The X-Tractor

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Walking into newly-opened Tractor, we were greeted with a casual and bright vibe, and a friendly hostess-type who explained the concept to us. It is healthy, light food served cafeteria-style — soon made apparent once we saw the dishes of quinoa, kale and broccoli lined up at the counter.

We got the Moroccan chicken stew with chick peas for $8, a hearty and tangy meal that comes with pieces of multigrain toast, and the lentil vegetable soup for $6. To put it into perspective, the servings are approximate to a large soup at the Ladle and the styles are comparable as well.

If you’re in a soupy mood, definitely go for the chicken stew. They also have a braised beef short rib and mushroom stew that looked like a winner. You can’t go wrong with braised beef, I always say.

Being the glorified Whole Foods it is, Tractor offers a lot of salads. There are two $6.50 protein salad options: one with curried prawns and a curried yogurt dressing, and one with albacore tuna, avocado, cucumber and a ginger soy dressing. We got the latter, which was probably the tastiest thing we had here.

There are another 10 salad options for $3.25 — of course, they’re relatively small options, but there are plenty of choices available with quinoa, various cheeses, nuts, portobello mushrooms, and creative vinaigrettes.

We got one with kale, granny smith apples, julienned radicchio, and white balsamic vinaigrette, which had a crisp and fresh taste, and another with jicama, watercress, grapefruit and orange segments, drizzled with honey lime dressing. I definitely had to Google what the hell jicama is. Turns out it’s a Mexican root vegetable. Like a turnip, but South American. So, there you go. It’s good.

Their sandwiches are $5 for a half and $9 for a whole. The options are chicken, veggie and beef short rib. We got the short rib, which came with portobello mushroom, tomato, arugula, smoked gouda on multigrain bread. I don’t generally like paying more than a fiver for sandwiches because I’m adamant that I can make it myself, but realistically, this isn’t your average PB and J.

You can also add proteins to your salads: chicken breast for $6, sauteed prawns for $8, and albacore tuna steak for $9, and they do have beer and wine but at $6 and $8 (respectively), it’s not going to be your next watering hole. They also have snacks for your sweet tooth; no doubt granola bites and gluten free cookies will satiate that craving, and both are $3 each.

Tractor isn’t the kind of place to go if you’re feeling ravenous or gluttonous; it’s ideal for a light lunch before the beach. The food is reasonably priced and served in a casual and unpretentious environment, so it’s a comfortable place to sit down and people-watch. The fact that you’re eating kale should mitigate the inferiority complex of watching Lululemon-clad passers-by.