Chop’t is as Terrifying As You Would Think
I did a bad bad thing last week. After reading about Chop’t in the New York Post, I was compelled to go and check out their Po’boy Salad. Anybody who reads this blog with any frequency knows I have a special place in my heart for New Orleans- and even a generic salad chain like Chop’t can get me to pay attention to them by making something called a Po’boy Salad. What does that even mean? And quite frankly, how could I not?
Walking into Chop’t was a particularly terrifying experience. As described in the Post article, the place is packed, and very intimidating (the menu is very long and if you don’t know exactly what you want you’ll hold everything up), and while I find salad places to be scary enough on their own- imagine how much scarier it becomes when you put giant machetes in the hands of the people making these salads. It’s much harder to look at people with derision in your eyes when they’re holding giant salad cutting knives.
Despite being excited mildly interested, I should have known something was wrong immediately when I spotted the ingredient list of the Po’boy Salad. Fried chicken (that’s good), lettuce (sure), tomato (makes sense), and cheese (???). Cheese? I don’t seem to remember cheese on any Po’boy I’ve ever had. I do remember pickles. But there are no pickles on this salad. I don’t know what I was expecting, and I probably would have just turned and walked out right then, if I hadn’t spotted spotted something that actually stirred a bit of genuine excitement inside me. Something so grotesque (in a good way) that it could actually have a chance of redeeming this monstrosity of a lunch establishment.
General Tso’s Salad Dressing. You’re kidding me right? Chop’t has a general tso’s salad dressing?!? If there is one thing I love more than New Orleans, it is cheap and crappy Americanized Chinese food.
Up until now, in my eyes, the only thing that could redeem a salad (which I almost never eat, and when I do- it’s a pretty significant occasion) is fried chicken. Putting fried chicken in a salad is like a slap in the face to the salad itself- whose whole purpose to just to exist as a healthy alternative to a lunch that actually tastes good. Adding fried chicken also causes most salad eaters to utter words that I say all the time… “then why bother eating a salad.” Exactly. Why bother?
But this general tso’s thing… this takes it to another level. I could have left Chop’t that day… but why lose the opportunity to create something so amazing, it could actually elevate a salad place to Midtown Lunch status. Something so grotesque, that hard core Midtown Lunchers would eat it, but salad losers couldn’t denounce it- because it was created at one of their meccas. The Po’boy Salad with General Tso’s Dressing. How… could… I… not.
It doesn’t look like much, but you can see the fried chicken on top (and there was a ton of still unexplicable cheese) but all together it was Midtown Lunch worthy… sort of. Despite having fried chicken, and a general tso’s-ish taste created by the salad dressing- it was still a salad, only made great by the looks you can get when telling people you are eating a Po’boy salad with general tso’s dressing.
As I checked out, the lady at the cash register asked me if I wanted a frequent salad card. Um… nope. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to need it.
Chop’t (Multiple Locations)
- 60 E. 56th (btw. Madison & Park), 212-750-CHOP
- 165 E. 52nd (btw. Lex+3rd), 212-421-2300
- 145 W. 51st (btw. 6+7th), 212-974-8140