The Chopped Leaf has locations in Kelowna and Vancouver, and now Edmonton (downtown in Commerce Place). This is fast food for the calorie conscious; an appetizing option on days when burgers and deep-fried chicken balls just aren’t cutting the mustard.

Chopped leaf offers salad rolls, soup, quesadillas, and a multitude of salads. Be in control and have them make a salad of your choosing from an extensive list of ingredients, or choose one of the “chef designed salads”.

We went with the Popeye: a mix of spinach, prawns, pecans, oranges, apples, feta and cranberries, topped with a fruit vinaigrette. A big spinach to “other” ratio, which was good, but the prawns were pallid, the oranges canned, and the feta, faint. This one could’ve been better and at $10.50 a serving, it left my lunch companion unsatisfied.

The Bangkok salad had more flavour. The snow peas offered good crunch, along with the Romaine lettuce, and the noodles helped fill the belly but the one little sliver of cilantro didn’t quite give me that Bangkok feeling I was hoping for. The Evil Peanut dressing was pretty tasty though, I have to give them that.

A note on the takeout boxes: we didn’t know if we were coming or going, so we opted for takeout. Chopped Leaf does offer their dine-in customers food presented in lovely white bowls, so pardon the boxes. It could explain too, why the quesadilla got soggy so quickly and was overcome with flavours of…paper? Not sure.

Two soups are on hand every day. We went with the potato fennel because I love, love, love fennel. So I was bummed, bummed, bummed when after two bites, I couldn’t detect a smidgen of the aromatic Foeniculum vulgare.

Chopped Leaf is so close to getting it right but something’s just a bit off. I have to wonder how far the ingredients have traveled to get to this location. There really is something to be said for using local producers’ products. Money talks, I know, but more and more diners are willing to put their money where their mouths are. Literally.

My CBC Edmonton AM review with Mark Scholz can be heard here.