Did you catch this article by Barb Gonzales in the Bend Bulletin? We are proud and not at all surprised that recognition for the top salads in Central Oregon went to our hard-working and gifted partners Boundless Farmstead, Sungrounded Farm, and Dome Grown Produce. Check out some excerpts from this exhaustively-researched piece:
Although I typically order meat or other hot entrees when I go out, it would be better for my health and waistline to order salads. As COVID-isolation pounds linger, it’s time to get healthy. Inspired, I went in search of the best salads in Central Oregon. Armed by suggestions from a Bend foodie group, I spent two weeks eating salads from local restaurants. There were no bad salads, but some stood out above the others.
In short order, it became clear what makes a great salad. Daily fresh greens and vegetables from local farms were more flavorful. The top salads were sourced either from Dome Grown Produce, Sungrounded Farm or Boundless Farmstead. The best salads play many tastes and textures against each other. When sweet and sour from fruit, creaminess of cheese, nuttiness, and savory come together, the mix is truly mouth-watering.
Some of Barb’s top salads in Central Oregon:
Kale Salad from Vine-N-Tap in Redmond — Vine-N-Tap opened on 7th Street the day restaurants closed for the pandemic. Its Kale Salad was perfection. Tender Russian Kale was mixed with chewier dinosaur Kale and tossed in molasses and cider vinaigrette. There was no bitterness to the Sungrounded Farm greens. Sweet potato and chunks of roasted beets added sweetness. Aged Manchego cheese and sunflower seeds complemented the mix. The nuttiness from crunchy wheat berries pulled it all together. Optional fried chicken added perfectly to the mix.
Any Salad at Garden Cafe — A variety of fresh lettuce from Boundless Farmstead is the beginning of the extraordinary salads at Garden Cafe. They are as beautiful as they are flavorful. Split pea pods, rainbow radishes, carrot ribbons, and flowers—peppery nasturtiums, violets, rose petals—add a variety of flavor. I chose the salad with a light and creamy cilantro peptic hemp dressing. Choose any of the salads on the menu or ask for one customized to your taste. All are fresh and a treat for your tastebuds.
Magical Green Falafel Salad Bowl from Bethlyn’s Global Fusion … Dome Grown Produce’s fresh veggies make up this salad of romaine, spinach and butter lettuce with sliced carrots, tomatoes, and cucumber topped with maple tahini dressing. Roasted India chickpeas and smoky grilled eggplant give it a middle eastern touch. It comes with roasted pepper hummus for dipping the falafel balls and tofu cubes.
Thai Peanut Salad from Jackson’s Corner — This is a fresh, not heavy take on a Thai salad. The dressing had a bit of a sour bite at first, but it was a light peanut flavor as it settled. Strips of chicken, extra cilantro, radishes slices, and peanuts are plentiful over a spring mix.
Thanks, Barb and The Bulletin for helping us to connect in healthy, refreshing ways during these dog days of Central Oregon summer. We are grateful for you and, as always, grateful for our amazing partners and the community that supports them!
Photo: The Garden Cafe and ORA Juice (@thegardencafebend)