Eating Healthy: Who Serves the Best Local Salad?

This week, your local editors tried salads at places in Frankfort, New Lenox and Mokena. After we give our reviews, let us know who you think has the best for a shot at winning a $50 gift card to a local restaurant.

If you're hoping to eat healthier in the new year you've come to the right place. This week, local editors Joe Vince (Frankfort), Michael Sewall (New Lenox) and Paul Dailing (Mokena) tried salads at restaurants in their respective Patch towns.

Read our reviews below, learn how to post your own and

Aurelio's Pizza, New Lenox (2 of 5 stars)

The good: I went to Aurelio's because I heard the chicken field green salad is good, but the New Lenox location didn't have it. I settled for the spinach salad, and the Italian dressing was unique and enjoyable. It was a fine starter salad.

The bad: There wasn't anything special about this salad. It came with flavorless mushrooms and the kind of onions you'd put on a hot dog at a ballgame. The croutons were quite small, and those were the only toppings.

Plaza Cafe, Frankfort (3.5 of 5 stars)

The good: The Plaza Cafe offers a nice variety of salads, and I ordered the Chef Dimitrios, which is a blend of mixed greens, bleu cheese, walnuts, raisins, red onions, a sun-dried tomato and strips of chicken breast. In fact, those ingredients take center stage instead of being overwhelmed by too much lettuce. The chicken was especially tender and nicely seasoned. 

The bad: Unfortunately, the dressing—a balsamic vinaigrette—was applied a little too liberally, making it a little too overpowering and tangy. This also caused some of the ingredients, like the raisins, to clump together.

Tribes Alehouse, Mokena (3.5 of 5 stars)

The good: When considering a place specializing in fancy beer and indulgent gourmet pub grub, a salad might not be the first thing to spring to mind. The menu has other thoughts, offering Caesar, steak, Asian chicken and garbage salads. I went for the side garden salad with house vinaigrette. Delicious, fresh and well-presented.

The bad: It is a side salad, so I couldn't have gotten a giant bowl of this like I wanted. Also, it was served in a shallow bowl shaped like a fat version of that squiggle over the n in some Spanish words (it's called a tilde). Presentation is important. So is having a bowl deep enough so you can eat a salad without a bunch going over the edge.

Lynn Conrad January 08, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Portillo's chopped salad trumps all other salads!!! They have a really good selection, I'm also a big fan of their garbage salad and the poppyseed fruit w/ chicken salad. Good stuff!
FrankfortWorkingMom January 08, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Parmesan's Chicken Caeser is the best. Lots of garlic. Don't expect anyone to kiss you for the rest of the day, but it's worth it!
Nikki Sanders January 09, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Mokena? Double Yolk - HUGE fab salads plus an enormous healthy muffin New Lenox? Matina Cafe - on Rt. 30 by the auto parts store. HUGE, creative, YUM,. Frankfort? That's the Aurelios you should have tried. Garbage Salad Extraordinaire.
Glenn Panner January 10, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Caffe Milan has a nice selection of salads in Frankfort. My favorite is their strawberry spinach salad which they make the dressing from scratch to order.
Michael Sewall January 18, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Hi Glenn, you won our random drawing today to be a finalist for the gift card giveaway. In a few weeks we'll conduct another random drawing among the finalists. Thank you for reading!


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