Are you looking for something fresh, but on the go? Mad Greens is a great option for you on these days. Mad Greens is a small chain based on providing healthy food in a fast paced environment. The company started in Denver, Colorado and has since expanded to Phoenix, and Austin. Oh and if you are traveling through Austin-Bergstrom airport there is a location in there too with a limited menu.
They serve made to order salads, rice-based bowls, wraps and house made juices.
I have only been to one location not including the airport. Airport restaurants have limited space so you never get the real feel. Anyways I imagine most are set up the same. They have a serving line with registers at both ends. You start the line at the first register and tell them your order. At that point they print out a ticket that has what you ordered. Then they will move down the line and prepare your meal based on your wishes. You can add or subtract ingredients as you go which is fun!
They do use metal bowls to toss the salad. They have always been clean, so I know they wash them in between. But I have not asked about that process. For example I do not know if they just rinse them out, or if they put them through a full three compartment sink. I will try to remember to ask the next time I am in there and let y’all know. But if it makes you feel better you can ask them to prepare it straight into a plastic to-go container.
If you are not on the go and want to sit and eat there is room for that too. They have many tables both inside and out so you can enjoy your food in the restaurant. The restaurant itself has some decoration, but not crazy over the top like many Austin restaurants. Like the food they serve the restaurant itself seems fresh and clean.
Every time I visited Mad Greens the restaurant and line were spotless. There were no remnants of other customers salads that did not make it into the bowl, or juice spilled on the tables. On top of that the staff was super nice, friendly and pretty happy from what I could tell.
The main dish served at Mad Greens is the salad. You can choose to make your own, or pick from the menu salads. Unfortunately the printed menus do not have allergen info, but it can all be found at their website. The website allergy information is relatively intuitive. You click what you cannot have like gluten and it gives you all the gluten-free options. It is not like some where they are just the PDF and it is super confusing. So definitely easy enough to have up on your phone when you go up to the line.
A good majority of their menu is gluten free. This is because most of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free. The biggest culprit of gluten is in the wraps, but also the dressings. So take extra care when you are choosing a dressing. And confirm with the employees that it is for sure gluten-free.
Every time I’ve visited Mad Greens I have been impressed. There has never been any wilted lettuce, or anything that suggested the food wasn’t fresh. The first time I visited I did a make your own. This was not my favorite only because I added all things I like, but they weren’t all that great together. I think what really did it was my dressing choice. It may have worked better together if I chose a different dressing. So totally my fault. And the main thing is that I ate and had no gluten exposure.
Since then I have started ordering the Pomodoro salad. It has apples, feta, mixed greens, and a vinaigrette dressing. It is absolutely delicious. All the flavors just work so well together it is lovely.
During a couple of my visits I also ordered a juice of theirs. I am definitely missing working at and drinking Native juice and wanted to see if theirs compared. In my opinion this one did not. I ordered the Apple Greenie. I do understand that each juice will taste different because they are fresh, and the ratios of produce differ slightly. Or things get switched up. This is not factory produced juice that is uniform in color and flavor. But the first time I enjoyed the juice, but it was no my favorite. The second time I did not enjoy it at all. It was on the verge of turning bad and I tossed it. This was upsetting because they sold it to me for full price on the day it said it expired. The way Native combatted this issue was to sell the juices half off on the last day it would be on the shelf. I would have appreciated that more, or you know getting a juice that tasted good to me. So if you order a juice look at the back and check the date. Try to get the freshest one if possible.
I enjoy Mad Greens. I enjoy having fun, fresh green options in a fast-food type environment. Multiple times I have wanted something light like a salad and ordered online because I needed to go from one place to the next relatively quickly.
The food and environment are both great. The restaurant itself always looks clean, and the lettuce never looks wilted. So I definitely recommend this restaurant. And like I said before their menu is very gluten-free friendly. Just use the interactive allergy menu on the website and make your diagnosis and needs known and you should not have any problems eating at Mad Greens.