Ingredients (Some Assembly Required)
21 E. 5th Street
Located in the atrium of The Westin Hotel in downtown, this ingenious restaurant combines fresh and healthy made-to-order gourmet meals in a grab ’n’ go atmosphere, featuring a variety of signature sandwiches, Panini’s, brick oven pizzas, salads, soups, bakery items and gelato.
Vegetarians will be able to find several options to satisfy, including a breakfast Panini of roasted veggies with scrambled egg whites, roasted veggie wraps and Panini’s for lunch, and two brick oven pizzas: classic tomato & basil, and wild mushroom. The 10 inch pies sport thin and crispy crusts that are light and tasty without overwhelming the fresh toppings, and at $7 signify good value for downtown. They also feature freshly baked breads for breakfast, as well as pastries, croissants, muffins, bagels, fresh fruit, smoothies, juices, Starbucks coffee and tea.
If salad is more your thing for lunch, their personalized gourmet salad concept is hard to beat. You choose from mixed greens, crisp romaine, iceberg lettuce or baby spinach, then select up to five toppings from an impressive list of 30 healthy ingredients. Aside from the usual suspects like tomatoes, peas, broccoli and carrots that usually grace area salad bars, Ingredients offers upscale items like asparagus, artichoke, cranberries, black beans, hearts of palm, sun-dried tomatoes and wild mushrooms, finished with your choice of dressing for only $6. Best of all for vegetarians, tofu is among the variety of proteins available for a dollar extra. Bingo! We have a winner!
The friendly employees are generous with the toppings, so if you opt for one of the gourmet salads take heed that the generosity also extends to the dressing. Don’t be surprised to see three ladles of dressing plopped into the bowl. If that’s a turn-off, be sure to request it on the side.
Ingredients (Some Assembly Required) can be slightly confusing to first timers, especially during the noontime rush, since there isn’t one central counter to place orders. Instead, there are several lines snaking around the space as patrons queue up at the salad and grill stations to place orders. Lines may be long but are fast moving - an impressive feat since the staff customizes each meal individually. Payment is via a third counter on the opposite side of the room, which means zig-zagging your way through the throng after your order is complete. It’s not as chaotic as it sounds – it’s just busy - always the mark of a good restaurant.
The restaurant is open from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily and has ample seating in the atrium with a nice view of Fountain Square across the street.