I fucking detest salads. They're about as exciting as going to see the dentist for a root canal.
Anybody who tells you that salads are their favourite lunch clearly need their head examined and should probably eat more burgers, burritos and ice cream.
I guarantee, I will turn up at the gates of heaven only to be sent down the way to hell where there will be a well-stocked salad bar, low fat milk and no wifi as standard.
I do, however, appreciate that the best way to get the body to run smoothly is by putting vegetables and lots of water in there. Occasionally I give it a go for a few days before I give in and live a little.
On one of these recent health buzzes, I headed down for a dreaded salad in Sprout And Co, a new spot on Dawson Street. Their juices have been around for awhile in places like Avoca and Fumbally, but this is their first full operation.
The first good sign was that the queue was out the door; we're talking like a Boojum kinda of queue.
The menu takes a bit of figuring out at first, but a few salads and wraps are made around one key ingredient or you can make your own. While making your own might sound tempting, I'd go with the menu items because they're very well thought out, balanced and tasty as fuck.
I've actually been a few times and tried most of the salads this week and I must say, they're the best I've ever had in Dublin.
The key here is the ingredients. The website, videos and post cards you're handed when eating here big up the sourcing of the ingredients in Smithfield Market at 4am each morning, with everything made on the premises. Their focus is locally sourced and seasonal produce.
They even do cute little breakfast dishes, like the poached egg pot I had above, which you can add a couple of toppings to. Great tasting and super value at €5.50 too.
All the salads come in at between €7 and €8 which is absolutely stonking value when you see the quality you're getting. While some places pull stuff out of packets, everything here is fresh and you can taste it in each and every bite.
A great example would be the chefs behind the counter hand grating the parmesan cheese to order despite a queue snaking out the door. That attention to detail along with the sourcing of ingredients comes through in the end result, which is an outstandingly fresh product.
They're best known for their juices and it's hard not to pick one up as you wait beside them at the till. When I talked to one of the founders a couple of months ago, he explained their juices were fresher (slow pressed) and more nutritional than any others on the market. Having heard that a hundred times I didn't pay much attention, but as I sipped a green juice I could tell he wasn't messing.
The only problem with the juices is that they cost €5.50 a pop. I'm happy to pay that a couple of times, but pretty much doubling the price of your lunch with a drink every day isn't realistic. They clearly aren't cheap to source and make, but that pricing is a little rich for most.
Other notables here include 3fe coffee, great homemade protein balls and various other 'healthy desserts'.
I actually enjoyed my salad as much as any lunch I've had in Dublin this year. I enjoyed it so much I'm having on again today, on a Friday of all days – the day for getting a dirty takeaway delivered to the office.
One thing's for sure: if they serve salads like these in hell I'm going to keep on sinning.