On Chopped Salad and Dating


Silvia Killingsworth writes about her (chopped) salad days in The New Yorker:

Recently, I decided to see if I could sustain a week of virtuous lunches, inspired by a Timesarticle about the rise of the chopped salad as the latest lunch fad. Regional chains like Chop’t and Just Salad offer seemingly endless options for customization, and they inspire fierce loyalty on a par with the great Sheetz-Wawa debate. Hillary Reinsberg, an editor at BuzzFeed, prefers Just Salad to Chop’t. “I like the bread better. Their soundtrack is also wonderful, as is their Twitter,” she said. The chain just released a dating app, called SaladMatch, which aims to connect like-minded salad enthusiasts. Reinsberg’s coworker Jessica Misener is a diehard Chop’t fan. She faults Just Salad for insufficiently tangy dressings, and she finds their bread too chewy. Whereas Chop’t uses a new cutting board for each salad, Misener has seen Just Salad reuse them, “which means I’ve often found stray broccoli remnants from the previous person’s salad in my order.”

Sounds a bit preposterous, if you ask me:

Between noon and one on any given weekday afternoon, there is a line out the door of several midtown chopped-salad joints. Inside, the line snakes around and doubles back on itself, not unlike the security line in the international terminal at J.F.K. The interiors of both chains resembleIKEA-sourced cafeterias: poured-concrete floors, bright green walls, and fluorescent lighting. The effect is of an industrial salad factory, where bowls move along an assembly line; instead of whirring machines, one hears the pounding mezzalunas (Just Salad’s have three blades!). The wait is not insignificant, and there are three ways to pass the time: check your smartphone, peruse the extensive menu (Chop’t has twenty-eight kinds of dressing), or check your smartphone.

I checked the locations of Just Salad: limited to NYC and Hong Kong for now. I’ll stick to salads from Kroger and Publix for now.

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