Photo by Lee Chastain.

I have a leg up when it comes to reviewing Snappy Salads. I’ve been eating at one of its Dallas locations for years. The one at the NorthPark Mall food court is perfect for dining before a movie screening at the theater a few hundred yards away. So I can tell you that having this chain (which was founded in Dallas in 2006) open its first restaurant in Fort Worth, near the Ridglea Theater, is reason for unconfined joy among salad fans. Yes, they exist.


Snappy Salads

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6115 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. 817-616-0616.11am-3pm Sun,11am-9pm Mon-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.


Appropriately enough for a salad bar, Snappy Salads wears its crunchiness on its sleeve. The tables and stools are all made of salvaged wood, the countertops are from recycled porcelain and glass, the straws are made of paper, and the cups are a biodegradable corn derivative. You could eat the cups if you wanted to. (Though why would you want to?) Instead of Coke or Pepsi, the soda fountain is stocked with locally microbrewed sodas from the Oak Cliff Beverage Works, whose cola is quite a bit spicier than the mass-market ones. It’s as if the chain’s decision makers asked themselves what a typical Fort Worth Weekly reader would want in a salad place and then put those things in.

The same indie/hippy ethos extends to the food. The produce is the freshest you’ll find at any restaurant. The employees make each salad to order, so the greens aren’t growing limp sitting in dressing before you get there. Certain fruits are only available in season, so if you like strawberries on your salad, you may be vexed to find that they’re not there at a certain time of the year, though this ensures that everything on your plate carries maximum flavor. If your salad comes with chicken or steak, the meat is taken right off the grill and carved in front of you, so it’s still warm when you get it. If you’re confused about which of the 19 available dressings to use, servers offer little tasting spoons. (Curious about chamomile vinaigrette? You can sample it here.) All the salads come in either Half Snap or Full Snap size — I’ve always found the Half Snap to be plenty. You can create a salad to your exact specifications with as many as eight items on top of your greens, though you’ll have to pay extra for protein.

If you don’t want to do that much work, the menu salads are made from a predetermined list of ingredients. (I’m rather disappointed that the Fort Worth location isn’t offering the Sweet & Smoky Salad that I’ve enjoyed often in Dallas, with smoked salmon, roasted peppers, and two kinds of raisins.) The chain’s motto is, “So good, even guys like our salads,” and nowhere is that better demonstrated than in its Steakhouse Salad. The mesquite-grilled tenderloin on iceberg lettuce is served with cherry tomatoes, red onions, bacon bits, and a double dose of blue cheese, with both crumbled Gorgonzola and Maytag blue cheese vinaigrette tossed into the mix. This salad was wretchedly excessive, the sort of dish that screams, “I am eating a salad, but I am still manly!”

I rather preferred the Tenderfoot Salad, which still had the steak and Gorgonzola, only it was set on red leaf lettuce, a much tastier and more nourishing green than iceberg. The heartiness of the beef was offset by the sweetness of grilled peach slices and the freshness of a mint vinaigrette, as well as rattlesnake beans and chopped walnuts. This was a much more delicate dish.

The Crab Cake Salad is a new addition to the menu that featured a wondrously light crab cake that could easily be served on a plate at an expensive seafood restaurant. It was set on top of a bed of red leaf lettuce with corn, roasted red peppers, green onions, and a lemon vinaigrette. The whole thing is perhaps better suited for summer than winter, but it is awfully refreshing no matter when you eat it.

Extras include a hunk of multigrain bread or a lemon cookie –– both cost less than a dollar. That might not be much, but who cares when you’ve got salads that surpass even the ones at downtown’s Salata and leave Sweet Tomatoes in the dust? Snappy Salads’ namesake specialties are of the quality you’d find in an expensive restaurant but without the pretension of fine dining. Anyone concerned with combining healthy eating with good eating will have to pay a visit to this place.

[box_info]Snappy Salads
Create Your Own Salad     $7.62—9.46
Crab Cake Salad     $12.40—18.48
Steakhouse Salad     $9.70—13.39
Tenderfoot Salad     $12.70—18.48[/box_info]