Wow, You’ve Got Something There! – Field & Social: Field Cobb & Rustic Orzo Salads

Made when ordered Greens,
Tasty & thoughtful salads
At Field & Social.
(If you want to skip my rant on salad and kale as a salad green, scroll until you see the Venn diagram to read my review on Field & Social.  Yes there’s a Venn diagram in my post.)
I’m pro tasty food.  I’m pro healthy food.  I’m pro vegetables.  I hate most salads.  Under the guise of “being healthy” most commercially made salads are sloppily put together.
Don’t get me wrong, salad can be a healthy part of one’s eating routine, but I’ve gotten take out and dine in salads with:
  • Limp and sometimes slimy decomposing greens
  • The latest super food just haphazardly tossed in for no other reason than it’s “hot” (I’m looking at you kale & quinoa)
  • Dressings so overwhelming in taste and volume, it’s liquefying the vegetables (think about it – if an acid can cook protein in a ceviche, what do you think it’s doing to a plant cell?)
  • Poorly prepare ingredients like overcooked chewy proteins and soft mushy beets
  • A bowl full of ingredients where each ingredient is doing its own thing and not playing well with others

 

If this were any other food item, it would be held to a higher standard and returned to the kitchen.  If I have to eat another poorly thought out foliage, err I mean, kale salad, I swear. I still don’t understand why anyone would think such a strong tasting and tough green would make a good salad component.  Kale is best left to deft hands in the context of salad.
Honestly I imagine eating leaves off a tree would be like eating kale.  I would take every precaution (maps, gps, sat phone) to ensure I never get lost in the forests of the great Pacific Northwest not because I fear being murdered by The Revenant bear but the horrifying idea of eating leaves that tastes and feels like kale to survive.
However, since it’s “good for you”, salad only eateries offering subpar raw greens are proliferating, especially in health conscious Vancouver.
The thing that upsets me the most about the crappy salad situation is that it gives people the false impression that healthy food is bad tasting food.  This totally is not the case.  One can get food that’s tasty and healthy – it just takes a better level of execution (that seems to be currently lacking), and people asking for better.
If more salad places put extra thought and care about the composition of their offerings I would be less anti-salad.  I like the salads from Besties, because there’s some care shown in the make up of them.  I have now found another place that actually puts together a cogent bowl of greens: Field & Social.
Field & Social have a compact menu of made when ordered salads.  The first menu item I tried was the Field Cobb.
I enjoyed the dynamic flavours that came from the individual ingredients.  It didn’t just depend on the creamy avocado & goat cheese dressing for flavour.  The inclusion of mint was a nice contrasting flavour that popped against the creamy goat cheese, egg, and dressing.
Speaking of the egg, it was medium-boiled and a nice change from the chalky hardboiled variety.  The chicken was also very juicy.  The two proteins were cooked very well.  Instead of fake bacon bits, Field & Social used salty crispy cured pork bits which added another dimension of flavour.
I thought this re-imagined Cobb salad, built on butter lettuce, was fantastic.  All the components were fresh and worked well together to create flavourful and crisp bites.
The next salad I got was the Beets Salad.  I added chicken to this salad and it was a mistake as the salad was quite filling on its own.  Also this time, the chicken was drier than what I got in the Field Cobb.
There were at least 2 types beets: red and golden (possibly a third pinkish hued one).   To make the salad more filling, there were ample amounts of chickpeas that had a slight bite.
I really liked the harissa spiced yogurt dressing but I felt the staff did not use enough as not all the ingredients in my salad were coated.  All the ingredients were fresh but I didn’t feel they work as harmonious as the ones in the Cobb Field.  I thought the slices of oranges were somewhat random.
The last salad I tried was the Rustic Orzo because I had to see how this new eatery handled kale.  Despite my kale bias, I actually thought the tough super food in this salad worked; it was paired with strong flavours like basil, a mustard based dressing and arugula.  I actually thought the peppery rocket greens and the bitter-ish kale made for a yummy dynamic duo.
Each bite of the salad had a nice blend of different flavours and textures.  Small chopped pieces of peppers, crisped pancetta and walnut provided bursts of sweet, salty and nutty to the bowl.  Also the soft carby orzo was a pleasant textural contrast to the rougher kale and arugula, and crunchiness of the peppers and walnuts.  The chicken was once again very moist and tender.
The Rustic Orzo bowl was a pleasing salad and at no point did I feel like I was eating foliage despite the presence of kale.
All three salads I got from Field & Social were visual appetizing, which is remarkable since all three were place in a to go bowl.  The Beets salad, despite having quality ingredients, is a work a progress.  However the Field Cobb and Rustic Orzo salads were great; super tasty and healthy.  If I had to make a choice, I slightly prefer the Field Cobb over the Rustic Orzo.   I highly recommend Field & Social as a great lunch spot.
Field & Social
415 Dunsmuir Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1X4
778 379 6500

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