Fast-casual salad shops abound in Raleigh, Durham and beyond. We seek out some of our favorites.
By Greg Cox
Originally published 7/27/2017
A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains. This month, we find relief from the summer heat in the cool green crunch of entree salads.
Multiple locations; see website for details
B. good’s Watermelon and Feta salad pairs the quintessentially cooling fruit and mild, creamy goat cheese with a supporting cast of arugula, baby spinach, cannellini beans, snap peas, sun-dried tomato and toasted corn in a light red wine-olive oil dressing. If you like, add the protein of your choice: grilled chicken, organic tofu or a local egg.
420 Daniels St., Raleigh; 1490 Fordham Blvd., Chapel Hill
919-670-2333 (Raleigh); 919-240-7660 (Chapel Hill)
When the going gets tough, the tough head for Palm Beach – the Palm Beach salad, that is, a medley of grilled chicken, avocado, grape tomatoes, English cucumbers, hearts of palm and romaine lettuce in a hot honey vinaigrette. The fact that it’s 320 calories only adds to the cool factor.
1028-234 Oberlin Court, Raleigh; 1377 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary
919-307-3613 (Raleigh); 919-377-8572 (Cary)
Sweltering, but can’t get to the beach? Plunge into the Shrimp Caesar, featuring wild-caught shrimp, shaved parmesan and croutons on a bed of crisp romaine tossed in a house-made Caesar dressing. And no need to worry about sunburn or sand in your shorts.
2316-106 Hillsborough St., Raleigh
Dreaming about a Hawaiian vacation? Pokii is freshii’s vegetarian take on poké, the island’s famous raw fish salad, serving up pickled ginger, cucumber, avocado, cabbage, carrot, edamame, green onion and sesame seeds on a bed of brown rice and kale, with an Asian sesame dressing and spicy yogurt sauce. Better hurry, though. Pokii is a limited-time offer.
Giardino Gourmet Salads
821 Bass Pro Lane, Cary
As cool and chic as its name, the Parisian is a melange of brie, green apples, red grapes, sliced almonds and baby mixed greens, tossed in a honey apple cider vinaigrette and topped with house-made garlic croutons. Be advised that the Piccolo (small size) salad is an ample meal for most people.
4421 Six Forks Road, Suite 103B, Raleigh
Decisions, decisions. Grabbagreen’s salad menu reads like a travel agency’s list of vacation packages, tempting with destinations ranging from South Beach to the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s say we set sail for the Amalfi Coast (chia seeds, cucumber, kalamata olives, red onion, red pepper, spinach, tomato and feta in a Mediterranean pomegranate sauce)?
happy + hale
443 Fayetteville St., Raleigh; 703B Ninth St., Durham (A North Hills location is planned.)
919-307-4148 (Raleigh); 984-439-1790 (Durham)
Say you’re the sort who likes to fight fire with fire. Beat the summer heat with the spices savor or the Happy Harissa Bowl: harissa-marinated chicken, black lentils, arugula, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, pita crunch, harissa and curry yogurt dressings. Note: this one’s only available at Raleigh and Greenville, S.C., locations.
2608 Erwin Road, # 132, Durham
Keep your cool and stay gluten-free with the E.A.T. Cobb. That’s E.A.T., as in hard-boiled egg, avocado and grape tomato, playing with a cool, crisp backup chorus of iceberg lettuce, red onion, bacon, grilled chicken and blue cheese. Choose from 16 house-made dressings, but blue cheese is recommended on this one for good reason.
1144 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary
Kick it old school with Newk’s respectful update on a classic chef salad: diced smoked ham, nitrate-free oven-roasted turkey, mixed greens, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, aged cheddar cheese, house-made croutons and your choice of dressing.
4117 Davis Drive, Morrisville
Weighing in at just 390 calories, the refreshingly different take on a tuna salad at Tossed is mixed with apples and dried cranberries in a light mayo dressing, and it’s served on a bed of baby field greens, avocado, carrots and cucumbers in a honey balsamic vinaigrette.