Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lettuce Eat: Salads in Austin


Feeling a little roughage around the edges from all that heavy food you've been eating? Then my second post for this year's Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide should provide you with some re-leaf. Yes, it's a tribute to the best salads in Austin.

I'll admit it: in general, a plate with a few feathery green things typically leads to me snacking later in a bad way, so I favor salads with a bit of substance to them. Here are a few of my favorite spots to get my greens (plus) on:

Leaf - all salads all the time, and they do them well. Their Abbi's Asian chicken salad is the only salad I've ever met that I'm consistently unable to finish in a single sitting. Leaf's ingredients always taste super fresh, and in addition to their pre-conceived salad offerings, they've got a build-your-own option so you can get yours just the way you want it. Leaf also took top honors in the salad category in a restaurant poll of Austin Food Blogger Alliance members, so you know it's gotta be good!

Abbi's Asian Chicken Salad at Leaf.

Zax - on my short list for excellent salads; their shrimp remoulade salad is just the right size and always makes me feel a little better about my health afterwards. If I'm feeling more indulgent (much more indulgent), their steak salad is also a winner in the taste category, although I'm less sure about its caloric minimalism.

Shrimp remoulade salad at Zax

I'm similarly suspicious about the calorie profile of the Interior Mexican Grilled Chicken Salad at Corazon, particularly since it's served with a couple of blue corn empanadas that have most definitely taken a bath in the deep fryer. But oh, man. It's totally worth every bite.

Suspiciously delicious salad at Corazon

Finally, they'll cook the salmon just the way you want it for the Miso-Hi Salmon Salad at The Grove. Yes, those are panko-crusted onion rings on there. Maybe they shouldn't have let me write this category...

Grove, 10-14-11_IMG_9876.JPG

Some of my other very favorite salads in Austin include the Greek salad at Milto's (add tender grilled chicken for just $1; the dressing is excellent and the rolls they serve with it are perfection); the grilled salmon salad at Café Josie; the hacked chicken salad at Hangtown Grill; the maytag blueberry salad at Chez Zee (best with pecan chicken on top, but then it becomes awfully $$$); the smoked salmon and shrimp cake salad at East Side Café; and - I'll admit it - the cilantro lime shrimp salad at Nordstrom's Cafe Bistro.

Other top salad picks in the Austin Food Blogger Alliance poll included Alamo Drafthouse, Fogo de Chao (which I really think ought to be renamed Fogo de Chow); and Blue Dahlia Bistro.

Where's your favorite salad in town?


  1. I'm always looking for a good and filling salad and have a time time in our fair city. I love the chicken salad at Blue Dahlia- definitely a meal. Thank you!

  2. Michelle, I LOVE that salad at The Grove, and you beat me to the punch on the Milto's Greek! I'm adding that to my Hidden Gems (those rolls are fantastic too!) but just hadn't gotten there yet! Great post on salads!

  3. I love salad! That Nordstrom's salad is to die for, I agree. I can eat my weight in the Milto's salad. They may hate me for letting this cat out of the bag, but Tino's makes me a tabouleh salad topped with their chicken shawarma and their house dressing. Another 10$+ salad when all is said and done, but oh so worth every penny. Thanks for the new spots to try!

  4. Ooo! Maggie, there is a Tino's right by my house and I always forget about them. I need to go back soon - thanks for the tip!

  5. The Grove does make a great salad. I've been trying to replicate their dressing at home.

  6. Excellent post, I'm always hunting for a great salad. Taverna's house is awesome (minus the bacon and blue cheese) with grilled salmon.

  7. I do not eat enough salads-Clearly because I'm not eating them at these places. Yum!

  8. Central Market Cafe has a salad on their wellness menu that is so good. Grilled mahi mahi, asparagus, grape tomatoes, avocado...oh hell yes!

  9. Like others, I don't eat alot of salads when eating out. I did try the Ahi Tuna Salad at PF Chang's though - it needed more wasabi dressing as the greens were dry and more seared tuna please!

  10. i need to try the grove now..have never been! i like the house salad at apothecary too. i like it because it's substantial and has unusual ingredients in it like hearts of palm. a lot of them. and their watermelon arugula salad was surprisingly really good. too bad they're not open for lunch anymore. thanks for some new suggestions! i

  11. Anna, have you had any luck?

    Nicole, Kristin and Shefskitchen, thank you so much for the salad suggestions! I'm excited to try your picks, especially now that summer is here.


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