The Dollar-Wise Gourmet: Salad Days of Summer


Crunching on salad doesn’t have to mean credit crunch. Check out these sweet deals, all under $8.

Couscous Salad, $6.95

Cafe Morocco

Wow! We were knocked out by the robust flavor of this deliciously herby, garlicky couscous salad, a cool and crunchy mix of couscous with fresh greens, chopped tomato, cucumber, onion and green olives, laced with a creamy garlic dressing. Accompanied by warm pita bread.

1221 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento

Thai Noodle Salad, $7

Cafe Bernardo Midtown

Spicy peanut dressing is what gives this tantalizing Thai salad its to-die-for status. In the mix: thin noodles, shredded chicken, carrots, cucumbers and scallions; crunchy peanuts add texture. Dollar-Wise tip: Save money with the small Thai salad ($4.50)&emdash;the large may be more than you can handle. (It was for me.)

2726 Capitol Ave., Sacramento

Salad Sampler, $6.50 per pound

Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op

Creative vegetarian cuisine abounds at the co-op, where the salad bar is $6.99 a pound and the salad sampler from the deli (my choice) is $6.50 a pound; options change daily. My tasty trifecta: kung pao tofu, Greek pasta and garlic lover’s pasta, all vigorously and skillfully seasoned and bursting with wholesome goodness.

1900 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento

Salad Niçoise, $7.50

Cafe Rolle

Tender chunks of salmon and a zippy Dijon vinaigrette lift this French classic out of the ordinary. It’s served on a bountiful bed of spring mix, with luscious red tomatoes, hard-boiled egg and green beans. A bonus: crusty baguette slices.

5357 H St., Sacramento

Adobe Salad, $6.95

Dos Coyotes Border Cafe

Will a fork suffice, or do you need a shovel? With a heap of greens this big, you’ll feel like you’re wading through a forest&emdash;one dotted with corn, jicama, red onion, black beans, tomatoes, shredded cheese, guacamole and sour cream, topped with Southwestern vinaigrette and piled on a warm flour tortilla.

2030 Douglas Blvd., Roseville