Wednesday, April 4, 2012

West Coast Series: Salads and Sweets

[caption id="attachment_1635" align="aligncenter" width="415" caption="Get the message?"][/caption]

Being a part-vegetarian tourist in the land of organic, Trader Joe’s and cereal, there was only one established mission:  To partake in 10 Salads. The possibilities and choices are endless, but also come with the sweet and sinful competition—where Ben & Jerry’s can come in close battle with Arugula.

Ending with a tally of 6 for the greens, leaving out the side salads and toppings which came in almighty abundance, I let the desserts fill the rest of the list. Not to be dismissed as the anti-thesis of salad, I deem them just as healthy in my overly biased eyes.

[caption id="attachment_1638" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Caesar Salad, Bonnano's @ MGM Hotel"]Caesar Salad Siding, Bonnano's @ MGM Hotel[/caption]

Mexican and Greek salads, my heavenly fares, made quite an impact on my palate that I will never view salad eating as a mere dieting scheme again. Chipotle on its own combines a zesty, sour-punch yet fresh flavor that is greatly enhanced by its colorful condiments: guacamole, jack cheese or even sour cream. Pico de gallo is plebeian knowledge and feta cheese is a fierce commodity. For me, these Mediterranean and Mexican fiestas combine gastronomic splendor and my ultimate enjoyment, as I return home tearful that such a brief exchange was too short lived.

[caption id="attachment_1639" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Greek Salad, Wraps @ Caesars Palace"]Greek Salad, Wraps @ Caesars Palace[/caption]

Salads from Chipotle Mexican Grill and even the simple Chick Pita Mediterranean at the food court provided such organic and savory excellence, their tastes are forever carved in my mental palate and will serve as a lasting benchmark for future sampling. There is something very authentic and fantastic in the way they served their salad—not to mention the leviathan serving all for myself—that should I not find the same quality back home, it’s time I learned to prepare homemade guacamole!

[caption id="attachment_1640" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Salad Bowl, Chipotle Mexican Grill"]Salad Bowl, Chipotle Mexican Grill[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1636" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Greek Salad with Chicken Shawarma, Chick Pita Mediterranean"]Greek Salad with Chicken Shawarma, Chick Pita Mediterranean[/caption]

Credits too for El Pollo Loco, which dished out a Grilled Chicken Salad that was flaming with Mexican goodness. If our local franchise served salads and condiments in that size and flavor, I’d be loca for Pollo Loco as well!

[caption id="attachment_1637" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Grilled Chicken Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing, El Pollo Loco"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1672" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad, Panera Bread"][/caption]

While the ice cream and yogurt did not present the same mixture of merriment and glee as the salads—or I just failed to visit the right places—they were just as amusing to eat and provided the necessary sugar high.

[caption id="attachment_1633" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Cookies and Cream Yogurt, Mrs. Fields"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1631" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Sugar Free Chocolate Gelato, The Venetian"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1632" align="aligncenter" width="614" caption="Yogurt Parfait and Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies, McDonald's"][/caption]

The cakes and cupcakes though, well, that’s a different story and in another post. Best to stay tuned then.


  1. Great pictures! The Gelato looks particularly good. I wish I could try it. ;p

  2. Thanks, Mary! Creamy and not too sweet - it was fantastic!

  3. [...] the greens, salsa and vinaigrette which were so last post (West Coast Series: Salads and Sweets), you’d think I’ve gone all Bugs Bunny on you. Truth is, it’s time to cast off the pretension [...]