Sometimes all you need is a salad; all you want is a salad; all you desire at this singular moment in time is a salad.
But no ordinary Caesar, Greek or Garden salad will do.
You want colour and lightness. You want crunch, zing and pizzazz.
Peasant Cookery's goats cheese, beet and arugula salad sprung to mind. It's one of my favourites in the city. (I'm a sucker for a beet salad.) Sadly, my dining partner vetoed my suggestion.
I searched my memory for fantastic salads of my past. Nothing immediately sprung to mind. I blame the hot day for frying my brain.
Plan B. I started scanning the street. And then I saw it: Across the Board Games Café. I met the owners a few months ago just as they were opening and, at the time, their menu looked quite promising.
So we headed over. The place, former home of The Fyxx and other unsuccessful eateries, was packed with gamers and diners.
At the table, our eyes went immediately to the salads on the menu. (The menu includes sandwiches, flatbreads and soup. Everything is made in house.)
We ordered the Viet Nom Nom and the Beached Kale. Both salads blew us away but the Beached Kale took top prize.
The generous salad is loaded with baby kale, chick peas, barley, avocado, sunflower seeds, strawberry, candied walnuts and lemon poppy seed vinaigrette. It was sweet yet tart; had crunch; was filling; and every bite was different from the last. My dining partner and I fought over this salad.
The Viet Nom Nom is a combination of rice noodles, mixed greens, pickled vegetables, corn, bell pepper, cilantro, sesame seeds, scallions, avocado and tossed in an asian vinaigrette. It had a sass and sustenance. The noodles added extra heft and filled out bellies. It just didn't compare to the party on the beach of kale.
On our next visit, we're going to play a game, order dinner, sip on wine and just enjoy a night out of the ordinary.
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