The Chop Stop, Burbank’s newest “fast-food” restaurant, advertises a salad “loaded with fresh, wholesome foods that are nutritious, delicious and fast.”
From my experience eating lunch at the Chop Stop with my wife on the day of its grand-opening celebration, Jan. 7, it delivered in two categories — fast and nutritious.
It’s fast because everything is pre-chopped, but both my wife’s Cobb Chop ($9.24) and my Chop Shop Classic ($8.49) had too much dressing, which made the salads too soggy and lacking in crispness. I also ordered the Spicy Asian Soup ($8.49) that wasn’t even a bit spicy. When someone puts spicy on its menu, I want it spicy — I want to sweat.
I could not taste the pepperoncini, and the edamame was not the right texture for the soup. The soup might have been more interesting if the edamame was cooked a bit longer, and if there was more spice and the Chinese noodles were crispier.
You couldn’t taste the blue cheese or the bacon in the Cobb Salad, two ingredients whose taste are overpowering. My Chop Stop Classic featured grilled chicken, salami, way too many chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, sunflower seeds and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The Cobb Chop has grilled chicken, bacon, avocado, hard-boiled egg, tomato, sunflower seeds and the blue cheese dressing.
They also do not include a roll or crackers with the salad or soup. My wife purchased a roll for 79 cents that was stale. She brought it to the attention of the manager. He checked it out, determined that it indeed was stale, and tossed it away without a word to my wife. No “sorry” or “can I get you something else?”
The Chop Stop needs to go light on the dressing and give the customer additional dressing on the side for those who crave more.
There are several other interesting salads on the menu, and the customers were lined up out the door. It’s a small establishment with seating for about 12. I’m sure the majority of Chop Stop’s business will come from the lunch crowd working in the area.
The most expensive salad on the menu is the Chop-Zilla at $10.74. It has double grilled chicken, salami, ham, chickpeas, tomato, tortilla strips and ranch dressing. You also can choose your own ingredients, which might be the best way to go. That way, you can ask them to go light on the dressing or ask for it on the side.
All the menu chops come in a wrap. The wraps looked filling and tasty. There are six soups on the menu, ranging in price from $7.74 to $8.49.
The Chop Stop is a great concept — a fast meal that’s healthy. I was there on the Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting day. Photographers were there; it was a little hectic. I’m not going to rush to judgment. I will wait a couple of months and try it again.
Stan Wawer has been a writer and editor for Southern California newspapers for 47 years and more recently has been freelancing restaurant and travel stories for publications throughout the country.
What: Chop Stop
Where: 1001 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank
When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Prices: $7.74 to $10.74.
Contact: (818) 846-3560; https://www.chopstop.com