The One Salad You Might Want To Reconsider Ordering At A Restaurant

If you're a regular salad eater, you know one thing to be true: sometimes it just tastes better when you order it from a restaurant. You may be using the same ingredients and mix-ins, but the homemade version of a salad doesn't always hit the spot. There is one type of salad, however, that you're better off making at home 100% of the time. According to Reader's Digest, if you order any salad that contains iceberg lettuce, you'll never get what you pay for. Considering it's 95% water and tastes like nothing until you drench it with dressing, iceberg lettuce-based salad simply isn't worth the upcharge.

Speaking to the publication, culinary expert Jeremy Adler (from LA) and chef Matthew McPherson (from Boston) both suggest opting for salads with seasonal greens and local ingredients to ensure what you're eating is as fresh and delicious as possible. Today specifically recommends ordering salads made with salad greens that are darker in color. Whereas iceberg lettuce is only a tasteless filler, spinach, kale, and collards provide flavor and nutritional value.

Even McDonald's refuses to serve iceberg lettuce in its salads

If a fast-food chain won't serve iceberg lettuce in its salads, that's a pretty good indicator that you probably shouldn't order it anywhere else. In 2016, Insider reported that McDonald's decided to ban iceberg lettuce from all of the salad offerings on its menu. Ali Leon, vice president of marketing for McDonald's supplier Ready Pac Foods, told Insider at the time that the decision to get rid of the ingredient in the McDonald's salads was based primarily on customer feedback.

Even at McDonald's standards, people just didn't find iceberg salads all that satisfying. "We've heard from consumers that they want bolder flavors and higher nutritional content in a sustainable way," Leon explained. McDonald's therefore replaced iceberg lettuce with romaine lettuce, baby spinach, baby kale, and a baby Tuscan blend. Despite the fact that McDonald's ended up pulling salads from their menu in 2020, they were clearly onto something when they decided to stop offering iceberg lettuce four years before.