Since the opening of its first Souplantation in 1978 in San Diego, California, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation has expanded to 61 salad buffet restaurants with locations in Southern California, where they are known as Souplantation, and in Northern California and ten other states, where they are known as Sweet Tomatoes. Differing in name only, the restaurants are known for their abundance of fresh, great tasting salad selections, soups, bakery items, pastas and desserts in a self-serve format, set in a casual dining atmosphere.



Fresh Ingredients at Salata

Houston-based Salata, a leader in the fast growing salad restaurant category, serves up a variety of new ingredients and offerings from Texas based partners this fall, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of its first restaurant, which opened in Houston on Oct. 14, 2005. Now through Oct. 31, guests can choose ingredients from Texas' local bounty to add to a custom salad or salad wrap.

New items include pecans, from the state tree of Texas, that add the perfect crunch to any salad and come from nearby San Saba Pecans in San Saba, Texas. Goat cheese from Cheesemakers in Cleveland, Texas, will also be added to the salad line this fall, and a new Texas-inspired dry rub barbecue chicken, handcrafted by Salata's own team, will be available as an add-on protein.

Guests can enjoy their salads or wraps with a new limeade inspired by Texas' state plant, the prickly pear cactus. Crafted exclusively for Salata by JuicedUp Drinks in Houston, the new Prickly Pear Limeade captures the sweetness of the fruit for a unique twist.

With plans to open 40 additional restaurants by the end of 2016, Salata was ranked among the fastest-growing small chains in the U.S. by Restaurant Business and is included among Nation's Restaurant News' NRN Next 20 – chains poised to break into its Top 200.

Farm to Table Ingredients at Souplantations

Two San Diego area farm to table innovators are teaming up to provide the freshest possible produce to 13 Souplantation restaurants in San Diego and Temecula.

Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., the parent company of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes with headquarters in the Rancho Bernardo area, announces today an agreement with Encinitas based Go Green Agriculture Inc., that calls for Go Green to supply 100% organic lettuce to Garden Fresh's San Diego County Souplantation restaurants.  Go Green will begin supplying the locally grown lettuce to the restaurants beginning September 28.  Lettuce supplied by Go Green will be used in a favorite lettuce wrap recipe featured for lunch and dinner in area Souplantation's from September 28 through September 30, 2015.

"Our commitment to farm-to-table freshness is once again bolstered with our agreement with Go Green Agriculture," said Garden Fresh CEO John Morberg.  "For nearly 40 years, our restaurants have been bringing farm fresh food to our guests.  Now, with Go Green we will have organic lettuce grown literally in our neighborhood in an environment that capitalizes on integrating technology with agriculture for the absolute freshest and highest quality product.  The partnership with Go Green supports our 'Discover Fresh' brand revitalization campaign announced late last year, which includes a focus on farm-fresh food and made-from-scratch menu items."

Go Green Agriculture Founder and CEO Pierre Sleiman, said, "We're thrilled to begin working with Garden Fresh.  We'll be supplying our organic lettuce to Garden Fresh from our organic hydroponic farm in Encinitas.  With hydroponic technology, our system uses up to 80% less water than conventional outdoor farms, an added benefit in our current drought situation.  We will be delivering fresh organic lettuce to Garden Fresh within hours of harvesting and you can't get fresher than that."

Last summer, Sleiman was recognized at The White House at the "Champion of Change" event where he received a "Future of Agriculture" award, recognizing his innovative use of technology for sustainable delivery of fresh produce products to the marketplace.

About Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp.

Each day begins fresh at 125 company-owned Garden Fresh restaurants in 15 states.  More than 300 million guests since 1978 have helped us to be number one in fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot pastas, freshly baked breads and muffins, fresh fruit, desserts, and more.  Guests have the freedom to create their own wholesome meal in a one-of-a-kind dining experience in a friendly atmosphere and all at an everyday value.  The company is headquartered in San Diego, CA, and has two brand names:  Souplantation in Southern California, and Sweet Tomatoes elsewhere.

About Go Green Agriculture Inc.

Go Green Agriculture is a family farm with big ideas and strong values for growing the healthiest and highest quality produce while using super sustainable growing methods.  All of our produce is grown with utmost care and the finest nutrients, resulting in the freshest and finest produce in the world.

SOURCE Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp.

Chicken Chili

Souplantation Recipe

8 ounces shredded chicken
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans,drained & rinsed
2 (15 oz.) cans pinto beans,drained & rinsed
2 (15 oz.) cans cannellini beans,drained & rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can black beans,drained & rinsed
3 ounces chopped green bell pepper
12 ounces diced onions
2 (8 oz.) diced green chilis
7 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Optional Toppings
shredded cheese
sour cream
diced green onions
diced white onions
crumbled crackers

Combine all the ingredients, except milk and cornstarch, into a large pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low.  Combine cornstarch with 1/4 cup milk and whisk until combined. Add the cornstarch mixture and remaining milk to the chili. Heat on low so that the milk does not seperate for an additional 10 minutes. Dish into bowls and add optional toppings.

New Menu Items at Salata

Salata New Items:

  • Berry Balsamic Salad (pictured): Spinach, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, almonds, feta and grilled chicken topped with balsamic vinaigrette
  • Spicy Sweet Salad: Salata’s salad mix topped with mango, pineapple, red onion, green pepper, jalapeƱo, pumpkin seeds and grilled chicken and chipotle ranch dressing
  • Mediterranean Salad: Kale topped with watermelon, cucumber, radish, feta, chickpeas and falafel with lemon vinaigrette

Availability: Through June 15, 2015

Sonoma Salad

ZOUP! Sonoma Salad

Romaine, spring mix, gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries & toasted almonds. 
Served with raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Loco Burrito Salad

ZOUP! Loco Burrito Salad

Romaine, seasoned grilled chicken with lime, mozzarella, tomatoes, 
fresco corn salsa, guacamole & tortilla strips. Served with chipotle ranch dressing.

Lemon Caper Tuna Salad

ZOUP! Lemon Caper Tuna Salad
Romaine, spring mix, Lemon Caper Tuna salad & tomatoes. 
Served with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Zoup Restaurant Copycat Recipe

Makes 6 servings

2 (6 oz.) cans tuna, well drained
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons capers

Mix the tuna with 1/4 cup mayonnaise in a small bowl until well blended, adding more mayonnaise until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Add the lemon juice and pepper to taste, and fold in the capers. Serve as a salad or on bread as a sandwich.