Adam23 Posted January 26, 2010 Share Posted January 26, 2010 Mixt Greens, a San Francisco-based salad chain opened today on 19th St above M in the old High Noon space. I've been watching this space for some time wondering if anything would ever open there - but it did, today, finally. Speaking with a manager, it sounds like Mixt Greens has a rather aggressive expansion plan in DC, something like 5 locations by the end of the year. When I entered the store and was handed a menu I said wow. Burrata, american kobe beef, and seared ahi tuna - every play out of the restaurateur playbook. Throw in the signage that "your eco-gourmet® meal supports: LOCAL FARMS, ORGANIC PRODUCE, SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, GREEN BUILDING, RENEWABLE ENERGY, AND HEALTHY EATING", I knew I was about to enter a restaurant contrived by pure marketing genius. I was like a pimple-faced 18 year old visiting Scores for the first time. If only they would haven taken it to the next level and gave me humanely raised chicken and the lettuce from a rooftop garden, I would have exploded. Sarcasm aside, this place oozes eco-chic. Take Sweetgreen's earth-friendly image, kick it up a few notches, and charge a hefty premium for the pleasure of dining at Mixt. (It worked, they offered me a salad for a 10% premium over Chopt and Sweetgreen). The facility itself is nice - a clean, modern look. And the staff is friendly and articulate. So what about the food? The salads themselves are decent. Whenever I visit a salad place for the first time, I order a cobb salad. In my mind, it is fairly simple to make a good one and much easier to make a bad one. Does it have crispy bacon? Is the avocado fresh or hard? Is the lettuce crisp? Based on my experience today, Mixt makes a decent cobb salad- better than Chopt but not nearly as good as Sweetgreen. On the cobb salad Mixt uses butter lettuce, an option not available at its competitors. However the problem is that they just pull the head of lettuce apart into large pieces, making it difficult to eat without a knife. The mix-ins are good. The tomatoes were room temperature and flavorful, the cucumbers were seeded, the bleu cheese was tasty and the bacon was very crisp and cut into large pieces - almost like lardons. The avocado was 80% ripe, not perfect but definitely not the granite i've been served at other restaurants on occasion. The chicken was served slightly chilled and was tender, but instead of having cut-up chicken pieces like its competitors, Mixt uses slices that they place on top of the salad, once again requiring the use of a knife. Overall, the ingredients were good, but the dressing on my salad, a vinaigrette, was terrible and bland, rendering a pretty good salad merely adequate. One thing I did enjoy was the bread served with the salad. It was a slice of tasty and fresh wheat bread. Very good. Cobb salad aside, my co-workers were impressed with the variety of toppings. Jicama, macadamia nuts, soba noodles, papaya, etc. They have an endless assortment of options that other places don't have. And my co-workers commented that the toppings tasted fresh, but did get weighted down by seriously bland dressings that resulted in bland salads. Everyone was open to trying it again, but no one was running back. One nice addition is that Mixt offers sandwiches that look very good. They have a turkey sandwich, meatloaf sandwich, buratta sandwich, etc. They all looked delicious and were being made on freshly sliced foccacia bread (which I saw them slice from huge loafs - and that bread looked really good). I'll have to try them and report back. Overall, a welcome addition but salad-wise not in the same league as some of its competitors, particularly considering it was about a buck more. And yes, I plan to compost my eco-gourmet® corn-biopolymer biodegradable container. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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