NYC's Just Salad opens in Rittenhouse

Lettuce be clear: Rittenhouse is seeing the makings of a salad war.

Just Salad, whose 30 locations are mainly in its hometown of NYC and in Chicago, has opened at 1729 Chestnut St.

It’s in the thick of the territory held by D.C.’s Sweetgreen, which has locations at 1821 Chestnut St. and 1601 Market St.

Then add in the homegrown healthful-food shops all within a few blocks – Honeygrow, Smart Street, Real Food Eatery, Farmer’s Keep, Crisp Kitchen, Snap Custom Pizza, HipCityVeg, Snap Kitchen, P.S. & Co., and Agno Grill.

Just Salad, 1729 Chestnut St.   MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff

First off, Just Salad is a misnomer. Besides a line of salads – whose ingredients are organic/non-GMO/local/etc.etc – there are wraps, grain bowls, soups, toasts (an avocado and a hummus), and smoothies, dished out by chipper staffers.

An unpriced menu is shown here; expect to pay $7.99 for a chicken Caesar or buffalo chicken salad up to $10.49 for a Tokyo supergreens salad with grilled chicken, avocado, toasted almonds, roasted broccoli, carrot edamame slaw, and furikake shake. Unique to this location is the most un-Philly-sounding “Philly steak salad,” with crunchy onions, grass-fed, free-range steak, roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, and balsamic vinaigrette on romaine.

Lavishly topped “toasts” (hummus at left and avocado at right) are on the menu at Just Salad, 1729 Chestnut St.   MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff

From a sustainability standpoint, you have to applaud the signature reusable bowls. Buy your salad in one for an additional $1, and when you return to the shop with it, you get free toppings – a saving of $1 or $1.50 each time.

Just Salad founders Nick Kenner and childhood friend Rob Krespi – tired of the Manhattan casual-lunch scene – founded Just Salad in 2006. They retained the services of a chef to devise a healthful but filling menu based on organically grown, locally sourced ingredients. The first shop opened at 51st and Park.

The chain is now up to about 30 locations in New York/New Jersey, Chicago, franchises in Dubai and Hong Kong, and one random shop at Kansas State University.

Just Salad co-founder Nick Kenner at the 1729 Chestnut St. location.  MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff