By Courtney Llewellyn
Reminder Assistant Editor
WILBRAHAM -- This reporter tends to support local, independent eateries when it comes time to chow down. When lunchtime rolls around, it's almost always sandwich time but when the sun starts sinking and I'm ready to sup, I'll go wherever for whatever my palate desires.
We received a press release from Friendly's last week about the latest additions to their menu -- three new salads for those who want to enjoy the Friendly's atmosphere while eating healthier. I was intrigued.
Friendly's is usually my go-to spot for cold, creamy treats but I rarely think of salads when I think of the locally-based restaurant chain. The three new options -- Southwest Chipotle Chicken Salad, Bleu Moon Sirloin Salad and Apple Harvest Chicken Salad -- all appeared appetizing to me so I had to figure out what I was craving the evening I went to the Friendly's on North Main Street in East Longmeadow.
The palate was craving steak.
The menu says this of the Bleu Moon Sirloin Salad: "Flavors collide when fresh grilled USDA sirloin steak tips meet fresh salad greens, julienned green peppers, grape tomatoes, crumbled bleu cheese and onion straws." It's served with low fat Dijon vinaigrette dressing.
All the veggies in my salad were fresh and crisp and the sirloin steak tips were deliciously well done. I normally dress my salads with balsamic vinegar, but the Dijon vinaigrette was perfectly paired.
It was a big salad. I was definitely sated when I was done. (I also completed my healthy salad dinner with a Fribble shake. It was 89 degrees that day. I needed it!)
According to the release from Friendly's, the new salads are part of the company's overall effort to show its guests that they use quality ingredients and make all meals fresh. Friendly's also wants to let its guests know that they can have healthier meal options when dining at its restaurants.
"I believe we will surprise many guests with our quality, flavor and variety," Friendly's Executive Chef Andre Fuehr said.
The three new salads complement what Friendly's already offered -- Crispy Chicken Salad, Asian Chicken Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad and Kickin' Buffalo Chicken Salad. The prices are definitely reasonable, too: the new sirloin salad is $9.49, and the two new chicken salads are $8.79 each.
Salad is the perfect summer meal, in my opinion. If you're looking for a tasty salad option, I wholeheartedly suggest you try the new options at Friendly's and then, of course, treat yourself to a little dessert.
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