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NeedAllTheFries

DC Friends: CAVA Grill on Whole30

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I emailed customer support at CAVA to ask exactly which items I could eat while on W30. I was emailed back today with a list of compliant ingredients:

 

Thanks for reaching out! Absolutely, I took a look at our menu and here are the items that you can continue to enjoy that do not contain dairy, grains, chickpeas or sweetener:
 

- Base: Salad greens 
- Dip: Harissa 
- Proteins: Chicken, Grilled Meatballs, Spicy Lamb Meatballs, Roasted Seasonal Vegetables 
- Toppings: Shredded Romaine, Cabbage Slaw, Tomato + Onion, Diced Cucumbers, Tomato + Cucumber, Kalamata Olives, Lemon Wedge, Mint 
- Dressings: Green Vinaigrette, Spicy Harissa, Lemon Herb Tahini 
- Spring Seasonal Soup: Carrot Ginger
- Juices: Unsweetened Tea

 

This makes me so happy! Looks like I'll be having CAVA lunch every week before grocery shopping.

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That's great that they were able to help you.

Did you mention soy products as well?  Do you know what their proteins are cooked in?

 

It would be better if they can give you an ingredient list of what you're thinking of having... not saying they're being untruthful but sometimes the sneaky sugars aren't noted or they use a soy oil or soy lecithin or something... 

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I would like to provide some clarification on this after I did some further probing with customer service at Cava Grill. At first they gave me pretty much the exact answer listed above, but thankfully they were very patient with my many inquiries and corrections. :)

 

They cook all their proteins in olive oil, which is also added to their harissa and I assume also their vinaigrette. All of the ingredients listed above are soy free on their website, so no concerns there.

 

One thing I happened to catch on their website is that their grilled meatballs are not gluten free. When I asked about this, they said that they use some of their pita bread as a binding agent in the meatballs, but then proceeded to tell me that there were no grains. I politely let them know that if their pita bread contains wheat, then their grilled meatballs do indeed contain grains, which is an important distinction to make for future inquiries. After that, I asked about their spicy lamb meatballs, which they confirmed do not have the pita bread or any other grains.

 

Bottom line, everything on the above list is good except the grilled meatballs. This will be one of my go-to options on the days I don't feel like cooking. :)

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I would like to add that The Little Beet is also a great option! Everything is gluten free and cooked in olive oil :) I love getting either chicken or salmon, with sides of the roasted kale, broccoli, or string beans! The butternut squash hash + baked sweet potatoes (come with cheese, but you can request them with no cheese) are also awesome if you need a starch! 

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57 minutes ago, Julie McD said:

WOW. THANK YOU!! I'm on Day 2 and feeling overwhelmed. As in I can't contemplate dining out options, Cava and Little Beet are both near work/home, etc.

Even though you've read the information here, be aware that you are still responsible for asking about ingredients. Restaurants can change recipes or suppliers, and the original post was several months ago.

Here's a download with some tips for successfully dining out on Whole30: http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-dining.pdf

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Great info on Cava!! Definitely a Whole30 staple for me too! If I'm ever not sure of ingredients, I'll just skip the dressings and load up on toppings like mint, olives, tomato/cucumber, the cabbage, and a squeeze of lemon juice for the dressing. The toppings are so flavor-packed I feel like I don't need a dressing anyway :)

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