On the bowl! Fresh greens are plucked to order at new W’burg salad spot

On the bowl! Fresh greens are plucked to order at new W’burg salad spot
Photo by Taylor Balkom

Talk about having your pick!

The owners of a new salad stall inside a Williamsburg food hall are serving up dishes made with snipped-to-order greens from the eatery’s in-house, soil-free garden.

“People say it’s the best salad they’ve ever had,” said Liz Vaknin, a co-owner of Harvest 2 Order inside North Third Street Market on N. Third between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue. “Everything is super fresh, and never more than 48 hours off the farm.”

Vaknin’s so-called farm is actually a set of shelves in her eatery beneath specially designed, fluorescent pink and white lights, where daily deliveries of microgreens from an actual farm in Long Island are tended hydroponically — with tons of nutrients but no soil or natural light — until they are cut to order for hungry customers, she said.

“They are still growing in a soil substrate with water that keeps them alive until we snip them with scissors,” Vaknin said.

The microgreens — which consist of stems and the first leaves of greens including arugula, cress, and red-veined sorrel — boast more nutritional value and flavor than their fully developed counterparts, according to Vaknin, who said microgreens are growing in popularity because of their taste and ability to thrive on fewer natural resources.

“They have peak nutrition that makes you feel good,” she said. “And they taste good, so people are really vibing with them.”

Vaknin and co-founder Shelley Golan opened the women-run Harvest 2 Order last week, after overseeing their own marketing and public-relations agency focused on sustainable foods, Our Name is Farm, since 2014.

Unlike other fast salad spots that focus on fancy toppings, however, Harvest 2 Order makes its greens grown on site the centerpiece of each bowl, ensuring their leafy goodness isn’t lost among add-ons, Vaknin said.

“We’re all about the proportion of greens to toppings,” she said.

Patrons can shell out $9 for a salad with microgreens and dressing, and as much as $14 for one with multiple toppings which include cheeses, vegetables, and proteins such as salmon. The extras are all just as fresh as the plants themselves, according to Vaknin, who said the proprietors try to source all ingredients domestically, if not locally from Brooklyn or an outer borough.

“Transparency in sourcing is important,” she said.

And the new salad spot’s owners aren’t just serving their cut-to-order microgreens in a bowl — customers can also enjoy them on the eatery’s open-faced toasts — which start at $10 — according to Golan, who said she and Vaknin designed all of Harvest 2 Order’s menu options to blend healthy eating with convenience.

“People want quality, and they want it now,” she said. “Our food is the ultimate personification of this desire.”

Harvest 2 Order at North Third Street Market (103 N. Third Street between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street in Williamsburg, www.harvest2order.co) Sun–Sat from 11 am to 9 pm. Salads from $9, toasts from $10.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.