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Decent "lunch" salads Berkeley/Albany (take out)

l
lmnopm Jan 21, 2008 08:04 AM

Something that seems to be missing around here is a decent "to go" salad - I don't mean like Tangerine (on Solano) salads (which are very good), but something like a big Cobb salad or a better type Chef salad, etc - something I can pick up and take home to eat. (Suggestions to go to the Safeway deli counter are going to met with a painful reply!) Thanks for your suggestions.

  1. t
    Truffle Dog Apr 7, 2008 04:18 PM

    The Intermezzo salad has a bit of a cult following and it is pretty good if not quite so good as to justify the often unreasonably long lines.

    The big salad at LoCoco's (I think it is called the Emancipata salad) is excellent and often overlooked. It comes with blue cheese, pecans, currents, sun dried tomatoes, and a simple oil & vinegar dressing. Call ahead for take out & order some flat bread with your salad.

    1. a
      ace Jan 22, 2008 10:54 AM

      I don't think anyone's mentioned Cafe Intermezzo in Berkeley...it's not fancy, but they have the hugest Chef Salad around, (comes with eggs, meat, beans, cukes, tomatoes, sprout, onions, etc.) and it's ridiculously cheap (around $6). If you add bacon, they give you about 1/2 a pound of it. I also really like the hippy-dippy chunk of wheat bread you get with your salad.

      -----
      Cafe Intermezzo
      2442 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

      3 Replies
      1. re: ace
        l
        lmnopm Jan 22, 2008 08:16 PM

        Well, today for lunch I had a tostada salad at Talavera - a bunch of mixed greens in a citrusy dressing (a good flavor, but way too much of it) with avocado and lots of carnitas, atop 2 crispy corn tortillas and a thin layer of beans. It was almost very good - 1/2 the dressing (it wasn't oily or anything), along with some salsa and it would have been.

        For dinner, I had a cobb salad from Barney's. This I took home. I have a more mixed review, but it wasn't bad at all. A large piece of chicken breast cut in strips (not diced into small pieces), along with a modest amount of blue cheese and a good portion of bacon atop some (probably) romaine, and some diced tomato. I kept wondering what was missing. No avocado comes on it. For $7.95 or so, it was plenty of food and it served its purpose.

        That was the mini-salad-crawl for the day. I'll be back to Talavera for another before I'm back to Barney's.

        1. re: lmnopm
          l
          lintygmom Jan 23, 2008 05:59 AM

          At Talavera you have to get the salsa from the salad bar yourself. And if you like hot, DO NOT miss the pickled spicy onions and jicama. Sorry about the dressing--must have been the person serving. We've never had it doused but there you go.

          1. re: lintygmom
            l
            lmnopm Jan 23, 2008 07:49 AM

            Thanks, I did add salsa myself (from the bar) but it was already too wet to add much.

      2. 1
        10foot5 Jan 22, 2008 09:20 AM

        It's not a leafy green salad, so I'm not sure if it is what you are seeking, but the Healthy Grain Salad at Poulet is worth driving across town for.

        1. a
          adrienne156 Jan 21, 2008 03:48 PM

          My office is a few minutes from Solano and Montero's salads show up pretty frequently in the lunch room. I always get the tostada salad with grilled skirt steak - standard mixed greens on top of pinto beans with pico de gallo, avocado, queso fresco, and a drizzle of crema. Don't remember all the options for their dressings, but I really like their slightly sweet, yet tangy (lime?) house vinaigrette.

          I know Safeway's isn't an option (wouldn't recommend it in either case), but is Andronico's out? I've been told they have a halfway decent salad bar...

          1 Reply
          1. re: adrienne156
            wolfe Jan 21, 2008 04:11 PM

            Am not surprised Talavera and Montero made the list.
            "It is now owned by the same guy that owns Montrero's. I would anticipate the food will be really similar as I have found little variation in each of his ventures."
            SLRossi May 01, 2007 02:10PM Chowhound

          2. nicedragonboy Jan 21, 2008 03:19 PM

            south western salad from sunnyside cafe on Solano is excellent. Very filling, and possibly could feed the right two people. add chicken and fresh jalapenos.

            1. j
              jiongliu Jan 21, 2008 03:07 PM

              Don't forget about the Nicoise salad from La Note! I'm not sure you if you can call ahead to order but they definitely will do take out.

              1. Morton the Mousse Jan 21, 2008 12:14 PM

                This is definitely a weakness in the local food scene.

                900 Grayson does a great Cobb, and I believe most of their menu is available for take-out. You'd have to call and check.

                Gregoire's salads are pretty good, depending on the month. You can always add chicken or fish at lunch to make it more substantial.

                Picante does a decent tostada salad as well as a decent chicken ceaser.

                Cheeseboard pizza's salads are surprisingly good.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Morton the Mousse
                  l
                  lmnopm Jan 21, 2008 02:21 PM

                  These are all good suggestions - you know, quite some time ago I had a couple of enjoyable salads at Barneys. Of course, I had enjoyable burgers there back then, too (so they've been off my radar for some time). The Talavera suggestion sounds great, too. Although Buckhorn sounds good, just getting in/out of that lot, and the associated issues with access would be way too time-consuming for a typical mid-day.

                  1. re: lmnopm
                    wolfe Jan 21, 2008 02:49 PM

                    I try to park in the lot between the hotel and the mall.It runs behind the Men's
                    Wearhouse. Then cross the street at the light in front of the hotel and you are there. Less than 1/4 of a mile.

                    1. re: lmnopm
                      l
                      lintygmom Jan 21, 2008 02:51 PM

                      And should you stray into mole, my daughter swears they have the best, most authentic mole poblano she's had since she lived with a family in Puebla. I like that it's not steam-table stuff like the other Mex/Tex-Mex places on Solano.

                  2. JasmineG Jan 21, 2008 10:47 AM

                    My favorite take out salad is from Cactus Taqueria, their house salad is great (and big) and you can add grilled chicken and/or avocado to it. I love their chipolte dressing, and wish they sold it by the bottle.

                    1. l
                      lintygmom Jan 21, 2008 09:25 AM

                      My husband had an absolutely delicious salad at Tacqueria Talavera on Solano with lots of greens, grilled red peppers, avocado, and hot CARNITAS. Yum. And not that expensive considering the amount of meat. You can get chicken or beef instead and certainly to go. Really reasonable for the amount of fresh-cooked food.

                      Be sure to take some of the salsa/pickles too. The pickled spicy jicama was addictive and added well to my sandwich.

                      1. Glencora Jan 21, 2008 09:19 AM

                        Wolfe's right. Barney's has a Cobb salad. Don't know if it's decent or not. Most places that serve burgers or pizza have salads, too. Lo Coco's on Shattuck has a Chef' salad.

                        1. Lori SF Jan 21, 2008 08:56 AM

                          Is Emeryville too far for you? Buckhorn Grill has those all American style salads that I get a craving for and you can add tri-tip to their salads. Don't feel bad it took a long time to get a "take out" or decent place to get a salad in the city.

                          I like the chopped salad at Eccolo.

                          Whole Foods salad bar?

                          1. a
                            Agent 510 Jan 21, 2008 08:29 AM

                            Cafe Panini in downtown Berkeley (right behind Jupiter and Walgreen's) is a good choice.

                            1. wolfe Jan 21, 2008 08:16 AM

                              I feel flagellation coming on but Barneys.

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