Tonight after work, my mom and I had a much-needed girls night out
We treated ourselves to French pedicures and decided to try out a new Gourmet Salad joint that had some great reviews on Yelp.
Giardino is a cute little locally-owned salad joint that has been the talk of the town. Word on the street was that it was very similar to my favorite gourmet salad joint in Orlando Designer Greens. After hearing that little tidbit, it didn’t take me long to scurry my little booty over to this restaurant to check out what all the hype was about.
Dig my reflection, eh?
Upon entrance, I immediately realized that the feel was very similar to a Subway-type restaurant where you order at a counter and watch them assemble your creation before your eyes. I enjoy these types of quick-paced eating joints due to the fact that I can watch my meal as it is put together (and make sure nobody spits in it, of course )
There was a large sign hanging up with the different signature salad combinations and what each of them contained. The woman behind the counter was very helpful in pointing out that the salads circled in white were their most popular selections.
There was also an easy-to-follow guideline of how to “create your own salad” (CYOS) and which options and toppings you could choose from. The standard CYOS came with your choice of lettuce, four of the toppings ($.65 per extra topping), dressing, and croutons with the option of adding a protein (chicken, turkey, tofu, or shrimp) for $1.00.
With watering mouths we took our seats and dug in. (yes, that is a vampire smiley and yes, it is appropriate for the manner in which I tore up this meal)
I ordered the “Create your own salad” with romaine lettuce, shrimp, garbanzo beans, avocados, sundried tomatoes, black olives, and beets with basil balsamic vinaigrette. My salad was exactly what I was looking for—all of my favorite flavors in one bowl! The dressing was the best part and I pretty much drowned my entire salad in the magical stuff. I don’t think its necessary to mention that I devoured the whole thing
My mom ordered The Habanero with shrimp which included romaine lettuce, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers with citrus cilantro vinaigrette and plantain chips. She wasn’t too crazy about hers and kept comparing it to another Southwestern-type favorite at Designer Greens. Regardless, she admitted that it was satisfying and the plantain chips were delicious (I might or might not have stolen a few )
Overall, our experience at Giardino was very enjoyable and I would definitely visit again. I enjoyed the multitude of salad options and toppings, as well as the fact that they had shrimp as a protein option!) The only thing I would change about my experience would be the containers that the salads were served in (at Designer Greens your salad is literally served in a mixing bowl!)
This morning, breakfast included some new fixings1/4 cup of cream of buckwheat, 1 cup of water, 1 Tablespoon ground flax, 1 sliced banana, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and Truvia topped with a handful of blueberries, 1 Teaspoon of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and 1 teaspoon of Smuckers Simply Fruit Strawberry Jelly.
Along with a Christmas cup of hazelnut coffee
The weekend is here! I am off to la playa (the beach 8) ) Catch you later!
A bit to think about: Have you ever been to a gourmet salad restaurant? Did you roll with a pre-made salad idea or did you fend for yourself with the “Create your own” option?