Chicago Steakhouses Where You Can Get a Good Damn Salad
None of us goes to a steakhouse for vegetables. We go to a steakhouse for steak, right? But as our moms told us, eat your damn greens. Fortunately, for those of us who love steak, there are a few Chicago steakhouses where you an get a good damn salad.
STK Chicago offers steak in some of the swankiest surroundings in the city, and befitting the stylish environment, you can also get an elegant salad that will set up your stomach for the meat onslaught soon to come. The Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad is a big winner, with the namesake vegetable as well as cranberries, Marcona almonds, aged goat cheese and apple; it’s a great way to start a meal of red meat and wine. For more delicate appetites, there’s a Baby Gem Lettuce salad, but we have to ask, if you have a delicate appetite, what are you doing at a steakhouse?
Chicago Chop House offers way more than just a chopped salad. You can get a Caesar or Baby Spinach Salad, but when you’re at a steakhouse, it’s all about the excess, so why not go just a little overboard. The Chop House Salad is a mix of Boston and Romain lettuce (variety keeps it interesting, and interesting is always a challenge with salads), along with red cabbage, sliced scallions, feta cheese, and (here’s what you’re really going to love) bacon. It’s all dressed with a moderate amount of creamy Parmesan cheese and it’s so good you may forget you’re eating a salad and that you came to Chicago Chop House for a steak.
Maple & Ash is the epitome of Gold Coast grandeur, with some of the grandest steaks – and salads – you’ll find in the city. Maple & Ash has all the classic steaks, and some especially creative salads, like the King Crab and Butter Lettuce Salad, with charred avocado, radish, cucumber, mint and basil, or the Roasted Beets and Shaved Greens Salad, with rosemary roasted almonds, green apples and whipped goat cheese. Or you can get a salad of prime steak meatballs, but that’s kind of cheating, isn’t it? Eat your greens and dream of the meat soon to come.
Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse has the word “Italian” right there in the middle of the restaurant’s name, and the place does a strong nod to the Mediterranean diet with salads that nicely complement the big hunk o’meat that you went there to eat. The Tuscan Kale Salad features very Italian pine nuts, pecorino and balsamic vinegar, as well as tongue-tickling apple and currants (we like to get this salad as a side, while we munch on meat).
The Palm is one of the Chicago dining community’s mainstays for steak, but their salads deserve equal attention. The Steakhouse Wedge is classic, with the namesake slice of iceberg as well as candied bacon, pickled onion, cherry tomatoes and Danish blue cheese – almost a meal in itself. For a more creative way into your meal of meat, there’s Monday Night “Chop Chop” Salad, with finely chopped romaine, iceberg, tomato, onion, roasted pepper, radish, scallion and anchovy. Helpfully, The Palm puts the calories for each salad in parentheses (as if you cared – that beautiful piece of meat you’re waiting for is dripping with lush, delicious fat).