Applebee’s Green Goddess Wedge Salad

Wedge of LettuceIn restaurants, presentation is almost as important as the meal itself, and Applebee’s new Green Goddess Wedge Salad certainly has the presentation down. As one of Applebee’s new sides, the Wedge Salad certainly looks fresh and interesting.

The Wedge Salad is a bit of a concept dish, and it certainly won’t be a favorite to anyone who dislikes bleu cheese. As a new side, the Wedge Salad likely has some sales quotas that need to be met before it’s considered as a regular menu item, and it’s probable that Applebee’s is planning this side as a summer-only dish, priced at $4.99.

About the Wedge Salad

Usually salads come in some sort of bowl, but the Green Goddess Wedge Salad is actually a wedge of a head of lettuce—perhaps about a quarter or less of a wedge of iceberg lettuce—that is drizzled with green goddess salad dressing, bacon pieces, pecans, and chunks of bleu cheese.

Green Goddess dressing is a tangy salad dressing that certainly is green, though ingredients vary. Generally, it is made with a mayonnaise and sour cream base and a load of herbs, garlic, and either avocadoes or anchovies, depending upon the recipe. The toppings and dressing are sprinkled over the top of the wedge, creating a unique salad on a plate.

Nutritional Information

The large wedge of salad may seem like this side dish is all iceberg lettuce—which is pretty low in calories—but the other toppings must take up a lot of slack in the Green Goddess Wedge Salad’s 560 calories and whopping 53 grams of fat. That’s the same calories and more fat—yes, more—than a Big Mac!

Likely the bleu cheese, bacon, and pecans are mainly responsible for the high calorie count of this side. Just about all of the other Applebee’s sides have around half the calories found in the Wedge Salad.

Review of the Green Goddess Wedge Salad

This is certainly one attractive-looking salad when it is served, but it’s awfully hard to eat. The head of lettuce is divided with a knife; all of the little folded layers of lettuce are still intact, meaning that I had to deconstruct the salad before eating it. Another option would be to eat it with a fork and a steak knife, though eating salad with a knife is more pretentious than I think I could stand.

It is a simple, flavorful salad made with just five ingredients, and the Green Goddess dressing was new to me. It was good, but it was very herby tasting. I didn’t dislike it, but it certainly wouldn’t be my first or even second choice of dressing.

The crunch of the pecans was satisfying and flavorful, adding a really nice texture and taste to this salad. The bleu cheese was also quite tangy and flavorful, with big chunks with the classic blue veining; not all restaurants use such high-quality bleu cheese.

However, I would expect that those who dislike bleu cheese likely won’t enjoy this salad; the flavor is very intense as bleu cheese is supposed to be. I loved the savory, pungent bleu cheese, but those who aren’t fans of the crumbly cheese likely won’t be able to stand it. The bacon added another level of savory flavor and texture, working nicely with the bleu cheese.

While all of the ingredients of this relatively simple salad worked well together, I’m still at a loss at the point of the whole wedge concept. I’m not sure the interesting look of the salad was worth the work it took to dismantle the wedge into bite-size pieces so that all could share in some of the dressing and other toppings. If I wanted to work, I would have stayed home and made my own salad!

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