These fresh salads promise to bowl you over

When many of us think of a salad, we think of lettuce and random vegetables tossed with whatever dressing we can find in the fridge. Not much excitement, and not much flavor. But new approaches—and interesting ingredients—have reinvented this classic dish, meaning we never have to settle for a boring salad again. Here are some of the best we’ve found at local establishments.


AeroJuice

4690 N. State Road 7, #105, Coconut Creek; 954.933.2339; aerojuice.net

Working quickly to offer healthy foods at the peak of freshness, AeroJuice has breakfast items, power shots and smoothies, paninis and more. Its tofu salad is made with organic tofu, quinoa, mixed greens, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and carrots. Dressing options are as vast as the salads—balsamic vinegar, Caesar, lemon olive oil, Thousand Island, ranch, blue cheese, pesto and acai.

Carbon Juice Bar

5750 N. State Road 7, Coconut Creek; 954.623.6260; carbonjuicebar.com

Using organic, GMO free and fair-trade ingredients, Carbon Juice Bar has another way to keep you motivated in your healthy journey—it’s located inside the American Top Team Training Facility. Owners Elena Daniele and Jessica “Jag” Aguilar offer a kale salad with quinoa, mint, cherry tomatoes and honey mustard tahini dressing with sesame seed butter. Other favorites include various juices, smoothies, acai bowls and more.

Salad Creations

Promenade at Coconut Creek; 4437 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek; 754.800.7176; saladcreations.net

Salad Creations says its aim is to “share some goodness,” and it does that with a dedication to fresh, locally grown produce. Sophie’s Strawberry Chicken salad is a popular choice: mixed greens, grilled chicken and strawberries topped with mandarin oranges, cranberries, candied pecans and goat cheese. Patrons also can create their own salads: Choose base greens, toppings and dressings.

Ethos Greek Bistro

Promenade at Coconut Creek; 4437 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek; 754.999.0050; ethosbistro.com

Keeping tradition alive, the Greek salad at Ethos stirs the palate—a mix of house greens, vine-ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, feta cheese and Kalamata olives, glazed with red wine vinegar and olive oil. Regular customers also suggest the zucchini croquettes and the Mediterranean bronzini.

Zona Fresca

800 N. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach; 954.781.0030; zonafresca.com

The fresh Mexican grill has a bold twist for the classic salad. The chopped nopales features lettuce, grilled cactus, avocado, cucumbers and onions tossed with oregano vinaigrette for a burst of flavor, with options to add chicken, steak or grilled shrimp. Its burritos are built to fill, and with a variety to choose from, there’s something for everyone.

Ciao Cucina and Bar

Promenade at Coconut Creek, 4443 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek; 954.601.1234; ciaocucina.com

New to the menu, the tuna niçoise salad quickly has become a favorite for regulars. A fresh blend of vegetables—such as tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, red onions, grilled asparagus and roasted red pepper—is paired with sushi-grade tuna and a refreshing olive oil lemon vinaigrette. Its pizzas also are popular, from the simple margherita to a meat lovers variety.

Raw Addiction

8200 Wiles Road, Coral Springs; 954.753.1418; rawaddictioncoralsprings.com

Incorporating organic ingredients grown by local farmers, Raw Addiction hopes to promote a wellness-filled lifestyle through its menu. A great place to start is with the cilantro-lime avocado chicken salad—a whole stuffed avocado, served with an organic spring salad mix, tomato and carrot, dressed with vegan cilantro lime dressing. Other organic menu items include a Southwest salad, featuring organic mixed lettuce, black beans, corn, red pepper, tomatoes, cilantro vegan cheese and vegan ranch dressing.

Rubio’s Coastal Grill

4425 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek; 954.200.6677; rubios.com

Inspired by the restaurant’s beach roots, the chipotle orange salad continues to be a popular dish. It’s a blend of spring mix and butter lettuces, topped with mandarin oranges, fire-roasted corn, fresno chilis, avocado slices and black beans, and served with a side of tortilla chips. The chipotle orange vinaigrette and white sauce may be complemented with pan-seared shrimp, grilled or blackened mahimahi, coho salmon, grilled chicken or grilled vegetables.