the options on the board - I usually make my own. Although, I will definitely be testing out the "Guacamole Greens" and "District Cobb" in the near future. Sometimes it'll go with all fruit and crunchy things. Other times it'll have all the classic vegetables. One thing it'll always have is roasted chicken - it's soft, tender and worthy of being eaten on its own. A couple favorite items so far on the line are pickles, which are an excellent addition to a salad (who knew?), roasted beets, and dried cranberries. Those three things can really bring a lot to the table, so don't sleep. Also, Sriracha. Sweetgreen is into it. Don't be scared to throw some fire into your salad, and if you can't decide on a dressing, don't worry, they'll let you sample some. It's like an ice cream shop.
It's always nice to have drink options. We've tried a bunch of the juices, and they're great. Significantly better than Organic Avenue, but not on the level of Liquiteria (which is the best, in our opinion). Also, the Watermelon Lemonade. It's so f*cking good. We get that every time.