23-year-old Nic Jammet is one of the three minds behind Georgetown's eco-friendly salad shop, Sweetgreen (3333 M St., NW; 202-337-9338). The Georgetown grad is a lifelong foodie—his parents owned the venerable French dining room Le Caravelle in Manhattan until it closed during his freshman year of college.
Before partnering with two friends to launch Sweetgreen his senior year, Jammet, a business major, spent summers interning in the restaurant industry. One summer, he worked for Joe Bastianich, son of Italian-cooking maven Lidia and owner, with Mario Batali, of several New York restaurants including Babbo and Del Posto. Bastianich is now an investor in Sweetgreen.
Jammet lives in Georgetown, just a few blocks away from the cozy 500-square-foot hut that houses Sweetgreen. He plans to move back to New York eventually, but for now, he’s busy expanding the business here in DC. The next Sweetgreen Jammet plans to open will be on the north side of Dupont, “right on the circle,” he says, though he won't disclose specifics until the lease is officially nailed down. He and his partners are aiming for a late-summer opening there, and are now scouting for a third downtown DC location "near Farragut Square or in Chinatown."
Over salads and cups of “Sweetflow”—Sweetgreen's signature sweet-tart frozen yogurt—Jammet chatted with us about his food favorites.
Favorite local restaurant: I would have to say Ray’s the Steaks and Brasserie Beck. I love those off-the-beaten path restaurants with great food, but when I want more of a fun scene, I go to Beck. Our architect did Beck also, so we end up hanging out there a lot.
Favorite NYC restaurant, currently: Right now, it’s La Esquina. It’s an underground Mexican restaurant on Lafayette Street. It means “the corner” in Spanish. Splurge restaurant of all time? Per Se. You can’t do it that much. . . I went once for a 22-course tasting with wine pairings. I couldn’t eat after for like three days.
Favorite type of lettuce: Mache.
Favorite salad dressing: Our lemon-hummus-tahini.
Favorite salad at Sweetgreen: The chic-P—mesclun and baby spinach with paprika-roasted chicken, chickpeas, cucumbers, roasted yellow peppers, and pita chips, tossed with the lemon-hummus-tahini dressing. And I like it when people actually call it the chic-P (pronounced sheek-p). I changed the whole menu to put the pronounciation on there, just so people will get it. I’m French—half French, half Lebanese.
Pinkberry or Tasti D-Lite? Pinkberry.
Favorite toppings for Sweetflow yogurt: Toasted almonds and our newest topping, organic agave syrup.
Pizza or Chinese takeout:Pizza. I’d go for Patsy’s Pizza in Harlem—a classic.
What are your fridge staples? Hummus, a ton of Honest Tea, because my twin brother works for the company—our fridge here at Sweetgreen is full of it, too—and apples. I always have those three things in my fridge.
Drink of choice: Right now, it’s Ciroc vodka on the rocks with a splash of lime.
Georgetown Cupcake or Baked & Wired? Georgetown Cupcake. I knows the girls who opened it. Look, there’s a girl with a Georgetown Cupcake box right there. I like what they're doing.
Favorite thing to cook at home: Really simple, rustic things. I love to make my own hummus, that's why I always have so much of it in my fridge.
Dessert or cheese plate? If I’m at a place with a legit cheese plate, I definitely get it.