What: Nora’s Nutty Salad
Where: Karen’s Café, 77682 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert
How much: $8.50
Contact info: 760-772-2800
Why: The crunch and the hint of sweetness.
I’ll be perfectly honest with you: I did not want to order Nora’s Nutty Salad.
Don’t get me wrong; the salad sounded yummy—I like romaine lettuce, cukes, tomatoes, onions, sunflower seeds, almonds, honey-sesame cashews and chicken—but Karen’s Café also serves breakfast, which means things like eggs and bacon are available, and really: Is there anything yummier on this planet than eggs and freaking bacon?
But, y’know, healthiness and losing weight are important, too, and Nora’s Nutty Salad came highly recommended by Nora herself (she’s the owner; she bought the place from Karen, apparently) at this charming little diner, located in the back corner of a Palm Desert industrial-area strip-mall building. So, I ordered the damn salad, even as the smell of freaking bacon wafted out of the kitchen.
In the end, I was glad I ordered the damn salad.
While what I received didn’t exactly match what was listed on the menu—walnuts and black olives were nowhere to be found, and the honey-sesame cashews that were present seemed more like honey-sesame powder clumps—what I received was delicious. The sweetness provided by the honey whatever-it-was enhanced the flavor of the fresh veggies, and the chicken was deliciously moist.
The mouth-feel of the salad nice and fun, too. Unlike most salads, this was crunchy in a variety of festive ways, thanks to the cucumbers, the sunflower seeds and the almond slices. The ranch dressing came on the side—always my preference with salad—which meant things didn’t get too soggy.
The best thing I can say about this salad: When I was finished, my taste buds were happy, despite the lack of bacon—and that meant that for one meal, at least, my waistline was happy, too.