Salatude

Posted on 15 Feb 2013 at 10:00am

With its Equinox location and mix of manly meals and heart-healthy options, Greenz is not some dainty tearoom rabbit-foodery

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Casie Caldwell opened a version of Greenz inside of Equinox with unique items, but the Uptown location still serves classics like the Hawaiian tuna salad. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  |  Life+Style Editor

When Casie Caldwell opened Greenz Salads in Uptown nine years ago, she was hoping to offer a healthy alternative that wasn’t considered a dainty tearoom for middle-aged ladies.
She succeeded.

Since those first days in the kitchen, Caldwell has built a small empire, franchising out the concept (the Greenz in Addison and the original along McKinney Avenue are both franchisee-owned), while steering the brand. But Caldwell still maintains day-to-day operations at her latest Greenz — inside the Equinox health club on Oak Lawn.

With its rabbit-foodish name, Greenz is a no-brainer option for the athletic and the health-conscious while offering enough variety to attract (and keep) those who crave hearty protein.

It is, in other words, a salad joint for carnivores, herbivores and omnivores of all stripes.

The McKinney location has recently undergone an updated look (fresh, vibrant paints), but aside from the addition of sandwiches to the menu in late 2010, seasonal items added as supplies dictate and the ability to turn any salad into a wrap, the menu has remained consistent all this time.

So has the quality. The BBQ Texas slaw ($8.25; get it as a wrap) turns the traditional pulled pork sandwich into a deceptive healthy and flavorful lunch item, with a sweet, tasty sauce and crunch from spicy red cabbage. The puffed brie ($5.25), wrapped in a fluffy phyllo and kissed by strawberry gelee, serves as a great sharable app.

While the chipotle chicken salad has remained the best seller, deeper on the menu the buffalo chicken salad/wrap ($9.95) impresses more: crisp, breaded slivers of chicken pick up a perky pungency from blue cheese and a creamy soothe from avocado. It’s spicy and refreshing, much like the chicken enchilada soup, which packs a welcome kick without weighing you down. For a springtime favorite, a cup of the asparagus soup is ideal.

Like many of the entrée salads, the Hawaiian tuna ($11.95) is huge and engaging, from its mesclun greens to the seared squares of ahi perched inside an edible bowl. Also edible is the pretzel bowl that surrounds the bar none ($9.95), a staple on the menu meant to draw in men who wants the pub experience in lettuce form: grilled flank steak tops roasted nuts and a white beer vinaigrette, tossed with mixed greens.

Not surprisingly, the bar none is not available on the Equinox menu, which boasts fewer fried items and more coffees and breakfast items (it’s open all day). They also serve fresh squeezed juices from locally owned Roots Juices.

After nine years, Greenz has established itself as purveyor of healthy food without the stigma of being just that.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 15, 2013.

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