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Bistro La Bon

7 Salads in Charlotte To Eat During the Romaine Crisis

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Just over a week ago, America received the unsettling news that all romaine lettuce in the country was unsafe to eat and should be thrown out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the warning after an E. coli outbreak affected 32 people in 11 states. On Nov. 28, the CDC narrowed that warning to just avoid romaine lettuce harvested from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California.

Still in doubt? Don’t let the romaine crisis stop all salad savoring. Here are 7 non-romaine salad options to dig into in Charlotte.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Pinky's Westside Grill

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This funky dive (complete with a pink Christmas tree at the West Morehead Street location during holiday time) has a penchant for making fried salads feel healthy. Grab a tahini salad packed into a paper food boat. It’s stacked with mixed greens, red onion, cucumber, heaps of feta cheese, tomato, pepperoncini, toasted sesame seeds, and four crispy falafel cakes, plus creamy tahini on the side. All that’s needed is some plastic silverware.

Bistro La Bon

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Known for its delectable small plates, bold wine selection and cozy atmosphere, Bistro La Bon boasts a reliable salad default: the iceberg wedge. The small-plate salad features gorgonzola, cherry tomatoes, Applewood bacon, banana peppers, and blue cheese. Chase it with the wild mushroom ravioli.

Bistro La Bon

Sabor Latin Street Grill

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Now stretching across 11 locations in Charlotte, this fast-casual establishment dishes out fresh, vibrant, and inexpensive Latin-inspired fare. The taco salad is delivered in the form of a flour tortilla bowl heaping with shredded iceberg lettuce, queso, rice, refried or black beans, pico de gallo, sour cream, and cotija cheese. Add a choice of protein, from the shredded chicken to the tofu ranchero, and don’t forget to lop on some salsa from the self-serve salsa bar.

Finicky Lady

Living Kitchen

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A little gem for raw vegan cuisine in South End, Living Kitchen shares inventive plays on sushi, burritos, and more. Opt for the arugula harvest salad and expect an overflowing platter of arugula, purple cabbage, spiralized sweet potatoes, pear, avocado, caramelized pecans, cashew-basil cheese, sprouts, and maple-mustard vinaigrette with a kick of tangy sweetness. For a heartier version, top it with the gluten-free, quinoa-millet veggie burger dubbed the Fire & Brimstone burger.

Fern, Flavors from the Garden

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This innovative vegetarian hots pot is loaded with veggie indulgences. Try the Lolla Rossa salad with red leaf lettuce, chopped tomatoes, pickled market vegetables, coconut bacon, torn cornbread croutons, and buttermilk dill ranch dressing. Yes, it’s crucial to top the goodness with vegan fried chicken.

The Mayobird

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Prefer to avoid lettuce altogether until the warnings are lifted? No judgment. This snug cafe whips up more than a dozen chicken salad variations, served by the scoop or by the sandwich. Try a light option like the Skinny Bird, with plain chicken salad and light mayonnaise, or go all in with theloaded chicken salad served with bacon, sour cream, chives, and cheddar. Add some crunch with homemade pita chips on the side.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

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While Firebirds operates locations across the country, the wood-fired grill with a lofty, mountain-lodge vibe first opened its doors in Charlotte nearly two decades ago. Steak and seafood are staples here. Lettuce lovers: Try the seared tuna superfoods salad, a nest of spinach loaded with organic ancient grains, seared sushi-grade tuna, cucumbers, avocado, edamame, grilled corn, and radish, splashed with avocado green goddess dressing.

Pinky's Westside Grill

This funky dive (complete with a pink Christmas tree at the West Morehead Street location during holiday time) has a penchant for making fried salads feel healthy. Grab a tahini salad packed into a paper food boat. It’s stacked with mixed greens, red onion, cucumber, heaps of feta cheese, tomato, pepperoncini, toasted sesame seeds, and four crispy falafel cakes, plus creamy tahini on the side. All that’s needed is some plastic silverware.

Bistro La Bon

Bistro La Bon

Known for its delectable small plates, bold wine selection and cozy atmosphere, Bistro La Bon boasts a reliable salad default: the iceberg wedge. The small-plate salad features gorgonzola, cherry tomatoes, Applewood bacon, banana peppers, and blue cheese. Chase it with the wild mushroom ravioli.

Bistro La Bon

Sabor Latin Street Grill

Finicky Lady

Now stretching across 11 locations in Charlotte, this fast-casual establishment dishes out fresh, vibrant, and inexpensive Latin-inspired fare. The taco salad is delivered in the form of a flour tortilla bowl heaping with shredded iceberg lettuce, queso, rice, refried or black beans, pico de gallo, sour cream, and cotija cheese. Add a choice of protein, from the shredded chicken to the tofu ranchero, and don’t forget to lop on some salsa from the self-serve salsa bar.

Finicky Lady

Living Kitchen

A little gem for raw vegan cuisine in South End, Living Kitchen shares inventive plays on sushi, burritos, and more. Opt for the arugula harvest salad and expect an overflowing platter of arugula, purple cabbage, spiralized sweet potatoes, pear, avocado, caramelized pecans, cashew-basil cheese, sprouts, and maple-mustard vinaigrette with a kick of tangy sweetness. For a heartier version, top it with the gluten-free, quinoa-millet veggie burger dubbed the Fire & Brimstone burger.

Fern, Flavors from the Garden

This innovative vegetarian hots pot is loaded with veggie indulgences. Try the Lolla Rossa salad with red leaf lettuce, chopped tomatoes, pickled market vegetables, coconut bacon, torn cornbread croutons, and buttermilk dill ranch dressing. Yes, it’s crucial to top the goodness with vegan fried chicken.

The Mayobird

Prefer to avoid lettuce altogether until the warnings are lifted? No judgment. This snug cafe whips up more than a dozen chicken salad variations, served by the scoop or by the sandwich. Try a light option like the Skinny Bird, with plain chicken salad and light mayonnaise, or go all in with theloaded chicken salad served with bacon, sour cream, chives, and cheddar. Add some crunch with homemade pita chips on the side.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

While Firebirds operates locations across the country, the wood-fired grill with a lofty, mountain-lodge vibe first opened its doors in Charlotte nearly two decades ago. Steak and seafood are staples here. Lettuce lovers: Try the seared tuna superfoods salad, a nest of spinach loaded with organic ancient grains, seared sushi-grade tuna, cucumbers, avocado, edamame, grilled corn, and radish, splashed with avocado green goddess dressing.

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