On sizzling summer days, when humidity has reached tropical levels, the last thing we want to do is heat up the kitchen by cooking. Those also tend to be the (rare) days when heavy carbs just aren’t appetizing. So we’ve gathered some of the best salads we could find in White Bear, all of which are more than a few steps up from the salad-in-a-bag sitting in your crisper drawer.
So get out of the house (and into an air-conditioned restaurant), and try these scintillating salads sure to keep your energy up during these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
If you find salads boring and predictable, this might be the one that changes your mind. Tria’s beet salad starts with frisée lettuce and peppery arugula greens, and is topped with beets, tangy goat cheese and candied pistachios—and the whole shebang is tossed in a port reduction. It is anything but average. Crunch is the star here, but the balance of flavors will leave you feeling so satisfied you’ll forget you had a meatless meal. $9 à la carte, $6 with entrée.
Grilled Salmon Salad
Head over to everyone’s favorite carb-loaded breakfast spot, Cobblestone Cafe, and switch things up—skip the waffles and try the grilled salmon salad. The basic salad of lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and hard-boiled egg is topped with a salmon filet—a light and healthy protein to fill you up, and flavor to accompany the crisp lettuce. $8.95
Asian Pork Salad
Travel across the Pacific without leaving White Bear with Ingredients Café’s Asian pork salad. The base of the salad includes cabbage, carrots and romaine, with basil, red onions, rice noodles and peanuts as a topper. The grilled marinated pork loin is tender and gives you the flavor of your backyard grill—but you don’t have to stand in the heat. $15.
A chicken salad may sound like something you can make at home, but this salad goes all-out with a homemade dressing. It starts with a mix of crispy greens and continues with crunchy apples and walnuts, perfectly paired Brie cheese and sautéed chicken. Calvados sauce, made from an apple brandy from France, is turned into a creamy dressing for this salad, creating an apple aroma with or without a chunk of apple in each bite. $15.
Take an international flavor trip over at Olive Joe’s with their loaded Mediterranean salad. Romaine lettuce is topped with red onions, Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles, and served with a simple dressing of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The intensely salty and flavorful aspects of this salad are calmed by the EVOO, and the balsamic and sun-dried tomatoes add a sweet side you’ll savor. Close your eyes, take a bite, and you can almost hear the waves lapping up against the Greek island (or maybe White Bear Lake). $10.95.
Rudy’s Redeye Grill
If you have trouble eating a salad without getting it all over your face (this writer raises hand), the chopped salad at Rudy’s Redeye Grill might be for you. While it might sound simple, it does not cut back on flavorful ingredients. Fresh greens are tossed with dates, avocado, sweet corn, tomato, blue cheese, bacon, grilled chicken and fried won-tons for an added crunch. They serve it with a basil vinaigrette dressing—on the side, so you can use as much, or as little, as you like, and bring leftovers home without fear of soggy salad tomorrow. Texture galore makes this the chopped salad of your dreams. $14.