Real-deal salads

MV Salads in Oak Bluffs offers more than your traditional raw veggies.

I’m a salad person.

I find that when I’m with friends or family, deciding what to grab to eat, salads often end up at the bottom of everyone’s list. They’re thought of as an option that sacrifices the fun of food for the health benefits.

I blame starter salads for this phenomenon — the ones you get at nice restaurants before the real-deal entrée comes out. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes an old-fashioned plate of chopped veggies hits the spot. That’s just not the kind of salad that makes me a salad person.

I’m talking about beds of baby kale and arugula; cauliflower and chickpeas, roasted to a crisp; smoky jerk-spiced tofu, topped with wedged avocado and tossed in a light dressing.

But where can we find these ingredients?

MV Salads in Oak Bluffs has all this and more on the menu, including everything from cubed watermelon to lobster meat. It only seemed right that I give this relatively new Island spot a try.

I ordered my salads online, after convincing my always supportive mom to join me for lunch. MV Salads’ website is not only beautifully arranged, it’s user-friendly. I easily navigated to the menu tab where my ordering options were displayed.

MV Salads currently offers eight specialty salads, including one weekly special. The Campground Smok’n Chicken borders on a burrito bowl, stuffed with black beans and chipotle pulled chicken. Meanwhile, the Menemsha Cobb puts a spin on the traditional salad, with lobster and hard-boiled Island egg.

My mom, who stands by a love of cilantro, opted for the vegan alternative to the Campground Smok’n Chicken. This version comes with all the goodies of the original, but it’s meat-free and absolutely loaded with chickpeas. As we added her order to our cart, she was offered the chance to add any additional “premium” ingredients. For $4 more, she added the Mermaid Farm Feta, putting her salad at $20 total.

Though I was tempted to grab one of those specialty salads, I couldn’t shake the thought of that jerk-spiced tofu. This premium add-on doesn’t come with any salad on the menu, so I chose to make use of the “build your own” option.

I was prompted to select a base of either greens, grains, or a combination of the two. I loaded up my order with veggies, sunflower seeds, and yes, the jerk-spiced tofu for $3 extra. Altogether, my self-made creation added up to $17.

Picking up my order was a breeze. As I walked through MV Salads’ open doorway, I was hit with the smell of herbs, spices, and something reminiscent of baked bread.

“It smells amazing in here,” I said, and a nearby customer agreed with a “Doesn’t it?”

A handful of people were inside — maybe two or three other customers, and a single employee. Each one was masked, and the open space made social distancing easy.

I didn’t even need to venture into MV Salads to grab my order. Both of my salads were stacked neatly inside a paper bag, stationed on a shelf by the entrance. I imagine this system makes pickup a quick in-and-out mission, even on busier days.

In reality, the food was as good as it looked, both online and in person. I arrived back home with two fully mixed salads, plastic-wrapped forks, and complimentary mini corn muffins. They came dressed, so I recommend asking for dressing on the side if you won’t be eating for a while.

We wasted no time diving in. These salads don’t skimp on their portions, layered from top to bottom with nothing but good stuff. Trust me when I say you won’t be needing an entrée after this one; these are no starter salads.

 

Order your salad online at mvsalads.com, or drop by for an in-person order at 55 Circuit Ave. in Oak Bluffs.