Ballantyne Magazine


Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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F A B F A R E Fresh Twist Eatery Serves Up Creative Salads, Grain Bowls, Wraps By Amy Rogers | Photos by Ray Sepesy H ere's a tasty question to mull over: Can you name a restaurant you'll find at the Empire State Building, in Times Square, a few steps from the White House — and in Char- lotte's Blakeney shopping center? Give up? It's Chopt, which bills itself as a "creative salad company" and has a modern, urban vibe. It's new to our region in the last two years, but with its fast and fresh offerings, it's quickly winning fans. Steamy summer days call for cooler fare, and Chopt can create count- less combos of salads, wraps and grain bowls. Yet, with more than 60 ingredients and 18 small-batch dress- ings to choose from, first-time diners may wonder just where to begin. At the walk-up counter, the lavish array of ingredients resembles an edible rainbow: tri-colored carrots, gold and purple beets, shiny grape to- matoes and lively green lettuces. With olives, onions, peppers and cheeses, plus falafel, bacon, steak and shrimp, it's fair to say that most anything is possible. Luckily, Chopt's menu suggests more than a dozen sure-fire favorites. They range from a classic Cobb to a modernized kale Caesar to a Mexicali vegan salad so rich with avocado, hearts of palm and spicy dressing that few will miss the cheese. And here's what's unusual: A server, called a "Chopr," doesn't merely take orders and assemble plates. Once a customer selects the ingredients, the Chopr places them on a large cut- ting board, and with a curved-blade knife called a mezzaluna, energetically chops all the ingredients together, then tosses them with dressing just before serving. That means the flavors of the almonds, apples, cranberries, and croutons all blend together. The roasted squash and scallions com- bine with the goat cheese, or the feta, or the Parmesan. Or, all three. Build, Chop and Serve The Mexicali vegan salad is so rich with avocado, hearts of palm and spicy dressing that you likely won't miss the cheese. BALLANTYNE SUMMER 2017 47 Fab Fare

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