Chopped vegetable salad at BLT Steak
A mountain of uniformly chopped vegetables in every color of the rainbow erupts with flavor thanks to sharp bites of bitter lettuce and briny feta. An expertly emulsified dressing lends body and tang to this unforgettably crisp, cool pile of crunch. $15. 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. 404-577-7601. www.bltsteak.com.
Goi salad at Com
This is the easiest way to introduce skeptics to the glory of Vietnamese cuisine. Julienned mango, papaya and green apples are tossed with peanuts, herbs and a dressing that floods every part of the palate — from salty to sweet and slightly spicy. Juicy, crisp and a bit tart, too. $10. 4005 Buford Highway. 404-320-0405. www.comgrillrestaurant.com.
Kitchen sink salad at Community Q BBQ
Leave it to this barbecue place with a commitment to local food to elevate a salad the same way it has barbecue. Local baby lettuce leaves piled into a family-sized commercial grade stainless steel bowl act as a stage for the freshest veggies available. Slices of red beets lend a pink tinge to the boiled egg. Julienned pear adds a kiss of sweetness, while potatoes offer starchy heft. The vinaigrette brings it all together in a tart symphony of flavor. SHOUT-OUT: French fries. $6.50. 1361 Clairmont Road, Decatur. 404-633-2080. www.communityqbbq.com.
Pea shoot salad at H. Harper Station
Freshness incarnate, this salad won't last long, but while it's pea season get thee to a table and order this jumble of vivid green goodness. Peas intertwine with spindly twists of pea shoots, singing their sweet, crunchy vegetal song. Dressed simply in a lemony vinaigrette with a smattering of fresh herbs, this is bunny food for the gods. $7. 904 Memorial Drive. 678-732-0415. www.hharperstation.com.
Super food at Empire State South
Carnivorous salad lovers rejoice! The super food plate takes a tour through the upper echelons of the veggie kingdom, and delivers its bounty alongside slices of bloody hanger steak. Apart from lovingly dressed lettuce leaves, expect an assortment of thoughtful grain and legume salads such as lentils with favas, orange segments, goat cheese and pecans. $14. 999 Peachtree St. 404-541-1105. www.empirestatesouth.com.
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