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Opening alert: Sweetgreen in downtown Palo Alto

Uploaded: May 12, 2016
National salad chain Sweetgreen will be opening its doors in downtown Palo Alto this coming Tuesday, May 17.

Sweetgreen recently took over and revamped the corner space of the historic Birge Clark building at Hamilton Avenue and Ramona Street, formerly the home of University Art and The Annex.

Sweetgreen, founded in Washington, D.C. in 2007, sees itself as "a leader in the movement to make healthy food available to the masses," a press release reads. Each restaurant sources local, organic ingredients. The menu changes five times each year. But it’s a fast-casual model, with employees mixing the salads in front of customers from a bar of ingredients.

At Sweetgreen, diners can take their pick from signature salads, seasonal combinations or make their own. Signature salads range from the "Rad Thai" (organic arugula and mesclun with sprouts, carrots, shredded cabbage, spicy sunflower seeds, cucumbers, basil, citrus shrimp and spicy cashew dressing) to "Guacamole Greens" (organic mesclun, tomatoes, red onion, tortilla chips, avocado, roasted chicken, a squeeze of lime and a lime-cilantro-jalapeño vinaigrette. There are also grain bowls with ingredients like quinoa, farro, rice, vegetables and other ingredients.

Two Sweetgreen salads. Photo courtesy Sweetgreen.

Seasonal salads on the Bay Area spring menu include the "Falafel + Feta" with broccoli leaf, chopped romaine, roasted beets, spicy broccoli, parsley, mint, local feta, baked falafel and a lemon garlic chili vinaigrette; the "Spring Chicken" with organic mesclun, shredded kale, roasted zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, basil, shredded carrots, parmesan crisp, roasted chicken and a pesto vinaigrette; and an “Umami” grain bowl with organic quinoa, farro, swiss chard, pea shoots, red onion, spicy sunflower seeds, roasted sesame tofu, roasted portobello mix and a miso-sesame-ginger dressing.

Customers who want a customizable salad can choose up to two bases, up to four ingredients, “premiums” like roasted chicken, tofu, shrimp, local cheeses and housemade hummus and a dressing.

Check out the full menu here.

The company also makes an effort to support the local community, wherever they open. One-hundred percent of proceeds from opening day in Palo Alto will go to Collective Roots, an East Palo Alto nonprofit that supports local gardens, farmers markets and other healthy eating efforts.

There are more than 40 Sweetgreen locations throughout the country, mostly on the East Coast. The Palo Alto outpost is the chain’s second in the Bay Area, following Berkeley, which opened in April.

The Palo Alto location at 581 Ramona St. will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Dave, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 12, 2016 at 1:01 pm

I think it's mesclun and not masculine with sprouts. Need to turn off that auto correct.....

Posted by Elena Kadvany, education reporter of the Palo Alto Weekly,
on May 12, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Elena Kadvany is a registered user.

Dave, you're absolutely right. Good catch :)

Posted by Like Sprouts Cafe, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 14, 2016 at 10:55 pm

No prices? not even on the menu.
Calories shown, but not cost.

I realize our wealthy pampered residents and visitors don't care about such uncouth information. So lets not mention it."healthy food available to the masses" ha ha ha.

Sounds very much like Sprouts Cafe on the 100 block of University which also makes up salads to your preferences. I miss University Art.

Posted by Mike Keenly, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on May 15, 2016 at 8:22 am

Downtown Palo Alto has become the haven for overpriced curiosity restaurants. Maybe it's just that in our region we have more disposable income and less common sense. I don't see the unique draw for this salad over any other.

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on May 15, 2016 at 4:46 pm

@Mike Keenly:

This is a free market economy: you are free to state your opinion with your dollars. Of course, others have the same ability, if you are a minority voice, well you are free to accept the changes or move elsewhere.

For sure, your personal ideal of what downtown Palo Alto should be is just a smidgeon of the overall community interest.

Heck, downtown PA doesn't have a cobbler anymore, something that MV still has. The overall Palo Alto community decided that they could not support a downtown cobbler anymore, not just an individual. If the overall market cannot show that they are willing to pay the dollars to support a downtown cobbler, well, that''s partly a fault of the community. The cobbler still needs to pay rent, be profitable, etc.

Palo Altans should look very closely at neighboring communities (Redwood City, Mountain View) and decide as a group whether or not their behavior is adding value to their community.

We already see a massively higher suicide rate for PAUSD students/alumni, much higher than local parochial schoolkids or students/alumni from neighboring communities.

There is something horrifically toxic and lethal about Palo Alto.

Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on May 16, 2016 at 12:07 pm

If you weren't so eager to complain, and looked a little harder you'd find they have the full menu with prices on their website.

Web Link

Prices range from $9-$13, so not particularly overpriced if they can put quality ingredients in a bowl.

Posted by Bean, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 17, 2016 at 10:47 am's another version of Pluto's and Sprouts?

I love salad places like that, though, and it's nice to have another downtown option that doesn't cost $15+. I will definitely have try it out.

Posted by Like Sprouts Cafe, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 17, 2016 at 12:20 pm

Mr.Recycle, that's a menu? Are you serious? It's a small print unreadable multipage Excel table.

You have to be a coder monkey to figure it out.
Well we have lots of those, no problem.

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on May 17, 2016 at 8:18 pm

It's a PDF, @Like Sprouts Cafe.

If you're going to blast a technology, at least get it right.

Anyhow, he pointed you to the answer (hosted by commonplace online technology). You don't need to be some wizard coder monkey to read the menu with pricing, nor did it likely emanate from a restaurant employee that had coder monkey skills. After all, if that person did have not skills, they would be working for some high-tech company making three times the salary and full benefits rather than working at some F&B joint.

Your criticism is oddly placed at best.

Posted by Like Sprouts Cafe, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 18, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Reader, you only looked at page 1.
ok, it's a PDF, big deal. No one is blasting a technology, just its use, helping food-addicts.

No need to denigrate the people who work at F&B joints, whatever they are.
Better than spending a useless life designing violent games which is what so many of our downtown coder monkeys do.
Or work for a billion dollar octopus and support its voracious goals.

Yes, I Like Sprouts Cafe.

Posted by mPer , a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on May 18, 2016 at 3:48 pm

so it's a salad bar, sweet! I love how millennials think they found something new. Salads not necessarily healthy, nor is this the first salad bar chain

Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on May 18, 2016 at 5:48 pm

@Like Sprouts Market:

The tables on the subsequent pages are quite legible and aren't much different in format from a public transit timetable. Yeah, there are a lot of numbers, but that's what people who are looking for this document want.

In the end, it's no different in legibility than the annual water quality report that the City of Mountain View publishes, the stock pages from in the business section of the newspaper or phone book listings.

It doesn't take a "coder monkey" [sic] to understand this. This is the same data that has been listed in the nutritional panel of prepackaged food in this country for decades.

But gripe all you like. It's your blood pressure, not ours.

Posted by Boring...., a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 4, 2016 at 9:13 am

We ate at Sweetgreen on Ramona.....the salad was fine, nothing special. The sad part for us was there is NO ambiance at all. The eating area lay-out is horribe, it's very loud and doesn't not take advantage of the great corner and building they are in. It felt like a not so great college cafeteria. Don't see us going back......Pluto does a much better job!!!

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