A shortlist of great salads in metro Detroit
Published: May 25, 2011
Steve's Backroom 24317 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-774-9337; stevesbackroom.net: The Backroom's fattoosh is the real deal, and their most popular salad: A blend of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, cucumbers, parsley and toasted pita chips tossed with lemon juice, oil, garlic and spices. Price range from $6.95 to $8.95; for chicken add an additional $3.50. "Backroom Chicken Salad," another popular dish, is a large bowl of mixed greens, tomatoes, peppers, onions and cucumbers topped with sliced grilled chicken breast, toasted almonds and dried cranberries. It's tossed with the house dressing: lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic.
Supino Pizzeria 2457 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-7879; supinopizza.com: Sure, Supino is rightfully celebrated for its handcrafted pizzas. But it also has excellent pasta dishes and quite good salads too. Given Supino's quest for culinary excellence, they use only fresh ingredients — greens, cukes, tomatoes, red peppers — and have some very good house-made dressings as well, including a red wine vinaigrette, a lemon-basil citronette.
Town Tavern 116 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-544-7300; towntavernroyaloak.com: Royal Oak's stylish bistro has quite a setting: mohair booths, bentwood chairs and art deco wire breadbaskets, among other period-suggesting accoutrements. But they don't fall down on the food, either. Their most popular entrée salad, the pulled chicken salad, features a sweet, tangy mix of greens, sliced almonds and port-wine-soaked cranberries topped with hand-pulled, oven-roasted chicken breast. It is dressed with Michigan maple syrup and mustard vinaigrette, all for $12 at lunch ($14 at dinner).
Union Street 4145 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3965; unionstreetdetroit.com: Whoever said salad doesn't constitute a proper meal has clearly never eaten at Union Street. With the dramatic presentation of the enormous tortilla-crowned taco salad and the char-grilled certified Black Angus beef in the balsamic steak salad, there are plenty of entrée-sized options. On the lighter side, the baked pistachio salmon salad is a summery seafood twist on your basic bowl of lettuce, featuring pistachio-crusted salmon with asparagus, tomato wedges, mozzarella, and honey mustard over mixed greens. They'll call for doggie bags, and none costs more than $14.95.
The Whitney 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-5700; thewhitney.com: Given the opulent setting, it's no surprise that the Whitney does things in a big way. But, given how loaded the restaurant's salads are, they're pretty darn affordable. At lunch, the organic mixed greens are just $6, and the house-made Caesar with a hard-boiled egg goes for $7. At dinner, the salads get more complex, filled out with brie, feta or tree fruit (Honeycrisp apples, satsumas, Forelli pears, toasted pecans and more in a roasted shallot vinaigrette for $11).
Woodbridge Pub 5169 Trumbull St., Detroit; 313-833-2701; woodbridgepub.com: A perennially popular choice, one employee affectionately says the lentil salad ($7) "tastes like a garden." This entrée creation is an ideal garden escape from the bustle of Midtown on a hot day, pairing black lentils with plum tomato, dill, feta cheese and vinaigrette over heirloom greens. Just remember to pick out your favorite summer jams on the jukebox before you order!
Woodward Avenue Brewers 22646 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-3696; thewabsite.com: When the WAB promises a "big bowl" salad, they're not kidding around. Served with chicken, chow mein noodles, mandarin orange slices, peanuts and an array of fresh veggies, the Asian salad ($9.50) is meal enough for two. WAB staff recommends pairing it with the house-made Asian dressing and one of their craft beers. The sweet and spicy pale ale complements the Asian flavors, or ask for the German-style hefeweizen wheat with an orange slice for a citrusy combination.
Yotsuba Japanese Restaurant and Bar 7365 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield, 248-737-8282: From appetizers to entrée sets to noodles dishes, Yotsuba's Japanese fare usually delights, but some keep coming for the asparagus and avocado salad, topped with a tangle of finely shredded carrot and white turnip strands. It's hard to miss with these two main ingredients, but what makes this dish is the carrot dressing: peachy-colored, thick and one of the best salad dressings you'll likely have. Needless to add, the salad, like everything else, is lovely to look at, with colors that complement each other as well as the tastes do. There is no tossed salad in Japanese cuisine; the word is "arranged."
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