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Eating My Greens


The Dagwood to go.

Lettuce is my idea of rabbit food, not salad. Sure greens ought to be a major component, but, in my mind, a large, leafy salad just means a lot of chewing. If I’m looking to fill up on a meal-sized salad that brings together various layers of texture and tastes to make salad chewing worthwhile, I search no further than Mixt Greens.

My favorite salad of late is the Dagwood (roasted red peppers, zucchini and portabello mushrooms, caramelized onions, goat cheese and garlic croutons, tossed with a lemon-herb vinaigrette). It’s huge, especially when I add chicken—and, what makes it even better is that they use only organic, local and seasonal ingredients along with free-range, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat. Plus, if you’re getting take-out, you’ll be happy to know that the packaging—from straws and forks to containers and cups—is corn-based and composts in 45 days (they compost and/or recycle about 80% of their waste).


Mixt Greens #2 at Sansome/Commercial.

If you work in the FiDi, I’m sure you’re no stranger to Mixt Greens. You might not know, however, that it’s family owned. CIA-trained chef Andrew Swallow, his enviro sis Leslie and her MBA hubby David Silverglide run the show. I have a special place in my heart for these guys, as not only are they pioneers in selling salads and sandwiches made with organic ingredients and prepared gourmet-style—by trained chefs no less—to a ravenous noontime crowd, but they’ve also voluntarily built their restaurant according to rigorous (self-imposed) environmental standards. Here are a few unique features:

•    Energy-efficient lighting and Energy-Star appliances with timers and motion sensors
•    Non-toxic paint for the walls and ceiling
•    Eco-timber FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) flooring
•    Kirei board (from reclaimed agricultural fiber) used for the benches and food stations
•    Formaldehyde-free plywood tabletops
•    Tinted glass windows to keep the space cool

Since Mixt Greens opened its first store in April 2006, I’ve enjoyed watching its success blossom. (How could you not root for the Mixt Greens team when they have such a principled business model?) The trio just opened their second place last June; and—after I bumped into Andrew the other night—I learned that there’s a third eatery in the works for 2008 (fingers crossed)!

It’s only the beginning—watch for Mixt Greens to sprout up along the West Coast, too.