Salad: Cosi Lighter Side Signature Salad
Verdict: OK, OK, the jig is up. I missed yesterday due to poor planning. I was craving something new and different for lunch and decided to go to a local Armenian place that everyone at my office raves about. I was even going to get the jajik, a luscious cucumber salad with yogurt dressing, and pair it with their famed red lentil soup in order to meet the parameters of my 30D/30S throwdown, but then I saw the lunch Combination #2 plate. It was all over. It was delicious insanity, complete with filo dough, cheese, and a white bean dish that I practically licked the carry-out container clean of. I regret nothing. Except the fact that my husband and I then had a craving for tacos that night. Perhaps, like Mina in Copolla's rendition of Dracula, I am a bad, inconstant woman...
The Armenian place was kind enough to throw some "salad" into the combination mix. It was about a half a cup's worth of romaine with a truly tasty dressing that I will be attempting at home sometime soon. But it really wasn't salad in the sense of the challenge, i.e., the lion's share of a given meal. So I throw myself upon the reader's tender mercies and admit that yesterday, 30D/30S was a complete bust. Such is my shame.
And so I come today, humble, contrite, chastened, with news of my third salad. Cosi is a tasty place that, while a little farther up on the pricey-lunch-scale (a salad will run you $8), still manages to help you get your fruits and veggies in for the day. A word of caution about eating at this establishment: the salads can often be total, unapologetic salad bombs (def: a salad that appears healthy, but has so many fixings and special goodies in it that its caloric content is waaaaaaay higher than the consumer anticipates it to be). They are delicious, but can clock in at 600-800 calories depending on what you get and whether or not you eat the flat bread that comes with it.
With this in mind, and yesterday's failures still fresh, I went for one of their Lighter Side menu salads, their refurbished Signature Salad, and had them give me their rustic (read: white) flat bread. They do have a whole grain flat bread, but it's a few calories more and really not worth it. The salad is a great concoction of fruit, romaine, spring greens, pistachios and a smattering of blue cheese (the regular Signature Salad has more). It's topped off with a pretty yummy and not-terribly-acidic balsamic vinagrette that rounds out the flavor nicely.
It's a shame that so many of their salads are so calorie-dense, really. This is a place that I would readily visit during my challenege to keep things simple and appetizing. As it is I may experiment with having them serve the dressings on the side if I find that it makes a big difference in the final count. Until then though, I'll be happy with this version of their Signature Salad.