Lunchtime Review: Sweet Green

Order: Umami Grain Bowl
Contents: organic quinoa + farro, swiss chard, pea shoots, roasted mushrooms, red onion, roasted tofu, spicy sunflower seeds, miso sesame ginger dressing
Calories: 555
Price: $8.85 + $0.53 tax = $9.38

Overall impressions

Good balance of flavor.  While the mushroom and tofu add that great umami taste that the name of the bowl suggests, the spicy sunflower seeds really pull the whole dish together. The pea shoots and chard brighten up the dish and make it fresh while the quinoa and farro add a heartiness. Red onion cut into small pieces round out the flavor. Textures are also well balanced with the crunch of the fresh greens as well as the sunflower seeds and red onion. The crunch is countered by the tender mushrooms and tofu.

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Pros

The size of each element makes it easy to get every flavor into every bite. I really enjoyed the overall taste of this dish. Flavor balance, texture, portion size is great for a lunch however…

Cons

I would have been happier had this portion cost $7 including tax. even though this is a great lunch, the $9 price tag would keep me from getting it again. 555 calories also seems somewhat high for a small bowl of salad, so lay off the dressing to cut down on the calories. There was not much farro which was sad because I love farro. I also wasn’t sure what the temperature of the dish was supposed to be, but it ended up being room temperature. It might have been nice to have warm elements on a cold salad. I thought that it was a little strange that this was part of their spring seasonal menu since the ingredients seem to fit much better with fall or even winter.

Recommendation

If money is no big deal for you, Sweet Green makes a decent salad. They have many options to choose from and seem to try to be the more sophisticated salad brother of Chipotle. Chipotle, however, gives a ton of food at a low price point (2 meals for $7). I would only recommend Sweet Green if you have some extra cash and want a “fancy” salad that you could probably make at home any night of the week for significantly less.

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