The line stretched around the corner for Sweetgreens' soft, soft opening of the salad shop's new location at 10th and Walnut. Area hospital and university staff were invited in for a free lunch; on Wednesday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. the public can come for a "pay what you want meal" — but don't be a cheapskate, because proceeds go to Fair Food Philly.
Thursday is the official opening.
The concept is farm-to-table, with locally sourced ingredients, from tofu to kale, listed alongside their origins on a blackboard. Order a signature salad or choose your own, and watch while the servers mix it up. Unlike in other Sweetgreen locations, this one has an open kitchen, visible behind the salad prep line. "We realized people didn't know we were making everything right here, so we wanted them to be able to see," explained Ellyn Quigg, up from D.C. to do marketing for the new store.
We tried a signature Guacamole Greens ($9.50, 575 cal.): Mesclun with roasted chicken, avocado, grape tomatoes, red onion and crushed tortilla chips, tossed with lime cilantro jalapeno vinaigrette, with a kicker — an optional dollop of sriracha blended in, adding some heat to the otherwise cooling concoction. We'll definitely be going back.