I love a good brunch salad. A blue cheese-smothered wedge or bacon-heavy cobb is the happy medium between an açaí bowl and a bacon cheeseburger. It says ‘I’m vaguely healthy, but not annoyingly so.’ Or, ‘I’m mildly hungover but still want to enjoy my day.’ The fatty salad is a power move that avocado toast can never accomplish.
Vegetables are crucial for appearance and personal morale, but they’re not the focus. You’ll want some kind of lettuce—iceberg is more than acceptable—topped with a combination at least two of the following: cheese, bacon, avocado, egg, and a hearty protein like steak, fried chicken, or shrimp. Toss it all with a creamy dressing and you’re on your way.
Warm shrimp salad, Le Diplomate
All hail the king of decadent salads. The plate arrives with warm poached shrimp, avocado, shaved parm, a tangy heap of greens, and truffle beurre blanc. Yes, this salad is basically dressed with lemony truffle butter. The last time I ordered it, a woman at the next table exclaimed “Your salad smells amazing!” And it did.
“Dirty” Caesar, Unconventional Diner
This filthy salad has all the hallmarks of a great Caesar—creamy, anchovy-laced dressing, showers of cheese—plus smoked tomato, a runny egg, and a umami-packed black garlic crumble over top. Say yes to the optional smoked salmon.
Fried chicken salad, Roy Boys
Everything you need is here: bacon, crumbled egg, mixed cheese, and fried chicken—plus tomatoes and “power greens” to knock the bowl back into the healthy-ish category.
BLT wedge, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab
The “luncheon salads” menu (offered at brunch) at this swanky downtown grill is a goldmine. Among the offerings: a bang-up steak salad and king crab Louis. But it’s hard to pass up a truly great steakhouse wedge, and that’s what you’ll find here.
Salad Lyonnaise, Convivial
Frisée gets a bad rap, but it’s the perfect curlicue vehicle for a runny egg, thick-cut nubs of bacon, and brioche croutons.
Chopped Salad, Pearl Dive Oyster Bar
This salad had me at “popcorn crawfish” (a.k.a. croutons of the sea). If you really want get decadent with this chopped salad of romaine, avocado, and seasonal veggies, add fried oysters as well.