Dion’s adds Southwestern salad to pair with green chile ranch dressing

Local favorite Dion’s has made some changes to its salad offerings and has added one to its lineup.

The Southwest salad was recently added to Dion’s menu. It was created to be paired with Dion’s green chile ranch dressing.

“Last year we released green chile ranch, and that was a huge hit, so we felt that we needed a salad that was a great match for that particular dressing,” said Deena Crawley, marketing director for Dion’s. “Hence the Southwest salad was born.”

The primary ingredients in the Southwest salad are Dion’s signature mix, tomatoes, chicken, corn, black beans, avocado and wontons. The newly introduced avocado can also be requested on other salads and Dion’s subs.

Dion’s is adding bacon to its turkey and chef salads.

“Everyone seems to just love bacon, and it’s a popular item, so we added it to our chef and our turkey salad,” Crawley said. “It’s something we saw a lot of our employees doing but also our customers from time to time, and so we said, ‘Hey, why don’t we just make that permanent on the menu?’ ”

Kale has been added to Dion’s Caesar salad. The mixture of romaine lettuce and kale brings a heartiness to the salad, Crawley said. The Greek salad now features kalamata olives.

Patrons will now see round, flat, croutons in place of traditional croutons. Dion’s salads stopped featuring the round croutons after the machine that made the crunchy bread topping broke down and the vendor was unable to make the investment to repair it.

“They went away in the late ’90s, and we still in 2018 had customers who would say, ‘Hey, Dion’s, what happened to those old flat croutons that you had or the circle croutons? We love those,’ ” Crawley said. “And we just all these years could not find a way to make it happen until now.” Guests will see a change in dining-in and to-go plating for Dion’s salads. There are now dine-in bowls and square to-go bowls for the salads.

“We’re doing a dine-in bowl that is reusable, so it is more environmentally friendly, and they are also easier to eat from, and that’s true of the to-go bowls too, which were adjusted, Crawley said. “For many, many years people have become accustomed of doing the salad flip where they put a plate on top of their salad and flip it over. … We wanted to make it easier for people to eat those salads, so we made an adjustment to the bowls.”