Is The Little Beet Just One More Overpriced Healthy Salad Bar?


There are so many reasons why we probably shouldn’t write about The Little Beet on this site. First and foremost, the restaurant is named after a vegetable! Also, most things on the menu are quite a few dollars above the $10 ML price point. And on first glance, it looks like this is just a glorified (and more expensive) Dig Inn or Chop’t.

Yet this bright and lively storefront on West 50th Street recently opened to a lot of hype and the lines are already out the door. Not to mention the chef, Franklin Becker, is both well-respected (from Abe & Arthur) and well-recognized from television (Top Chef Masters). So if anybody could make healthy food taste good, this would be the guy, right? We figured it was worth checking out.


The long line looked more daunting then it was and it moved along at a steady clip. It looks like online orders are also encouraged and much quicker. The concept is not much different than a lot of new “healthy” fast food joints throwing around words like “local,” “seasonal,” and “natural.” You can choose from plates, salads, sandwiches, and sides.


Here the proteins are chicken breast, skirt steak, salmon, and tofu. A platter runs you $14 but comes with 2 sides of your choice, including soba noodles with pickled ginger, charred broccoli with chili pepper, and lentils with avocado. The four sandwiches, including Roasted Turkey with apple butter and brie or Prosciutto with Smoked Chicken and Mozzarella are considerably cheaper maxing out at $9.50. And they come with a choice of beet or sweet potato chips (kale chips are extra).


I was craving steak and felt like splurging on this hot new opening, so I went with a platter. As I moved down the assembly line, I got to check out all the side options. They even allowed me to sample some of the sides and one of the soups (carrot ginger, which was potent with a spicy sweetness) before settling on my order.


Upstairs there is a cozy (and not crowded) seating area. That’s where I opened up my container and almost laughed at the dearth of food. If I’m paying $14 for vegetables, I don’t want to see the bottom of the container. The plate consisted of only three (albeit large) wedges of sweet potatoes, a few slices of skirt steak, and a heap of toasted buckwheat (that was for the best since the grain is the most filling component of the meal).


I’m a sucker for sweet potatoes, but I found these rather disappointing. I enjoyed the sprinkling of pecorino cheese, but the cold spears didn’t have any caramelization or spice. They were actually a bit flavorless. The skirt steak had much more flavor, with nice seasonings and a wonderfully browned char. But it was a little too rare for my tastes. I definitely prefer undercooked to overcooked, but the redness made the meat a little chewy and cold in the center.

My favorite thing on the plate was that toasted buckwheat which had a deep earthy and salty flavor accentuated by mushrooms and green onions while hazelnuts gave it a pleasant sweet crunch.

I can’t say this particular plate was worth the $14 or made me feel extra healthy. But I haven’t completely written off The Little Beet yet. I think there could still be potential Midtown lunches here, if you order correctly and maybe take a few extra dollars out of the piggy bank. Has anybody tried any of their sandwiches yet? Leave comments below.

The Little Beet, 135 West 50th Street (btw 6th and 7th Ave), (212) 459-2338


  • This place made Treehaus a bargain.

  • Don’t think we didn’t see that you wrote “splurging on this hot new opening”.

  • Sometimes when I read reviews on Midtown Lunch, I get excited and want to visit the location that is being reviewed. This is not one of those times.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I’ve been there about five times the past two weeks. It is expensive, but the concept is long overdue. I get one of the three proteins and any combination of broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, grilled kale, or string beans. For years I’ve wanted a lunch place that served warm proteins and warm vegatables without any grains. At $14 it is overpriced but it is what it is. They are printing money here as it is a good alternative to chopt for the customer looking for a “healthy” meal

  • Is there even such a thing as an underpriced salad bar?

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Wow. A little surprised by this review. I’ve been there about 4 times. I’ve never bee disappointed with the portion sizes.

    I went there for lunch today and opted for just two sides. The soba noodless and the lentils. Both dishes were delicious and filled the entire box.

    I do agree that the steak was a little chewy when I had that last week.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I’ve been there about 5 times as well…I agree its pricey and more than what I want to spend and certain times the portions are small (kale salad is TINY but delicious). But when I got three vegetable sides, the container was packed and I had enough for dinner…and I eat like a normal person. Their lentils, millet, kale salad (I get it with salmon), and charred broccoli are my favorites. Soba noodles not so much.

  • Oops. Thought I was on ML, but accidentally wandered onto the Review-the-latest-trendy-overpriced-veggie-restaurant website by mistake. This is not a Midtown Lunch by any stretch, so why review it here? The acceptably under-$10 sandwiches weren’t even sampled or photographed. “Taking an extra few dollars out of the piggy bank” is NOT a way to qualify for a Midtown Lunch! Another ML fail. This site has lost its gravitas.

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