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American Salads I Have Known

by Krista

Chopped chicken salad 
One big thing I've missed about the U.S. has been its salads. One of my favorites–I think I've had it at least three times since I've been back–is Pompei's Chopped Chicken Salad. Pompei has a few locations, but I'm partial to the one in Lakeview on Sheffield, just south of Wellington. I don't like raw onions really at all, but there's something about the dressing on this salad that makes these onions palatable. Fried prosciutto. Blue cheese. This is not a diet salad. So tread carefully.

Sweetwater salad 
My corporate apartment was just a block down from Chicago's Sweetwater Tavern and Grille, so I ate here a couple of times during my first few weeks in town. I really enjoyed Sweetwater's Black and Blue salad–grilled steak, mixed greens, portabella mushrooms, caramelized onions, tomatoes, gorgonzola, cilantro lime vinaigrette. The only problem is that the steak is definitely cooked on the better side of well. I checked in with Sweetwater via Twitter and they promised to look into doing the steak medium rare.

Tavern on park salad 
Tavern an the Park also does a Chopped Chicken Salad…this time, with hearts of palm. Oh how I have missed hearts of palm! This is a perfectly acceptable salad, but I still like Pompei's version better.

7 on state salad 
One of my absolute favorite salads–another one I've had multiple times–is from the salad place at 7 on State, which is on the 7th floor of the Macy's on (you guessed) State Street. Great big prawns, black beans, tortilla strips…and German pretzel bread! My favorite.

There have been other salads of course. For true variety, I've been hitting the salad bar in the basement of Chase Bank (aka The Chasement) which is somewhere south of Washington and east of Dearborn. So many options!

Which leads me to the question…where's your favorite salad? In Chicago or elsewhere?

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Gourmet Chick October 26, 2010 - 2:03 am

They do look great Krista but my heart lies with Ottolenghi’s salads

Kyra October 26, 2010 - 2:46 am

Petterino’s (Randolph and Dearborn) has two good chopped salad, one with an Asian twist. Their grilled cheese is yummy, too!

Kerri October 26, 2010 - 8:42 am

The Americans really do do good salads. Some of these combinations sound great, I particularly like the sound of the prawn and beans.

Mr Noodles October 26, 2010 - 9:52 am

I’m not sure if it’s technically a salad but I love Vietnamese bun. Loads of herbs, some grilled pork and of course loads of rice vermicelli (bun)!

Lee October 26, 2010 - 10:05 am

The Santa Fe Salad at Cheesecake Factory is the salad that made me learn to love salads. The cilantro dressing is wonderful. Chicken, black beans, tortilla strips. YUM! And you can get lunch size portions.

Jeanne @ CookSister! October 26, 2010 - 2:43 pm

I’m so boring – a classic Caesar made tableside gets my vote every time! The US does do phenomenal salads though. Loved the Chasement…

Shannon October 26, 2010 - 7:59 pm

For a quick salad to go I love the chopped salad from Portillo’s. The garbage and seafood salads at Pete Miller’s in Evanston are fantastic.

Molly October 27, 2010 - 12:45 am

I second the Portillo’s chopped. But I am devoted to the Cowboy salad at The Boundary on Division. Like all great American salads it has probably zero nutritional value, but it is delicious!

Krista October 27, 2010 - 2:24 pm

Interesting! Will have to check out The Boundary seeing as how it's in my new hood!

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