Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Sunroom (A Great Madison Salad)

It surprises me, often, how few truly great salads Madison, Wisconsin restaurants offer. Very early on, I discovered the Sunroom Cafe's Tuna Avocado Salad Plate, one of the dishes I'll miss most when I eventually move away from Madison.

As you can see, the salad comes with pita, tuna, lettuce, and tomato, cucumber, and always fresh slices of avocado.

Two things make this salad spectacular. First, the cucumber yogurt dressing, which is my favorite Madison salad dressing. I always ask for extra, as I have to exercise restraint if only using the subtle amount the restaurant serves on the side. Second, the tuna is as good as this kind of tuna gets. It is not fishy or mayonnaise heavy. It has a distinct taste that I haven't been able to replicate with store-bought tuna, even when I've tried using vinegar or lemon to cut it. I'm not sure whether the Sunroom does in fact cut the tuna with an acid or if it dishes it straight out of the can, but I plan on asking when I am finally en route out of Madison.

I've found some of the Sunroom's dishes hit or miss, although the restaurant is quite popular, and people have many different favorite Sunroom dishes. If you want a safe bet, order this salad, a special (often Mediterranean pasta dishes), and any of the baked goods, which are generally tantalizing.

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