Over the course of my life, I’ve been slowly conditioned to like salads. At the age of five, I had to be bribed into taking two more bites, then three. At the age of ten, I would only eat it if it had the calorie-sugar loaded honey french dressing. At the age of 15, only if it had the poppyseed one. And then poppyseed turned to balsamic, and balsamic turned to olive oil and then — I liked salad. There was no more bribery, no more “one-more, two-more bites”: I was 18 and walking into Salad’s UP! for the first time. And I was falling in love.

Now I’m all about the Carrot Ginger dressing. My preferred toppings? That’s easy; I’m in a sweet potato with cranberries kick. I always get cucumber and sometimes, when I’m feeling a little bold, go for brussels sprouts. Spinach is my go-to base, but one day I’ll get up enough nerve to try kale. Romaine is not my friend (too crunchy), but I’m not against mixed greens as an option or a religion.

Seriously though, the options here are honestly endless. As an indecisive person unable to choose between black jeans or blue, black heels or black flats, this place should be my nightmare. But the child in me forced to grow accustomed to strange mixed greens with various fruits and nuts placed before me, I’m living. Because even though I might get spinach from Trader Joe’s, it almost always goes bad within in a day. And while I do have cranberries and walnuts and beets of my own, I will never be able to grill cauliflower myself for the sake of a salad or even think of grilling chicken without the image of a burning stove popping up in my mind. When it comes to convenience, portions, affordability and location, Salad’s UP! is the plant-lover’s dream and the health nut’s constant craving.  

Check out the rest of 2017’s Best of Ann Arbor here.

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