Sweetgreen is a fast casual salad restaurant chain that began in the DC area in 2007. It has various locations throughout DC and the suburbs, including in Foggy Bottom, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Capitol Hill, Crystal City, Ballston, College Park, Silver Spring, McLean, Tysons, Fairfax and Reston. In the interest of full disclosure, I do not often eat salads because I almost never feel full after eating them. The salads at Sweetgreen are no exception in this regard, but they are very tasty and innovative. I can totally see the appeal of this place for those who do like salads, so I am rating it based on that. I ordered a seasonal specialty called the Umami Grain Bowl, which was healthy and delicious (though I was of course still hungry after). There are numerous other inventive salad choices, such as the “Rad Thai,” which is a Thai-inspired salad with shrimp. For those counting calories, however, be warned that some of the salads are highly caloric- the winner in this regard is the “Earth Bowl,” which packs a whopping 775 calories (as a comparison, a Big Mac contains 563 calories). Of course, there’s a lot more to healthy eating than calories, and there is certainly far more nutrition in Sweetgreen’s food than in Mc Donalds’Sweetgreen also has delicious house made fountain drinks and everything (aside from the reusable bowl) is compostable. Sweetgreen gets major points for offering nutritious, environmentally conscious food in a casual, bright atmosphere. It just isn’t a filling enough meal for me

Mandalay Restaurant & Cafe

Rating: ★★★★☆


12168050_10153920274443011_1269190511_n (1).jpg

Chicken in a coconut curry sauce with a Burmese samosa, rice and green tea. 

Mandalay Restaurant & Cafe, located at 930 Bonifant Street in Silver Spring, is a great spot for tasty Burmese food. Burmese food, as one might expect, is kind of like a cross between Indian and Thai. Their lunch specials are pretty good value and include a choice of a spring roll or a Burmese samosa. The menu is almost overwhelmingly extensive (especially since few people have any familiarity with Burmese food) but I chose a chicken dish in a coconut curry sauce, which is one of their most popular dishes. The curry was flavorful- I ordered it medium so it was spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. I also got a samosa which was crispy and tasty. I had green tea with my meal, which tasted a bit oxidized. The ambiance is also nothing special. Despite these minor flaws, I highly recommend this place and it is worth the excursion to Silver Spring to try this fun, flavorful cuisine.