Salad Stories

I’ve always been a big fan of salads. I was that weird person in college who wanted a salad after a night of drinking instead of greasy food. Thankfully, eating salads carried over into my adult life whereas binge drinking did not. I work from home now and occasionally just want to get out for lunch. Zoe’s Kitchen was my quick, go-to spot until I had a series of bad experiences at the mid-town location (incorrect orders, slow service, ordering online and still having to wait 25 minutes after arriving… ), so I sought out on a journey to find the best lunch salads in Charlotte.

First up, Chopt:

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I have a mild obsession with Chopt (as in, I would eat it for every meal if I could). I love that you can choose from any of their creative salads or you can build your own. I would advise going right at lunch time because the line gets QUITE long, but I still put myself through the torture of it because the salads are that good. Pictured here is the Braised Greek (with added tomatoes and cucumbers) which is my go-to at Chopt.

Next we have Earl’s Grocery:

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The Mediterranean salad at Earl’s is small but full of flavor. Definitely a good pick for a fast, cheap lunch – and healthy, too! The food and service at Earl’s is amazing, plus, you can work there which is always an added bonus!

As I’m writing this, I realize that I have a tendency to order Greek salads wherever I go. So maybe I should change the title of this to “Where to find the best Greek salad in Charlotte.”

Anyway, next on the list is Pure Pizza.

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Yes, I realize getting salad at a pizza place is almost taboo but hey, summer isn’t that far away and everything Pure Pizza makes is delicious. I love the local ingredients they include and frankly, it was a pretty filling salad.

And continuing with the salad at pizza places, I also ordered a salad at Revolution Ale House:

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And it was also tasty. I LOVE their dressing. Plus they use huge chunks of feta.

I go back and forth at Bad Daddy’s between the Texican Chicken Salad and Stella’s Greek Salad. They’re both delicious and always so full of ingredients!

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The Stella’s is a little lighter, especially the dressing. But I don’t think I could say one is my favorite over the other. Try both and decide for yourself.

I’m a big fan of the build your own salad at Hickory Tavern:

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I usually go with spinach, red onion, red pepper, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggs, avocado and top it with fried chicken tossed in medium buffalo sauce. It’s literally the PERFECT combo.

Last but not least, in Steele Creek is Harry’s. I added steak to their salad and it blew my mind.

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Usually, I just go for a salad on the side of my burger (which is their specialty), but getting a dinner salad was a nice way to switch it up.

I’m glad to have options outside of Zoe’s Kitchen; although I did like their order online option. Let me know if you have a salad or restaurant that I missed and should add to my list!

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Where everybody knows your name…

Harry’s Grille & Tavern opened several years ago when I was living in the Steele Creek area. It occupied the space that was previously Red Lion, a bar, but we quickly noticed that Harry’s was completely different than Red Lion. While it’s tucked away in Ayrsley, located in South Charlotte, it’s actually got a pretty great location.IMG_7365My favorite place to sit is at the bar, or the tables surrounding the bar when we go. They do have a dining area downstairs and are able to accommodate large parties. My bridal luncheon was actually hosted here and they did a FANTASTIC job.

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Harry’s always has a great selection of beers on tap and in the past year or so, started making their own infused liquors which are certainly interesting.

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While the place definitely has a bar-atmosphere, the food is a little more upscale and somewhat creative. In place of normal buffalo wings, they serve duck wings. Their burgers are far from “regular” and have toppings such as fried eggs, pimento cheese and crispy onions. And they have some of the best sweet potato fries you can get.

Old Fashioned Burger

Old Fashioned Burger

Cali Burger

Cali Burger

I love their side salads which are quaint and delicious. The ingredients always seem fresh and they don’t charge extra if you want to use this as a side (cha-ching!).

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We’ve always loved going to Harry’s, and the service is wonderful most of the time. There were a few episodes when we sat in the dining area but I think that was just a “new restaurant” thing and they’ve likely sorted that all out by now. Again, my favorite place to sit is in the bar area. They’ve recently added new farmhouse style tables to accommodate more people up there (they used to have couches for a more casual feel).

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While there are definitely TVs in the place, you’re still able to go and have a conversation without all the normal bar noise. They also have an adorable outside space which is nice for 3/4 of the year. Had I waited until spring, I could have gotten a much better photo but I was there in late November so here’s what we’ve got.

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A great spot to mingle with friends over a few cocktails and appetizers. Plus, the location is prime to the Ayrsley movie theatre. Grabbing dinner or drinks before walking over to the theatre is such a great time. There, I just planned your next date night for you. You’re welcome.

Seriously though, go check out Harry’s. Try a few of their cocktails, an appetizer and a delicious burger (or the crab cakes, which are amazing, or the fish tacos, also amazing) or go for brunch. I haven’t had any thing off their menu that I didn’t at least love a little.