Salads have recently become more of a feature item on certain menus on the Jacksonville fine dining scene. For instance, Cheesecake Factory has a whole page of its menu dedicated to salads that can satisfy even the hungriest appetite. J. Alexander’s, Cantina Laredo, and others have also supplemented their elaborate menus great salads. Here are our choices for the best salads in Jacksonville.
5. Asian salad @ City Hall Pub ($8.50)-This salad, pictured in the attached slideshow, can be found at the City Hall Pub. CHP is located near the baseball stadium in downtown Jacksonville. Various restaurants have tried to succeed in this location and we wish CHP the best of luck. On our initial visit, we enjoyed the Asian salad, which has fresh greens, Mandarin oranges, topped with Asian flavored chicken. The dressing is described as a “sweet and spicy” sauce but we found it more spicy than sweet.
4. The Urban @ Urban Flats (~$7.25)-One of our favorite new restaurants, Urban Flats Tinseltown, serves up a great salad called The Urban. The salad has fresh greens, golden raisins, sunflower seeds, goat cheese, and a delicious white balsamic vinaigrette. The Urban is served cool and diners can order it with bacon ($1), chicken ($4), steak/shrimp ($4), tuna ($6), or cedar-planked salmon ($6).
3. Honey shrimp salad @ Cantina Laredo ($13)-Diners may not expect great salads to come from Mexican restaurants but our favorite Mexican restaurant in Jacksonville continues to break the mold. Cantina Laredo’s honey shrimp salad consists of deliciously seasoned grilled shrimp, jimcama, mangos, roasted walnuts, goat cheese, and tossed in a honey vinaigrette.
2. Thai Kai salad @ J. Alexander’s ($13)-As you might expect from J. Alexander’s, this salad both huge and delicious. The Thai Kai salad has a base of mixed greens, piled high with crushed peanuts and then drizzed with Thai peanut sauce. The salad is usually tossed in J. Alexander’s cilantro vinaigrette, however, we prefer the fresh herb vinaigrette instead. Be advised, this is not an overly healthy salad. Livestrong.com lists the Thai Kai Salad at 470 calories. However, this number makes more sense in light of the fact that it’s a gigantic portion and most won’t be able to eat the whole thing.
1. BBQ ranch chicken salad @ Cheesecake Factory (~$10+)-The BBQ chicken ranch at Cheesecake has quickly become our favorite salad in Jacksonville. The salad is gigantic and comes with a lot of ingredients, which include: avocado, tomato, grilled corn, black beans, cucumber, romaine lettuce, grilled chicken with BBQ sauce, and crispy fried onion strings. All this is tossed in a BBQ ranch dressing that’s much more watery than your normal thick, creamy, ranch (this is a good thing). Thankfully, the salad is available in either a lunch or dinner portion. Click here to get an idea of the massive scale of the dinner portion.