Fast and Healthy? Salad is the New Thing
What do you associate with the perfect salad? For me it’s either Greek style or some concoction of southwest-y ingredients. I know. They’re total opposites. But they’re still my favorites, and when I want to find the perfect salad, I go to one of two places: Sweetgreen or Chop’t.
These salad places are one of many hip food options that are popping up all over D.C., and there are important things to consider when choosing which one to go to.
First off, how hipster are you? If you’re really hipster, you should probably go to Sweetgreen, where the focus is on local, organic food. The dressings are mostly very healthy, and there are a variety of vegetables available that I can’t identify. You can buy fancy water bottles and reusable bags there, and the whole place screams “eco-friendly.”
Chop’t, on the other hand, comes off as much more mainstream. I’m not sure what it is — both places have bright green walls and the same basic set-up, but Chop’t just doesn’t seem to attract as many hipster-y people. Something about the name even seems more mainstream. And manly. Seriously, there are almost no men in Sweetgreen ever, but the lunch line at Chop’t in Dupont was probably 60% male. And, interestingly, they serve carbonated beverages at Chop’t. Yes, they’re all-natural carbonated beverages, but it’s at least accepted. At Sweetgreen it would be taboo to bring in anything remotely resembling a Diet Coke.
The more complex part of the decision-making process is, of course, taste. What kind of salad are you really looking for? Do you like fruit in your salad? What about steak? Chop’t helps you out big-time if you don’t know what you want. The salads they have come up with almost all sound delicious — and I know what most of the ingredients are. They suggest certain dressings, but nothing’s set in stone. You can make your own, but it seems less necessary than it does at Sweetgreen.
See at Sweetgreen there’s almost always at least one ingredient in their suggested salads that I either don’t recognize or don’t like. Sometimes they give me a good jumping off point, but they’re almost always weird. It has gotten to the point where I have one set of ingredients I love, and I almost never stray far from that.
Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong at either of these places. Even if you’re an incredibly picky eater you’re almost sure to find something that’s appealing. Both of these restaurants have a lot to offer if you’re in a hurry but don’t want to eat greasy food. (Not that I have anything against greasy food in general.) The lunch rush is crazy but very worth it. Basically, you can’t live in D.C. and not eat at these places.
Posted in AU Gourmet