I need a what for these greens?

1 Dec

I’d never in my life needed a handful of napkins to eat a salad… until the giant bale of veggies from Turf and Surf Po Boy, a trailer near 2nd and Colorado. It’s one of a handful parked in a lot each day — the others include Chi’Lantro (sometimes), Kebabalicious, Snap Kitchen (a new entry) and a coffee trailer whose name I’ve never noticed. Truth be told, I think it’s a bit (or a lot) ridiculous to order a salad from a po’ boy trailer, but on my first go round, I actually did order a po’ boy, and, umm… yeah. It was upsettingly huge and unweildingly messy. The flavor was good, but I would’ve had to unhinge my jaw like a python to get the entire thing in my mouth. Even after dumping three-quarters of the lettuce, what seemed like two full tomatoes, a handful of onions and cucumbers, I was still left with a veritable po’ salad… not to mention a load of soggy bread. All of that for about $12 — did I mention this place has a wonky pay structure? I’ll get to that later.

After the po’ boy experience, I was hesitant to get a salad here, but my vegetarian co-worker returned one day with a fantastic looking concoction that lured me in. The greens were fresh, the peppers were bright and colorful and there was a great mix of veggies — a far cry from the sad iceberg/tomato/carrot mix you so often find passing for salad at local eateries. After three salads there, I can say with certainty that I’ve found one of the best salads in town (or at the very least, in a trailer between 2nd and 3rd Sts.).

Ignore the work papers in the background.

The photo above is what I had — a small spinach salad with Alaskan salmon. The spinach is fresh and bright green, and there’s a mix of red and orange bell peppers, which I love, and a few sprigs of red onion. Sweet tomatoes and mushrooms round out the salad, which comes in at a bank-breaking $5 ($2.50 for the small). Where they get you, though, is the protein. My veggie friend at work may be able to walk away with a tasty lunch and change from her $5 bill, but I need something — chicken, shrimp, steak — to give my greens a little kick. Turf and Surf charges you full price for the additional protein, so you wind up paying three times as much for the topping, in effect, than you do for the salad. My entree was $2.50 but I added a piece of salmon for $11. Despite the portion size and the overall deliciousness, that always strikes me as odd. I place my order with a vague feeling that I’m being duped somehow. It just feels plain sneaky, like when you find a great deal on eBay only to realize the shipping  is twice the price of the item.

Nevertheless, I ordered my salad and added the wild Alaskan salmon, the arrival of which one of the hand-written signs advertised. That ‘you’ve been had!’ feeling completely vanished, though, once I got back to my office and opened the container. I think the last time I saw a fish this big, Jeff Corwin was pointing it out on Animal Planet. It was perfectly seasoned and seared, and was flaky and fork-tender. It came with two small cups of dressing, which was creamy and tangy; I opted for a full squeeze of the lime that was also included.

Thirty minutes in and there's still so. much. SALAD.

I seriously can’t say enough good things about the salad. You would think it wouldn’t take much to make a good one, but after enough bad ones, the good, filling ones stand out like the North Star. I felt like Adam Rich midway through the thing — it was like the Man v. Food version of a salad. I knew the size of the container logically, but I’d eat and eat and eat and look down to see just as much salad as before. It was like an optical illusion — a delicious one. The textures were crunchy and the flavors were rich; the salmon was a great addition with nary a trace of its trademark fishiness. I found myself returning time and time again to the lime for another squeeze, but near the end, I incorporated a bit of the dressing, too. It was neither cloying nor heavy, and added a great zest.

Remember as kids, if one friend said ‘I love Dr. Pepper!’, another kid would jump in with, ‘If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it!?’ That Dr. Pepper kid was me (and okay, okay, the smart alecky one was me, too). I want to marry this dish, again and again and again. It’s time to for us to rally around Turf and Surf and commence OSS – Occupy Salmon Salad.

-B

Going, going, gone.

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2 Responses to “I need a what for these greens?”

  1. IamSimplyTia December 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    That looks great!

    • Two Chicks and a Fork December 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

      It was! I’ll be posting more about salads — in a bid to save money and eat more heathfully, the Mister and I have been staying closer to home.

      -B

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