Sprout Natural Choice, vegetarian & vegan friendly “green gourmet”, had its grand opening in downtown Catonsville on Frederick Road on June 30th, 2014. It’s a bright and colorful big space with a half dozen of the brightest red booths that you’ve ever seen plus two long counters facing Frederick Road (FYI – Anyone wearing a skirt or extra loose leg shorts might want to think twice on how they sit at those counters! Owners should think about doing something about this and maybe adding some tables and chairs older adults can feel comfortable sitting at…)
The very modern looking stools along the counters may possibly demonstrate the triumph of design over functionality; John found them so uncomfortable that he moved over to a booth!
The menu at Sprout Natural Choice is limited – basically, you’ll find bargain priced salads, wraps, sandwiches and smoothies! There are a half dozen pre-defined Wraps and Salads to choose from (most a bargain $7.80 !), eight “Chef Designed” sandwiches ($7.25 – $8.50). Then there’s “design your own” Salad, Wrap, and sandwich options ($8 and with enough built-in options that you may need at all to add any extra cost items) The big side item are crispy fries ($1.50 extra with purchase of a wrap, salad or sandwich or $2.50 as a bigger portion side dish) We understand that they’ll be adding a special lentil soup (which we’ll be eager to try!) Another big menu offering are 20+ smoothies and juice blends ($5-$8; there are some small free samples of these and the taste and textures might surprise you!)
John decided to have a “Spicy Island” Wrap ($7.80), a side of fries ($1.50) and a can of Pelegrino natural blood orange soda ($2 – other flavors include lemon and regular orange) while Tom opted for a Whole Earth salad ($6.80 with kale, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, black olives with a balsamic dressing) and a “13 Suns” Smoothie ($5 including spinach, coconut, banana, peach and cilantro).
John’s wrap was really good! The room temp fries showed a lot of potential but would have been better if they had been freshly fried instead of having been sitting around in a pan (that might work at lunch time when there’s more turnover happening but not so great on a slow evening)
Tom polished off both his salad and his smoothie. He had asked about availability of added walnuts but turned out that the only nuts available were slice almonds. (We were amazed watching the man who created the smoothie put together with a whole lot of fresh ingredients that came as close to exactly filling up the 16 oz cup as was perhaps humanly possible! We commented to him on this and he responded that “It all comes with enough practice!”.
Desserts are limited at Sprout Natural Choice are limited to Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies and sweet potato souffle. On a muggy, warm summer night in Catonsville, we followed a long standing Catonsville tradition and headed over instead to Edmondson Avenue (just east of S. Rolling Road) where there are three wonderful places within a stone’s throw of each other serving up Italian gelato, soft ice cream, ice cream sandwiches and shaved ice. This evening, it ended up getting gelato at Cafe Di Roma (Tom was delighted a watermelon gelato and John was in gelato heaven with mint chocolate chip gelato. Sorry about that, Sprout! <Wink>
FACTS: Sprout Natural Choice ; Catonsville ; 706 Frederick Road ; 410-624-6605; http://www.sproutnaturalchoice.com/; Closed Sundays; Open for lunch and dinner Monday – Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm; exclusively vegan/vegetarian; no alcohol; on-street paid parking; free parking in very large lot behind them.