July 14, 2014

The Anatomy of an Asian Chicken Salad

…and the introduction of Things in the Springs!

Lately, I've thought that it's probably a good idea to document my experiences, good and bad, when it comes to what we do in Colorado Springs.  Last week I went on and on about our day downtown and our terrible experience at Lowe's.  Obviously, not all you live in the area, but it might prove helpful to someone who does or someone who is planning on visiting (hint hint: I'll take company).  

Originally, I wanted this to be called Kristin's List, but then I thought Angie's List might sue me, so better to avoid the possible legal trouble.  While I'll obviously be talking about things that are around me, I could also add in experiences when we travel. There will be subheadings for that…and maybe I'll add in one for our previous experiences in Missouri so I can link back to posts.  Anyway, up there in the navigation bar see:  Things in the Springs.  
On Saturday, we went to The Swiss Chalet in Woodland Park.  We decided to drive up into the mountains for the day, just to see what there was to see.  There was a 30 degree temperature difference from our house on the prairie.  In fact, we'd come from the farmer's market downtown and we'd been sweating and drinking iced coffee there.  Heading into Woodland Park was like heading back to Anchorage.  I was not dressed for the weather, and it was pretty drizzly anyway, so we stuck to indoor activities.  

When looking for a place to eat, we usually go straight to TripAdvisor because the site rarely lies.  However, I think we found a flaw in the TripAdvisor system.  The Swiss Chalet had excellent reviews.  We figured it might be a little pricey, but with Scott facing upcoming trainings and knowing that he'd be away for awhile, we try to ignore price tags and just go for what we want to do when possible.  Life is short.  So, we stopped in for lunch.

We were really disappointed.  Maybe all the people on TripAdvisor DID have fantastic experiences, but we didn't.  

The menu is limited because it's all supposedly homemade each day, so there were about 15 things on it.  This is all well and good if the food is well-prepared.  I thought the roast beef on ciabatta sounded good…but they were out.  She suggested the reuben or the chicken salad on an apricot croissant.  I don't do reubens and I don't do mayonnaise.   I ordered the Oriental Chicken Salad and Scott ordered the fish tacos and Maryland crab soup.  

They brought Scott the wrong soup; the swiss onion instead of the crab.  He didn't want to complain (but I totally would've).  He said MY french onion soup was much better than this one at The Swiss Chalet.  Meaning, the stuff I put together in the crockpot every so often is better than this how-ever-many-dollars a bowl soup.  


The fish tacos were made with salmon.  Salmon is not just fish, it's a very specific flavor and it's a flavor I really can't get behind.  I'm quite glad I hadn't ordered them because I wouldn't have been able to eat them.  Also, being the salmon expert that he is, Scott said the "fish" in the tacos was pink salmon.  That's one step up from chum salmon (which is what they make dog food out of).  King or red is the kind of salmon you want.  Pink is the canned stuff.   We are salmon experts and if you've ever gotten me into a discussion on what I used to teach in Alaska, I'd have shown you the 5-finger trick to remembering the types of salmon (some other time, guys…)

Onto the point of this post.  This was the Oriental Chicken Salad.  It was over $12.

Cabbage, 5 peas, 5 mandarin orange segments, 2 radish slices, approx. 2 T. chopped chicken, approx. 1 T. cashews,  approx. 1 T. fried noodles.  

While the flavor was good, I'd never order it again.  It was the consistency of coleslaw and there was nothing to it.  I was hungry when we left!  We'd paid $33 and then felt like we needed to stop for a snack on the way home.

The next day, we stopped at Noodles and Co. on our way to run errands.  I ordered the Asian Chicken Salad, I think, as a way to make a justified comparison.  It was less than $8.  

Look.  I can see chicken.

Lesson learned:  don't go to The Swiss Chalet in Woodland Park, Colorado.  Go to Noodles and Co. instead.  

We did have some fantastic iced lattes at The Sweet Elephant.  The fact that we went there two weeks in a row shows that when we like something, we go back for more!

And I am never, ever taking dogs to the farmers' market again.  They have listening problems.  


  1. It's so disappointing when the food at a restaurant is lame. Years ago, I made the mistake of ordering a steak at Applebee's. I should have known better, of course, but i was craving steak and we happened to be at Applebee's. To this day I won't go back because although I'm sure they have other decent things on their menu...apparently they do not know how to make a good steak. When you splurge on restaurant food, you sure hope it's good!

  2. Things in the Springs, I love it!

    My dogs are never allowed to go to the Farmers' Market. The boys have been once.

  3. Ugh, what a gross looking salad. And that's really really weird that they didn't specify that they were SALMON tacos, not regular fish tacos (cod, halibut, something of that sort). Like you said - very distinct flavor difference...white fish and salmon are absolutely not interchangeable!!

  4. I have never seen salmon in fish tacos before. I thought it was usually a white fish.

    The second salad looked much better than the first. I love reading about what you are doing in Colorado. I miss the mountains.

  5. So glad you're documenting this! I'm definitely taking notes! Seems like there are so many chains near us, I love finding hidden gems!

  6. There are few things as disappointing as going to a restaurant and not enjoying the food.....especially if it was pricey!

  7. I'm pretty excited for your Things in the Springs! Even though I'm from there!


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