Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Buffalo Chicken Salad @ The Chestnut Tree

So I am back in Toronto now, at a new job. However I'm back working at the same place I did when I left Toronto (working in student life at the University of Toronto). It's great to be back on so many levels, but one of the best is access to one of the greatest cafeterias ever. There is a real dedication by the chef team to have tasty and healthy options. One night for dinner, I was happy to discover their Buffalo Chicken Salad.

Every day the cafeteria has hundreds of options, with not only large salad bar, but they've added since I left 'Greens & Things;' a salad station where a chef personally tosses a salad with some 'premium' toppings and dressings. So what would be available on their Buffalo chicken?

Above is the list of toppings: lettuce, BBQ chicken, blue cheese, bacon, jalapeños, red onion, carrot, celery.

Once you pick your toppings (all in my case), you have your choice of two dressings. Usually printed off, here they have quickly printed the two choices: Chipotle Tomato Vinaigrette and Creamy Blue Cheese. I went with the Chipotle Tomato.

Here chef Farhad is adding the toppings to the mixing bowl. I made sure I got extra jalapeños. 

There was a pretty big line up as this is often a popular station.These students have it good. I have it good!

My salad in all its glory. While I am a carnivore first and foremost, if more veggies tasted like this, well I don't know how to finish that sentence, but I'm sure I would eat more.

There were so many layers of flavour. Crisp and fresh vegetable, savoury meats, zesty dressings. There was some heat from the jalapeños. And the chipotle tomato dressing really added a spicy but fresh taste. Every bite was delicious.

Now as much as I loved the salad, the name was inaccurate - there was no actual "Buffalo" sauce or chicken involved. But the concept and the flavours were there. Diced celery and carrot that you would find on the side of wings. The actual blue cheese, usually found for dipping the wings. The heat from chipotle and jalapeño. Chicken for, chicken. And bacon . . . well bacon is just awesome.

It may not be 'authentic' Buffalo Chicken, but this hot wing inspired dish was a brilliant garden any wing lover would enjoy. Residence life in my building is good.


Teena in Toronto said...

I didn't know it was there.

Chris said...

Definitely not your standard institutional food you get at a lot of campuses!

At University of North Florida, we had The Boathouse where you could even get a beer, loved that place.