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Salad- and grain-bowl restaurant The Green Fork opens in Babylon Village

The Buffalo Chicken Ranch bowl at The Green

The Buffalo Chicken Ranch bowl at The Green Fork, a new grains and greens eatery in Babylon. Credit: Newsday/Scott Vogel

Maxine Sterlacci and Kristy Furci are sisters who spent most of their young careers in Manhattan working for the fashion footwear industry. Like many before them, however, their priorities changed a few years back courtesy of a new title on their resumes — mom. Cue the move to Babylon and a saner environment to raise kids. Cue also the desire to not leave their old lives completely behind. Cue The Green Fork.

“We’d trip over places like this in Manhattan all the time,” said Sterlacci, 32, referring to the salad- and grain-bowl establishment on Deer Park Avenue that she and Furci, 30, opened Jan. 20. “In the city, there’s a healthy salad bar on every block.”

In Babylon, not so much. “Not only is there nothing like this here, there’s nothing like this on Long Island.” Sterlacci found that strange, especially as “Babylon has the best gym on the Island, this is a very high-health-standard, quality town, there’s a big stroller crowd, lots of moms, and a big vegan community.”

Green Fork’s menu, which Sterlacci and Furci built themselves, is composed largely of five grain bowls and five green bowls prepared in a 1,400-square-foot counter service facility with a dozen or so stools available for dine-in types. Grain-wise, the most popular items so far have been the Power bowl, which features grilled steak with wild rice, roasted sweet potatoes, chickpeas and more with a house-made avocado dressing, and the Southwestern, consisting of grilled chicken, roasted corn, black beans and a chipotle ranch dressing (both $13.50).

Sterlacci reported that the biggest-selling salad bowls thus far have been the Cran Almond, which also contains spinach, arugula, grilled chicken and goat cheese ($11.95), and the Buffalo Chicken Ranch ($12.50)--a romaine and kale salad with blue cheese, buttermilk dressing and more.

Despite its small menu, Green Fork aims for big variety and a chunk of a market still largely dominated by unhealthy options. “The idea behind fast food is that you can eat it every day and not get bored. So we have Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean choices, even a sweet flavor with the cranberry almond.”

And Babylonians have a choice now too, courtesy of two sisters intent on bringing a little Manhattan to their Island home.

“We did this for selfish reasons, and for our community as well,” Sterlacci said.

The Green Fork is at 101 Deer Park Ave., Ste. B in Babylon, 631-539-0566, thegreenforkbabylon.com. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday.

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