Eating to Live on the Outside: Salad Works

Sometimes healthy restaurants smack you right in the face. Earlier this week I was sitting in traffic, and, after I finished banging my fists against the steering wheel. I looked up—and like a message from the beyond—I saw a billboard for Salad Works. A nutritarian’s dream!

Salad Works is along the same lines as Eating to Live on the Outside all-stars Just Salads and Salad Creations. I mean heck, they all have SALAD in their name—they got to be good! But there’s only one way to know for sure. Let’s crack this menu open stat!

Well, pretty much anything on Salad Works’ menu is workable. Sure, some of the salads harbor nasty things like bacon, croutons, and cheese, but, if you nix these things, you’ll be in good shape. So, here are my selections for the “best” choices—tallyho!

As for the Signature Salads, the Garden Salad and the Mandarin Chicken are solid choices; together they include iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, cucumber, mushrooms, carrots, onions, chicken, mandarin oranges, craisins, and chow mein noodles. Alright, the Garden Salad is completely without problems, but in order to make the Mandarin Chicken concession free. You got to de-chicken it and while you’re at it, toss the noodles too. What do you think? Good move?

Now, you’re probably wondering about the dressing. Salad Works has a bunch of them. Here are the ones that caught my eye—yes I’d order them all on the side—Balsamic Vinaigrette, Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Vinaigrette Italian. The others are very creamy, and, I don’t do creamy—at all!

Okay, if for some bizarre reason I didn’t feel eating a SALAD at a SALAD JOINT, there’s a couple wraps that look interesting. I could go with either the Oriental Wrap or the Veggie Wrap; combined they’re prepared with a “fresh spring mix”, chicken, mandarin oranges, cucumbers, carrots, oriental sesame dressing, lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and your “favorite” dressing. What’s got to go? The chicken—go cross the road! Now, no matter what dressing I ordered, it’s definitely going on the side.

Next up is the Grilled Panini. I’ll pass, there’s nothing worth investigating here. Alright, if you feel like taking a salt hit—can’t imagine why you would—you could go with the Tuscan Bean Minestrone; made with vegetables and white beans. Or, maybe you like the Vegetarian Vegetable, prepared with lots and lots of vegetables! On face value, these soups look cool, but chances are—like all prepared soups—they are salt-heavy. I’d double-check with the wait staff, but why bother. The salads are great!

Yeah, Salad Works is an awesome place for a nutritarian. Now, here’s the really awesome part. There is one practically down the road from my apartment, so very soon I’ll haul my butt over there, eat some delicious nutrient-dense food, and tell you all about it. But, as for right now, its time for you to check out Salad Works’ menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside. Then, make a comment or send an email to Until then, eat greatly! Peace.
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Sara - March 21, 2008 9:03 PM

Yes Salad Works sounds better than most places but don't get too carried away. I actually ate there when I was in Philadelphia. The Garden Salad was the best thing. I had lite balsamic dressing [though they told me it was fat free. not.] I also had pasta [gasp}with tomato sauce and broccoli,mushroomsand spinach. Sounded like a lot of veggies but I could have used a magnifing glass. And the salt. But, still better than most.

Lilly - March 22, 2008 5:34 PM

You're lucky...via their store locator, the closest ones to where I live now are either in FL or IL! lol

Of course, we have Souper Salad down here, which is pretty cool...I usually skip the soup (and bread) and just keep hittin' the salad bar :D

SueC - March 23, 2008 10:49 PM

I live in the Philadelphia area and when I've eaten there I make up my own salad. Some of them have garbanzos and some not. The best chain I've eaten at is Bertuccis. They'll give you a huge romaine, spinach and mixed baby greens and a side of steamed portabellas, asparagus and broccoli. I bring my beans and I'm good to go.

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