I stopped into Crisp today for a quick (somewhat healthy) lunch. I LOVE Crisp and will usually pop into the 7th street or Dilworth location when I’m searching for a cool and tasty salad.
Crisp is a unique, casual restaurant that serves freshly-tossed salads and homemade sandwiches. When ordering, you can choose from salads and sandwiches that are already listed on the menu located on the wall OR you can create your own salad by choosing your own lettuce, protein, fixings and dressing. The custom-made salad is then created and tossed by a Crisp salad-tosser. Heh. As far as I know, this is the only Charlotte restaurant that mainly serves customized salads and it’s also the kind of concept that always has me thinking “Why didn’t I think of that first??”.
I have to admit, Crisp is the type of restaurant that I actually rarely go with anyone. It’s not that I don’t want to share Crisp with anyone else… It’s just that it’s so easy to get in and out, that it’s a perfect lunch choice on a weekday for someone traveling to and from meetings. No servers, no wait, no fluff. Just fresh, delicious food brought to you the minute it’s ready.
When I visited today, there was a small line at the ordering counter, which is typical. While waiting in line just a few minutes, I decided to venture outside of my comfort zone and go with the BBQ Chicken Salad. I usually ALWAYS order the F.C.N. (Fruit, Cheese, Nuts) salad, and with good reason. If there were a salad created just for me, the F.C.N. would be it. With Mixed Greens, Apple, Pear, Blue Cheese, Walnuts, Craisins, and Lemon Vinaigrette, this salad is healthy, and extremely delicious. (I’ll have to include a picture of the FCN in a future post.) But on to the BBQ Chicken Salad… it consists of Romaine Lettuce, Chipotle Marinated Grilled Chicken, Roasted Corn, Cheddar Cheese, Chopped Tomatoes, Grilled Onions and Ranch Dressing. It’s clearly not as healthy as the F.C.N. salad but was a nice change from the usual.
I had to dig to the bottom of the bowl to get all of the juicy good bits (tomatoes, cheese, corn) considering it looked like they had all fallen to the bottom when tossing. The BBQ chicken that was placed on top of the lettuce was PIPING hot and even that is an understatement. I’m not joking when I said I had to blow off the chicken just to get it cool enough to eat, which is a strange concept for a salad, if you ask me. You can even see the steam from the chicken in the photo above but I digress… Once I could eat the chicken, I decided that the BBQ sauce that the chicken was slathered in was good, but almost a little too heavy. This could have been because of too much BBQ sauce for my liking. All in all, though, I did enjoy the salad. It reminded me of a fiesta salad but with BBQ chicken instead of blackened or seasoned chicken.
And I’d like to take a moment just to talk about the delicious little crostinis that come with each salad at Crisp. I’m not sure what they put on those things. I’m assuming it’s crack because I could probably eat about a dozen of them if given the chance. Thank you, Crisp, for giving us those delicious, carby freebies with each salad while we probably shouldn’t be eating them at all. 🙂
After today’s visit Crisp still has my vote for best salad or quick lunch in Charlotte (especially with 2 locations), but I’m going to continue to put my money on the F.C.N. It’s a serious winner… just like Crisp.