Tag Archives: Mystic Tan

Salad Toss

13 Jul

As the three people who read this blog know, I do not rest until I find the perfect thing. Whether it be an apartment, bronzer (shout out to my friends Nars and Mystic Tan) or the ideal flight, I cannot rest until I find the right “one”.  So with this obsessiveness in mind, I have heavily researched, mulled over, and spent mucho dinero on…the quest for the perfect salad!

Recently in DC there have been a plethora of new salad joints, and since a great salad happens to be among my favorite meals, I have been overjoyed and at times overwhelmed by all the options. Currently there is mixt greens, Chop’t and Sweetgreen all within a few blocks from my office and apartment. I have tried them all and after careful consideration, chosen my favorite salad joint. Before the judging commences, let me give you a brief background on each option.

mixt is a chain that started in San Francisco and has several stores in DC. They are known for their gourmet ingredients and have a sustainable bent. There is both indoor and outdoor seating perfect for the lunchtime crowd. Unfortunately it is only open on weekdays from 11am – 8pm, crushing my dreams of a great weekend salad. I highly recommend the chicken caesar salad and the maui salad.

Chop’t is also a chain that has outposts all around the city. They are known for chopping, or if you are me – mincing, the salads to evenly incorporate all ingredients. I tend to go to Chop’t after the gym, so I am there very infrequently, since their portions sizes are bigger it is a great option after a workout. I enjoy making my own here, but do highly recommend the cobb salad if you want a caloric shock.

Sweetgreen is a chain started by Georgetown alums with several locations throughout DC. They are known for their local sustainable food sources, and their sweetflow mobile delivering salads and frozen yogurt around town. This was my original go-to for salads before the others started popping up and it is consistently good. They are also known for their frozen yogurt which I think tastes like breast milk (not that I know what that tastes like), but many people are quite fond of it so it should be noted. They recently changed their menu but my old standby made the cut – the santorini is like a taste of Greece, highly enjoyable!

Before announcing the winner, there are several criteria that I think are important in determining the victor.

  1. Price – How much does this bowl of lettuce cost?
  2. Quality – Are the ingredients fresh?
  3. Menu – Is there a variety of ingredients? Are there good pre-made and make-your-own options?
  4. Line Management – How efficient is the service during lunchtime rush?
  5. Nutritional Value – Should I just have gotten a burger instead?
  6. Loyalty Programs – When do I get my free salad?

Each criteria will be rated on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, with 60 points possible. Below are the results


Price Quality Menu Line Management Nutritional Value Loyalty Programs Total
Mixt 8 10 10 8 7 8 51

I love Mixt’s quality ingredients and the overall gourmet experience. Unfortunately that experience is reflected in the highest prices. However perks like spa water, and real silverware and bowls when dining in, make the high price tag worth it.


Price Quality Menu Line Management Nutritional Value Loyalty Programs Total
Sweetgreen 9 7 7 10 8 9 50

I appreciate Sweetgreen’s localvore culture, but at times it can get a bit too hippie for me. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t want a bulgur wheat and beet salad. However the ingredients are fresh, the staff is friendly, the price is right, and frequently the Sweetgreen mobile stops right in front of my office.


Price Quality Menu Line Management Nutritional Value Loyalty Programs Total
Chop’t 9 6 8 9 5 0 37

Chop’t has fried chicken on the menu so it will always hold a place in my heart. However their salads will also give you heart disease, calorie laden and huge portions make for the least healthy salads. Another knock against them, no loyalty programs, the horror!!!

The Winner

So the winner is mixt by a hair (hopefully not in the salad!). I encourage everyone to try each of these salad places, but hopefully my extensive research will give you an idea of what you are getting into. Stay tuned for a burger challenge…

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