Photos by Ye Feng, Words by Kiersten Utegg
Sweetgreen. The name itself sounds fresh and healthy, and for a hip restaurant specializing in custom salads the name fits perfectly. On a sunny day, the light streams in through the floor to ceiling windows at the front, making its way into the vaulted simplistic space. Wood floors and stonewalls accompany you as you wait in the long line for the salad station. Workers in green aprons and visors work like buzzing bees, snatching ingredients from the left and the right as customers shout out their orders. They are a well-oiled assembly line, dressing their product with the finest accessories. I walked into Sweetgreen with a friend a couple weekends ago without much enthusiasm. My friend’s favorite food is salad. I am not kidding—even chocolate doesn’t give her the same pleasure. I, on the other hand, am not fan of salad. Given the choice between salad and pasta, I will take the pasta any day of the week. Nonetheless, she kept raving about Sweetgreen so I caved and let her drag me to its front door. My first impression of the restaurant was that it reminded me of Panera. However, once I was inside, I felt as though I was transported to a different part of the country.
“Whoa. This can’t be the East Coast. It looks too clean, and smells too healthy,” I thought to myself. It honestly seemed like I stepped into Los Angeles rather than a small Boston salad shop. For a moment I pretended that I was in that warm, pleasant oasis to the West.
My friend and I waited in line, formulating a plan for how to snag a table amidst the masses of healthy Bostonians. Most people around us wore running sneakers and workout gear over their sculpted calves, validating that this is definitely the place for the healthy individual.
Sweetgreen prides itself their fresh and local ingredients. They offer a variety of unique beverages, including their homemade lemonade as well as frozen yogurt for those craving something sweet but still healthy. However, their star is the salad menu. The list of ingredients to choose from is exhaustive and includes fresh ingredients from across the country as well as local favorites. Sweet green also offers signature creations for the more indecisive citizens.
I finally chose how to accessorize my salad and played along as the bubbly employee behind the counter tossed my salad ingredients together into my colorful, glistening lunch. I sat down and took my first bite.
“YUM!” It was the best salad I had ever eaten in my life. I am not sure what their secret is but Sweetgreen salads are divine. The lettuce leaves crunched. The pesto vinaigrette dressing was perfectly distributed. The peas popped beneath my chew and all of the parts made a whole. Every bite was as good as the last.
I left Sweetgreen feeling full, feeling healthy, and feeling ready for the day. People often rag on the health-obsessed Americans of the West but I must say that it felt good to spend money (a very reasonable amount) on a healthy meal. Boston is embracing the healthiness that so many people seek out today, and Sweetgreen is just the beginning. If you are ever near Copley, don’t hesitate to stop into this bright and airy salad shop for a delectable, nutritious meal.
Sweetgreen 659 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02216 (617) 936-3464
Monday-Sunday 10:30 am -10:30 pm