Salads … every restaurant has them. They are not all created equal, but if you explore the menu, you can sometimes find a real winner.
Salads are a winning menu option all year long, especially when you are looking for a veggie infusion full of vitamins and minerals. Health is so important and diet is key in finding it and keeping it.
Here are a dozen of my favorite salads in town that pack a tasty crunch and are worth seeking out.
Coco’s Bistro’s Beet Salad
250 Warren St., Dayton
(937) 228-2626 or www.228coco.com
This classy salad made with mixed greens, fresh beets, grapefruit gastrique, goat cheese and beet thousand island ($6/$10) is a flavorful dreamy dream. It’s light, beautiful and puts the spotlight on that beautiful, bright red beetroot. Add chicken ($5), tuna, shrimp, salmon or steak ($8) and you have yourself a meal.
Dublin Pub’s Blackened Chicken Salad
300 Wayne Ave., Dayton
(937) 224-7822 or www.dubpub.com
The blackened chicken salad with mixed greens, pecans, Irish cheddar, cranberries and croutons with blackened chicken ($11.99) is a filling healthy option to get your green on. If you are feeling like negating the health benefits of a salad jump on the very tasty snakedriver salad ($11.990 made with crispy fried chicken, onion, egg, tomatoes and cheese on mixed greens. You can always opt for grilled chicken on that one as well to keep a focus on health at the forefront.
Figlio Wood Fired Pizza’s Peasant Salad
424 E Stroop Road, Kettering
937-534-0494 or http://figliopizza.com
Two words: Peasant salad. This is the same recipe from the former Peasant Stock restaurant that is a classic. Lettuce, spinach, bacon, egg, onion, cheddar, peas, peppers ($7) with a creamy thick dressing. This salad is like a deconstructed seven-layer salad. It’s a favorite of mine. The spinach arugala salad with vinaigrette, pear, honey glazed pecans, chevre and pickled red onions ($8) is another great option. Entree salads are double the price and salmon ($7), shrimp ($6), chicken ($5) or avocado ($3) can all be added.
Linh’s Bistro’s Goi Tom Thit
5532 Airway Rd., Dayton
(937) 252-1857 or www.linhsbistro.com
One of my favorite restaurants in town offers up an extensive selection of Vietnamese dishes. The restaurant’s Goi Tom Thit salad ($15.95) is a traditional fresh vegetable Vietnamese salad with shrimp and pork that will wow you if you’ve never had the pleasure of ordering it. Just ask for No. 14 on the menu and you will be in business before you know it.
Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery’s Grilled Kale and Beet Salad
520 E. 5th St., Dayton
(937) 222-6800 or luckystaproom.com
Grilled Kale is served with a healthy dose of roasted golden beets with some applewood smoked bacon, shaved red onion and savory goat cheese to compliment it. The salad ($12.25) is served with your choice of dressing. I prefer Mama Lu’s garlic sensation, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Vegetarians can substitute crispy seitan crumbles for bacon. Meat lovers can add chicken ($4), salmon ($6) or more bacon to their salad if extra protein is needed.
Meadowlark’s Chopped Salad
5531 Far Hills Ave., Dayton
(937) 434-4750 or meadowlarkrestaurant.com
This perennial favorite puts the spotlight on crunchy, fresh veggies, featuring chopped cucumber, tomato, radish, carrot and celery tossed with an equally simple fresh lemon vinaigrette on a bed of chopped romaine. Egg, avocado, crumbled feta, herb leaves and a drizzle of homemade herb mayonnaise are delicately mixed in with a piece of crunchy grilled toast served on the side. The salad is $12.95. Add grilled angus beef ($7), seared salmon ($7), grilled chicken ($5) or my personal favorite, grilled tofu ($4). There’s also an option to top it with crisp Nueske’s bacon and tomato ($5).
Pasha Grill’s Sheppard Salad
72 Plum St., Beavercreek
937-429-9000 or www.pashagrill.com
If you want to talk about a healthy salad full of nutrients and all the good stuff look no further than Pasha Grill’s Sheppard Salad. A generous pile of diced plum tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, bell peppers and parsley tossed with red vinegar and olive oil. It comes in small ($8.95) and large sizes ($14.95).
Piada Italian Street Food, Farmers Salad
4397 Far Hills Ave., Kettering
3286-B Paragon Blvd., Beavercreek
1047 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd., Centerville
Piada is one of my favorite fast casual concepts in town. It’s affordable and packed with fresh flavors. It’s quick, easy and you always leave feeling like you walked away with a good value. My personal favorite is the Farmers Market salad with mixed greens, red cabbage, fresh avocado, feta, strawberries, sweet corn and tomato, spiced pecans and a lemon-basil dressing ($6.99/$ 8.59), but everything at Piada is pretty great and I can’t say that about every place I dine at.
Salar Restaurant & Lounge’s Peruvian Charred Caesar Salad
400 E. 5th St., Dayton
937-203-3999 or https://salarrestaurant.com
Salar knows how to execute on flavor and they bring that to this wonderful salad. Charred baby romaine lettuce, Parmesan and queso fresco cheeses, peppered bacon and cilantro croutons served with an aji amarillo Caesar dressing ($13.50) pack this salad with flavors that will keep you coming back for more.
11 Brown St., Dayton
937-222-3227 or thai9restaurant.com
Thai 9 has one of my favorite salads in town — a salad that I dream about and crave and require on a fairly regular basis. Their mango salad ($6.95) is so simple: sliced fresh mango with piles of red onion, cilantro, green onion, cashews, roasted coconut bathes in fresh lime juice and some fish sauce it has kick and flavor and kick and flavor and kick. Full disclosure: You will need a mint afterwards.
4250 Chief Woods Lane, Moraine
(937) 299-6161 or https://treasureislanddayton.com
Treasure Island has a full menu of “Island Salads Supreme” with a dozen options. They are simple salads made with iceberg and romaine lettuce mix with your choice of meat, cheddar cheese and hard boiled egg. My personal favorite is the plain cold chicken. This isn’t the healthiest salad when you get it loaded, but it is filling and satisfying.
Wheat Penny’s Arugula and Shaved Cauliflower Salad
515 Wayne Ave., Dayton (937) 496-5268 or wheatpennydayton.com
Arugula, shaved cauliflower, Parmesan, orange zest, smoked salt and housemade lemon oil make up this salad ($8.95). Sounds simple? It is and as a result is refreshing, light and easy on the tastebuds in all the best ways. I usually order without salt because it’s a little too generous for my taste, but if you are a salt lover this will be a winner.