(Omama Altaleb/Broadside)

(Omama Altaleb/Broadside)

With the New Year and a new semester kicking off, keeping up with 2013 resolutions can be more difficult than keeping up with the Kardashians.
The most common resolutions include losing weight and becoming healthier. Whether you live off or on campus, there is a restaurant to indulge in without worrying about getting off track – and it will leave you feeling relaxed and energized.

Sweetgreen is a relatively local food chain restaurant with locations in only D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Luckily, the closest Sweetgreen is in Fairfax and is only 17 minutes away from campus.

So what makes Sweetgreen, well, sweet? Sweetgreen specializes in fresh, quality-made salads in which the ingredients come from local and organic farms. Nowadays, most people don’t know where their food originates, which is why Sweetgreen places a chalkboard in the restaurant to let customers know exactly where they get their food from.

Sweetgreen is perfect for vegetarians, vegans and anyone that is trying to lead a healthy life – or simply enjoy a delicious meal.
The restaurant is Chipotle-style, where you have the choice of picking one of Sweetgreen’s eight signature salads, or you can customize your own salad. If you are indecisive, or like to be surprised, you should try a signature salad. However, if you like to make your own decisions when it comes to what you eat and how you eat it, then you should opt for making your own salad.

(Omama Altaleb/Broadside)

(Omama Altaleb/Broadside)

To make your own salad, choose a base of romaine, grains, arugula, mesclun or baby spinach. You can choose four toppings from the vegetables or crunch options, which include toppings like pita chips and croutons. Then, you can choose meat or cheese for an additional cost. Lastly, you choose what dressing you like and specify how much you want. A make-your-own salad with a piece of buckwheat bread comes out to only $6.35.
For people who like to have a lot of toppings on their salad but don’t want to create their own, the District Cobb salad is a good choice, and costs $11.50.

Supervisor and shift leader at the Reston Sweetgreen, Mario Padilla, recommends the customer-favorite Guacamole Greens salad that costs $10.25 and amounts to just 465 calories.

“The good thing is if they don’t like any meat, they have a choice to substitute it with tofu or falafel,” Padilla said.
In addition, Sweetgreen sells wraps, frozen yogurt, house made-ice tea and Sweetpress – organic-pressed juice – which is perfect for anyone who is on a cleanse.

“We have healthy specials to show customers that we love the place and the food,” said Padilla, who has been working at Sweetgreen for almost three years, the longest restaurant job he’s held.

Widad Zenhom, senior and Conflict Analysis and Resolution major, ate at Sweetgreen before and said, “If Sweetgreen was at campus, I would definitely go to it.”

Zenhom mentioned that people are constantly getting sick, and he links it to the mass production of food and not knowing where food comes from.
“Sweetgreen tastes good, and it tastes like real food,” Zenhom said.

On the Sweetgreen bag, they state, “We make an effort to know our customers and the leaders in our community. We know our farmers, suppliers, and partners and reject industrial food. We respond to the needs of our community and the ideas of our customers.”

Sweetgreen is a restaurant that serves their customers’ needs through interacting with them. Near the door, a stand is in place to receive feedback from the customers. In addition, they have an online blog that gives fitness tips and healthy recipe ideas.