In photos: The fast-casual B.Good features a modern and clean interior with an open kitchen and dining room area. Inset: A Turkey mushroom burger with sweet potato fries.
GUILDERLAND — That gym membership finally paid off. I’m not talking about losing weight. It got me a 50 percent discount on my meal at B.Good.
B.Good’s ethos is that food should be good for you, good for the community and good for the planet. They partner with farmers who raise cage-free hens and animals that are antibiotic- and hormone-free, and use regenerative farming practices.
I was told they try to get all products as locally as possible so they can support other businesses in the area. One of their suppliers is Mento Produce Co., a wholesale produce, dairy and dry goods purveyor in Syracuse that promotes locally grown products.
That sounds great, but what does that mean for you, the diner? If you want a healthier way to eat good, they say, then this is the place for you.
B.Good is fast-casual, with a farm-to-table, diverse menu. They highlight salads and healthy items, but you can get a real beef burger with fries and a milkshake. As you might expect, they offer gluten-free and vegetarian grain bowls, plant-based burgers and smoothies.
You can get a gluten-free bun for your all-plant beet pineapple burger, chickpea burger or poblano quinoa burger. B.Good has something for everyone.
The business was launched in Boston in 2003 and is growing fast, with 60 locations in 13 states and Canada, Switzerland and Germany. Their first area store was in The Shoppes at Latham Circle.
So Lisa and I headed over to their Stuyvesant Plaza location for a meal and were pretty pleased with what we found. The decor is modern and clean, with large framed photos of farmer-partners. Wooden tables, counters and chairs give it a rustic feel.
You can order on a touch-screen — two are right there as soon as you walk in — but as it was pretty quiet, the nice person at the counter motioned us over and indicated that he was happy to assist. He helped us navigate the menu and gave me the discount.
We took our plastic cups sans straws (“Thank you for saving a turtle,” said the employee) over to the condiment station. B.Good carries Stubborn Soda, a PepsiCo line of craft beverages made with cane sugar and natural flavors. Cool, but I helped myself to house-made strawberry lemonade and Lisa chose their unsweetened lemon iced tea from the dispensers. Drinks are $2.50 each.
“This stuff is delicious,” I said after taking a sip. There was definitely strawberry flavor in there.
Our food was ready before we knew it, and I hustled to the counter to pick it up. B.Good didn’t need their pagers to keep track of orders during our visit.
Lisa chose something flexitarian: plant-based but with some meat. The turkey mushroom burger ($9.50) on a whole grain bun looked pretty good, topped with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and chipotle aioli.
The burger was very sweet, and a little bit of heat from the chipotle aioli made for a nice combination. “It’s like a sausage consistency,” Lisa said. That works on a bun. It went down fast, and she said it was tasty. “I really like the aioli,” she said, “I just want to eat that.”
We shared an order of better-than-average sweet potato fries ($3.50), sturdy, sea salted and a little bit crispy on the outside. Nicely done — it’s not easy to do crispy, picture-perfect sweet potato fries well. We both liked them.
I had the Southwest Chicken salad ($10). B.Good gets serious points for the excellent chipotle dressing that improved the taste of everything in my bowl. If it came in a bottle, it would be in my refrigerator.
That was a good thing, because the salad needed some livening up. There was plenty of grilled white meat chicken, but as Lisa said, “I wish it wasn’t cold.” White meat doesn’t pack a lot of flavor; cold, it has even less. I liked the toasted corn kernels, which packed a snack-food crunch, and the sweet fresh corn. Small sliced tomatoes, black beans and fresh mixed greens made it healthy for me. Lisa ate the avocado. The salad grew on me and I liked it a lot better by the time I reached the bottom of the bowl.
You can get a packaged gluten-free brownie for dessert, but I chose a large, good-looking chocolate chip cookie for us to share ($3). Like everything at B.Good, it’s better for you, too. Manufactured by Sweet Street, it’s made with cage-free eggs and cane sugar, and is free of additives and genetically modified ingredients. Their website says the chocolate is “sustainably grown.”
“There’s something salty in here,” observed Lisa, who had broken off a piece. I noticed it, too. What the package doesn’t say, except in the ingredients, is that there are salty pretzel balls baked into the delicious dough. That’s genius. It bumps the classic chocolate chip salty-sweet cookie up a notch and adds crunch at the same time.
The receipt, which showed a 50 percent Workout Wednesday discount on my salad, came to $28.08 including tax.
You have a choice between many fast and casual restaurants in this area. Where you decide to spend your hard-earned money is up to you. If B.Good’s ethos resonates, the decision is an easy one to make.
WHERE: 1475 Western Ave., Suite #38 (Stuyvesant Plaza), Guilderland; (518) 708-8932; bgood.com
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
HOW MUCH: $28.08
MORE INFO: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover. Large parking lot. ADA compliant. Children’s items on menu.