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.




12 responses

22 05 2008

That was our reaction also. The salad and soup was excellent but the entrees were just thrown in because sometimes your group includes fresh vegetable phobics and they need something to eat also.

22 05 2008

Agreed. We went one evening and we had pretty severe sticker shock when we paid. We will go back but it will be for lunch next time.

I thought their soups were excellent and the salad bar was good. I tried their entree but I really didn’t expect to get an entree when we decided to go there.

23 05 2008

Moses & Foxspit – I’m glad that you agree with our assessment. I like the idea of going for a late lunch to save money. It sounds like we didn’t just hit a bad day for the entrees, this sounds like the general pattern.

23 05 2008

Actually, we ate lunch there today. Thought it would be cheaper but I was wrong. Still $20 for the two of us. We were somewhat disappointed in it this time. The soup was pretty good but I had the seafood chowder, which had what looked like imitation crab, otherwise I couldn’t see any other seafood. The salads were good.

I had a baked potato that was good. The other entrees didn’t look great, they had chicken quarters that looked absolutely bone dry. Nobody was eating them. The chicken in one of the chicken salads was rubbery and dry, so I assume it was some of the leftovers.

I don’t think we’ll be back. It’s a great concept but they’re just priced too high.

31 05 2008

My gf and I thought it was REALLY good. They had baked potato bar when we went and I didn’t indulge in that. Yes, it seems fairly pricy, but when I thought about it more it didn’t seem as bad. Drink, huge salad bar (had more than I thought it would), nice choice of soups, and then gelato on top of that … seems OK … especially when I think about it trying to do the local thing, etc.

We will be back for sure … too bad it’s SO far away from us (we’re near Northstar).

On another note … looks like starting mid-June you will get a coupon for 1/2 off of gelato rather than a free (small) serving.

23 07 2008

I thought it was boring. I’m a vegetarian and I can get salad anytime I want, I basically live off of it. There was nothing extraordinary about it, except the price! They need better greens, better toppings and better dressings. The only reason why people like it is because its a new concept for Lincoln and it embraces the new “local” food trend. This place wouldn’t survive in a large city, its not good enough. Yes the idea is nice, but the follow through needs improvement.

31 07 2008
Mr. T

Just wanted to add my 2 belated centavos. I went there for dinner about a 5 or 6 weeks ago. I LOVE fresh salad and I was impressed with the spread overall for the green salad. They had iceberg lettuce, arugula, and fresh spinach, all of which I love. They also had some toppings i don’t see elsewhere, like tofu, blue cheese crumbles, and baby corn. I wonder if the baby corn is truly “local” or not. The cucumber yogurt dressing was great, but the caesar dressing was way too sweet.

I did try the entrees as well, and there was some kind of herb baked chicken that I thought was really quite good and flavorful. I also had the french onion soup – another favorite of mine – and it was way toooo salty (over salting something is my pet peeve).

It was about $10 per person. I think i differ from most of the other comments here because I thought the price was fair. To get a good caesar salad or salad nicoise you would probably pay $7-8 at least. Paying $10 for all you can eat green salad, as well as the entrees and soup, and all the potato and pasta salads (which were my least favorite), AND the gelato, made it a pretty good investment in my opinion.

15 09 2008

Maybe you’ve gone on off nights, because I’ve been there several evenings and the entrees were excellent…the beef brisket had a unique seasoning, and the stuffed mushroom caps melted in my mouth. I got to visiting with one of the owners and found out that almost all of the food is made in house (as opposed to Old Country Buffet or Valentino’s). Knowing that, I find it hard to argue with the price…the mixed salad greens that they have on their bar, local and organic, goes for $10.00 a pound at the farmer’s market. Have none of you noticed the price increases all over? I had lunch at Hardee’s the other day, and it was over $7.00!

28 01 2009

So Shadowbrook Salad Co. went belly up, as has, apparently, this blog.

24 04 2009

We’re back now – sorry for the lull.

27 04 2009


17 10 2012
just wondering

You ever thought about giving the location?

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