I've already told you about the magical burrito.
It's time I tell you about the salad.
If for no other aim than to prove to you that I don't always eat only burritos.
(But I do eat a lot of burritos).
I go to the place that serves the magical salad at least once a week. On average, it's more like twice a week.
But it's salad, so it's OK.
And with my Diet Coke and tip, I'm not saving myself money by droppin' $15 each time I march in there, but it's worth it.
I discovered the salad when I ordered it for a meeting at work. I needed a place that delivered to our office, so I believe I found it through Yelp.
Feeling in a salad-y sort of place, I guess -- and thank goodness I was, because look at what obsession I'd be missing -- I looked over their simple, no-nonsense-but-includes-tater-tots menu and went for the chicken salad.
Which sounds like the food processor-mayo-mixed-in kind of chicken salad that you spread on bread for a sandwich.
It's a salad with chicken on top.
I am yet to tire of it, and I'm betting I've eaten upwards of 30 (40?) of these things now.
And they are always fresh. Always tasty. Always satisfying.
Let's start with the ingredients.
Roma (or something similar and equally red and ripe) tomatoes.
Grilled chicken. With some sort of tantalizing yet none too overpowering marinade/seasoning. (This is where I believe most of the magic -- and addiction -- lie).
I spring for the balsamic vinaigrette, but you can do what you like of course.
Like I said -- and it's worth mentioning again -- the stuff they put in this salad is so fresh. The lettuce is clean and green. Tomatoes red. Cukes crisp.
Chicken, as we've covered, delish.
Oh, and just like the magical burrito, this sucker arrives at my table in about 5 minutes flat. And it's made fresh on the spot.
It took a while for my regular waitress -- whose name I still don't know -- to get bored enough to ask if I'd like to add anything to the salad, but she got there eventually.
I politely declined for quite a while.
And then one day I sprung for avocado.
The tiny cubes were hidden in there ever so craftily, and when my mouth hit upon the green mush, it was happy it did. This is going to sound gross, but it was like a satisfying culinary French kiss.
Things continued to be fine. I would read or watch 90s movies on the big screen TV behind the bar while I crunched happily on my greens.
And then one day they actually got better.
Chips? they offered.
Chips? I countered back.
No no. Not on the side of the salad.
IN. the salad.
And they took the world's best jalapeno chips (Miss Vickie's, duh) and crunched them up into oh so tiny pieces inside the bag, and then
mixed them in
with the salad.
I can't tell you what this has done to my lunch life.
You're just gonna have to go test it out for yourself. One word: Tara. Think Gone with the Wind if you forget. Once you try it, you'll be gone with the wind of old salads and embraced in the new loving family of Tara chicken salads.
And try it with the chips.
At your service, continuing to find Valley hole in the wall eats. You're welcome.