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Sweetgreen, A Georgetown-Based Salad and Yogurt Chain Expanding Rapidly At The National Level


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Just stopped by this place, think it might be rather new. Was drawn in by the Pinkberry-esque yogurt bar. Recently tried Pinkberry for the first time in LA, and after the first bite became addicted. Love their yogurt because of the vanilla tartness. It's almost like frozen Dannon vanilla yogurt, which I love. Alas, Sweetgreen's yogurt is missing that wonderful vanilla tartness - in fact, it tasted like nothing, just cold and smooth. Which is strange, because the flavor itself is called Plain Tart. The only thing tart about this yogurt was the flock of scantily clad coeds downing it ohmy.gif . So, unless I ordered incorrectly, and in fact there are two yogurt flavors - Plain and Tart - I probably won't be heading out of my way for a fix. The idea is you get a small or medium, and have 3 or more mix-ins: fresh fruit or other sweet items. The fruit was okay - not California fresh but oh well.

The other half of the small but pleasant space is a salad bar, which looked promising and not price-gauging like I'd expect in gtown. Seemed no more expensive than a Cosi salad, but with fresher looking and more inventive options.

Anybody else been here yet? I still hope a Pinkberry comes to town soon - LA and NYC, we gotta be next!

Sweetgreen
3333 M St., Georgtown
eatsweetgreen.com

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I have tried the place a couple times. I completely agree about the yogurt. I am a Pinkberry addict, and though it was similiar, there was something really different about the texture. A small Pinkberry leaves me full for an afternoon. I small Sweet Green yogurt left me full for 30 seconds (even though they are the same price). The salads were good, and that would be something to draw me back. I read an article about Pinkberry coming to DC, but can not remember what date they were thinking.

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I read an article about Pinkberry coming to DC, but can not remember what date they were thinking.

Pinkberry plans to expand here, but no dates are set. If you're looking for that Pinkberry flavor, the Asian yogurt drinks taste like that. We used to freeze them and then poke them with a chopstick until they got slushy. Not creamy, but still tasty.

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The other half of the small but pleasant space is a salad bar, which looked promising and not price-gauging like I'd expect in gtown. Seemed no more expensive than a Cosi salad, but with fresher looking and more inventive options.
I dunno. I had a salad there the other week and didn't feel like it was a good deal at $9 for a bowl of mostly lettuce. The ingredients were fresh and the dressing good, though. They don't have much seating there, but there's a small park across the street that was a nice spot to sit and eat.
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I have tried the place a couple times. I completely agree about the yogurt. I am a Pinkberry addict, and though it was similiar, there was something really different about the texture. A small Pinkberry leaves me full for an afternoon. I small Sweet Green yogurt left me full for 30 seconds (even though they are the same price). The salads were good, and that would be something to draw me back. I read an article about Pinkberry coming to DC, but can not remember what date they were thinking.

Just the texture? Did yours actually have flavor/tartness? I agree on the texture though, its icy and light, I guess, as opposed to creamy/yogurty. I'll go back if I hear that it actually has tartness to it, because that would mean I must have had an off batch or something. Saw on the chowhound boards that a couple of promising places are headed this way in lieu of Pinkberry - Snowberry and Lollicup. Sounds like they should arrive this fall sometime.

And Synaesthesia, what Asian yogurt drink are you talking about? Where could I try one? Thanks :angry:

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Saw on the chowhound boards that a couple of promising places are headed this way in lieu of Pinkberry - Snowberry and Lollicup. Sounds like they should arrive this fall sometime.

And Synaesthesia, what Asian yogurt drink are you talking about? Where could I try one? Thanks :angry:

They look like this: yogurt pic and you can get them at any Korean market, and possibly at some Chinese markets. Korean markets will sometimes have them in strawberry-flavored. It's what all those Asian yogurt places are using rather than American-style yogurt.

Sigh... there used to be a lollicup in College Park, but they closed. They had really good strawberry yogurt bubble tea amongst other things.

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If you want tart, light, creamy plain frozen yogurt you have to go to the Lord and Taylor Cafe (top floor L&T, Chevy Chase)and order the plain frozen yogurt (they call it vanilla- ignore that). They used to have it at 40 carrots in Bloomies ( forever ago). You can get it plain, or with walnuts and fruit and some other toppings. The small is plenty satisfying. I have been getting this for over 15 years or so. The recipe or mix is imported from NYC.

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Just the texture? Did yours actually have flavor/tartness? I agree on the texture though, its icy and light, I guess, as opposed to creamy/yogurty. I'll go back if I hear that it actually has tartness to it, because that would mean I must have had an off batch or something. Saw on the chowhound boards that a couple of promising places are headed this way in lieu of Pinkberry - Snowberry and Lollicup. Sounds like they should arrive this fall sometime.

And Synaesthesia, what Asian yogurt drink are you talking about? Where could I try one? Thanks :angry:

I thought it was just as tart as Pinkberry, but the taste was off because it was not as creamy. That said, I prefer it to the chemical taste of other low calorie frozen yogurts.

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Just finished off a "Curry Gold" salad from Sweetgreen. Curry chicken salad is one of my measuring sticks for any sandwich or salad place. Sweetgreen serves theirs mixed with romaine lettuce and almonds. The curry chicken salad itself is good, not great. It's got a decent kick to it, but I like a bit more fruit in my curry chicken to offset the spice. This salad includes only a smattering of small grapes. The salad is advertised as coming with naan, but at least today, it came with a thin sliver of thoroughly unremarkable bread.

This salad--one of their "chef crafted"--will run you $9. It's actually a decent sized salad, but I thought that was a bit steep. At $7, I would have thought I was getting a good deal. Regarding the conversation above, I haven't heard much about Georgetown students (i.e., my students) flocking to Sweetgreen. Though many are very affluent, most will also balk at a $9 salad for lunch. Perhaps they'll go for the yogurt, which I did not try.

All in all, if you happen to be in Georgetown, this isn't a bad option for lunch considering the dearth of good, quick, relatively inexpensive places to eat in Georgetown. But it's also not worth a special trip (not that I gather anybody was actually considering this).

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Having just started working in Rosslyn, I decided to try some of the frozen yogurt at Sweetgreen today. I've never had any of the Pinkberry/Red Mango versions (does that mean I'm not really Korean?), so I didn't have anything to compare. I got a small cup with strawberries which they topped and bagged for me for a windy walk across the Key Bridge.

I see what people mean about the iciness of it, but flavorwise, I was pleasantly surprised. I did have a vanilla yogurt flavor to it which I wasn't expecting. Perhaps if the Pinkberry/Red Mango yogurts are more tangy, this would seem like a letdown. Still, I (and my sore throat) enjoyed it.

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So happy the new Dupont Circle location has opened in the PNC on the circle. Stopped in for a delightful, flavorful salad. Absent the annoying to open containers, a very satisfying lunch. No more Chopt muck for me.

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I just saw where their new Sweetflow Mobile (a grownup ice cream truck) will be parked behind the DuPont Sweetgreen location (1512 Connecticut Ave. NW) giving away cones if you mention Thrillist:

Tomorrow from 1-4pm, they'll be parked behind the Dupont Sweetgreen, giving away free cones to anyone who mentions Thrillist. They're also throwing an official launch party on Saturday, with Durkl giveaways, a DJ, and breakdancers.
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last night stopped in for the first time and had the Curry Gold Salad (mesclun with chicken, cranberries, coconut, almonds and a pineapple curry yogurt dressing). It was really good. IMO, this place beats the others of its ilk--much better/fresher than Chop't or Cosi... and the slice of bread it was served with was nice and grainy/nutty. A great fast option in Dupont.

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Unusual set of circumstances had me in Georgetown at lunch time today and I happened by SweetGreen as my stomach was grumbling so I stopped in and was more than pleased with my lunch.

I ordered a Chic P in a whole wheat wrap. Spinach and other greens, chickpeas, cukes, roasted peppers, garlic pita chips, and falafel topped with hummus-tahini dressing. The chickpeas and falafel offer a pleasant crunch while the peppers add zip. The dressing's flavor is subtle, could be a bit more assertive, but the hummus does add heft to the meal. Overall, I liked it alot and would gladly return if I happened by again.

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They are about to open a new location, next week I think, on Capitol Hill in the old Trover's Bookshop place.

When I walked by last week someone working inside gave a date of June 7. Said they would be soft opening this week and to stop on by but I haven't gotten there yet.

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They are about to open a new location, next week I think, on Capitol Hill in the old Trover's Bookshop place.

Also slated to open in Reston Town Center--no idea when, but the sign is on the window. Location is across the street from Mon Amis Gabi and catty corner from Counter Burger.

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They are about to open a new location, next week I think, on Capitol Hill in the old Trover's Bookshop place.

It's possible that I would pay money to see you eat a salad for lunch.

(And then I will corrupt your children with hours of Wii sports while you enjoy a fantastic night out. Note: I will *not* feed them salad.)

Just sayin'.

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Ended up here at the Capitol Hill location because well there wasn't a lot else open on that part of the hill. We were headed to the train display at the US Botanical Garden, which as a note was very cool. I liked the buildings decorate with organic materials better than the trains, but it was worthwhile to see, although the line at peak time Saturday before Christmas was a bit long.

December salad of mesclun greens, turkey, cranberry, sweet potato and almonds was good. I needed something light after the night before at Honey Pig. Although Hubby's chickpea and felafel wrap looked really good and he chowed down on it. All the flavors of my salad went well together and were very festive. And it didn't seem as bad for me as some other options. I have no idea though why some people are so obsessive about this place. It was fine, a good salad, but I make good salads for myself. I do like that they had goat cheese from Garrett and Alleghany County though.

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Just wanted to give props to my go-to carry-out lunch spot.  I didn't think so until the other month where I was stuck in Food Hell for a couple weeks and I realized I really wanted a salad and I realized I really liked sweetgreen the best. 

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Ate at the Mosaic District location last week - I like that the front windows open so you can sit at the bar-like seating and be partially outside on a nice day. Don't remember which salad I had but it was delicious, fresh and free - it was my birthday, I mentioned that while the preparers were making my salad and they said "Lunch is on us!" Making me a customer for life.

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Ate at the Mosaic District location last week - I like that the front windows open so you can sit at the bar-like seating and be partially outside on a nice day. Don't remember which salad I had but it was delicious, fresh and free - it was my birthday, I mentioned that while the preparers were making my salad and they said "Lunch is on us!" Making me a customer for life.

As I was logging my five miles inside the Galleria earlier this morning, I noticed that the Sweetgreen there is very close to opening. Black Friday, perhaps?

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Got a Kale Caesar, Hubby got the Chic-P in Ballston on Sunday.  I like some of their salads, am always amazed at some of their calorie counts, which is nice to have.  The whole point of eating a salad is to not eat a ton of calories.  Anyway as I have been eating kale all week, it might have put me over the kale edge for a few weeks.  But I do really like that salad.  I also love their spicy broccoli still, I am not crazy about their chicken though it reminds me a bit of the grilled chicken you can buy in packs in the grocery.  It isn't awful, it's just not my favorite.

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Got a Kale Caesar, Hubby got the Chic-P in Ballston on Sunday.  I like some of their salads, am always amazed at some of their calorie counts, which is nice to have.  The whole point of eating a salad is to not eat a ton of calories.  Anyway as I have been eating kale all week, it might have put me over the kale edge for a few weeks.  But I do really like that salad.  I also love their spicy broccoli still, I am not crazy about their chicken though it reminds me a bit of the grilled chicken you can buy in packs in the grocery.  It isn't awful, it's just not my favorite.

I have been eating at SweetGreen and Chopt an average of 10+ times a month for at least the last year.  Ktoomau's comments about calories is interesting.  I believe that all of the calorie counts listed for each individual salad do NOT include the calories of the salad dressing that is on it.  Both SweetGreen and Chopt list the calorie counts of their salad dressings but, again I believe, they are for two tablespoons of dressing and should be added to the individual salad counts.

There is also the consideration of how many tablespoons of dressing are actually on a salad?

Then, there is bread which can add another 100 calories or so.

The Santa Fe salad at Chopt is around 550 calories.  Either of the suggested dressings add at least 150 calories, perhaps more depending on how much is used.  If you add chicken to this, then there is another 100+ calories.  Then, bread.

Somehow the 550 calorie ends up with three tablespoons of dressing, chicken and bread at close to 1000 calories.

Regardless, I passionately love SweetGreen and Chopt.  Thousand calories or not I will spend them there rather than McDonald's.

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Count beer calories . . . these are the ones that are tougher on your body.

Do you have any opinions on neat whiskey vs. wine vs. beer vs. cocktails?  Did I rank them in increasingly tougher-on-your-body order?  This is an important issue for me!

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Nutritional science get hairy when it comes to this, b/c there is a lot of associated issues with alcohol (what you eat with it, whether you use mixers, light beers vs heavier beers).

Basically, sugar is converted to alcohol so it's a type of sugar, but not exactly, and the nutritional labels don't really describe it as such, but a biochemist could explain you the similarities. So, they are all sort of sugar, that's what give alcohol it's calories.

Ideally, if you're drinking and trying to be "healthy" - i.e. - get buzzy, but have the least impact on you nutritionally, then you'd want to drink Everclear in small amounts. But, I think most of us are not pure alcoholics, and flavor plays a role (if not, and you're just trying to get turnt up, yeah, grab the Everclear and a splash of some Crystal Light and let the party start). Wines and neat liquors have less pure "carbs" compared to most beers, and typically lower caloric density (keeping with the caveat that calories aren't everything). They aren't terribly calorically dense in small amounts. What kills you nutritionally with liquor is the mixers - sodas, fruit juices, and other sugary stuff. As far as adding Diet Coke, there are differing feelings about aspartame (not that it's poison, that has been debunked, but that it actually tricks the GI tract into wanting more sugar, pretty good article published in Nature in 2014). Some go with the calories in/calories out dogma, and if that's the case, Diet Sodas have zero calories, but the graph of intake of Diet sodas has gone up so much, and diabetes/obesity/metabolic disease tracks pretty well with it. Not to say that the correlation is proving causation, but it's trickier than just counting calories. Wine has limited carbs and similar in caloric density to liquor, and also low on carbs. It's a pretty good choice, b/c not like you add anything else to it. Watch out with dessert wines, liqueurs - those have low alcohol but high calorie/carbs.

Now, my favorite, beers. There is a reason it's called a "beer belly". Even light beers have calorie counts similar to equivalent servings of wine (meaning the amount of volume where the alcohol content is the same), however, they include much more carbs. And that's what hurts. When you leave light beers, alcohol goes up, calories go up, and carbs go up. There is a reason boozy beers taste sweet (think of the Bourbon barrel stouts that flooded the market in 2011 and beyond). I think these are the hardest on your body.

It's not all about getting drunk, it is about taste, so everything in moderation, including moderation.

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On 5/27/2015 at 9:33 PM, ol_ironstomach said:

They're going nationwide.  And unfortunately, steamrolling some icons in the process.

This is true on the local level, too. Sweetgreen is coming to King Street, but long-time (30 years) local business Bittersweet is shrinking to make way.  I've said in the past that I wished Old Town had a Sweetgreen, but it would have been nice to have it go into an empty storefront, of which there are many lately.

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I found this interview with the founders of Sweetgreen interesting. (Don't judge me on the source of the link;).)  The thoughtfulness they are showing about growing their business is impressive. 

For instance:
 

Quote

Q

What are your sourcing practices, and how do you decide which farmers and purveyors to work with?

A

JONATHAN: We meet farmers before we meet landlords, and it’s important that we’re involved in every step of the supply chain. Our focus is building one relationship at a time, with partners and farmers we know and trust.

....

and:
 

Quote

Q

You’ve got sweetgreen locations in eight states already and are growing fast. What’s your goal for the business?

A

NATHANIEL: Our goal for growth is impact. It’s not about number of stores, it’s more about communities we can be part of. We want to support local growers who share our ethos, hire more incredible team members and invest in their leadership skills, and support local non-profits who have a passion for real food. Every new store’s opening day proceeds are donated to organizations like Edible Schoolyard and Growing Power, and we work with these groups on an ongoing basis.

NICOLAS: With each new community come our new guests, and we want to help connect our guests to their food and the people who grew their food. So we want to grow thoughtfully, in a way that enables us to create communities that span from the farm to our guests and have broad, holistic impact, which is really inspiring and incredible. We’re nine years in, and we feel like we’re just getting started.

 

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Here's another very interesting article about the sourcing work done in advance of their expansion to Chicago. Chicago should be a home run expansion market for them too.  For all the hundreds of thousands working in the loop, the only 'healthy' options are basically Protein Bar, Roti, and some one offs. Their only competition in the salad game comes from a (surprisingly well put together but inferior) vending machine.  They've already announced two more locations opening here and I won't be surprised if that doubles again.

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Well, I don't think Bittersweet closed because of Sweetgreen.  They likely closed because of Waterfront Market, which was a half-executed concept, with very high rent, I assume.  Their catering operation is still open, just FYI, and really good, we just used them for a party.  And I found their store just far enough away from the court and a lot of the office buildings to not be an easy place to get to for lunch, the parking for grab and go lunch was not alluring.  The same will be true for me getting to Sweetgreen, although I do like it, as well.  I assume they will have delivery via apps, which Sweetgreen has in other places.    

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I like the bowls.  I had the shroomami bowl and thought it was really good.  I think it is a good natural progression, especially in the winter.  Hubby had the quinoa curry bowl and really liked it.  They are a few more calories than the salads for most of them, but I thought my bowl was more filling than a salad there, and it lasted me two lunches instead of one.  

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2 hours ago, ktmoomau said:

I like the bowls.  I had the shroomami bowl and thought it was really good.  I think it is a good natural progression, especially in the winter.  Hubby had the quinoa curry bowl and really liked it.  They are a few more calories than the salads for most of them, but I thought my bowl was more filling than a salad there, and it lasted me two lunches instead of one.  

I've enjoyed the Shroomami bowl from the Tysons Galleria Sweetgreen twice now. It's quite filling.

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4 hours ago, DonRocks said:

For those who are regulars and eat it for a healthy (but preferably filling) lunch, what do you order?

I haven't eaten here as much since they stopped serving bacon which means they stopped doing my favorite salad (their version of a Cobb), but when I do go now, from the regular menu, I usually go for the Earth Bowl, swapping in carrots for the corn. It's not the lowest calorie they offer at around 800 calories, but it's one of the most filling.

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