Beefsteak is a playful way to get a filling José Andrés fix without shelling out $15 for tapas.
The latest addition to Andrés’ restaurant empire does not disappoint because its variety is unparalleled. It offers dishes like Kimchi-wa, with edamame, roasted garlic and Bok Choy, and Frida Kale with black bean sauce and scallions, plus “make your own” options.
As you eat your meal, the sauces sink into the food and make every bite tastier. Beefsteak gives us reason to believe that vegetables are the new bacon, making us crave veggie bowls.
The restaurant’s initial out-the-door lines have dissipated, but you may need to set aside about 10 minutes to waiting in line if you’re going during lunch or dinner hours. If you’re a Sweetgreen fanatic, then you are accustomed to long lines and this won’t be a dealbreaker.
The see-through glass invites customers into Beefsteak’s modern, garden-inspired interior. Crates hanging from the ceiling create dynamic lighting, while pale, wooden tables and chairs offer comfortable seating. The walls are adorned with friendly vegetable cartoons that add to the pleasant atmosphere. While taking your meal to-go is an option, I prefer dining in because of the restaurant’s pleasant vibes.
The experience begins when you choose your vegetables. Unlike Chipotle and other assembly line setups that emphasize protein choice first, Beefsteak puts vegetables center stage.
Options include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots and my personal favorite, asparagus. Beefsteak recommends selecting four to five, but you can pick as many as can fit in the plate. Just don’t be over-ambitious with your veggies – remember that you may want to leave room for grains and protein.
Part of what makes the vegetables crave-worthy is that they have a crisp exterior and are tender inside. Roti and Sweetgreen cannot brag about cooking vegetables right in front of you.
While the vegetables are lightly boiled, you can select grain and sauce add-ons in the next station. Though the quinoa and spicy tomato sauce are the most popular choices, I went with the white rice and black bean sauce for the texture.
In the protein station, I added roasted chicken to my bowl, though the deli chicken doesn’t seem as wholesome or tasty as the rest of the food in the restaurant. Next time, I would opt for salmon or poached eggs as my protein source.
Then you may choose to complete your colorful meal with raw vegetables or crunchy additions. Bright red cherry tomatoes and delectable mozzarella spheres crowned mine. I chose to forgo the crunchy options, but the promising ones included cranberries, pita chips and roasted chickpeas.
Take note that add-ons may bump up the price of your meal. Bowls start at $8, but can easily reach $13 with extras like $4 salt-cured salmon and $2 mozzarella.
The homemade lavender lemonade is a must. This sweet choice is the perfect addition to a veggie-filled meal, though I was tempted by alcoholic options like $8 Infinite Monkey Theorem wine and $4.50 Dogfish Head beer.
You’ll leave the restaurant with a full stomach and a clear conscience, knowing that the flavorful bowl was also fresh and nutritious.