Italian Chef Salad @ Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta

Price: $9.99

When: January 28, 2017, 3 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Recommended

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta offers three different salads, each made-to-order. They’ve got a Chicken Caesar, an Italian Chef, and something called “Boardwalk Field Greens.”

I’m intrigued by the Italian Chef.

The description on the menu board is interesting. There’s quite a list of ingredients (salami, mozzarella, olives, red peppers, cucumbers), and it comes in a red wine vinaigrette. I’m hoping for a flavorful, surprising, light and refreshing salad. Given some of our recent, terrible salad experiences (Grilled Chicken & Feta Salad, Baja California Caesar), this could be a real find.

Things start inauspiciously. I step to the counter, and order the Italian Chef from the Cast Member. She reaches around, slides across a pre-made salad, and says, “This is already made for you.” The salad seems a little wilted, slightly forlorn. So much for made-to-order.

I pay, pick up a fork, and head to the table.

Visually, there’s a lot going on: greens, olives, tomatoes, small strips of salami, large pieces of capocollo, and handful of small white mozzarella balls. There’s promise.

I manage to spear a bit of everything on the fork, and go to work.

My first impression? It’s a decent, but not great, salad. Some of the flavors are terrific; others … not so much. The mozzarella, for example, is completely flavorless. The salami, cucumber, greens, and salad dressing, on the other hand, are all quite good. (The dressing, in particular, pulls things together.)

On subsequent bites, I figure it out: the “marquee” ingredients (capocollo, mozzarella) are weak. They’re visually impressive, but don’t have any punch. (The capocollo, for example, is pretty dry and way too salty.) On the other hand, the “regular” ingredients (field greens, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, salami, dressing) are delightful.

The Italian Chef is a credible salad. I found myself enjoying it, and would absolutely eat it again. Should you order this, I have two recommendations: 1. Get them to make you a fresh one, and 2. Put the “marquee” ingredients to the side. You don’t need them.