Organic food isn’t just trending in today’s culinary market — it’s the trend, particularly with fast food, believe it or not. In all honesty, we really can’t even call it “fast food” given the stigma; nevertheless, this is a restaurant serving food, well, ‘fast’ and with a bit of a moral kick to it beyond that of organic quality. That restaurant is a huge restaurant chain known as Sweetgreen, complete with 27 locations around and in Boston, NY, Philly, and even D.C..
So There’s No Doubt: This Restaurant Sweetgreen Is Growing (Like Plants)
But this is a restaurant that’s so much more than just organic food. Aside from the fact that literally all of their salad ingredients are local, and even their meats are hormone- and antibiotic-free, Sweetgreen prides itself in being a completely “green” restaurant from front to back. Not only are you eating healthy, you’re being healthy just by being in their restaurant! Let’s explain, shall we?
For starters, the restaurant utilizes 100% plant-based compostable packaging and reusable salad blaster bowls and bags. How’s that for contributing to the environment. When you think about it, this takes the idea of organic food to a completely new level, because — guess what — you know where all healthy food comes from.
That’s right: the Earth. Hence that’s a major double whammy for a restaurant — a fast-food restaurant, no less — to not only serve the best organic dishes ever, but to also ensure the Earth can keep providing all the ingredients we love.
Since this is a restaurant chain, you get to wonder how they stay green when building new locations (remember: there are 27 locations and going strong). The fact is Sweetgreen upholds Reclaimed and Forest Stewardship Council-certified materials utilized for the construction of new restaurants to house their organic products. Additionally, this is a mantra held even with the design of their restaurants, incorporating low-VOC paint and LED/fluorescent lighting to cut down on energy costs.
Even the leftover scraps in the kitchens get tossed into recycling stations right on site, foregoing in general the need for trash
bins. Walk into the Burger King one more time and see those holes in the counters leading to trash bins filled with paper products and value meal containers, and you know you won’t miss what fast food was initially all about. This is the newest rage of fast food: contributing to the environment.
Sweetgreen doesn’t stop there, though, with their efforts to change the world, as the chain offsets all of their energy usage with additional wind energy credits. The darn buildings practically run themselves as if they were off grid (a bit of a hyperbole, but the chain might as well be completely self-sustaining with what they do as a whole!).
The Question Is This, Though: Is Any of the Food Good??
If you like plants! Obviously. Make no mistake, the restaurant pretty much is a “salad bar” but with all the fix-ins of a buffet on steroids. Somehow the restaurant takes the idea of eating greens and turns it into a smorgasbord, which is quite the feat already. Even their soups can enrich you, what with some spicy and thick, a carrot-ginger able to put a rabbit into a coma, and a chickpea-lentil that’ll love your stomach for hours.
One thing’s for sure — you’re going to love kale (unless you already do). It’s their signature green, for obvious reasons, but what the dive does is turn kale into the new American cheeseburger that would make McDonald’s green (no pun intended) with envy. Part of why you’re in an organic smorgasbord of inundation is that the restaurant absolutely loves its dressings, one of them being a pretty wicked agave-dijon vinaigrette. And understand this: you get actual levels of just how much dressing you want on your salad. No drizzles. Only drenches. It helps when even their dressings are practically organic.
And what is a “sabzi” salad? You’ll find at Sweetgreen. It’s spicy. And all you need to know is that it’s cornerstone ingredients are kale and spinach (surprise), but with some spicy quinoa, broccoli, carrots, raw beets, basil, sprouts, tofu, carrot-chili vinaigrette and sriracha. Just writing those ingredients down here made my mouth hot. And everyone said that a salad can’t fill you up (unless it’s taco “salad,” obviously).
Sweetgreen, of course, does have its comfort food, obviously, particularly with bowls featuring some hearty supergrains. You heard correctly — dishes don’t have to be souped up with kale, lettuce, spinach and other green stuff. You can fill up a tummy with something like their Earth Bowl, complete with quinoa, faro, some roasted chicken, arugula, cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, spicy broccoli and corn. Like eating something out of a Mexican grill but without the major grease. Nothing fried here.
But You’ll Feel Like You’re Eating Fried Food — and Benefiting the Environment in the Process
As you can see, Sweetgreen really isn’t a simple “salad bar.” Although a lot of their ingredients typically go in a salad. It’s existential. Sublime. Insane. Even some of their “paper” bowls are made of food (technically, compostable sugarcane pulp). Whatever the case, whatever their “paper” plates, bowls, and utensils are made of, Golden Gate surely approves and enjoys the latest trend sweeping the fast-food nation.