Jumping on the increasingly popular vegan bandwagon, salad chain Salata has added three new vegan proteins to the menu at all of its 40 locations: quinoa, falafel and tofu. They are a permanent part of Salata's 50-plus options for salad toppings or wrap fillings.
The quinoa is steamed and served with fresh chopped parsley; it's also good for gluten-free diners. Falafel is baked daily and can be added whole or broken into pieces. Tofu is marinated in a special blend of seasonings.
"The new vegan items are freshly made and provide a twist for guests who don't eat meat," says Salata founder Berge Simonian. The new proteins can also add unique flavors and textures to salads or wraps.
Vegan options are becoming a more common addition to menus, embraced even by national chains such as Chipotle, which added a spicy-tofu scramble called Sofritas to its menu in October.
Salata, which has two Austin-area locations, bills itself as the "next generation salad bar." Its salads and wraps are tossed with a choice of a wide variety of ingredients, such as lettuce, vegetables, beans, fruits, cheeses, seeds and nuts.
Salads and wraps are sold for a set price rather than by weight. Proteins are available for an upcharge; the vegan proteins are $2 extra for the small salad or wrap and $3 for the regular salad.
Founded in 2005, Houston-based Salata has nearly 40 corporate-owned and franchise locations in Texas and Southern California, with plans to open 40 more by 2016.