If you’re hungry and there’s nothing but steak, burgers, and sandwiches on the menu, you might as well get a salad instead. When we bite into a newly prepared salad, it may be like taking a deep, cleansing breath of pure, crisp air. Too frequently, salads are seen as merely a “healthy” replacement for heartier and tastier fare. However, doing so would be to discount the many potential applications of the salad. You don’t have to settle for a plate of soggy salad greens. It’s possible for it to be easy on the stomach while yet being full of taste.
1. Warm Duck Confit Salad with Roasted Pumpkin
As co-host of the Chewing podcast and Chicago Tribune food critic, Chu called Dear Margaret “one of the best in the Midwest.” The dishes of Dear Margaret combine French-Canadian flavors with those of the Midwest. The restaurant has become a true Chicago success story because of its perseverance and the widespread acclaim for its meals.
2. Gem Salad at Jon and Vinny’s Pizza
The pizza parlor salad is generally nothing special, just something to add some greens to the side as you munch on a hot slice of cheese and toppings. But there’s a little town in California called Fairfax where the salad is as important as the pie. A salad with gem leaves, mixed veggies, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and chili dressing is available at Jon & Vinny’s Pizza as a contemporary take on the traditional pizza joint salad.
3. Roast Carrot Avocado Salad at ABC Kitchen
Who says a salad must have leafy greens? ABC Kitchen in New York City has prepared its very own answer to that question—a roast carrot and avocado salad. Slices of fresh avocado sit above a bed of roasted carrots, radishes, and a seasoning blend of cumin, thyme, and chili flakes. The salad also features orange and lemon for added tang. And even in a city that never sleeps, like New York, residents will still take the time to seek out fresh, regional fare. The ABC Kitchen provides New Yorkers with a locally derived taste at a cheaper price than similar restaurants in the city. In his review for the New York Times, Sam Sifton said, “ABC Kitchen pulls off the magic trick.” The quality of the meal is high, and the price is reasonable.
4. Burnt Broccoli Salad at Superiority Burger
Already, this dive bar has garnered headlines for its vegan burger, which was named “Best Veggie Burger in New York” by Glasgow’s Burger Blog. The great charred broccoli salad is being overlooked in favor of the vegetarian burger, claims Brian Hoffman of the “Eat This, New York” food blog. The broccoli is “charred beyond perfection,” according to Hoffman, and it’s served with cashews, cilantro sprigs, and chiles beside an eggplant puree.
5. Original Chopped Salad at La Scala
The traditional chopped salad is available at several restaurants around the country, but only La Scala has been serving their version of the dish since 1956. According to Bon Appétit’s Gillian Ferguson, their recipe is the actual inspiration for the chopped salad since the ingredients are diced so finely that eating becomes an afterthought. It didn’t take long for La Scala’s finely minced salad to sweep the United States, as its popularity among the restaurant’s famous movie star clientele spread like wildfire.
6. Caesar Salad at Carbone
$21.00… for a salad? What the old-school Italian-American chophouse in Greenwich is providing is not what most people would think of as a salad, according to Nick Solares of Eater New York. At least if you’re watching your weight. Considering the amount of egg, butter, and anchovies in this dish, you “might as well be eating a hamburger,” as Nick Solares put it in a piece for Eater New York.
7. Beet Salad at Olive & Ivy
The weather in Arizona is so consistent that it may as well be summer all year round. No one wants to lug along something substantial that can cause them to perspire excessively in the dry, desert heat. The weather is perfect for a refreshing summer salad. The beet salad at Olive & Ivy is a godsend for the folks of Scottsdale, who desperately need a platter of greens that is both light and refreshing. This refreshing salad, made with only beets, arugula, goat cheese, and pistachio nuts, is a perfect complement to Olive & Ivy’s Mediterranean-style menu and the scorching Arizona landscape.
8. Artisan Avocado Salad at Avocados
French toast, coffee, or eggs Benedict and mimosas (depending on your hangover) are only the beginning of what brunch can be. Either way, if you’re a fan of tasty eats and refreshing beverages, brunch is almost never a terrible plan. The avocados and artisanal salads in Gainesville, Georgia seem to concur with that assessment. They come with a side of gluten-free bread and are topped with fresh avocado and your choice of grilled chicken, artisan lettuce, feta cheese, and a cilantro vinaigrette dressing. This salad provides the proteins and starches you need for a midday or early afternoon pick-me-up, no matter how you feel first thing in the morning or how difficult it is to recover from the night before.
9. Cobb Salad at Sadelle’s
Sadelle’s in New York City serves a variety of American classics, including the Cobb salad. The famous salad is served in massive servings at Sadelle’s, which is located between Soho and the Village. Yelp reviewer Perry T. described the Cobb salad as a “veritable acre of lettuce and goodies.” In this mountain of lettuce, you’ll find a bounty of bacon, chicken, egg, avocado, and tomato. This salad is perfect for a group meal because of how much food there is. To share, Jackie W. and I had a Cobb salad that was enormous and delicious.
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