Out of all the thing New York City has to offer I really don’t miss much since I’ve moved back to Boston. Aside from my sister and the ability get anything I want at anytime, the one thing I truly and sincerely miss is the abundance of make your own salad bars scattered throughout all of New York. I’m talking about when you select all your ingredients and someone tosses everything together, dresses it, and packages it up for you. You can’t walk a block in Manhattan without passing by 2 or 3 specialty salad outposts. They range from high quality top of the line chains like Chop’t and Just Salad to pretty much any bodega you might run into for gum. Here in Boston you might see a salad bar, that but that’s about it. I’d never heard of Sweet Green, but when I read they were opening a few doors down from my apartment I decided to investigate further.
If you don’t know, Sweet Green is essentially a salad joint that sources local organic ingredients and strives to create healthy food for a happy and healthy life. It’s my understanding this chain started in the greater DC area and has branched as far as Boston, with an additional location in the Prudential Center. Your salad base can be a number of organic greens, or warm grains, which is a mix of quinoa and farro. One can select a pre-made concoction or create their own salad choosing from fresh toppings like avocado (costs extra), roast chicken, local cheeses, raw vegetables, and fresh clean dressings. Many options are vegan or vegetarian. Sweet Green also offers house-made soups as well as a variety of ice teas and lemonade.
The line was long, but it did give me some time to explore my options and check out what everyone was ordering. My suggestion would be to go either at 11:30 or closer to 1:00. Avoid noon. There are a ton of employees around this neighborhood who will continue to get these tasty salads every day.
The verdict? My salad was delicious. I always feel a bit of pressure when ordering in an assembly line, so I will likely tweak my choices a few more times before I know just what my perfect combination will be. This time, I tried the warm grains with goat cheese, shredded kale, avocado, carrots, raw corn, roasted chicken, pita chips, and balsamic vinaigrette. Without question each ingredient was high quality and delicious. The green iced tea with a splash of organic lemonade was also top-notch.
Sweet Green’s identity is somewhat unique making it a little different from your classic New York make your own salad shop. Although it’s great, this niche allows it to fall just short of filling the void left in my belly when I am craving my workday lunchtime salad. I think I will survive anyway, and I will definitely be back to Sweet Green for another delicious salad.
Sweet Green is located at 372 Congress Street in Fort Point (across the street from Row 34 and in the same building as the Residence Inn)