Local Spotlight

Take Control of Your Salad at Salata

After walking by Salata numerous times while shopping in The Woodlands Market Street, I finally decided to step inside and see what this place was all about.

Salads are one of my favorite things to make just because you can be so creative and change it up every time.

Maybe it's the fact that I like control over what goes into my salad, but I love the concept of Salata. There are options for every palate and every time you visit, you can create something new, or you can try to re-create one of Houston's Top Ten Salads.

Choose from an array of leafy greens -- spinach, romaine lettuce, spring mix -- and fill your bowl to the top with as many toppings as you please. It's a fixed price, so get your money's worth. There's something for everyone at this "next generation salad bar."

The first time I visited Salata, I'll admit, the options on the salad bar overwhelmed me. All of the fresh ingredients seemed so intriguing, and I wanted to add all of them to my salad bowl.

But before you can get to all of the various tasty toppings, first, you must choose either a small or large salad, or a salad wrap. I chose a small salad, which is still quite large.

After choosing the Salata mix of baby lettuce, endive, arugula and spinach, my unlimited selection of vegetables, nuts, cheeses and fruits awaited me.

Choose from an array of fresh toppings ranging from bean sprouts and radishes to cucumbers and snap peas, black beans and garbanzo beans, dried cranberries and green apples, and pumpkin seeds and walnuts. This can be a daunting task, and that's without choosing a protein: chicken with four flavors, two types of shrimp, crab meat, salmon or a mix of crab and shrimp.

I decided to not overdo it with the toppings and chose radishes, cucumbers, carrots, bean sprouts, sun-dried tomatoes, grapes, blue cheese and a seafood mix (I couldn't pick between crab and shrimp). I probably could have done without the blue cheese, but when it's offered, it's hard for me to resist.

Salata also offers house-made dressings varying in flavors to match any salad you create: ginger lime, buttermilk ranch, fat-free mango and chipotle ranch. I decided to try the fat-free sun-dried tomato dressing; it's light and tastes exactly like salsa, staying true to the tomato flavor.

If you're up for it, add a cup or bowl of soup or slices of bread, pita chips or croutons. The pita chips are crispy and well-seasoned. I highly recommend ordering them.

Each ingredient in my salad was fresh and in season. I appreciated the fact that the salad bar was kept clean. The toppings appeared more colorful and vibrant, which is probably why it was so hard to decide which to add to my bowl and which to skip.

As much as I love creating my own salad, it would be nice to have a few pre-made combinations to refer to. Not everyone knows which ingredients go well together, so having a list of salads to glance at or simply create as is would be a good addition to Salata. The endless options wouldn't seem so overwhelming anymore.

I enjoyed my time at Salata and will definitely eat there again. Sitting outside in the Market Street with a delectable salad I created myself is relaxing and perfect for a lunch break during a day of shopping.

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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn