Fresh Salad . . . Stat!
There's none of the typical frozen yogurt, or the usual wrap sandwiches, or even any chairs, at the first Center City outpost for Sweetgreen. But there's certainly a formidable lunch line, much of it clad in white Jefferson Hospital lab coats, for this "express version" of the popular Washington, D.C.-based organic salad chain.
It's not the only upscale build-your-own salad option in town for Generation K(ale.) The quick-serve healthy-eats niche has been growing faster than a tray of microgreens, including locally raised entries like Honeygrow (which also does Asian noodles), Agno Grill (Mediterranean flavors), and HipCityVeg (strictly vegan).
But there's something appealingly straightforward about this newcomer's basket wall of fresh greens and solidly composed salad suggestions, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.
I especially loved the Chic P, which tossed baby spinach and mixed greens in a bright lemon-tahini vinaigrette with falafel. Of course, that patty was baked instead of crisply fried. It was sort of like a fresh chickpea muffin, and it was fluffy, cuminy, cilantro-green, and flavorful enough that, on my more virtuous days, I'd actually stand in line for one, too.
- Craig LaBan