Garden Bar Brings "Farm-to-Go" Salads to the Pearl
The new choose-your-own-adventure salad bar aims to change the way Portland thinks about grab-and-go lunch, one piece of arugula at a time.
Christopher Handford and Ana Chaud want you to eat more vegetables. Their new salad-centric venture, Garden Bar, is Portland's first restaurant fully dedicated to made-to-order salads of all kinds, boasting six kinds of greens, unlimited add-ins (many locally sourced) from roasted chickpeas and brussels sprouts to soba noodles and dried cherries at no additional cost, affordable protein sides (like $1 tempeh or smoked turkey breast and $3 roasted steak with chimichurri), plus a rainbow of vinaigrette and house dressing options that put the Whole Foods salad bar to shame.
Garden Bar salads start with a $7 base of greens, and veggie lovers can add as many basic mix-ins as their hungry hearts desire (see our slide show above for a full list of ingredients). A menu of a dozen house specialties are available for the indecisive, from the District Cobb (with romaine, avocado, roasted chicken, and bacon with Rogue blue cheese vinaigrette) to the Cowboy Up (marinated steak, romaine, arugula, roasted fingerlings, and chimichurri).
Hanford, the culinary power behind Davis Street Tavern and Jamison, teamed up with Chaud, a local fitness instructor with a passion for health and small businesses, to open the "fast casual" restaurant with the aim of offering an alternative to traditional salad bars that can leave hungry lunchers wondering if those heavy artichoke hearts and hard boiled eggs will send their midday meal into budget-busting territory. The modern space is warmed up with a wall-sized mural of a Sauvie Island farm and tabletops made from Bamboo Revolution’s sustainably-sourced bamboo.
The choose-your-own salad adventure eatery is softly open in the former Morso space across the street from Powell's City of Books on NW 11th—with full hours and services set to roll out over the next week—and the duo are already planning their next four locations throughout Portland. Not only will more outposts cater to salad-craving denizens across the city, the increased volume will allow the Garden Bar team to partner with local farms to grow specific fruits and vegetables for year-round seasonal salads. Also in the works? GO Box reusable to-go containers, collaborations with local juice press Portland Juice Co, and online/mobile ordering—so you can skip the lines and head straight for the vegetables.
NW 11th Avenue
Soft opening hours: Mon-Sat, 11 am-3 pm
Full hours (set to launch by 2/21): Mon-Sun, 11 am-7 pm