Salads: Lunch, Dinner
The first impression you’ll have about Verde is “this place must be a chain.” It is just so well put together that you get this impression… Sounds like the owners of this place are on to a hot concept that appears to be easily transferable to other markets.
I went into this one thinking, okay, let’s scratch this chick salad joint off the list. I left full, satisfied and eager to return.
You’ll notice that the concept is essentially a packed salad bar with limitless options (well, not limitless—I counted 45+ toppings, which is a giant leap towards infinity). But, here’s where Subway and Which ‘Wich and other salad bars drop the ball time and time again: Verde offers a good mix of pre-thought-up, delicious-sounding concoctions for those of us who cower at the thought of having to pick from 45+ toppings — all while still giving you the flexibility of building one from scratch or subbing in items from one of the creations. Just be mindful that it is on the upper end of the price scale for “fast food” and you can easily wind up paying $13+ for a salad and a drink.
McCown went with the always-changing CUSTOMER MIX OF THE WEEK ($9.90), which is priced at the create-your-own rate so that, too, is always changing (based on the amount of meat and toppings). This week was the DANIELLE with mesclun, strawberries, avocado, grapes, cranberries, goat cheese & chicken with champagne vinaigrette. The verdict was overwhelming positive;
the one thing that did sketch me out is that, although all of vegetable ingredients looked fresh, the meats appeared to be the cubed, lunch-meat variety—possibly the type that comes pre-cut in giant, gross watery bags? We’d prefer to see our chicken/turkey in a less sketchy format. UPDATE: We stand corrected. Per this message from the owners, turns out all of the meat is just the opposite of sketchy: it’s actually healthily baked on-site and then diced into perfectly bite-sized cubes.
I went with the CHICKPEA ($7.95) which is described as “hummus deconstructed”: romaine lettuce, chickpeas, roasted red pepper, feta cheese, pita chips, lemon tahini dressing and a squeeze of fresh lemon + $1.95 extra for roasted turkey. Great salad. The “squeeze” of fresh lemon turned into a whole fricken lemon half, which was a great idea and it really added to the salad.
I was impressed with how much food you get – it would be very difficult to leave here hungry. It seems to be relatively healthy, too. But, as always, you might want to request the dressing on the side as it’s applied rather liberally.
Suggestion to dudes: either don’t go here at all or go alone with the attitude of taking numbers left and right. The one male employee in the place sure had it down: not missing any opportunity to flirt it up with the 90% female clientele.
BOTTOM LINE: If you’re looking for something quick, easy and healthy, then give Verde a shot—I’ve heard the food is good, too.