Photos by Jack Fitzpatrick
The first time I walked into Bowl of Greens, I figured it would be the last time.
The salad, sandwich and smoothie shop at the ground floor of the Walter Cronkite School seemed to be a clone of the nearby Devil’s Greens, which also has a salad bar, but is located at the ground floor of the Taylor Place dorms. I guessed it was another overpriced restaurant with bad food, relying purely on a convenient location for business.
I guessed wrong.
Bowl of Greens is not what it looks like from the outside — or even from the inside. It’s not a scam, a convenience store or even an Aramark franchise. The friendly staff and tasty food are even more of an attraction than its location on campus. The meat is charcoal grilled, the lettuce is fresh and the atmosphere is welcoming and relaxing.
But let’s not get carried away. Bowl of Greens exceeded my expectations, but its forks and knives are still plastic, its drinks still come out of a self-serve fountain and it’s still an on-campus salad bar. Don’t take a date there unless it’s a cheap, salad-themed date. Actually, just don’t take a date there.
On my first visit, I knew I had to try the “Mango Mania” smoothie. Cronkite School professor Tim McGuire regularly brings one to class and has raved about them. I had high hopes for Mango Mania, but I was disappointed. It was sugary but not flavorful, and it seemed to have a bit too much ice. Considering Fair Trade Cafe is just across the street, I’ll go there next time I want a smoothie.
I can get a salad down the street, so I decided to order the lamb kabob, one of the daily specials. The grilled lamb blew me away; its smoky flavor and crispy edges were the result of skilled grilling. It was juicy and tender but not undercooked. On the side was a cup of tzatziki, creamy yogurt and cucumber dipping sauce, which wasn’t strong or spicy but added a nice, cool taste to the lamb.
The kabob came with a basic yellow rice and a side salad sprinkled with balsamic vinaigrette. Everything in the dish was simple and flavorful, and it all went well together.
Daily specials go for around $7 each, making for a reasonable meal, but not a particularly cheap one. The nearby Subway, or even Vitamin T in CityScape, are both more affordable.
Bowl of Greens seems like it belongs in a South Florida suburb. You decide whether that’s good or bad. On the upside, it has a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere; on the downside, it’s bland and cultureless. Overall, the food is good enough for it to exceed low expectations. I initially thought I’d never come back, and I still might not, but it could happen.
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