June 19, 2009

Where to find the best big salads in Flagstaff

Big salad
By Angele Sionna

On a hot summer day when the sun is beating down you can cool off from the inside out (and get in some needed veggies) with a salad. All out big salads a la Elaine of Seinfeld fame are all too often overlooked as deluxe menu items. But that’s not the case at many of Flagstaff’s great restaurants. Here’s a look at some of the best more-than-lettuce creations in town…

Oreganos
605 W Riordan Rd

Oreganos has gigantic salads to suit any appetite. Of those, the one that stands out above the rest - the Southwestern Shrimp Ceasar salad. Oh how delicious it is! Served on a bed of specially made fried noodle crisps, this big boy consists of a mound of crispy green romaine lettuce tossed in just the right amount of their slightly spicy and tangy southwestern ceasar dressing and topped with a fair helping of shredded parmesan cheese and seasoned, grilled shrimp. Makes me hungry for it again just writing about it. Yum!

Big Foot BBQ
In the basement of the Old Town Shops building, at the corner of Birch & Leroux

Big Foot BBQ has one of the best, most unique salads in town. I know - a barbeque joint with a top salad? But it's true! Their Fried Chicken Salad is fab with fresh crispy lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, toasted pecans, croutons, cucumbers, fried okra, fried chicken and buttermilk ranch dressing. The dressing is creamy and compliments the salads’ other flavors perfectly! This isn’t the healthiest of the salads in town, but you’ll still be glad you went for it.

Pita Jungle
320 S. Regent Street (Next to New Frontiers)

Newcomer to town (and first time out of the Phoenix-metro area) Pita Jungle brings with it some delightful options. The salad menu consists of cold traditional salads with a fresh twist like their Caribbean Salad -that mixes pineapples, oranges, grapefruit, apples, strawberries and bananas with mixed greens topped with coconut, raisins and a strawberry vinaigrette. Plus even more innovative concoctions like the Grilled Vegetable Salad, which is a bed of lettuce topped with freshly sautéed hot veggies including broccoli, squash, carrots, and eggplant all coated with a zesty lemon vinagarette dressing. The height of healthy and quite tasty to boot.

Beaver Street Brewery
11 S. Beaver St.

From small side salads to meal-sized biggies, Beaver Street is another great place to go if you're seeking fancified greens. All their dressings are delightfully divine. One big salad of particular note: the Calypso Chicken Salad. It consists of mixed greens tossed in a walnut raspberry vinegarette dressing, topped with grilled chicken, mandarin oranges, dried apricots, dried cranberries, honey chipotle walnuts, feta cheese and red onions. Super refreshing and it’s really pretty looking too.

Mountain Oasis
11 E. Aspen

Mountain Oasis is a home away from home for many salad lovers. Among the top choices here: the Greek Salad. It combines feta cheese, kalamata olives, red onions, pepperoncini and greens topped with Greek dressing. For an extra treat top it with their Gyro meat to make it even more satisfying.

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