Lunch in a Pinch!

July 23rd, 2012


Il Fornaio Salad-1050179

A couple of months ago, I discovered the “create-your-own salad” carryout bar in the bakery/cafe section of my local Il Fornaio restaurant and have been absolutely hooked ever since.  The salads run $6.99 and are not only quite large, but healthy, delicious, and entirely diabetic-friendly — if you choose the correct toppings, of course.  The meal is now my go-to lunch staple when I am on the run and since there are Il Fornaio outposts located all over the U.S., including 16 in California alone, I thought the dish was most-definitely blog-worthy.

The create-your-own salads are mixed right in front of you, much like a sandwich is made at Subway.  You start by choosing one of three different lettuce assortments – mixed field greens, romaine or spinach – which a server will pour into a large bowl.  Then you pick up to five toppings – choices include cucumber, bacon, feta cheese, bleu cheese, mushrooms, tofu, hard-boiled eggs, and broccoli, among countless others – which the server will also mix into the bowl. Tuna or chicken can also be added on for an additional $2.59.

Il Fornaio Salad-1050180

Finally, you choose from five different dressings, including ranch and classic Caesar.  I always get my dressing on the side so that I can mix it in later when I am ready to eat.

Il Fornaio Make Your Own Salad-1000454

I often get asked for fast and easy to-go meal solutions and I have to say that Il Fornaio’s salad is my number-one choice. It is quick (the servers mix it all up in less than two minutes), easily transportable, very low in carbs (if, as I said above, you choose your toppings wisely), and fairly reasonably priced, especially for its size.  If I know I am going to be out all day and will not have a lot of healthy lunch options to choose from wherever I am going, I will stop by Il Fornaio in the morning and grab a salad to take with me. And while these kinds of make-you-own salads can be found in delicatessens all over New York, this is the first time that I have ever spotted such a thing in the Los Angeles area.  To see if there is an Il Fornaio located near you, you can visit the restaurant’s official website here.

Il Fornaio Make Your Own Salad-1000459

2 Responses to “Lunch in a Pinch!”

  1. Susie says:

    I am out the door right now to get one! Thanks.

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