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Sweetgreen Debuts in Texas, Offers Salads Galore

Pooja Salhotra
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Sweetgreen diners

Sweetgreen patrons (pictured, from left) Jo Gentry, Cynthia Oualline, Margo Withers, Cathy Gentry, Jenny Prideaux and Natalie Prideaux enjoy trying Sweetgreen for the first time. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

When you think of Texas cuisine, barbeque and Tex-Mex may come to mind. But the Washington D.C. original, Sweetgreen, is betting that Texans have a palate for salads too. 

On Tuesday, July 23, fast-casual salad restaurant Sweetgreen opens its first Texas location in Houston’s Rice Village, which also recently welcomed California-based Mendocino Farms. Sweetgreen offers locally-sourced healthy bowls at an affordable price, made in front of you in a counter-serve format. Think Chipotle, but for salads and warm bowls. 

Sweetgreen offered some guests a sneak peek of its menu over the weekend, when it hosted several pre-opening events. 

“I think this is going to be my new go-to spot,” said Karson New, an instructor at indoor cycling studio RYDE who tried Sweetgreen for the first time on Sunday evening. “I saw at least five things on the menu I wanted to try.”

“The food is so fresh, and I love the vibe here,” added Bellaire resident Lydia Brantley. “I’ll definitely come back.” 

Sweetgreen

Sweetgreen opens its first Texas location on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 in Rice Village. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra)

The Sweetgreen menu includes a variety of salads, all topped with a selection of house-made, gluten-free dressings in flavors ranging from miso sesame ginger vinaigrette to a fresh lime squeeze. Also on the menu are warm bowls – fresh vegetables and proteins over a base of wild rice or quinoa. Patrons can also choose to make their own bowl, choosing a base of greens and/or rice, a selection of vegetables such as roasted sweet potatoes, red onions, cucumbers, premiums including proteins and cheeses and a house-made dressing. To cater to different tastes, visitors can request their dressing “light,” “medium,” “heavy,” or on the side. 

Part of Sweetgreen’s ethos is giving back to the local community. The team spends time getting to know the community before opening in a new city, and they have a tradition of giving 100 percent of proceeds from opening day to a local partner. In Houston, Sweetgreen plans to donate 100 percent of Tuesday’s proceeds to Urban Harvest, specifically supporting their Double Up Houston project, which doubles SNAP benefits for food-insecure families. 

The chain is also committed to reducing its carbon footprint – 100 percent of its stores have compost services and pickup, and, on average, 60 percent of waste is diverted from landfills. 


 

For Crystal Hobbs, a Heights resident who attended Sweetgreen’s soft opening on Sunday, the company’s commitment to sustainability was an added reason to come back. “I love that they have paper straws and that their bowls are compostable,” she said. 

Crystal ordered the superfoods bowl, which is packed with kale, baby spinach, carrots, cabbage, lentils, sweet potato, toasted buckwheat, avocado, beet hummus and topped with a lemon ginger dressing. 

“Usually, I eat a lot of meat. But this has so much flavor you can’t even tell it doesn’t have meat,” she said. “As far as healthy eating goes, [Sweetgreen] really makes it easy.” 

Sweetgreen’s Rice Village outpost sits at 2551 Amherst St., between Starbucks and Susie Cakes, and it offers both indoor and covered outdoor seating that's dog-friendly. Hours are 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Another branch is set to open this September in Montrose, at 1303 Westheimer Rd. 

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