by Lorraine Cherry
Gourmet grazing for the fit & about-to-be fit
There is something about Thanksgiving that gives family traditions the upper hand over all of our strongest resolutions to eat only fresh, healthy food. Even the most ardent fan of locally grown produce will find their hands reaching towards the canned mushroom soup and french-fried onions to make “the green bean casserole” that their family has ALWAYS had, going back to before they were born. (An amazing number of women at holiday potlucks across the country have assured me that their grandmothers created the recipe.) And turkey meat just requires gravy and mashed potatoes nestled up to it, right?
So, it was two days after Thanksgiving, and my body had finally reached a breaking point and was screaming: “No more turkey and gravy and pie! Please, please feed me some fresh vegetables!” It happens, you know? So where to go? Off to our favorite salad place, appropriately named Salata, and located right over on Heights Boulevard, just south of I-10. (Many other locations, but this one is closest to Timbergrove.)
Your food experience at Salata takes you from one end to the other of a very (!) long salad bar where a cheerful employee will build your salad for you. You first decision is whether to have salad in a bowl (large and small sizes available) with your choice of roll, or as a wrap rolled up in one of 5 different flavors of tortilla. You pick your greens, pick your toppings (vegetables, fruits, nuts and cheeses, crispy things, chopped eggs, chopped bacon), and pick your protein (quinoa, baked tofu, various flavors of chicken, salmon, seafood mix, shrimp). Then toss with one of ten house-made dressings. For a little extra, they’ll throw in an avocado.
They also have soups, but I’ve found them to be average at best. The story here is the huge selection of ultra-fresh salad ingredients. And maybe, if you’re feeling especially virtuous after eating all those fresh veggies, one of their fresh-baked cookies or bite-sized brownies.
Salata is located at 185 Heights Boulevard, on the west side of the street. Check out their menu at https://www.salata.com/menu.