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What’s in a Bowl: Five Secrets of Restaurant Salads

Today, health is a great priority for more and more people, which is something that explains their focus on salads. What used to be a simple, thoughtless starter occupying a measly spot on restaurant menus, now demands major space with more choices and even more dressing options. In fact, there are restaurants that sell salads as the main entrée, together with vegetable and fruit smoothies or juices.

Dining out is also experiencing a great resurgence among consumers, thanks to improving spending capabilities due to increasing salaries. Because of this, restaurants are stepping up their game when it comes to serving the best dining experience for customers to espouse repeat business and loyalty. But, diners are not simply dining just for the sake of consumption; they are empowered more than ever with more choices and more information about what they should purchase with their hard earned money.

However, as a consumer, you should know what salads to pick and how to maximize your salad- eating experience. Read on to get the skinny on those bowls:

Restaurant Salad Secret One: Yes, they can be a main meal in itself.

To maximize every plate, ask for protein options that can be added to the salad. Restaurants can prepare add-ins, such as grilled chicken breasts, grilled shrimps, calamari, and even anchovies. Depending on the salad and its contents, servers can act as dining guides who can suggest the right protein.

For vegetarians, proteins can be taken advantaged of in the form of walnuts, sliced almonds, and crushed pecans.

Restaurant Salad Secret Two: No budget for steaks? Have that salad with wine!

Who says only main entrées can be enjoyed with a glass of red or white? Depending on the protein and dressing chosen, salads can be paired with wines. Choose a bottle that is fruity for a lighter feel during business lunches. For dinner dates, go for a full-bodied one.

Restaurant Salad Secret Three: Salads are not (always) diet food

It is already common knowledge, but salads are usually the first option when you are on a diet. This is due to the perceived health benefits and minimal calories these vitamin bombs contain. But, although salad is healthy, its servings and the type of dressings used can be the culprit as to why eating so much salad can actually lead to weight gain.

To avoid this, ask the servers to split an order into two or three depending on the number of diners or request for a light, non-cream based salad dressing. This way, diners can save up on their bill and their calories. Also, for more nutrients, ask for more leafy and cruciferous vegetables instead of the usual water-rich ones. In general, the more colorful the plate, the healthier it is.

Restaurant Salad Secret Four: The dressing can be changed

There are different kinds of salad dressings, other than the usual mayo or cream-based tartar and Caesar options, which have more calories. You can even request for healthier alternatives, such as vinaigrettes. Aside from that, to control the portions further, the dressing can be served on the side instead of mixed in the whole plate.

Restaurant Secret Five: It can be made at home

Some restaurants offer their dressings in bottles. Smart consumers can recreate their favorites and enjoy the salad (with even better ingredients!) on a daily basis as a home staple or an office packed lunch.

With these in mind, you can have a better and smarter way of ordering salads. As a diner, make every bite count with these tips!

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