Working near Yonge & Bloor means there’s many options for a take-out lunch. The challenge is finding a meal that tastes good, and doesn’t cost more than $7. So far, the best find has long line-ups (but the line moves quickly) and serves healthy and hearty salads in the $4-$7 range.
The Salad House can be a little tricky to find. It’s located inside the Cumberland Terrace mall (2 Bloor Street West) on the main floor. Enter the main doors on Yonge Street (just north of the CIBC) then head straight down the hallway and keep to your right. There you’ll see Esther’s Soup Kitchen (also a decent lunch place) to the left and The Salad House and it’s long line of lunch regulars on the right.
No matter what you get (salad, special or wrap), everything’s made fresh to order. The concept is similar to the salad options at Freshii or Sandwich Box, but the prices are much lower. A Custom-Crafted Salad starts at $4.99 with choice of greens, 4 toppings and dressing.
I prefer to go for one of Salad House’s Pre-Crafted Salads. While they may not be completely traditional, in some cases they’re actually tastier. Choices include Cobb, Nicoise, Greek, Caesar, Caprese, Spinach and Pear, Smoked Salmon, Fatouch and Tabouleh. From what I’ve seen, the Nicoise and Cobb are the most popular and I usually go for the Cobb Salad. A small is a mere $3.99 and the large is $6.99. And believe me, I find the small is enough for a proper lunch.
The staff jam-pack a small styrofoam container with romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, chunks of seasoned chicken breast, avocado, tons of corn, a piece of hard-boiled egg and either feta or blue cheese. Most of their salads are topped with a house dressing (some kind of red wine vinaigrette) but I’ve never given it much thought because it’s tasty. As you can see, the small-sized salad can easily fill a large plate.
When I’m a bit hungrier, it’s all about the Salad House Special. For $5.49 you get a large container overflowing with greek salad, two scoops of sweet mashed potatoes, two stuffed vine leaves, a whole seasoned chicken breast topped with a dollop of tzatziki sauce.
Sometimes I can’t even finish this in one sitting which makes the low-price tag even more appealing. Stick that baby back in the fridge and I’ve got a snack for that 4pm craving.