SaladBox was such a great and unexpected discovery in Romania, that I felt it deserved its own review, even if it is not a 'sit-down' kind of restaurant that we usually review.
Just before finding out about SaladBox, I realized what unhealthy food choices one has when on the street in Bucharest: lots of pastries, shaormas, meat and fries. These are ok to have once in a while, but there are basically no other options.
SaladBox seems to be the answer to players of people who want to eat healthy – they serve salads in any possible combination of vegetables, seeds, and fried meat. The beauty is that one can make their personalized salad with anything they want.
Prices are good: a five-ingredient salad – anything non-meat – is RON 12 (EUR 2.7), and salads which include meat are some RON 14 (EUR 3.1). They also serve fresh juice, cream soups, and yoghurt with fruits and seeds.
You know when sometimes you order a salad and it arrives with these layers of different elements, and you always end up eating the lettuce by itself, at the end, no matter how hard you’d try to mix them in the tiny recipient you’ve been given? The people at SaladBox were smart about this. You choose your ingredients, the sauce – if you want one (try the olive oil, mint and lemon one!) and the person mixes the salad in front of you in a large bowl, then places it in the salad box. You end up with a very tasty salad, with all ingredients evenly distributed. Small things always make the difference.
People seem to dig this, I have seen so many queuing for their salad while the nearby fast food which is usually so crowded, was almost empty. As the healthy life trend continues to grow, I am sure we will see more of this.
In Bucharest, the only SaladBox locations I know of are in the Promenada Mall in the Floreasca area and in Afi Palace Cotroceni (please comment if you know of others). I do hope they will open in some non-mall locations too, because Bucharest – and Romania – truly deserve some healthy food options.
SaladBox is also present in other cities across Romania - Alba-Iulia, Arad, Baia Mare, Constanţa, Iaşi, Ploieşti, Oradea andTimişoara.
I learned that the business was started by six young Romanians, and that franchises are also possible, so I hope their business will flourish and others like them will open up. As much as I love pretzels and shaormas, I love healthy choices more!
Corina Chirileasa, [email protected]