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Restaurant Review: Chop Stop: Calling all lettuce heads

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Chop Stop offers their Build Your Own Chop bowl, in which you can add a variety of six ingredients to. The Build Your Own Chop above consists of a kale and quinoa base with black beans, broccoli, cilantro, black olives, strawberries, barbecue chicken and a light amount of olive oil. / photo by Andrew Alonzo

Chop Stop offers their Build Your Own Chop bowl, in which you can add a variety of six ingredients to. The Build Your Own Chop above consists of a kale and quinoa base with black beans, broccoli, cilantro, black olives, strawberries, barbecue chicken and a light amount of olive oil. / photo by Andrew Alonzo

Andrew Alonzo
Staff Writer

Staying in shape can be hard to do with so many food temptations around us. However, one shop is turning heads, lettuce heads, into delicious and savory chops – salads in case you’re new.

“Everything I’ve had here has been good,” says Karen Ulloa, a La Verne resident for over 30 years. “I’m vegetarian so the vegan chopurrito has been my go-to since they’ve opened.”

Chop Stop is located in the Foothill Plaza just west of the Bank of America. It offers a unique yet simple menu composed of salad based items.

When you see the menu you may think Chop Stop lacks creativity, but in reality lunch is in your hands. Customers can stop in and order a signature chop, build one of their own or wrap it up in a tortilla known as a chopurrito.

And do not forget to order a pretzel bread stick along with your chop. As soon as I walked into Chop Stop, I knew I was eating fresh.

“I love working here because we get to provide clean food,” said Jovanni Sanchez, a shift lead at Chop Stop. “Working at a restaurant knowing the food is benefiting the community makes you feel good about coming to work.”

Upon my first steps inside, the cool AC blasting through the restaurant allowed me to forget the searing temperatures California summers love to boast.

The atmosphere of classic 2010s-2019s music got me tapping my toes in line as I waited to order my food.

The vibrant green decor of the chops on the wall are meant to make your mouth water and even make you more confused about what you want to order.

Furnished with small, dark brown wood chairs and tables, you feel as though you are inside a cozy cabin making fresh food picked from your garden.

And after you are done creating the best chop in the shop, share the chop at the selfie-corner to let all your friends and family know where they need to stop.

“We have high schoolers, college kids, firemen, policemen – everyone comes in,” says store manager Christine Duncan. “We try to keep it a family-friendly service. We love to see our regulars that we know by name.”

I built my own chop which allowed me to add six toppings to each salad. In the first salad I started with an iceberg/spinach mix and added croutons, wonton strips, tomato, bacon, corn and barbecue chicken, finishing the salad with thousand island dressing.

On the second day I went for a more health conscious approach with a kale/quinoa base with black olives, strawberries, broccoli, cilantro, tortilla strips and barbecue chicken mixed together with a light amount of olive oil. Of course we could not forget about the pretzel breadsticks as I ordered two: one salted and one unsalted.

Right away the chops came out quickly. After I filled my water cup and found a seat I immediately got up to receive my food.

You get what you pay for as the portions run large at The Chop Stop. Big portions, however, allow customers to eat either their whole chop or save half for later.

I’m always a fan of the ‘do-it-yourself’ style of restaurants but for first-time customers they have signature chops in case you’re not sure what to order. Even for my first time, the menu was easy to navigate.

The only difficulty comes from choosing which toppings you want on your salad. With plenty of leaf bases to choose from, there is an endless combination of chops to enjoy.

“I like knowing what I’m eating,” said 21-year-old La Verne resident Peter Li. “I remember when the Pick-Up Stix was here but this is much better because you can choose the toppings that cater to your taste.”

The freshness of the food can only be described as perfect. With every crisp bite of the iceberg/spinach mix you could taste the lush summer evenings on the farm fields.

The tomato and corn only added to the flavor of the lettuce. The wonton strips and croutons brought in a crunchy and savory texture to each bite while the thousand island dressing wrapped a beautiful bow on the scrumptious symphony, which only made leaving any elements of the salad out of each fork-full a crime.

While the dressings on the salads are good, they can sometimes drown out the flavor of the salad, making you get a saucy bites at times.

However on the kale/quinoa mix when tossed lightly with olive oil, the kale never became a frail piece of green.

The pretzel stick complemented the chop nicely but left me wanting more from it. The pretzel bread did not wow me, but it did not disappoint me either.

The bread was baked and browned but still had a rubbery texture to each bite. The unsalted pretzel stick tasted like it was missing salt and some butter while the salted piece practically needed to be dusted off before each bite because there was too much salt that encrusted the piece.

Overall: 8/10 chops.

Chop Stop is a healthy, fresh and quick alternative in La Verne that caters to everyone. Though on the pricier side, with build your own chops starting at $10.14, you get what you pay for as the portion sizes for the regular bowl are enough to last you through lunch and dinner. The variety of toppings opens endless combinations for customers to create their own perfect chop every time.

If you want to get a chop of your own, Chop Stop is located at 1335 Foothill Blvd.

You can also order takeout by calling 909-515-7373. For more information visit chopstop.com.

Andrew Alonzo can be reached at andrew.alonzo@laverne.edu.

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