LATHAM — Crisp, a locally owned fast-casual restaurant in Newton Plaza in Latham, gives you a lot of choices if you’re looking for healthful food.
There are still places to eat where you can’t find a healthy thing on the menu. Not at Crisp. And speaking for the folks who like to eat fresh, healthful food when dining out, thank you for that.
I met Patrice for lunch on a chilly weekday during the school break when Crisp was hopping.
WHERE: 594 New Loudon Road (Route 9), Latham, 782-2747, www.crisplatham.com
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday
HOW MUCH: $22.50 before tax
MORE INFO: Wheelchair accessible. Credit cards: Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover. Off-street parking.
There is a small dining area with eight tables in the back of the restaurant, and high tables and chairs along the walls in the front. There’s one big counter where everything happens; check the specials board on the way over to put in your order.
The menu is composed mostly of salads and instructions on how to put together your own. You can cook up your ideal meal from a wide variety of greens, proteins, veggies, fruits and dressings.
Or try the special salads for $10, like Buffalo Chicken and the Super Salad, with spinach, apple, sweet corn, black beans and grilled shrimp in a lemon vinaigrette.
You can get a wrap or a ciabatta sandwich ($10 to $12) and if you need to raise your cholesterol, try the hand-cut fries with lump crabmeat, cheddar and Old Bay seasoning ($8). Wings are $10 for an order of nine; they come baked, like the family Italian, or fried like crisp teriyaki, or the grilled house wings.
Soups are homemade daily.
Put in your order and pay and you get a laminated card with a number that goes on your table. Then someone brings your food when it’s ready. It’s a step up from counter service.
Steak and veggies
I ordered the Crisp Steakhouse salad ($10) with spinach, chopped romaine, slices of red onion, tomatoes and char-grilled steak.
They’ll cook it to your liking, though in my case it ended up being more rare than my liking.
Salads are generously sized and come in shiny stainless-steel mixing bowls.
Crisp gets points for the quality of the steak, it was tender sirloin and had a good flavor but smaller pieces would be nice as it’s hard to cut meat in a round-bottomed bowl.
I liked the black pepper on the steak and the sliced grape tomatoes but I thought the balsamic vinaigrette should have had more balsamic vinegar. Luckily it was on the side.
Patrice had the Crisp Cobb Salad ($10) with pieces of beautifully grilled, tender seasoned chicken breast, hard-boiled egg, lots of blue cheese crumbles, tomato, avocado and big pieces of bacon over crispy romaine.
She liked the slightly sweet dijon vinaigrette. It was delicious and quite filling and she’d get it again, she said.
This was a repeat visit for Patrice, because Crisp is her daughter Kate’s favorite restaurant.
We shared the homemade chips ($2.50), or I should say, I hogged them. They’re the kettle kind, which means they’re thick and sort of hard but the flavor won me over. They were fresh and dark brown and salty.
Everyone who works there was welcoming and pleasant. We lingered over our meal, catching up until the dining room was almost empty.
We parted after a relaxing, healthy and satisfying meal, Patrice with a Black and Blue Ciabatta sandwich in a bag for Kate.