By Kara Kimbrough
Mississippi may be known for its consumption of fried foods, but judging from the response to Part I of my best salads recap, leafy, green meals are almost as popular. Sharing a few more of my favorite salads is no problem; the only obstacle is actually ordering them when so many tempting dishes are found on these restaurants' menus. But once you sample one or all of these salads, you may never go back to heavier fare.
1. Murky Waters
I’ve often discussed my obsession with Murky Waters’ barbecue. As a result, it’s hard not to order smoky, delectable ribs, brisket, wings and especially the restaurant’s famous “burnt ends,” but every now and then, I do. Thankfully, the restaurant with locations in Hattiesburg, Gulfport and Ocean Springs offers salads topped with some of my favorite Murky Waters meats and seafood. Choose from among pulled pork or chicken, chopped steak or brisket and fried, grilled or blackened shrimp.
2. The Vault
Traveling on U.S. 49 between Jackson and Hattiesburg around meal time? Stop in at The Vault, where a delicious, filling fried chicken salad awaits you. Filled with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and bacon and topped with crispy chicken (shrimp, steak, crawfish tails and salmon are other choices) it’s a meal that’ll make salads rise in your esteem. As a reminder, The Vault is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
I fell in love with wedge salads last summer when dining last summer at Stinky’s in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. Memories of thick bacon pieces and green goddess dressing drizzled over a lettuce wedge linger in my mind. Finding a similar salad at Georgia Blue (Hattiesburg, Flowood, Madison, Brookhaven, Southaven and Starkville) helped satisfy my craving. Georgia Blue's towering iceberg wedge topped with chopped onions, tomatoes, Applewood smoked blue cheese and praline bacon pieces satisfied my Stinky’s craving. Ranch dressing is offered instead of green goddess, but praline bacon more than makes up for the substitution.
4. Crazy Cat Eat Up
When seeking a simple summery salad, look no further than Crazy Cat Eat Up. This locally owned neighborhood Jackson eatery serves up tons of homemade delicacies, but Crazy Cat’s steak and berry summer salad fills the bill for a light, yet delicious meal. A healthy concoction of local green, fresh berries, goat cheese, pecans and brown butter vinaigrette, it’s a noble distraction from Crazy Cat’s heartier dishes.
Last, Doe’s is famous for its mammoth grilled steaks and like many others, I’m a huge fan. A memorable steak dinner at Doe’s in Biloxi’s Margaritaville Resort last summer was highlighted by the restaurant’s equally renowned salad. It’s simple enough – a basic lettuce, tomatoes and onions salad – but the tangy vinaigrette dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper takes things to another level. Don't just take my word for it; it’s a salad that has delighted Doe’s diners for decades.