Written by Anita
April 25, 2009It’s not easy being green—but the guys who started Sweetgreen (with current locations in Georgetown and Dupont Circle) are certainly doing their part. Named a “Green Certified” restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association, Sweetgreen uses 100 percent wind energy to power its operations, with offsets from Clean Currents. At the Dupont Circle location (and the soon-to-open Bethesda location), the café’s tables and benches are handcrafted from reclaimed bowling alley wood, and reclaimed antique hickory is used for the walls. Silverware and cups are made of corn to ensure biodegradability. Even the takeout menus are lined with wildflower seeds that will sprout when planted! Customers can choose from a variety of chef-crafted salads (our favorite was the Guacamole Greens—mesclun greens, chunks of ripe avocado, moist grilled chicken, grape tomatoes, and red onion, topped with crunchy crushed tortillas chips and a zesty lime-cilantro jalapeno vinaigrette), old-school favorites (like caprese salad), or mix-your-own greens. Salads are available either in a bowl (purchase a reusable ‘salad blaster’ bowl and get a free veggie topping when you bring it in) or in a wrap. For dessert, the creamy all-natural yogurt (which we found less tart than some of the other recent DC-upstarts) has only 80 calories per half-cup serving and no fat. Toppings include a variety of fruits and nuts (we loved ours topped with shredded coconut and almonds!) Like the tunes here? You can find them on Sweetgreen's blog. Haven’t had a chance to check out Sweetgreen yet? Then try to stop by one of their block parties (one of which will take place in front of their Dupont Circle location tonight!) and don’t miss it when they open their Bethesda location (which includes an outdoor patio) on April 29 in Bethesda Row.
We caught up with Nathaniel Ru, one of the three founders of Sweetgreen (the other two are Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman), to ask him about the venture. Q: How did you get started? A: The three of us met at Georgetown two and a half years ago, and we developed the concept out of our dorm room. We went to Dean & Deluca every day, and wanted to create a healthy option that was different. (Editors note: Not forgetting its roots, Sweetgreen often offers discounts to customers with Georgetown student IDs.) Q: What’s your favorite item on the menu? A: The Guacamole Greens! They are fantastic.