Chopped antipasto salad @ Aldo’s Pizza Pies

When Aldo’s Pizza Pies first opened, I was all about the pizza. I was determined to try every pizza on their menu, especially ones I had never seen before, like the ones with vodka or roasted poblano cream base. However, I kept hearing how good the non-pizza menu items were too. Sunday I stopped in for lunch, and decided it was time to try one of their salads. My choice: An Italian classic, the chopped antipasto salad.

Years ago, I attended a seminar held by one of Memphis’ top chefs at the time. Chefs like being complimented on the taste of their food, said the presenter. But then he shared an inside tip: If you really want to make a chef beam with pride, compliment the presentation of the food. They take a lot of time making it look perfect before it goes through the kitchen doors. The kitchen staff at Aldo’s certainly deserve high praise for the presentation of this salad. Look at it! Could it be any more beautiful?

It tasted as good as it looked. It was like an Italian sub sandwich in a bowl, without the bread and a whole lot healthier. In the salad are salami, pepperoni, ham, provolone, mozzarella, black olive, roasted red pepper, pepperoncini, mushroom, and your choice of dressing. I sprinkled a little parmesan and roasted red pepper on top. Delicious, enough to satisfy even the heartiest appetite, and reasonably priced at $10 considering the amount of food you get.

Most of the time, I’ll be sticking to the pies at Aldo’s. When in the mood for something different, though, this salad is a welcome, healthy change.