High Street on Market's grilled broccoli salad

High Street on Market's grilled broccoli salad

Ruthiebird

The Philly Salad Index: 10 great bowls to enliven your lunch

A colorful pile of greens and growns is the perfect midday meal — especially if you want to have a productive afternoon.

A great salad is the perfect lunch. Not because it’s low-cal, necessarily — the really delicious ones aren’t — but because a colorful pile of greens and growns is likely to refresh and enliven, and let you skip the drag of a post-meal stupor. Afternoon work has to get done? Salad is the way to go. Here’s 10 of the best ways to do it.

Double Knot

At night, the candlelit, below-ground dining room puts out sleek sushi and fancy drinks, but during the day the ground-floor cafe half of this Michael Schulson spot offers a truly brilliant menu. Choose pork, shrimp, tofu or chicken (skip the meatballs) from the robatayaki grill served over a crunchy cabbage and mint salad. Forewarning: The option exists to swap out the salad for a rice or noodle bowl, and it’s tempting ($7; 120 S. 13th St., 215-631-3868).
Health: 7/10
Flavor: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Final score: 8

Dos Tacos

While chef Sylva Senat waits to see if he can revive his fine-dining dreams (he was set to open Maison on 13th Street before it burned down during construction), he’s playing with tacos. The “Chica Flaca Salad” at his tiny joint dresses mixed greens, cabbage and spicy kernels of corn in truffle-honey, then tops them with queso fresco and crisped up tofu and mushrooms ($8; 120 S. 15th St., 215-567-8226).
Health: 6/10
Flavor: 7/10
Value: 8/10
Final score: 7

Pizzeria Vetri

It’s hard to visit this haven of brick-oven pies without succumbing to ordering one, but if you end up at either of the two local outposts — maybe you want to show off to a visitor, or your lunch date has to sate a pizza craving — the Italian Caesar breathes new life into a standby. Escarole soaks up savory bagna cauda dressing, and silky whole anchovies battle with eggs and pizza crust croutons for most flavorful garnish of all time ($10; 1939 Callowhill St., 215-600-2629 or 1615 Chancellor St., 215-763-9760).
Health: 6/10
Flavor: 9/10
Value: 7/10
Final score: 7.3

HipCityVeg

The faux meat sandwiches at Nicole Marquis’ flagship are better than most, but if you’re going plant-based, why not get a salad? The “Chopped Med” is where to head if you’re in the mood for a briny punch (marinated tofu, artichokes, roasted peppers, olives; $9) but the arugula taco salad is a more unique mix, with grilled corn, avocado and black beans beneath cilantro dressing. A sneak side of sweet potato fries is recommended ($8.65; 127 S. 18th St., 215-278-7605 or 214 S. 40th St., 267-244-4342).
Health: 8/10
Flavor: 6/10
Value: 7/10
Final score: 7

Creamy chicken salad at the Belgian Cafe

Creamy chicken salad at the Belgian Cafe

Danya Henninger

The Belgian Cafe

At this Fairmount ode to Brussels, the large helping of creamy chicken salad strikes a very pleasing picture at the bottom of big ceramic bowl. Lemony vinaigrette, bacon and goat cheese make the greens as irresistible as the hand-pulled roast chicken, grapes and celery set on top of them. Goes great with a Chimay white, just saying ($12.95; 601 N. 21st St., 215-235-3500).
Health: 4/10
Flavor: 9/10
Value: 7/10
Final score: 6.6

Honeygrow

At branches of this locally-owned chain, the touch-screen ordering kiosk gives you approximately one gazillion options for what gets tossed together. If you go with a pre-designed combo, make it the “Roasted Tomato Miso Kale,” which packs more umami into a bowl of greens — thanks to apples, spicy tofu, roasted beets, red onions and sesame sticks — than you’d have thought possible ($8.95; multiple locations).
Health: 7/10
Flavor: 6/10
Value: 8/10
Final score: 7

Lolita

Forget everything you know about a traditional taco salad. Shaved corn, green cauliflower and sticks of crunchy jicama make the chopped lettuce bowl at Marcie Turney’s modern Mexican sing. Cotija cheese, avocado, buttermilk-herb dressing and crispy tortilla strips add just enough decadence ($11; 106 S. 13th St., 215-546-7100).
Health: 6/10
Flavor: 9/10
Value: 6/10
Final score: 7

High Street on Market

Best thing at this Old City spot is Alex Bois’ bread, and it’s even better if it’s allowed to shine — i.e. not buried below ingredients in a sandwich. Solution? Pair it with the grilled broccoli salad, a deeply savory mix with sharp radicchio, shaved red onion, marcona almonds and herb mayo, saved from overload by sweet peeled grapes ($13; 308 Market St., 215-625-0988).
Health: 5/10
Flavor: 9/10
Value: 5/10
Final score: 6.3

Rotisseur

The spit-roasted Lancaster birds at this Rittenhouse counter-serve spot are best enjoyed atop a heap of greens. Pick the feta and tomato-topped combo with red wine vinaigrette or the Caesar, which softens its romaine crunch with sweet chunks of cucumber ($11; 102- S. 21st St., 215-496-9494).
Health: 7/10
Flavor: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Final score: 7.6

Stock

Long green strands of shaved papaya act like veggie versions of noodles in the overflowing oval served at this Fishtown BYOB. Tangle them Thai style with long beans, dried shrimp, garlic and chile, or go Vietnamese with the crunch of fried shallot and peanuts on top ($11 or $9; 308 E. Girard Ave., no phone).
Health: 7/10
Flavor: 8/10
Value: 7/10
Final score: 7.3

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