A friend out east once told us she ate the same thing for lunch almost every day for a year: a Chipotle Cowboy salad.

And now the most crave-able lunch in New York can be yours with the opening of the newest build-your-own-salad place in Chicago, Just Salad.

We headed to the South Loop, ordered the Chipotle Cowboy and were duly impressed. It?s a gigantic bowl of southwestern-style goodies like black beans, spicy pepper jack cheese, avocado and crunchy onions. The standard dressing is chipotle vinaigrette, but our salad-maker suggested smoky poblano ranch instead and who could resist?

We followed our salad down the line as it was mixed and tossed, and even weighed in on how much dressing to adorn it with.

Next time we?ll go off-menu and pick our own ingredients from the long list of options. There are also four rotating seasonal salads, like the current Booty Slimdown with kale, Brussels sprouts, turkey bacon and radishes.

One more word to the wise: Just Salad is not just salads. Through the end of the month, every day from 3 to 6 p.m. is smoothie happy hour. Stop in--along with half the student body of nearby Columbia College--to get your Tropic Spinach Thunder fix for a steal.

Just Salad, 20 E. Jackson Blvd.; justsalad.com

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