10 Summer Salads to Enjoy in RVA
It’s officially here–that time of year we refer to as the dog days of summer. I find myself feeling a lot like this chocolate bunny rabbit every time I step outside. Cooking anything near an oven or grill sounds miserable. A cold, crisp, fresh salad can be the most welcome respite from the southern summer when meal time comes around. From caprese salads to those loaded with fruit and chicken, I’ve got a crush on them all. I asked some of my favorite local bloggers for their recommendations. Here they are with a few of my own peppered in…
Caprese Salad from Patina Restaurant & Grille
I don’t really want to eat cheese during the summer, but I’ll take some cold, fresh mozzarella. This salad features blistered heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, basil gel (like pesto, but better), smoked salt, micro basil leaves and baby beets. Visit Patina during your next shopping trip to Short Pump Mall or after your sweat session at Corner Barre. *Photo from Patina’s Facebook page.
Garlicky Kale Salad at Whole Foods
I’ve tried this since Brittany of Eating Bird Food recommended it. She likes this salad so much she even has a recipe inspired by it on her blog. Lemon juice, vinegar and garlic make the kale salad’s flavor pop. If you don’t want to make kale salads yourself, good thing a Whole Foods is coming to the Fan in Richmond.
Lemony Caesar Salad from Urban Farmhouse
I just recently became a big fan of Caesar salads. It’s not often you see a new twist on the classic recipe. Stephanie of She Saw Style said this was one of her go-to favorites in town. The lemon and salt flavors blend for a refreshing summer treat. The dressing has no eggs, too! You can always add on chicken for extra protein.
Honey BBQ Chicken Salad from Buffalo Wild Wings
If you know me, you know I can eat some wings. I think they are one of our generation’s most perfect food: fried protein you can cover in a million different flavors. When I visit Buffalo Wild Wings, the honey bbq sauce is always on my list. So, when I’m feeling hot and hungry, this salad is totally satisfying, but not nearly as heavy as a plate of wings. *Photo from BWW’s website.
Azteca Salad at Plaza Azteca
I’ll pretty much eat whatever Megan Marconyack of MarcoStyle says I should eat. She’s been a long-time writer in the Richmond area and always knows best. While she had a lot of great recommendations, I thought this one was the most appetizing. I used to love this spot near my alma mater. I haven’t been back in a while and this salad with both chicken and shrimp sounds scrumptious and satisfying. I also can’t resist the fresh guac the restaurant throws together right at your table.
Pla Goong Salad from Mom Siam II
I may or may not have tried just about everything on the Mom Siam II menu. I have a few regular items the staff know I love, especially when I’m hung over (cough, dumplings, cough). The salad section of the menu is an adventure worth taking, as well. I would very confidently suggest trying them all for something new this summer. The Pla Goong salad is on the top of my favorite’s list. The flavor is somehow salty, sweet, and spicy all at once. Top it with shrimp for the best flavor complement.
The Avocado Salad from Kuba Kuba
You can now enjoy this classic Richmond favorite in the West End as well as its long-standing fan location. Elizabeth Thompson of I Heart Vegetables suggested trying the Avocado Salad. The Cuban restaurant has a house balsamic vinaigrette that covers a large serving of mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, herbs, and sliced avocado. It is served with a side of kuban toast. Sounds spicy and enlightening!
Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken from Joe’s Inn
I don’t know how many women have told me about the Greek Salad from Joe’s Inn. I always thought the restaurant was known for its big a** plates of baked spaghetti and other carb-ladden Italian favorites. Apparently the greek salad satisfies, as well. It’s covered in feta, cucumbers, fresh onions, kalamata olives, pepperoncini and a very Italian vinaigrette dressing with tons of oregano. Megan Irvin of Let’s Share a Dish says it’s a Richmond must-try. This girl knows a thing or two about where to eat in Richmond… I just started perusing her blog and I now know where else I can get my dumpling fix in Richmond. Damnit. *Photo from the Joe’s Inn Facebook page!
Mixed Green Salad with Fruit, Nuts and Grilled Chicken from Galley
Sometimes you need something on the sweeter side. “It’s SO good, cheap (ish) and fast,” said Sydney Lester of Chic Stripes of the Mixed Green Salad at Galley. This restaurant is one I haven’t been to yet. After reading about it and learning that it’s the food baby of the owners of Kuba Kuba and Bacchus, I’m adding it to my Richmond restaurant wish list. I also want that Duck Proscuitto and Arugala salad. Like now.
Kale Salad with Chicken from The Daily Kitchen
Amanda of the Kitcheneer added another kale salad to the list when I asked for recommendations. The food blogger described this dish with all caps she thinks it’s so good: “AMAZING.” Along with lots of other vegetarian and vegan friendly menu items, The Daily tops the kale salad with pumpkin seeds, pecorino, apples, pomegranate, and citrus poppy seed dressing. Add chicken, and you’ve got a lunch that will satisfy the tastebuds, your need for protein, and your green spleen. That was dumb. Please forgive me and just please eat one of these salads. *Photo snagged from The Daily’s Instagram feed.