Fresh and Local: Shadowbrook Salad Company

22 05 2008

About a week ago, the Wiscos went to try Shadowbrook Salad Company. We were a little apprehensive about trying it, since we had heard mixed reviews. But, we both like a good salad bar, so we decided to give it a try. The name comes from Shadowbrook farm, a local farm that sells at the Haymarket farmers market in Lincoln. The owner of the restaurant and the owner of the farm are brothers. While the businesses are separate, the restaurant does serve a lot of produce that is grown locally at Shadowbrook farm, and they try to purchase ingredients from other local farms and businesses. For example, the bread they serve is from Le Quartier, a local bakery.

The restaurant is entirely a buffet, and there is one set price. You pay when you enter the restaurant, and they give you a card for your table. Putting one side up means that you are still eating, and the other side means that you are done. In addition, every person gets a coupon for a free gelato with dinner. The coupon could either be used after you eat, or you could keep it for another visit.

The buffet includes a large salad bar with an extensive selection of greens, veggies, cheeses, and other salad toppings. There is a large assortment of prepared salads, including things like broccoli salad, various pasta salads, and fruit salads. There are also about five or six different soups. The last section of the buffet includes a few different entrees, which vary by the day of the week. There is always one entrée that is vegetarian among the choices. We tried a variety of different things from the buffet, but it’s impossible to try everything in one visit.

Overall, the salad bar and the soups were excellent. We would go back again sometime when we feel like a really good salad bar with a large selection. The one section that we didn’t like was the entrees. When we were there, the quality of the salad bar was fantastic, but the quality of the entrees was on par with what you could get at an Old Country Buffet. We were disappointed, and hope that they improve. It was our first time eating there, and the entrees do change daily, so we might have hit a bad day.

After dinner we used our coupons to get gelato for dessert. Gelato is similar to ice cream, but a bit lighter with a richer flavor. It’s delicious, and we both tried a couple of flavors before making our decisions. We’ll definitely be back for gelato, especially with summer coming up soon.

Overall, we liked most of the food we had. We also are very supportive of a business that is trying to rely on local suppliers for food. We were not very happy with the entrée choices, although they might be better on another night. However, we will go back to Shadowbrook Salad Company for the soups and salad bar alone, regardless of the entrée choices. And of course, we’ll have gelato for dessert.