Food Focus: 7 Greens Detroit Salad Co.

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7 Greens Detroit Salad Co.1222 Library St., Detroit7greens.comSalads: $9-$15Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday, closed Saturday-Sunday7 Greens Detroit Salad Co.

Tucked behind the Skillman Library in downtown Detroit, 7 Greens is a great spot for a quick, yet satiating lunch. Salads are the star of their menu, but these are thoughtful combinations of greens, with satisfying portions packed with both fresh and roasted vegetables. Local cheeses, nuts, and distinctive homemade dressings round out the meals, with fruits and grains adding sweetness to the savory.

And 7 Greens does serious salads, loaded with both crispy, fresh leafy greens and firm chunks of well-roasted, marinated veggies. Whether you swing for tofu, chicken, or shrimp, you won't leave hungry. The salads contain smart blends of nuts, veggies, fruits, and cheese, both texture, flavor, and color meshing for meals that are crunchy, flavorful, and striking to look at. If something on the menu doesn't tickle your fancy, there's also the option of building your own salad, and the employees are happy to help you choose.

The "Yoga Girl" salad is rich with thinly sliced, perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts and kale, piled with fresh spinach leaves and shredded carrots, roasted beets, and quinoa, which gives the salad a gentle hint of sweetness. Topped with a piquant tang of miso dressing and accented with a hint of spicy sriracha sauce, the roasted sesame tofu and miso will have you trying to scoop the last dollop of dressing from the bowl.

Plus, all their greens come from Eastern Market; in the winter, they'll continue to source locally as much as possible. Some of the cheeses, like the Bulgarian feta, also come from Eastern Market distributors.

Luckily for those with diet restrictions, all dressings are vegan and gluten-free, and are made in-house. There's also a rotating, daily homemade soup special, and granola and yogurt for breakfast — check the chalkboard by the register.

Sunny and airy inside, the walls are decorated with gardening tools and lush images of Georgia-O'Keeffe-esque lettuces — stylized stencils of ruffled romaine and napa cabbage leaves. Their busiest time is lunch, of course — the server said they often have a line out the door around noon. Despite that, in the evening, a couple was splitting a salad before a Tigers game, and a young woman was trying to re-create a fruit salad she'd had in Austin from their ingredients. Like a garden, the inside is laid back and relaxed.

Especially as chain-salad places, like Freshii, move into Detroit, it's encouraging to see locally oriented veggie spots opening up. A small complaint: The only bowls they have now are their to-go bowls, which is handy for snapping on a lid. However, it would also give a better dining feel if they had proper salad bowls for customers who want to dine in. — mt

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