A shortlist of great salads in metro Detroit
Published: May 25, 2011
Harvard Grill 16624 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-882-9090: This small shop serves many things, but gets a brisk sell-through on its four salads. Yes, they have a Greek salad and a chef's salad, but their grilled chicken salad sounds delish: lettuce, raisins and walnuts, topped with sliced chicken breast and hard-boiled egg. (They recommend you top it with their house-made honey-mustard dressing.) Or, for the "kitchen sink" salad, try the cobb salad, with tossed greens, bacon bits, hard-boiled eggs, tomato, crumbled blue cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, cucumbers, a sliced grilled chicken breast and, though some might see it as heresy, black olives. Owner Mike Muer says it's so big it comes with a pair of tongs, so two diners can treat it as a mini-salad bar.
Inn Season Café 500 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak, 248-547-7916; theinnseasoncafe.com: Inn Season has a knack for taking vegetarian cuisine to a higher level. That holds true with its salad selection, which includes not only healthful organic baby greens, but a blue-cheese-and-walnut salad. For instance, the "Inn Season" salad has romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, red cabbage, marinated onions and more, topped with choice of low-fat cheese, soy cheese, sautéed tofu or avocado. The half-dozen dressings include not just balsamic vinaigrette, Caesar, Greek and thousand island, but honey-poppy seed and tahini, as well as lemon, olive oil and three choices of vinegar! And since the Inn Season staff has built relationships with local farmers and CSAs, and even shops fresh several mornings a week, you can be sure you're eating everything at the peak of its flavor and nutritional value.
Kruse and Muer on Main 327 S. Main St., Rochester; 248-652-9400; kruseandmuerrestaurants.com: Their Martha's Vineyard salad, the favorite of many Kruse employees, features red-leaf lettuce, pine nuts, blue cheese and purple onions topped with a raspberry-maple vinaigrette, with the option of adding grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp. The price ranges from $7.95 to $13.95. Kruse also has a fantastic salmon apricot salad, with grilled salmon, greens, cherries, chevron cheese and apricot ginger vinaigrette; prices range from $12.95 to $19.95.
Lunchtime Global 660 Woodward Ave., but enter on Congress Street, First National Building, Detroit; 313-963-4871: The house rules — everything from scratch and made in-house — have created loyal customers for this spot's six soups a day plus salads, quiche, panini and regular sandwiches. Nearly as quick as fast food but, as the owner says, you don't hate yourself afterward. And their selection of about eight salads will please just about anybody. Particularly filling is the Thai Chicken Salad salad, which comes with moist strips of chicken breast, a mix of red and green lettuces, radicchio, romaine, carrots, mushrooms, celery, long slices of red pepper, all tossed (or accompanied as a side) with a tangy ginger dressing. They also offer a lot of deals on half-orders or soup and salad combos. Very friendly and efficient.
Mudgie's 1300 Porter St., Detroit; 313-961-2000; mudgiesdeli.com: A pleasant 12-table lunch spot on the Corktown site formerly known as Eph McNally's. Exceptionally friendly waitstaff, with delicious house-made quality and solid local products. The 24 sandwich selections include every good thing you can think of, including design-your-own options. Though the bread could be better, the salads are loaded but still green. You can also get an ice cream float with rich premium vanilla from Calder's Dairy in Lincoln Park. One of our friends raves about the "Honey Bee" salad: Mudgie's own chicken fajita salad and sharp cheddar cheese on a bed of romaine lettuce topped with Michigan-made organic, heirloom corn tortilla chips, served with side of fresh salsa and ranch dressing; it's $9 for a large, $7 for a small. Heck, many of the generous sandwiches are practically salads wrapped in bread, such as the "Ivey" — Mudgie's house-made, creamy spinach spread, on multi-grain bread topped with lettuce, tomato, locally grown sunflower sprouts, dill havarti, avocado and red onion, before being served open-faced.
Royal Kabob 3236 Caniff St., Hamtramck; 313-872-9454; royalkabob.ipower.com: This Middle Eastern eatery can provide everything from an ambitious platter to a humble, wax-paper-wrapped falafel sandwich. Though it does a brisk take-out business, the interior is bright and commodious, offering room for large parties. What's more, their salads are ginormous, and just $6 for vegetarian choices (fattoush, tabbouleh, Greek and more) and about $8 for meat choices (including lamb or chicken shawarma, fattoush with chicken, spinach tawook). Their chicken fattoush is reliable, with not just sliced chicken breast and romaine leaf, but toasted pita chips, cucumber, tomato and cilantro.
Russell Street Deli 2465 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-2900; russellstreetdeli.com: This Eastern Market fixture has a healthy mix of salads, from the inexpensive house salad to grander tuna and chicken salads ($7.75) on up to "Bob's salad," which boasts corned beef, turkey and Swiss cheese on fresh lettuce and vegetables. Served with your choice of fresh house-made dressings.
Salad Creations� 18349 Hall Rd., Macomb Twp., 586-226-1000; saladcreations.net: Given Detroit's reputation as a meat-and-potatoes town, it's notable that a salad-themed chain has opened in the metro area. Salad Creations lets patrons pick a fresh and fabulous salad off their featured menu, also giving customers the chance to mix and match greens, fruits and vegetables into their own concoctions, topped with a choice of homemade dressing.
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