If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would be eating a salad, and just a salad, for lunch I would’ve laughed in your face. Seriously. Flat out laughed in your face. Never in my life before I went to Chop’t Creative Salad Company have I ordered a salad at a restaurant, unless you count the times when my meal came with a choice of soup or salad. And let’s be honest, there’s no way that counts.
In my mind, salads are just an appetizer or a side…not something that I would rely on to fill me up or last me through the day until dinner time. Well, enter the world of New York City corporate life where everyone eats salads for lunch and you start to wonder. Any time I saw people eating salads at their desks or picking some up to take to-go, I would ask myself, “Is this some sort of peer pressure, self-image thing or do these people actually enjoy eating that for lunch??”
Chop’t has quite a few locations around the city, and any time I pass one when it’s the lunch hour the line is out the door. This actually inspired me to tweet, “Only in New York city will people stand in line to pay $10 for a salad,” which I’m pretty proud to say actually made it into the AM NY paper the next day. Yessss….but I digress!
I finally decided to see what all the hullaballoo was about, but on a weekend to avoid the lunch hour insanity. I could always go home and order a pizza or something if it went terribly wrong.
I would describe it as the Chipotle or Subway for salads. You can either order some of their Classic Salads and Sandwiches like the Santa Fe, Cobb, or Caesar, or you can do a build your own kind of thing. If you opt for the latter, you pick your greens, whatever toppings you want, and your dressing (there’s 20+ options!!). All the toppings are a different price, with most of the vegetables being around 59 cents each and premium toppings, like any kind of protein, being around $1-$3. You can also add fruit, cheese, and different kinds of “crunch” items like croutons, chips, and nuts.
I crafted my own salad with romaine lettuce, carrots, red onion, tomatoes, avocado, chicken, and crunchy chinese noodles. And then I chose tex-mex ranch for my dressing, because ranch. Forever and always. After they put all the items you want in a bowl they chop up everything quickly so it’s all blended together well and in nice bite-size pieces. Hence, “chop’t.” When I went to go check out and the lady told me my total was $10 and some change, my jaw dropped. Not literally, because that only happens in cartoons, but FIGURATIVELY dropped. Not only was I actually getting a salad for lunch, but I was going to shell out $10 for it?! I must be losing my mind.
I was pleasantly surprised however with the size of the salad which was quite big, so that was definitely a consolation. Another consolation was the fact that the salad was actually really really tasty. I loved the dressing and yeah, my premium items of chicken and avocado made it even more delicious.
I don’t know how often I’ll come back here for lunch, because I’m still always going to be that person that prefers something hearty and savory for a meal and I feel like I have my favorite greens and vegetables so I would always end up wanting to make the same kind of salad. That being said, I did enjoy the experience because on top of a fresh, delicious salad, the space was clean and the workers were friendly and fast. And yeah, I’ll admit it. I actually was satisfied after eating this for lunch. Go figure!
Romaine lettuce, carrots, red onion, tomatoes, avocado, chicken, and chinese noodles with tex-mex ranch
1376 Third Ave
New York, NY 10075