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livelaughlove21's avatar

What is your favorite restaurant salad?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (15623points) March 25th, 2014

No homemade salads allowed!

When you go to a restaurant and order a salad, what’s your favorite one to order? A plain ‘ole tossed salad with blue cheese dressing? Caesar? Greek? Chef? Some funky salad like Mellow Mushroom’s Enlightened Spinach Salad with dried cherries, apples, pecans, and feta? Olive Garden’s signature salad?

Personally, I think it’s a waste to order salad at a restaurant filled with yummy food, but I was invited to lunch with a co-worker and will be ordering a salad in order to stay within my caloric budget for the day. That’s what inspired this question.

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32 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

All of them. Are you kidding me? I’m half rabbit. I love salads. Chicken ranch, antipasto, Caesar, bring em on.
And thank you. Now I’m drooling for a good salad.

GloPro's avatar

I thought you were asking favorite restaurant for a moment and got all excited.
I like a lettuce wedge. I don’t buy nutritionally void iceberg lettuce, so I order it as a vehicle to shovel blue cheese and bacon into my mouth occasionally.
I like a well made side salad. If I know a restaurant has a good one (meaning more than 3 ingredients), then I’ll order it. Again, blue cheese dressing because I don’t have it at home.

zenvelo's avatar

The best I have had in the last year was a frisee salad with asparagus, lardons, and sliced cherry tomatoes, topped with a poached egg.


longgone's avatar

Greek. Boring, I know – almost everyone I know orders their salads with pineapple, berries and the craziest dressings. Like you, I rarely order salad when eating out.

Cruiser's avatar

Like @GloPro I am a sucker for an iceberg wedge…but my current fav is a beet salad over arugula lettuce with pear and goat cheese.

Pachy's avatar

Greek and Caesar. I also sometimes like just a wedge with blue cheese.

jca's avatar

I like mozzarella and tomato and roasted peppers. I think it’s called “Caprese.”

You know what kills me about salads in restaurants? They charge over $10 for a big one, about $6 for a little one, and they’re 90% lettuce, with a few slices of cucumber and tomato, or some other stuff, but lettuce is a few bucks a head, tops. SO you’re paying $10 for mostly lettuce.

zenvelo's avatar

@jca A good caprese is fresh mozzarella, fresh basil on top of a good juicy tomato slice, topped with a drizzle of high quality olive oil. Best eaten outside on a warm day sitting with a lover.

GloPro's avatar

Ah, yes. There’s one restaurant in town, @jca, that has an heirloom tomato salad when it’s in season. Rounds of tomato and fresh motz, drizzled in balsamic redux and a basil sauce. I like that one a lot.

jca's avatar

@zenvelo: Yes, I forgot the basil. The restaurant I get a lot of lunch from also puts roast peppers on it – sooo good.

I had one at a restaurant recently that had unripe, hard, pink on the inside tomato. The tomato made sounds when you put your fork into it, which was not good.

Coloma's avatar

My favorite is a build your own salad bar scene.
Oh my…plenty of greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, sunflower seeds. No croutons, I hate croutons. lol

cookieman's avatar

A really good Caesar with scratch-made dressing and croutons. Shaved Parmesan as well.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Greek, Caesar and Applebee’s oriental chicken (half). Of course, when calories allow, chef’s salads are da bomb!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@cookieman Shaved parm. Stop it, I had almost stopped drooling.

anniereborn's avatar

I’m with @Coloma on this one. Except I like croutons.

jca's avatar

I hate croutons.

Coloma's avatar

^^^ Haha….welcome fellow crouton haters.
They are especially nasty after being soaked in dressing, gah!

anniereborn's avatar

I like when there are homemade croutons

whitenoise's avatar

A caesar with crispy chicken (not roasted!) or a caprese.

ibstubro's avatar

I love Greek salad, and there’s another version available that is nothing but diced tomatoes, green pepper and onions with Greek dressing. Delicious!

Olive Garden’s salad is great – plenty of sliced purple onions and black olives plus pre-dressed. What’s not to love?

Caesar is great – extra anchovies for me!

Extra blue cheese on a side salad (there is a deli here that makes me blue cheese and onion sandwiches with just enough ranch dressing to hold them together. Panera will substitute blue on the grilled cheese sandwich. YUM!)

You don’t want to know what I suggest they do with that ridiculous wedge of iceburg! Lazy bastages!

Coloma's avatar

Screwtons. lol

Coloma's avatar

@ibstubro You love Geek salad, I can see that. haha

ibstubro's avatar

How did favorite salads turn into veiled reference to screwing?

I mean, clucking bell, c’mon!

he he

livelaughlove21's avatar

So I went to that lunch with my co-worker and decided to get a Caesar salad with grilled shrimp. It was absolutely amazing. The shrimp was so flavorful that I didn’t get that “crunchy water” sensation from the lettuce, the croutons were fantastic, the shaved parm was perfect, and the dressing was so good! This might be my go-to salad when I find myself going out when I’m eating healthy. Now I’m wondering if that was just a great Caesar salad or if they’re all that good – I’ll just have to find out by ordering salads more often.

On the other hand, this place (Mellow Mushroom) smelled of delicious pizza, garlic bread, and calzones that I would’ve love to eaten instead. I’ll have to try it out on a weekend when I’m more lax on calories. If the salads are good, the unhealthy stuff has to be good too!

GloPro's avatar

Caesar salads aren’t healthy, sorry. In fact, most restaurant salads probably need a closer look if you are going for healthy. It isn’t uncommon that the salads are worse for you than the rest of the menu!
I’m thankful that California law forces menus to include nutritional info. It helps with those tricky misnomers.

20 salads worse for you than a Whopper

livelaughlove21's avatar

@GloPro I used the website’s nutritional information. It was 370 calories, including dressing and shrimp, and the fat, carbs, etc. all fit into my daily goals. Is there a chance the nutritional information is false? Sure, but for today’s purposes, it doesn’t really matter.

GloPro's avatar

Oh, a healthy Caesar salad is so rare! Smart using the website. Lucky find.
You see how healthy I am, ordering iceberg smothered in bacon, blue cheese, and candied walnuts. When I eat a salad out I just assume it’s shitty for me. I eat well at home, though, always.

Juels's avatar

Pretty much all salad is good. Yum! I don’t like that so many salads include meat. (I’m allergic to chicken.) Ordering a salad without the meat can be a hassle. Also, they usually won’t give you a price reduction for ordering the salad without meat. IMO, salads should always be available without meat for one price. Adding chicken, beef, or shrimp should be an additional charge.

I always have trouble with this at McDonalds. They just can’t believe someone doesn’t want grilled or crispy chicken in their salad. A couple times they’ve screwed up and given me chicken. Once, the girl suggested that I just pick it off.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@GloPro I’m a strong believer that you should never cut anything out of your diet. No food is “bad” if it’s eaten in moderation or if it fits into your daily goals. I log my food meticulously, some might say obsessively. I am lax on weekends, like I said, but I do average my intake over the course of the week so I know how many calories I have to “spare” on weekends. I eat all the foods I like, but I eat healthy more often than not and I still lose weight. It’s all about finding that balance, especially when one loves food as much as I do.

I have a nagging suspicion that nutritional information on that salad was off, though. It was too good to be 370 calories. Oh well!

downtide's avatar

I love salads and the more stuff in them the better. Greek salad is one of my go-to salads in a restaurant, I’m a fiend for olives and Feta cheese.

Brian1946's avatar

My favorite is the Italian salad at the Follow Your Heart veggie restaurant. It consists of Romaine lettuce, garbanzo beans, onions, pepperoncinis, artichoke hearts, black olives, and soy cheese.

I get it with their Italian dressing on the side, but it’s so tasty that I eat about half of the salad before I put on any.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Most of the time I love a good Caesar salad but there is a really nice Persian/Mediterranean restaurant close by that serves a surprisingly good Greek salad so that hits the spot also, on occasion.

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