Bryan Richardson
Recently, I heard on the news that the FDA is planning on revising the food pyramid. You know, that familiar triangle that tells you that you can eat a ton of carbs and feel just fine about it. Well, pretty soon they're going to turn around and tell you not to eat carbs, and instead, chow down a ton of fruits and vegetables, specifically five to 13 servings per day. I don't know why, but for some reason this piece of information has inspired me into action. So far, my primary vegetable-increase method is salads. Salads for lunch, salads for dinner--even salads before a plate of eggs and bacon. And while Portland has a wealth of great restaurants, we don't have an abundance of great salad spots, so here's a handy list if you're on the hunt for greens. KATIE SHIMER

Muu-Muu's

612 NW 21st, 223-8169

Muu-Muu's Big House Salad rivals Justa Pasta's (1336 NW 19th) baby spinach salad for my favorite in town. Both succeed so well because the ingredients are high quality and the construction is simple. Muu-Muu's combines a big pile of green leaf lettuce, red onion slices, and carrots, dresses it with a charming, tangy vinaigrette, and gives you the option of adding crumbled bleu cheese. Maybe I love this salad so much because it's big enough for a meal, or maybe it's that I always order their amazing creamy garlic green beans with it; but regardless, it rules. KS

Second Story Bistro

208 NW Couch, 827-5113

Several substantial salads make Second Story Bistro a business lunch haven. My favorite combines mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and slices of apple served with a heap of gourmet chicken salad. They start with a simple, creamy base, then add fresh sage and pecans to reinvent a bland classic. Other salad options include the chevre salad, which includes candied walnuts and cranberries, a spinach salad with citrus, red onion, and fresh fennel, and a simple Oregon mixed greens. All the greens are organic, and with the option of adding grilled chicken or prawns you have all the charisma that the salad world so tragically lacks. JEN DAVISON

Old Wives' Tales

1300 E Burnside, 238-0470

People complain that Old Wives' amazing salad bar is too expensive (eight dollars at lunch, 10 at dinner) but if you're trying to load up on vegetables, there isn't a better deal. It's all you can eat, they offer dark mixed greens rather than iceberg lettuce, and homemade sides like pasta, potato salad, and baked tofu. Plus, you get bread or corn muffins, and at lunch you can add on a cup of soup for 75 cents. The clam chowder is amazing and lighter than most restaurant varieties, the Hungarian mushroom is loaded with sour cream and addictively bad for you, or they offer two changing vegan varieties. KS

Chez Machin

3553 SE Hawthorne, 736-9381

Chez Machin has a host of salads on the menu, which combine every delicious ingredient you could ever think of. The Salade Regime marries green apples, almonds, Gorgonzola, and spectacular vinaigrette. Heartier salads, like the Bistro, toss bay shrimp with avocado and egg, all drizzled with a vinaigrette spiked with Dijon. The Salade Nicoise takes tuna, red bell pepper, soft red potatoes, egg, and olives and gives you a delicious, substantial, and protein-loaded meal. All that, plus Chez Machin has a juice bar, a number of affordable wines, and a great patio out back. KS