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Where are the great salads in Austin?

Looking for some help from fellow Austin hounds on above average salads in Austin. I've only recently started to seek them out as my meal choice, so I'm a little, ahem -- green -- on the topic.

Two of my favorites I've enjoyed recently are the tuna nicoise at Hopfields and the Caesar with anchovy at Asti.

Surely there are more. Let's hear 'em.....

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  1. my current fave salad is the asparagus goat cheese from Trattoria Lisino.

    1 Reply
    1. re: NirvRush

      Can't believe I forgot one of my favorite salads! The fancy chicken salad at jack allen's kitchen is fantastical. Achiote chicken, figs, pears, candied walnuts, blue cheese, champagne vinaigrette... yummmmm

    2. Blue Dahlia makes a great Nicoise. On the times I've had it, the tuna was cooked perfectly, plus it came with all of the appropriate fixins and a tasty vinaigrette. Highly recommended.

      1. Nicoise at Chez Nous- and a pretty amazing basic house salad there too. Looking forward to reading the replies of others- Austin does not have much of a track record on salads, and I would love to hear some good places to try. In the early days, Leaf had the potential to be great- but those hopes are long gone.

        One more thought for an amazing salad dressing if you want to do the rest yourself- Mangia bleu cheese dressing, and specifically the Mesa location. The Lake Austin location's version does not quite get there (same name on the door, but different ownership due to a family splitting of the business.)

        1. 1) @ North restaurant in the Domain

          Burrata Alla Panna, with Grilled Asparagus, Caper
          Vinaigrette, Toasted Almonds, Mustard Bread Crumbs 12

          The combination of the caper vinaigrette and the mustard bread crumbs is amazing. They don't skimp on the burratta either.

          I wish North would bring back their version of the insalata caprese. It was the best insalata caprese ever - arugula pesto surprise along the plate's bottom under the arugula, buratta, perfectly dressed arugula. something else on top.

          2) @ Cover 2 in Northwest Austin, and at Cover 3 on Anderson Lane

          the Allandale Salad with their brick chicken

          2 Replies
          1. re: sweet100s

            I'll agree about leaf- such potential, but ultimately not worth it. Their salads are SO expensive!!! I'd rather just duck in Central Market for the salad bar... a few less fancy options, but much cheaper.

            1. re: sweet100s

              Also noteworthy at North is the one with hazelnuts and strawberries. I get cravings for it.

            2. Great recommendations... keep 'em coming. I will definitely check out the Allandale salad at Cover 2, since I know they do a great job with their jerk shrimp salad.

              Blue Dahlia and North will be on deck.

              1. My favorite I've had in town this year was at second bar / congress:

                Roasted golden and red beets, arugula, pickled shallots, camembert, some really nice house made candied pecans, dried cranberries and a vinaigrette.

                I think it's off the menu right now, but I imagine they will bring it back in the fall.

                This isn't a normal salad, but I really like the fried brussels sprout salad at the liberty location of east side king: crispy fried brussels with mint, basil, cilantro, onions, peppers and cabbage with a tasty sauce. Yum!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Trhosion

                  "Roasted golden and red beets, arugula, pickled shallots, camembert, some really nice house made candied pecans, dried cranberries and a vinaigrette. I think it's off the menu right now, but I imagine they will bring it back in the fall."

                  It's on the dinner menu and not the lunch menu ;)

                2. I have two recs I don't see here:

                  I realize I may be straying a bit from what I assume is the intent of X, Y, Z ingredients + greens, but you'll get them on the side with Blue Dahlia's egg salad that sits atop nice wheat bread. Really dill-y and the bread is buttered too, and that just might be the money move in that dish.

                  I also like the simple vinaigrette dressed sliced pear + gorgonzola + greens +walnuts +thin red onions at home slice. pair that with a slice or 60 of fried eggplant pie (fridays) and it's a great lunch.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: slowcoooked

                    That egg salad at BD is INSANE. I think it really might be the best egg salad I've ever had. It's so simple too, yet obviously there's some trick in there that makes it so good. I think they must put a little bit o' crack in there. Just a sprinkle.

                  2. Leaf at 2nd and San Antonio!

                    1. House Pizzeria on Airport and 52nd has 2 salads and they are wonderful. The Mixed Greens has walnuts, goat cheese and strawberries and the other (my favorite) is made with baby spinach, shaved parmesan, crispy salami, and is tossed with olive oil, salt, and you're given a lemon wedge to complete the dressing. It is by far the simplest, best salad I have ever had. AND they give you a sourdough roll with the salad that is absolutely addictive.

                      The roasted olives are a nice appetizer as well, especially with the salad. And I highly recommend a lemon-ginger Italian soda to top it all off.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MyySharona

                        Seconding the spinach salad at House. It's the simplest thing in the world, but just out of this world with flavor and texture.

                      2. I'll also add that the duck confit salad at Enoteca is tasty. It comes with chevre crostini and has a nice grapefruit vinaigrette and bitter frisee/watercress to cut the fattiness.

                        1. Galaxy Cafe (Triangle) offers two options: 1) a grilled salmon salad served over a bed of mixed field greens with mandarin oranges, tomato, red onions and a side of creamy dill dressing, 2) a Thai salad - all natural (hormone-free) grilled steak sliced over a bed of mixed field greens with roasted red bell peppers, peanuts, cucumber, tomato, crispy wonton strips and a side of chile peanut dressing. Both are very good and reasonably priced.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: larich

                            Thanks for putting this back up there. With the warmer weather and my mostly paleo diet, salad suggestions are always appreciated.

                            My new standby is the Southwestern Chicken Salad with no tortilla strips at Kerbey Lane. It's decent, but I need more options, especially in the south Lamar area.

                            1. re: foodiegal71

                              @foodiegal71, I have a salad post on my blog with lots of suggestions (on mobile now or I'd post the link). One I've discovered since I wrote that post is the Brussels sprout Caesar at Salty Sow, which is one of my very favorites.