Contending with the sins of your holiday gluttony? Time to repent.
While the salad at Milto's is your standard Greek -- feta, black olives, yada yada -- the housemade salad dressing here has achieved something of cult-like status, compelling folks to buy whole bottles of it just in case the apocalypse really does come one day, and they're relegated to a bleak future of dry lettuce leaves. Tangy, oily, and oregano-y, it's been emulsified into true bliss.
With its affection for flamingo decor, the inside of Garden Spot feels a bit like Grandma's place down in Boca Raton, but don't let that turn you off. The enormous, many-varied salads are a highlight of this modest strip mall cafe, and particularly the Majestic -- lavished with smoke provolone and pecans, it's hearty enough to be dinner.
A "house salad" is usually forgettable entree side that isn't too expensive to make -- like, "hey, here's some Iceberg -- on the house!" But the Zax house salad is so much more lovely than that. With bleu cheese and candied pecans, I like mine topped with jerk salmon: A proper meal unto itself, and not just a crunchy afterthought.
Nordstrom is a fantasy world for a particular kind of female shopper, and so it's only fitting that Cafe Bistro -- their in-department store restaurant -- has a menu for this demographic, full of fancy lady salads. The tasty Cilantro Lime Shrimp is hearty enough, and won't interfere later with those designer slacks you just bought.
A modest little Far West bakery, Kneaded Pleasures is one of the only places I know that doesn't commit the cardinal sin of tuna salad -- i.e., mayonnaise overload. A scoop of the stuff makes for a filling lunch that won't send your arteries into shock.
Too many times, all-salad-bar restaurants just appear to have given up: Sad, wilted lettuce, lame ingredients like cucumber (seriously. When have you ever been excited about putting cucumber on your salad?), and gross, crusted dressing bottles. Not so at Leaf, where the humble salad takes pride in itself: Yes, sun dried tomatoes! Come forth, grilled steak! Rain down, goat cheese! This is salad eating for people who still enjoying eating.
I hope this wonderful little raw shop -- so rare in north Austin -- makes it. Visit it for me, will you? And when you do, try the "tuna" salad (ah, raw restaurants...always with your quotation marks!) made with fermented sunflower seed pate.
One gets weary of grilled chicken when one is a salad eater. Fortunately, that's not a problem at The Grove, whose entree salads include riches like Scottish salmon, smoked gouda-covered steak, and sesame-seared Ahi tuna -- I've eaten each one gleefully, not only because they're delicious, but so that I don't accidentally die of conditions associated with chronic grilled chicken consumption (like being shot for being annoyingly, smugly healthy).