This past Saturday at Columbia, Maryland's Merriweather Post Pavilion, salad purveyor Sweetgreen put on their fifth annual music and food festival, Sweetlife. Despite a rainy forecast, music lovers showed up in the thousands to see their favorite bands and eat some of the best food the east coast has to offer.
Sweetlife began in 2010 in the parking lot of Washington D.C.’s Dupont location, only the second Sweetgreen location, three years after their first shop opened in Georgetown. It began as about 500 people watching a few of the founders’ (Georgetown graduates Nicolas Jammet, Jonathan Neman, and Nathaniel Ru) favorite bands. Now, the festival brings nearly 20,000 people to a two-stage venue.
Sweetgreen, known for their use of local and organic ingredients in their 22 locations throughout the east coast, kept the same principles in Sweetlife. Vendors came from Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New York, and everywhere in between. Chef Spike Gjerde’s Woodberry Kitchen, Chef Erik Bruner-Yang’s Toki Underground, DGS Delicatessen, Chaia Tacos, and, of course, Sweetgreen were just a few vendors stationed at the festival. A slew of food trucks, including Pepe by José Andrés and Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken (both D.C. based) were also on hand
There wasn’t just food, though. In the area of the festival grounds appropriately named "the tavern," a variety of local beers were on hand. DC Brau, Mountain State Brewing Co., Peak Organic Brewery, and more were all serving their brews to the festivalgoers. Maryland-based Flying Dog Brewery collaborated with Sweetgreen to create the Sweetlife Pale Wheat. In conjunction with Sweetgreen’s all-local philosophy, the beer was made with locally sourced wheat and honey for a light and refreshing beer for the warm day.
Sweetlife x VB6
Cookbook author Mark Bittman created this salad specifically for Sweetgreen and the Sweetlife Festival. A preview to his upcoming cookbook, The VB6™ Cookbook, The VB6™ sweetgreen Quinoa Salad is made with quinoa, red pepper, corn, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs and spices. Click here for the recipe.
The sweetgreen salad is made with blueberries, goat cheese, cucumbers, mint, mixed seeds, spinach, and mesclun with a balsamic vinaigrette.