Eating a salad sort of seems like that thing you’re supposed to if you want to get healthy. However, in my experience most salad restaurants either:
- Offer appealing salads that seem good for you but aren’t.
- Offer salads that are good for you but don’t seem appealing.
Ah, but now a rare find- a place that serves appealing and health conscious options! I’m talking about Mad Greens at Scottsdale Road and Acoma (also in Tempe).
The menu offers an amazing selection of unique salad combos, like the shrimp and mango Don Quixote or the citrus-y, spicy Doc Holliday (pictured below left). Salads are fully customizable and if you prefer, you can develop your own creation from their unique selection of ingredients and grilled proteins. While making a salad might not seem very exciting, Mad Greens will definitely unleash your inner chef.
The best part of the whole experience is Mad Greens isn’t your typical salad bar establishment. There’s no stressing about how many kids have touched the olives before you got there- you have a “Salad Artist” who puts your meal together before your eyes (and behind the glass). And because your salad is made in front of you (think “Chipotle-style”) making substitutions or adjustments is no big deal. This is key because substitutions are often essential to making any restaurant entree a nutritional superstar.
And I just hate getting “the look” when I ask for no cheese, no nuts, dressing on the side.
The menu is pretty extensive with an array of soups, wraps, and sandwiches to round out your meal choices. The soups are on a rotation so you’ll likely see some different options each time you dine. If you are like me and typically eat the same 2 things every time you visit a restaurant, this is the kind of place you’ll want to keep coming back to so you can discover that perfect entree. Or one that’s perfect for that particular day anyway.
As for the kids, they have a nice menu of pint-sized options (most of which are actually healthy). On this particular day, my noshers decided against the kiddie menu and went for a side of pitas and hummus and a fruit salad (pictured above right). Let me tell you- Mad Green’s fruit salad is not that pathetic honeydew and cantaloupe concoction you get at most places- the kids got to choose from fabulous assortment of fruits you’d actually want to eat (like mangoes and strawberries).
All this is great- but do you know what really made me an “insta-fan” of Mad Greens? Unlike most “healthy” casual dining restaurants, Mad Greens actually lists their nutritional content…for just about everything. And it’s not hidden on some hard-to-read fact sheet you have to ask the manager for (not naming names). It’s plastered all over the menu and restaurant signage, which makes finding the best choice super simple. And rather than just listing a total number for the entree, they actually have signage devoted to revealing the caloric content of their dressings. This is HUGE because dressings are so often what makes a restaurant salad a nutritional hot mess.
My recommendation- give Mad Greens a try. I’m sure you’ll be back for seconds!
More more nutritional tips, visit me at Oh My Nosh! Nutrition Coaching.