Back to school season doesn’t just mark the end of summer—it means, that some of us get our afternoons back! And what better way to spend them than by having a long-overdue catch-up lunch out with a friend or three. Fortunately, we’ve got two great newish lunch spots in Bergen County to consider digging into.
First up is Harvest Dish, located in Mahwah, which offers up a slew of healthy, build-your-own bowls, handcrafted salads, and smoothies—all made with local and/or regional, non-GMO ingredients—that’ll definitely keep you fueled up until dinnertime. This fast-growing fast-casual chain is a sure bet, whether you’re on the go or want to sit and spend some time.
We stopped in last week at 11am for an early lunch and fans were already lining up. One of us was in more of a breakfast mood, so they ordered up a signature Berry Cool Acai Bowl ($10), which is kind of like a superfood-packed smoothie (or at least all of its ingredients) served up in a bowl instead of the blender. This cold and creamy treat came topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, granola, and a delicious drizzle of all-natural honey for good measure.
Meanwhile, my mind was set on figuring out what to put in my Build-a-Bowl ($10 and up), which allows you to top your greens or grain base with up to two hot and/or cold sides and as many non-premium toppings as you want! We went for the super greens blend (kale and shaved Brussels sprouts) for our base and then topped it with a one spoonful each of cold corn niblets, roasted sweet potato with rosemary, and warm roasted broccoli tossed with lemon, garlic, and EVOO (the extra side was definitely worth the additional $2.50). And to finish it off, we added toppings of sliced red onions, chunks of heritage cherry tomatoes, and chopped black olives.
The atmosphere here is big and open with a warm and inviting rustic twist, so we decided to sit and stay awhile. Our bowl was awesome: super fresh, nice neutral flavors, and pops of sweetness from the warm sweet potato and cold corn. As for our friend’s acai bowl? Believe us when we say we’ve never seen someone make something disappear so fast.
Next up on our lunch spot recommendation list is Saddle River Café, a more laid-back alternative to its acclaimed sister restaurant, the Saddle River Inn. This newly opened American eatery in (where else?) Saddle River is already attracting some serious buzz for its small but scrappy menu of high-quality coffees, 3-day farm-fresh eggs, organic pressed juices, super-tasty smoothies, and (we’re sensing a trend here) healthy grain and salad bowls.
We ordered up one of the latter on a recent visit, the Grains A Plenty bowl ($14), which had a grain base topped with charred corn, asparagus, heirloom tomatoes, and chunks of watermelon tossed in a oregano vinaigrette. We weren’t entirely sure the whole thing would work, but our taste buds quickly assured us this one was a hit. Refreshingly light but filling, and every flavor worked perfectly together.
But perhaps the best part of the experience was Saddle River’s ravishing dining space, which is decked out with colorful bursts of beautiful Tiffany Blue. This might not be a linen tablecloth-type of establishment, but it sure feels elevated. Get your camera phones ready, you’re gonna want to snap a few pics for the ‘Gram.Harvest Dish
320 Ridge Road, Mahwah 201-962-9771
Saddle River Café 171 E. Saddle River Road, Saddle River