New to the neighborhood, 7 Greens Detroit Salad Company (1222 Library St.) boasts a farm-to-fork philosophy, using as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible, making your salad the freshest in town – so fresh, the place doesn’t even have a freezer.
Owned by long-time Detroit chef and caterer Kelly Schaefer, 7 Greens offers a menu of classic salads as well as the ability to create your own masterpiece using vegetables, fruits, proteins, cheeses and nuts.
As I approached this new lunch spot, I immediately noticed it had an Eastern Market flair, with variegated wood panels outside and a raised “garage door” that lifts to allow open-air seating in pleasant weather. Once inside, the atmosphere is organic – wood tables, plant centerpieces and even farming tools that serve as wall decor, which pull together that homegrown theme against veggie-green walls and clean white tile.
I stood there staring at the menu while the staff was friendly and ready to answer all of my questions. If you don’t want to select your ingredients, choose one of 10 classic salads, including the Woodward Cruise, which features mesclun, napa cabbage, goat cheese, grilled chicken, bacon, chopped dates, pistachio nuts and creamy balsamic sauce. For an additional fee, you can even have your salad in a whole wheat or spinach wrap!
If you decide to make your own, you can choose up to two greens, four greenings (toppings) and a sauce. You can add premium toppings like grilled chicken, roasted tofu, citrus poached shrimp and more, for a fee.
While at first glance I wanted to try their version of the Hudson’s legendary Maurice salad, I chose to make my own, using a mix of romaine lettuce and spinach. My bowl of greens was then passed down a long counter filled with a line of ingredients. I stood like a kid in a candy store saying aloud the items they should add next. It was an interesting mix: roasted turkey, dried cherries, white cheddar, blueberries, tomatoes, chickpeas, hearts of palm and mushrooms.
Next came the big decision of which sauce to choose. All sauces are homemade and gluten free. I chose the cranberry vinaigrette and it had just the right amount of sweet and tang, which went perfectly with the mix of veggies and fruits in my salad. No boring ranch or honey mustard here – there are 18 sauces to choose from, such as chipotle ranch, citrus tahini, creamy maple and sriracha drizzle! Lastly, my salad was sealed in a deep plastic bowl accompanied by a slice of bread called Dinkelbrot!
7 Greens also has homemade soups, cookies and granola creations, which you can add to your order for a complete meal made fresh by hand, not machine. You can purchase soda, juice or bottled water, but they had a beverage server filled with strawberry-infused water you could have for free as you grab napkins and utensils.
If you made a resolution to eat healthier this year, 7 Greens is making it easier with a variety of ingredients that makes it OK to play with your food, despite what your mother told you.