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Salad lovers will relish Radish

Al Parker - July 14th, 2008
Cozily tucked along Traverse City’s rejuvenated Union Street, the newly-opened salad bar restaurant, Radish, is as unpretentious as a tee shirt and shorts - and just as comfortable.
Salads, soups and sweets are what you’ll find at this bustling little eatery that was opened in early May by mother-daughter owners Jacquie and Meagan Thomas.
“We wanted a place that served food that was simple and fresh,” explains Jacquie, a food service veteran of some 25 years. “I kept thinking about a salad bar and Traverse City didn’t have anything like this yet. We wanted something that was healthy, fast, fresh and nutritious.”
The response from Traverse City’s lunch bunch was immediate.
“Everyone’s been very satisfied,” says Meagan, who’s worked in the local food service industry for 13 years, including stints at North Peak and Schlotzsky’s.
“We’ve had a real positive response,” adds Jacquie. “For the first two weeks, we had people who ate here every single day. It was almost humbling at times.”

Radish takes the salad bar concept to a new level, routinely offering 60 to 70 items for diners to choose from. The cost of the salad is on a per pound basis, so customers are invited to fill their plates and then weigh their meal at the checkout.
There’s always 20 to 25 different veggies, including spring mix greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, onions, jicama, celery, peas, corn, artichokes, and snow peas.
Diners can also pick from four types of cheeses, including feta, bleu cheese, parmesan and cheddar, and four meats – roast beef, chicken, ham and turkey. Several types of dressings and toppings are available.
Of course, there are also the namesake radishes.
“Meagan came up with the name,” says Jacquie. “We were kicking names around and wanted something feisty and fresh that also denoted fast preparation. Meagan came up with Radish.”
A talented artist, Meagan also designed the eatery’s attractive green, black and magenta logo.
Each day Radish offers two tasty homemade soups, such as Pesto Mushroom Spinach Risotto, Black Bean Puree, Squash Bisque, Tomato Basil Bisque or Cauliflower Bisque.
“We always offer a vegetarian soup, usually a vegan soup,” explains Jacquie. “We hope to sort of follow the crops as to what our soups are. For example, this spring we offered a lot of asparagus soups.”

After enjoying soup and a hearty salad, you might want to try one of their desserts – they offer two to four each day. You might try a Haystack, a chocolate and peanut butter concoction topped with chow mein noodles. There’s also a hearty peanut butter and cream cheese tart.
At 408 S. Union, Radish is in the former Allure Salon building. The Thomases took over the site in March and spent some $150,000 knocking out walls and renovating the building to house their restaurant.
The result is an attractive, relaxing place that gives off a comfortable, if cozy, vibe. There’s seating for 12 inside and another dozen or so seats outside for those who prefer to munch their salads al fresco and watch the world go by on Union Street.

Radish is open Monday through
Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and
Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For a take out order, call 932-9330, fax an order to
932-9337, or email

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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