One of the things I love most about Chopt is their changing menu of specials. Currently their "destination" focus is on New Mexico. I love the southwestern flavors of New Mexican cuisine (and someday hopefully we'll get there to try it in-state), and immediately knew on a recent lunch trip that I wanted to get the spicy New Mexico caesar salad.
The salad combines romaine and purple cabbage with FreeBird Chimayo chile chicken, goat gouda, avocado, pickled jalapeños, and masa crisps. Although they recommended the spicy hatch chile caesar dressing with it (and I do love hatch chiles), I opted instead for the Mexican goddess because I absolutely love that dressing and it had been a while since I had it. The chopper I got on this trip applied some really vigorous chopping skills to the salad so everything got combined really well (other than a rogue giant chunk of avocado, which wasn't really his fault because that part was underripe and hard as a rock).
I really liked this salad and it was definitely spicy. Those pickled jalapeños were so much hotter than I was expecting them to be, and I was thankful for the creamy avocado and side of bread to counteract the heat. The chicken was so well-seasoned, and it was the type of marinated chicken I'd love to make at home in salads or bowls. The masa crisps were interesting. I'm not really sure what I was expecting, maybe something similar to masa fries we've had before, but these were more like seed and grain crackers. They tasted really similar to a brand we've had from Costco before (but which one specifically I couldn't place in flavor). This combination was so good, and I would love to get this salad again, but I'm not sure how much longer the New Mexican options will be around.