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I think this is the same place that Martha Stewart raved about on her TV show a few months ago. Obviously, she was talking about the NYC location, but she sure got my hopes up when I saw they were building one right here in Cool Springs!
For the record, this is the only Tossed restaurant in Tennessee.
UPDATE: Tossed is now closed.
Tossed3301 Aspen Grove Drive
Franklin, TN 37067
Unfortunately, I don’t think Jim & I got the full experience or something. Based on our first visit to Tossed in Cool Springs, we’d rate their salads as only so-so. Here’s why…
My theory is, they just opened on September 13th. So they’ve surely got some bugs to work out and some fine-tuning to do. Just a guess…
But overall, we’ve enjoy the salads at places like Applebee’s, Chili’s and TGI Friday’s far better than the salads we had at Tossed the other night.
What We Ordered
When I first tasted my salad, I thought “Wow! This is good!” I attribute that to 3 things:
1. The tiny tortilla strips that were tossed about like croutons. I’ve never ordered a salad with tortilla strips on it before.
2. The citrus chipotle dressing was really good. It was fairly sweet, but very mild — the first bites were delicious.
3. The chunks of chicken were fairly substantial — and evenly coated in the salad dressing.
When Jim got his Cobb Salad, he too enjoyed the very first bites:
1. The variety of big leafy greens (mine was “chopped” lettuce).
2. The 2 huge slices of avocado were impressive.
3. The salad itself was huge (…mine was, too).
But after our initial first impressions, the oddest thing happened to both of us… After about 3 or 4 bites, we were wishing we’d ordered something else. Either it was too much of the same thing, or not enough “flavor” in each bite. We can’t quite put our finger on it. But without a doubt, it quickly became just your ordinary salad.
I guess we expected a bit more bang for our buck or something. At the very least, we were hoping for each bite to be as full of flavor as those first couple of bites. It just didn’t happen.
Personally, I like that they give you the option of having the dressing on the side or already mixed in for you. They do a great job of mixing it up really well, so every bite has just the right amount of dressing. But I guess the dressing (on both our salads) just wasn’t flavorful enough in the end to keep the salad delicious til the end.
As Jim puts it:
It started out looking great, and even tasting great, but it quickly died out and became just your everyday salad. I guess I expected more — or at least ‘different’ — for $8.95 a salad. (Oh, and P.S… a Cobb Salad needs to have eggs.)”
What Makes Tossed Different
If we visit again, we’ll definitely take advantage of their “build a salad” option.
It’s just that on your very first visit, it’s too overwhelming to make sense of their menu (it’s very tiny print on this huge massive board above the cash register)… and hand-pick the items you think you want to try… and subtotal the cost of your salad in your head — all at the same time. That’s right, you are charged for every single item you want them to add to your salad.
I thought you’d have the option of making your own salad for some flat fee… but no. You tell them every individual ingredient, they tell you exactly how many “pieces” or “ounces” you get for a certain price, and your bill gets higher.
Besides, you’d think since they specialize in salads that they might have simplified the process by compiling some awesome combinations that would dazzle your tastebuds and keep you coming back for more. Not so, in our case. They call their specialty salads “our creative interpretations of familiar favorites”. I guess we’d ask for a different interpretor.
Design Your Own Salad Or Crepe
The “design your own” option is great for people with special diets, food allergies, or kids with finicky appetites. (For the record, the place was loaded with kids the night we were there… about 7:30PM on a weeknight.)
Here’s the gist of it:
Step #1: Choose one or more of these lettuces to make your base. Cost: $3.95.
- Baby field greens
- Romaine hearts
- baby rocket (arugula)
- iceberg lettuce
- baby spinach
Step #2: Pick & choose which of each you want:
- Veggies — there are 18 to choose from, ranging from .50 cents to $1.00 each
- Roasted Veggies — 4 to choose from, ranging from .50 cents to $1.00 each
- Cheeses — 6 to choose from, ranging from $1.00 to $1.50 each
- Chicken, Seafood & Turkey — 10 to choose from, ranging from $1.95 to $4.95 each
- Smoked Bacon — $1.50 (per strip?)
- Fruits — 11 to choose from, ranging from .50 cents to $1.50 each
- Nuts, Seeds & Crunch — 7 to choose from, ranging from .50 cents to $1.25 each
Step #3: Choose your dressing — there are 21 to choose from (included free).
…Isn’t all of that kind of intimidating? Too much math for me. I mean, I don’t want to accidentally wind up with a 17 dollar salad! How embarrassing would that be to have to ask them to start taking items off?
Which is another downside to this restaurant….
What It’s Like Inside
Inside, there’s practically nowhere for people to stand & wait in line — without making the person who’s ordering feel like they have to hurry up. It’s tiny & cramped inside — especially near the cash register – slash ordering counter – slash soda machine refill center.
Oh, and it’s uncomfortably loud in there, too. I think it has something to do with the type of ceiling they used, and/or the 2 television screens (that you can barely hear), and/or the people (& kids) who naturally have to talk louder due to the unusual acoustics inside this restaurant.
The narrow sidewalk outside seemed like a fairly attractive place to sit — as long as the weather (& outdoor temps) cooperate, because there is not much protection from the sun… or rain out there. When we went, that’s where all the employees who were on break hung out & ate their own dinner.
Other Things On The Menu
There are a handful of other sandwiches, melts, soups, desserts, and smoothies on the Tossed menu.
Jim had a craving for a smoothie. But when they told him it was just ice and one fruit of his choice (banana, strawberry, pineapple, watermelon, mango, cantaloupe, or kiwi), it didn’t sound appealing anymore. By the time they added, “It’s $1.00 extra to add yogurt to your smoothie” he had lost his craving for a smoothie. So we left.
For the record, it wasn’t the price. Cuz we eat out a lot. And rarely do we pay attention to the prices — until after the fact. It was simply the concept that we were being nickled & dimed to death from the very beginning when we saw the menu board. It was as if taste and quality were secondary to all of these “fees” they were charging you to eat here.
And in the end, the $8.95 for each of our salads did seem a tad high. We’d gladly pay that for some of the great-tasting salads we’ve received at other restaurants. But we’d think twice about paying that for another “hand tossed salad” from the Tossed menu.
Overall, I love love love the concept! This is the kind of place I could see myself going to on a regular basis.
I guess I’m looking for more of a quick & easy make your own salad kind of place. For starters, a flat fee would be better than all of the 60-plus itemized salad fixin’s that appear on the menu board. And I’d like the salad to be full of flavor from the first bite to the very last.
Maybe it all comes down to wow-factor (or lack thereof) in the dressings? I don’t know…
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