Sweetgreen, a fast-casual restaurant best known for its salads, is making a play for the dinner daypart with a new line of “Plates.” It’s the Los Angeles-based chain’s first new menu category since it introduced warm grain bowls in 2016.
Priced at around $14, the Plates feature flavored proteins with vegetables, whole grains and beans.
In a press release, the chain of 105 locations said it had originally planned to introduce the line next year, but it sped up plans “to cater to requests for warm satisfying options as families are spending more time around the dinner table.”
Nicolas Jammet, the chain’s co-founder and chief concept officer, said he hoped the new items would appeal to guests during these difficult times.
“We’re continuing to look for ways to evolve our offerings as the needs of our guests change due to the impact of COVID-19,” he said. “With Plates, our goal is to help create meaningful connections and good-for-you dining experiences during times where it may seem hard to do so. We hope these new items invoke the warm, comforting feeling of home cooked food, paired with quality ingredients and rich flavors that are unique to Sweetgreen.”
The Plates are available in packaging free of PFAS with square plates. Unlike Sweetgreen’s other menu items, these items are plated like a traditional meal, with the entrée and sides placed next to each other rather than jumbled together in a bowl.
The chain is donating one Plate to healthcare workers for each Plate purchase.
Sweetgreen has used its Outpost operations — a sort of pop-up kiosk traditionally set up in office buildings and other high-density areas for people to pick up their orders — to feed healthcare workers. It has donated more than 100,000 meals to more than 130 hospitals in partnership with José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen.
The new Plates are:
Chicken Chimichurri: Chicken thigh, hot roasted sweet potatoes, seasoned black beans, pickled carrots & celery, baby spinach, cilantro, feta cheese, riced cauliflower and chimichurri sauce
Hot Honey Chicken: Chicken thigh, hot roasted sweet potatoes, kale-cabbage slaw, roasted almonds, warm quinoa, baby spinach and hot honey mustard sauce
Miso Chicken: Chicken thigh, kale-cabbage slaw, basil, cilantro, wild rice, riced cauliflower, baby spinach and miso sesame ginger dressing
Cashew Sweet Potato: Roasted tofu “steaks,” hot roasted sweet potato, basil, tomatoes, lentils, raw carrots, spicy sunflower seeds, riced cauliflower, baby spinach, lemon squeeze and spicy cashew dressing
Green Goddess Steelhead: Roasted steelhead trout (shrimp in Texas), pickled carrots & celery, basil, cilantro, tomatoes, roasted almonds, riced cauliflower, warm wild rice, baby spinach and green goddess ranch dressing
Mushroom Burrito: Warm portobello mushroom mix, avocado, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, red onions, warm wild rice, riced cauliflower, baby spinach and lime cilantro jalapeno vinaigrette
Sweetgreen also has introduced two new sides for around $4, depending on location:
Spicy Pesto Sweet Potatoes: Hot roasted sweet potatoes, spicy cashew dressing and pesto vinaigrette
Cauli Rice & Beans: Riced cauliflower, black beans, feta cheese and lime cilantro vinaigrette
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