Sprout Natural Choice

Sprout Natural Choice (Athena Towery / August 11, 2014)

706 Frederick Road, Catonsville, (443) 341-4880

We heard about the newest vegetarian addition to Catonsville’s dining scene last month and couldn’t wait to try it out. The name gave us a little pause when we first heard it: It’s the same name of a hair salon in Hampden. But we weren’t reminded of the salon at all once we got there. It’s more like a veggie version of a Subway sandwich shop, except even brighter and more cheerful. We had heard rumors of a salad bar, but it’s behind Plexiglas. There are “design your own” salads, wraps, and sandwiches, and “chef designed” salads, wraps, and sandwiches—plus a whole slew of smoothies and raw juice blends. The guys behind the counter here are super nice and helpful and are willing to explain any of the menu items. But, with all the design-your-own and mix-your-own items swimming before our eyes, we came down with a case of decision paralysis. After fidgeting in front of the menu board for a while, we asked for a takeout menu so we could sit down out of the way to make our selection. Deciding on the Yummy Hummus Club ($7.25) and the BBQ Panini ($8.25) felt like an accomplishment. The hummus club was good, although we weren’t sure what made it a club. It didn’t have three slices of toasted bread. It had hummus, spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, and veggie mayo. But at least it was filling. The BBQ Panini, on the other hand, needed beefing up (so to speak). The few slices of tofu on the sandwich were seasoned with Carolina BBQ sauce, but weren’t seared in any way. The caramelized onions lacked caramelization, resulting in a sandwich that lacked oomph. We also requested a smoothie, the Remedy ($4.89), which contained spinach, beet, banana, parsley, carrot, and mango and tasted like banana and mango. We also got a raw juice blend, the Heart Healthy ($6.50) with flax seeds, strawberry, blueberry, spinach, and beet, which tasted like beet and only beet. Strange how a little beet has such a big taste. Like the little beet, we hope this Sprout keeps growing. It has a lot of potential.