Chris Dahlander, the founder and owner of Dallas-based Snappy Salads, worked for Brinker International as the marketing director for Romano’s Macaroni Grill for eight years. After a while, all the discounted food with Brinker started taking a toll on his waistline. “I was getting heavier and heavier, and I looked at myself in the mirror one day and thought, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to be that way,’ ” Dalander explains. So he started eating salads, but most places made it difficult, if not impossible, for customers to customize their salad orders. “That really irritated me,” he says. Other places felt too “girly” or too aged, he says. Nothing seemed to fit his needs. Finally, while stuck on a flight, both hungry and frustrated, he began to brainstorm, jotting down things he wanted in a salad joint — create-your-own, high quality, fast. After plenty of research and more brainstorming, he finally took the plunge. In 2006, he opened his first location at Preston and Forest, followed by several others, including his latest location at Greenville and Southwestern. The stores are focused on being eco-friendly, from recycled tables and countertops, to hanging lights that use less than 350 watts of electricity in the entire dining area. The location on Greenville is cozy and comfortable, yet masculine enough to lull the salad-skittish male population. That, of course, shouldn’t be surprising, given the restaurant’s tagline: “So good, even guys like our salads.” The beauty of the create-your-own salad is that each one is whatever guests want it to be — heavy, light, generous, sparing, healthy, nutritious, flavorful. But one thing is standard: The salads are always fresh. Lettuce and other produce is cut daily. “Anything that looks like it’s been chopped, we chopped it,” Dahlander says. Each location also has a culinary manager who cooks fresh batches of soups every day. Perfect for cold, wintery days.
Mon-Sat: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
3 more fresh eats
1 Crisp Salad Co.
Crisp is the new kid on the block of Lower Greenville, having just opened in December. It offers make-your-own salad options as well as wraps, plus an open, airy space to eat your greens.
2 Garden Cafe
Garden Cafe takes the whole garden-to-table concept to the max with its on-site garden. And of course, it’d be hard to live up to the name “Garden Cafe” without offering a few salad options.
3 Whole Foods Market
The Whole Foods Market in Lakewood at Gaston and Abrams has a make-your-own-salad bar full of fresh produce and topping options.
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