May 8, 2024 - Food and Drink

Taste Test: Sweetgreen's fancy new steak

Two Sweetgreen steak salad bowls

Sweetgreen's Steakhouse Chopped. Photo: Anna Spiegel

Sweetgreen just added steak to its menu nationwide, so naturally we had to try it.

The big picture: The D.C.-born salad chain is always on trend, whether it's frozen yogurt or music festivals (RIP) and what's hot right now is ... meat!

  • The plant-based pendulum has swung and fast-casuals like Taim and Cava are beefing up their menus, targeting protein fiends and dinner customers looking for heartier meals.

Dig in: Sweetgreen's "caramelized garlic steak" has restaurant-level ambitions. In ads, it looks like the steak from "The Devil Wears Prada," minced parsley and all.

  • The beef is grass-fed and pasture-raised to fit in the chain's sustainable model (NYT is skeptical), then seasoned with a roasted garlic spice blend, seared, and finished with olive oil and herbs.

What to expect: Three new signature steak dishes, including two salads and a protein plate ($14.95-$16.35 before tax, tip, etc.) Two bowls cost me $36.84 all included — not cheap, more than a single steak dinner at Medium Rare.

What to try: Steak Caesar. The meat, for all its cheffy preparations, is neither assertively spiced nor caramelized. It's not bad, by any means – it's soft and mildly beefy, almost institutional, like steak cubes you'd find at an upscale hospital.

  • The Caesar with its tangy dressing and crunchy parmesan crisps matches its subtle flavor the best.

What to skip: Steakhouse Chopped. Blue cheese overwhelms the meat and no steakhouse worth its strip would use quinoa.

Thought bubble: Next time I'd DIY a steak bowl with some romaine and crunchy vedge, roasted sweet potatoes, feta, pickled onions, and lime-cilantro-jalapeño dressing for a little zing (it needs zing).

The bottom line: While I haven't forgiven Sweetgreen for taking Spicy Sabzi off the menu and I'm #TeamBlackenedChicken, the steak is a solid addition — especially for all the protein girlies.


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