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...
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?