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.
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 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.
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?