I love a good salad, but I have discovered, not all salads are created equal. Whether it’s a fast food salad, or a sit down restaurant salad, the choices are endless, and some are not quite up to par.
I decided to put various salads from various restaurants to the test in searching for the very best. I would like to say my criteria is the health/low calorie value, but that isn’t quite true. I am judging purely on taste/quality/price value. I try to choose salads over burgers and pizza for the most part, but I realize when cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing is added, the healthy advantages suffer a bit. But, I use minimal amounts of dressing, and I still believe that a salad must be a better choice than a bacon cheeseburger and fries, right?
So…each week I am featuring three different salads and giving them a rating based on my own personal criteria. Feel free to share your opinions about these salads or others, whether you loved or loathed them.
This is the rating scale I am using (because these are the elements that are important to me 🙂
(25 points possible)
1) Freshness: You can tell when a salad was made way earlier and just pulled from the cooler rather than prepared freshly. [1 through 3]
2) Type of Lettuce: I don’t care for iceberg lettuce, I love the really green stuff, and if a salad has brownish yellow lettuce, it’s a HUGE fail. [0 through 3]
3) Overall taste. [1 through 5]
4) Crispies. These are things like croutons, sunflower seeds, etc. Very important to me in a salad. Some salads have great ones, some have none, and some have sub par ones. [1 through 3]
5) Value for the $ – [1 through 4]
6) Variety of vegetables/ingredients: Some salads have lettuce and nothing else. I like a few other things thrown in like carrots, cucumbers, olives, etc. [1 through 4]
7) Cheese. A salad can have too little cheese or so so cheese, but it cannot have too much cheese, in my opinion. [1 through 3]
Chick-fil-A Cobb Salad
1) Freshness: 3 out of 3
2) Type of Lettuce: 3 out of 3
3) Overall taste. 4.5 out of 5 – I’ve tried it with the grilled chicken and wasn’t a fan (their grilled chicken has an odd ‘fake’ taste to it that doesn’t quite work for me), but with the chopped up chicken nuggets and the combination of flavors, the overall taste is great.
4) Crispies. 2 out of 3 – Comes with these little red pepper bits which are okay, but I prefer the sunflower seeds they used to serve.
5) Value for the $ – 3 out of 4 – It’s a decent size and has plenty of taste and variety to make it worth the going price.
6) Variety of vegetables/ingredients: 3.5 out of 4 – With tomatoes, eggs, cabbage, carrots, and roasted corn kernels, it’s almost perfect, but not quite.
7) Cheese. 2 out of 3 – The cheese is good, but there’s so little of it.
Jason’s Deli Chicken Club
1) Freshness: 3 out of 3
2) Type of Lettuce: 2 out of 3 – They have the darker lettuce, which is great, but there’s a bit of iceberg mixed in there, too much for my taste.
3) Overall taste. 4 out of 5
4) Crispies. 1 out of 3 – Zero crispies provided. And I know they have plenty of different varieties on the salad bar.
5) Value for the $ – 3 out of 4
6) Variety of vegetables/ingredients: 2.5 out of 4 – The picture doesn’t show it, but the salad includes avocado. Avocado hurts my stomach, so I had them leave it off. In addition to that, the salad has grape tomatoes, but again, with all they have to offer on the salad bar, they could have thrown in some carrots or olives.
7) Cheese. 3 out of 3 – LOTS of yummy cheese, the mixture of white and yellow is just perfect.
McDonald’s Bacon Chicken Ranch
1) Freshness: 2 out of 3 – Honestly, I thought this would get a 1 because the salads I’ve had at McDonalds before tasted as though they’d been sitting for hours. This one was a little fresher, but not quite fresh enough.
2) Type of Lettuce: 1 out of 3 – Iceberg city, but it doesn’t get a 0 because at least the lettuce wasn’t brown.
3) Overall taste. 2.5 out of 5 – It was okay, good enough I might try it again in a pinch, but not great.
4) Crispies. 1 out of 3 – Zero.
5) Value for the $ – 2.5 out of 4 – It’s a decent size but the taste is a little sub par, at any price.
6) Variety of vegetables/ingredients: 1 out of 4 – Pretty much just tomatoes.
7) Cheese. 2 out of 3 – The cheese is decent, but again, there’s so little of it.
So…what do you think? Have you tried any of these salads? Do you agree? Disagree? What are your most and least favorite salads.
By the way…feel free to call me out on my math if I got it wrong…it’s not my strong suit 🙂