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Homegrown – What the hell are “sustainable” sandwiches?!


IT MEANS NOTHING. It is a lie. The definition of Sustainable Food, according to my Google search is:

  • Satisfy human food and fiber needs.
  • Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends.
  • Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls.
  • Sustain the economic viability of farm operations.
  • Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole

All I glean from that definition is a lot of fancy bureaucratic talk for BS. Basically, you just have to make an effort to make the world a better place and it’s sustainable food. I don’t know. I think I need more than that. I know some people are still skeptical about the regulations of “Organic” food, but they are making some serious strides in organic certification. Anyway, I’m probably boring you… I’m sort of boring myself, but I think it’s important to research where your food is coming from and if it’s coming from the place it says it’s coming from. As with most decent foodies, when we cook we take care to inspect our ingredients and buy from a reputable source — why shouldn’t we take the same care when we go out to eat at restaurants?

So I’m especially upset if you are using buzz words like “sustainable” and fooling people into thinking that it’s organic when it’s not. When talking to co-owner, Ben Friedman, he told us that Homegrown only buys their produce organic, but their cheese and meat are locally purchased. They want to support local and family-owned farms, which I totally respect, but they only make a promise to provide organic food.

Sustainable does NOT equal organic. So when you’re paying a pretty penny to eat a pretty good, but not amazing sandwich, remember this.

So after our brief conversation with Ben, we were disappointed. We thought that paying $12 for a small to medium-sized sandwich was just too much. The Turkey Bacon Avocado was better than the average turkey sandwich, but needed salt. The bread is all made in-house and is pretty delicious — it’s soft and moist and even though the sandwiches are toasted, they aren’t so crunchy that it hurts the roof of your mouth. The vegetarian Hummus + Roasted Red Pepper was surprisingly good. The hummus is creamy and the roasted red peppers have the right amount of smokiness.

Smoked Ham, Egg + Cheese was a miss because the smoke was too faint in the ham and it overall needed salt. The addition of salt would have made this quite a yummy breakfast sandwich. Without the salt = fail.

I was super excited to try the Bluffernutter, with bacon, homemade marshmallow fluff, and crunchy peanut butter, but it ended up being a disappointment. Everyone loves bacon. Marshmallows (homemade) are good. Peanut butter is possibly the best kind of butter (which is already one of the best ingredients ever). WHERE DID THEY GO WRONG? Seasoning. It was very one note. It either needed to be saltier and sweeter, but it turned out bland. I don’t know, it’s pretty hard to turn those ingredients bland, but Homegrown managed to do so. Sigh.

Photos by Sean. 

Summary: The sandwiches are good, but not innovative and mostly all needed more seasoning.
Recommendation: Good for grab-and-go sandwiches and relatively healthy if you can afford it.

Homegrown   |  Fremont / Capitol Hill / Queen Anne / Opening in Downtown 

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