The salad you should always avoid ordering at restaurants

Salads utilize different types of leafy greens to create a fresh, crisp meal rivaling burgers and fries of the restaurant world. There is one type of salad green, however, that you should always avoid ordering at restaurants—iceberg lettuce.

Yes, iceberg salads are a reliable mainstay on menus because the main ingredient is cheap, always available, and has a long shelf life, according to Jeremy Adler, a Los Angeles based culinary expert, restaurant consultant, and co-creator of Lanea. But it’s one of the menu items to avoid ordering because you’re paying too much for a flavorless ingredient that’s 95 percent water. “It’s just an overpriced salad meant to make money for the restaurant,” says Matthew McPherson, a chef out of Boston, Massachusetts, and creator of The Noodle Bar. Plus, if restaurants don’t wash the lettuce thoroughly, there could be health consequences.

9 PHOTOS
The worst salad toppings for you
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The worst salad toppings for you

Dried Fruit

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Salted or Roasted Nuts/Seeds

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Corn and Other Starchy Veggies

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Bacon Bits

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Fat-Free Salad Dressings

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Creamy Salad Dressings

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Dairy Cheese

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Croutons

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Crunchy Noodles

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Don’t pay too much for one of the most boring items on the menu. Instead, Adler and McPherson both recommend opting for seasonal salads with local ingredients, when possible. Brian Poe, the chef, and owner of Bukowski Tavern in Cambridge, Massachusetts, suggests seasonal greens too, but he’s not fully anti-iceberg. “I believe it serves a purpose in nostalgic cuisine, and all ingredients deserve a time and place,” he says. “For the common food deserts of the nation, iceberg lettuce is one of the most approachable, nostalgic, price-point, and easy-sell lettuces.” So don’t feel too bad if you do decide to go with this dish, even if it isn’t the best thing to order. Another type of salad is also one of the fast-food items you should never order.

The post The Salad You Should Always Avoid Ordering at Restaurants appeared first on Reader's Digest.

44 PHOTOS
Good Eats: 44 salad recipes
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Good Eats: 44 salad recipes

Farro-And-Kale Salad With Olives And Pine Nuts by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Grilled Vegan Caesar Salad by Relish | Daphne Oz

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Persimmon-and-Burrata Salad with Sesame Candy by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Steak Fajita Salad with Tortilla Croutons by SELF

Get the recipe here.

Chopped Salad by Crazy Sexy Kitchen | Kris Carr with Chef Chad Sarno

Get the recipe here.

Skinny Taco Salad with Cilantro Avocado Dressing by A Happy Food Dance

Get the recipe here.

Kale Caesar Salad by Own Your Kitchen | Anne Burrell

Get the recipe here.

Beet Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette by Cat Cora

Get the recipe here

Greek Salad with Grilled Salmon by Curtis Stone

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Arugula Salad with Tangerine, Asian Pear, Dried Cranberry & Toasted Almond by Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy | Wolfgang Puck

Get the recipe here.

Stuffed Grilled Avocado Salad by Eating Whole | Elisa Rachel

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Crab, Apple and Watercress Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Grilled Avocado Cobb Salad with Apricot Dressing by Cat Cora

Get the recipe here.

Bacon, Kale & Tomato Salad with Rye Croutons by PDXfoodlove | Rebekah Hubbard

Get the recipe here.

Spring Farro Salad with Feta and Sumac Vinaigrette by Eat Drink Garden | Valerie Rice

Get the recipe here.

Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Cumin Dressing by Weeknight Wonders | Ellie Krieger

Get the recipe here.

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Oranges, Almonds and Manchego by The Foodie Physician | Sonali Ruder

Get the recipe here.

Carrot-Avocado Salad by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

BLT Salad Toss by Campbell's Kitchen

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Avocado-and-Shrimp Salad with Red Goddess Dressing by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Shaved Cabbage Salad with Paprika Vinaigrette by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

New Year's Detox Salad by The Healthy Apple | Amie Valpone

Get the recipe here.

Marinated Steak Salad with Charred Poblano Sauce by The Usual Bliss

Get the recipe here.

Bruschetta Salad by Campbell's Kitchen

Get the recipe here.

Green Salad with Smoky Barbecue Vinaigrette by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Kale Salad with Walnuts and Soft-Boiled Eggs by bon appetit

Get the recipe here.

Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Strawberries and Goat Cheese by The Foodie Physician | Sonali Ruder

Get the recipe here.

Caramelized Watermelon Salad with Pickled Jalapeños and Gorgonzola by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Santa Fe Quinoa Salad by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here

Butter Lettuce Salad with Tomato Vinaigrette by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Iceberg Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Fennel-and-Citrus Salad with Mint by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Candy-Striped Beetroot Salad with Maple-Candied Pecans & Goat Cheese by Simply Delicious | Alida Ryder

Get the recipe here.

Chicken & Quinoa Salad with BBQ-Spiced Vinaigrette by JJ Begonia | Virginia Woolsey

Get the recipe here.

Strawberry, Goat Cheese & Arugula Salad by Eating Made Easy

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Lemony Waldorf Salad by Food & Wine

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Kale & Apple Salad with Pancetta and Candied Pecans by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Copper River Salmon Salad With Creamy Avocado Dressing
by Chez Us | Denise Woodward and Lenny Ferreira

Get the recipe here.

Lemony Bulgur Salad with Shrimp and Spinach by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Warm BBQ Crispy Tofu Buckwheat Soba & Arugula Salad by Coco Cooks | Courtney Nzeribe

Get the recipe here.

Quinoa Salad with Spring Vegetables by Food & Wine

Get the recipe here.

Wheat Berry Salad With Tuscan Kale And Butternut Squash by Food & Wine 

Get the recipe here.

Roasted Brussels Sprout and Cashew Quinoa Salad by The Healthy Apple | Amie Valpone

Get the recipe here.

Harissa Carrot Salad with Feta Cheese by Simply Delicious | Alida Ryder

Get the recipe here.

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