Thursday, May 26, 2016

How to Eat Well and b.good

vegetarian brooklyn
Spicy avocado quinoa bowl at b.good
Like many New Yorkers, I have a bias against chain restaurants. I prefer to frequent a local coffee shop than a national chain, and I almost never choose to eat in a chain restaurant.

I have to rethink that bias with the Brooklyn opening of b.good. This Boston-based chain, about a dozen years old but new to me (despite frequent trips to Boston) quiet landed in Brooklyn Heights last month and is expanding to Jersey City, New Jersey and Park Slope, my Brooklyn neighborhood, soon.

This is a chain with a huge difference: each store highlights local purveyors and farms. In the Brooklyn store, this means using the excellent breads from Tom Cat Bakery, whose artisan breads also grace the tables of Le Bernardin, Jean Georges and Bobby Flay restaurants. Pretty rarefied company.

vegetarian brooklyn
Some of the local farms used at b.good and the West Side veggie burger
Eight New York farms provide the produce and meat used at the b.good in Brooklyn, so the food is fresh.

And a family foundation provides micro grants to local community organizations; in Brooklyn, the community partner is P.S. 8, a local public school.  On the b.good app, where you can order food in advance (to go in compostable containers, natch) you can donate the the school; when the store rewards you with free meals or sides, you can donate those to the community partner as well.

vegetarian Brooklyn
b.good's seasonal watermelon and feta salad
The tagline is "real food fast" and the fast casual place- meaning you order at a counter and carry your own food to a table - includes kale and grain bowls, burgers (veggie or meat) and salads. It is ideal for a vegetarian or vegan, and has many gluten free options to boot.

I sampled a wide variety of the b.good offerings and was impressed with how tasty and fresh everything was. The spicy avocado and lime bowl stood out: served on a bed of organic quinoa (or a super-grains mix  or short grain brown rice, kamut wheat, hard red wheat berries, millet and lentils) the salad also included kale, black beans, corn, grape tomatoes, cilantro, queso fresco and chipotle. Equally delicious was the power bowl, with kale lentils, carrots, brussels sprouts, crunchy chickpeas and pepitas, over either grain and topped with a local egg over easy.

vegetarian brooklyn
Hungry yet? The power bowl has easy over eggs

The seasonal salads now include watermelon and feta with arugula, baby spinach  and sundried tomatoes.

Dressings and pickles are made in house; the mustard and ketchup are from Sir Kensington, a wonderful NYC based maker of artisan condiments.

We tried a couple of veggie burgers (also made in house) including the vegan West Side with avocado and fresh salsa, and the Elizel with asparagus and sharp cheddar. You can get any burger with a beef patty, turkey or vegetarian.

b.good also has breakfast bowls, kid's meals and cold pressed juices and smoothies.

Warning: this could be habit forming.


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