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Restaurant lunch highlights:

Gainesville Greens: World of Vinaigrettes!

Gainesville Greens: World of Vinaigrettes!

KATvMug0313Hello, my name is Kate Valdovinos, and welcome to Gainesville Greens, my contribution to the Gainesville Lunch out Blog. I am looking forward to sharing the green side of lunch opportunities with you!  When I discussed the idea for writing this column with the GLOB Master, his focus was for me to cover the lunchtime salad scene in Gainesville. In fact, his idea was to call this column "Gainesville's Salad Lady." That was a good idea, and I do love salads, but I think there is going to be more to Gainesville Greens than arugula and croutons. Don't be surprised to find different kinds of interesting, green subject matter wrapped around your GLOB salad fork.

The Wonderful World of Vinaigrettes!

"People aren't either wicked or noble. They're like chef's salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict."

― Lemony Snicket, The Grim Grotto

032013O&VWikipedia describes vinaigrette as "a mixture of, such as soybean oil, canola oil, olive oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, grape seed oil, and vinegar, sometimes flavored with herbs, spices, and other ingredients.

Kitchen Project says that vinaigrette dressing was used as long ago as 1699 as a dressing for vegetables. It was one of the easiest and basic ways to add flavor to many different foods - by adding just a bit more vinegar than olive oil you can get a sweet and bitter taste, and by adding more olive oil and spices to vinegar you can get a rich and savory taste. Since both of these ingredients have been around since people began using fermentation in cooking (according to ehow), it has proven to be a staple of not only salad dressings, but added flavor for a variety of recipes.

The calorie intake of vinaigrette varies, but Fat Secret says that it's about 43 calories per Tbs (86% fat, 14% carbs, 0% protein). There are many different variations of vinaigrette, some fat free, some with more herbs to replace the olive oil, and others with extra vinegar, so these numbers change depending on where you are or what you're purchasing.

Vinaigrette is also my absolute favorite salad dressing of all time.

I'm not sure if it's the variety of vinaigrettes available or that I just love the taste of vinegar, but if there's an option for vinaigrette on a salad that I'm ordering, I choose it. I especially love house vinaigrettes, because then it has a special twist based on the cook's personal experience or education without straying too far from a general vinaigrette.

So here is a list of my favorite Gainesville salads with (and because of the) vinaigrette dressing on them. Click on the links to read about the salads!

032013RedOThe Red Onion Grill Uptown Spinach Salad – This salad was great! The vinaigrette was perfect and it went really well with the onions.


032013BistroBistro to Go Caprese Salad – I LOVE CAPRESE SALADS! Bistro to Go is my favorite restaurant and so naturally their caprese was perfect. The dressing was homemade.

032013BocaBoca Fiesta's Taco Salad with Okra – This dressing was a lime-cilantro vinaigrette and even though my roommate hated it, I am in love with that dressing. This is the only salad in Gainesville that I've gotten more than 2 times.




032013LeosLeonardo's 706 Organic Salad – This was a hearty salad and the vinaigrette helped everything blend together.


Satchel's Pizza Salad – This was a house vinaigrette and was perfect. Everything was perfect with the salad but the apples were perfect and interesting.

I thought I'd give one shout-out to my favorite vinaigrette that can be purchased (as shown in my roommate's saladte's salad here).

The dressing was the light version of Ken's Balsamic Vinaigrette – AMAZING!!

Kate Valdovinos is the Editor of  Kate's Gainesville Salad Blog and will be discussing with GLOBers all things leafy, green, and healthy with a large dollop of yummy.

Last modified onSunday, 16 June 2013 17:37


  • Cathy DeWitt
    Cathy DeWitt Wednesday, 20 March 2013 12:52 Comment Link

    Great column! We love the Red Onion, and play music there once a month. The most amazing salad there is the Brazilian Chop...You must try it sometime! I promise you'll love it.
    Our new favorite things to do with greens are making kale chips, and roasting brussel sprouts in the oven. Can you address the idea of kale chips sometime? It's hard to get them right!

  • Kathryn Lehman
    Kathryn Lehman Wednesday, 20 March 2013 10:59 Comment Link

    Great Gainesville greens Salad choices! Can't wait to check them out.

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