Newbury Street Cafe is a new healthy spot for a quick bite downtown, and they have a salad bar prepared to put all challengers to shame. Some of their eventual menu items are still sprouting, but our recent visit gave us plenty to smile about.
The Newbury Street space is small, ideal for take out or a quick lunch at a high counter overlooking Elmwood. Based on the size I’m guessing they are expecting a lot of grab-and-go customers. The space is clean, contemporary, and kind of makes you want to eat a salad. This perfectly timed opening is in sync with the seasonal mood of customers. As soon as the sun is out for more than a day straight I start craving a good salad. My personal creation at Newbury Street did the trick. We visited pretty soon after the doors opened, therefore some room for improvement was to be expected. However, anything unaccounted for was hardly missed in the end. After we dove into our salads, most misgivings were forgotten.
Enter the sharp storefront and head toward the back wall to find the starting point of the fresh, full salad bar. Different types of lettuce, including baby spinach, kale, baby arugula, and romaine are posted up on the wall. Ask for Newbury mixed greens to get a little of each. Feel free to mix and match a couple as well. In Step 1, a salad for $7 isn’t your only base option. Soups of the chicken, Lemon grass and Flat #12 mushroom variety are also available for $7/large and $4/small. Or have brown rice or spicy quinoa as your base via the Rice Bowl option, $7. Once you’ve picked your primary agent, immerse yourself in the spread of toppings. Although somewhat random, the options are very good. There are enough interesting, not your average old salad toppings, to impress. The last thing I want to do is hit up a new salad bar, and to be greeted with nothing more than tomatoes, peppers and croutons. I was thrilled to see options like mint/parsley/cilantro mix, bean sprouts, triple bean mix (black, kidney, garbanzo) and raw beets. Step 2 allows you to pick 4 toppings from the following list off the menu. Each additional item over 4 is 50 cents each.
- Raw beets
- Raw carrots
- Alfalfa/bean sprouts
- Red onions
- Fresh cilantro
- Mint/parsley/cilantro mix
- Dried cranberries
- Red/green sweet pepper strips
- Grape tomatoes
- Garbanzo beans
- Kalamata olives
- Triple Bean Mix
On the line I also saw feta cheese, red cabbage & raisins. I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the lack of cheese selection. I’m not too familiar with the difficulties of obtaining Non-GMO food, so maybe it isn’t worth the hassle, but I would love to see a few more options. In my opinion, a good gourmet cheese takes a salad over the top to more than just a side. That being said, feta does the trick just fine, and I did see organic parmesan cheese listed on one of their signature salads to come. Maybe it’s just a matter of time before we’re graced with the presence of more cheese. (More on the signature salads later.)
In Step 3, you can choose to add premium toppings from the following list for an additional cost, specific to the item. In addition, I spied strawberries.
- Spicy Organic Chicken, $3
- Herbed Chicken Souvlaki, $3
- Turkey, $3
- Spicy Quinoa, $3
- Avocado, $2
- Chia/Sesame/Flax, $1
- Mango Spicy Salsa, $3
- Hemp Hearts, $1
- Citrus Cilantro Shrimp, $4
- Hummus plain, $3
- Hummus Roasted Red Pepper, $3
- Hummus Cucumber Mint, $3
- Hummus Roasted Beet, $3
Step 4 – Pick your Dressing. This part is extra fun because like the hummus options, they’ve come up with some creative, homemade combinations of flavor. When we visited, they weren’t all available. Fortunately there was more that one option I was interested in, so it really didn’t pose a problem. The options are:
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Vegetarian Caesar
- Carrot Ginger
- Creamy Cucumber Basil
- Herbed Greek Vinaigrette
- Lemon Vinaigrette
- Lime Cilantro Jalapeño Vinaigrette
- Pesto Vinaigrette
Here’s what we concocted:
Salad 1 – Baby spinach & kale, craisins, cilantro, feta cheese, bean sprouts, cucumber mint hummus (extra) with Creamy Cucumber Basil dressing, $10.
Salad 2 – Baby spinach & baby arugula, chickpeas, radishes, kalamata olives, sprouts, bean sprouts (extra), feta (extra), chicken (extra) with Lemon Vinaigrette dressing. ($11)
Both salads were excellent. The ingredients were fresh and full of flavor. At first, I was a bit concerned with the 4 topping limit. There are so many I want to pack on there! While I’d still like to see a few more cheese options, and I do think $3 for hummus is a tad bit overboard, I appreciate the simplicity resulting from the limit imposed. The ratio of ingredients to greens to dressing was perfect, and the heaping pile of delicious hummus was the figurative cherry on top. Flawless coverage was achieved by the tossing they do for you behind the counter. And when I say the hummus was delicious, I mean really outstanding, the highlight of the plate. I noticed they sell their hummus in to-go containers. Yes, please.
Starting today, May 15, Newbury Street will offer Signature Salads/Ride Bowls ranging from &8-$10. They seem to have over 4 toppings, some including premiums. Considering the price you pay if you end up adding meat or hummus to your $7 base, I’d say signature is the way to go if you’re into what they’re offering.
Some options include:
- Chicken Chia Berry $10 – Baby spinach, romaine, organic herbed chicken, fresh strawberries, chia/sesame seeds, red/green sweet peppers, grape tomatoes, fresh cilantro/mint/parsley mix, lemon vinaigrette.
- Detox Salad $8 – Newbury mixed greens, red quinoa, sunflower seeds, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, almonds, blueberries, lime cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette.
- Brainy Beet $9 – Baby spinach, baby arugula, hemp hearts, raw beets, fresh blueberries, feta cheese, sunflower sprouts, walnuts, herbed greek chicken.
- Spicy Quinoa Bowl $9 – Spicy Quinoa, carrots, cucumber, feta, avocado, tomatoes, fresh mint/cilantro/parsley mix, serrano pepper, hemp hearts
As you can see, there are a few more toppings on these babies that aren’t listed in Step 2 or 3 of “build your own.” Maybe some special toppings will appear. Hopefully these signature salads are made fresh in front of you. Let us know what the deal is when you have one in the comments below.
With our salads we got a couple bottles of cold-pressed juice at $8 each. If you like your juice with a kick and on the no-so-sweet side, you’ll probably enjoy Bourbon Street – carrot, cucumber, celery, lime, ginger and cayenne pepper. We also tasted Sunset Blvd – orange, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, mint which was very good. You get a decent amount of juice for the price. Wheatgrass boosters come in tiny glass bottles for $3. If you’ve never had it before, wait for the semi-sweet aftertaste before writing it off completely based on the smell alone. They also offer blended smoothies for $6 each along with iced teas & lemonades. How refreshing! Perfect timing for this hot, hot weather. If you’re trying to cool down or freshen up, stop by Newbury Street Cafe.
Newbury Street Cafe Details
470 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14222
Open Daily 11am- 6pm
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