While we’re big proponents of prepping and packing healthy lunches, we understand it doesn’t fit into every lifestyle for every day. To help our members keep workday lunches clean, we’ve scoped out a few spots in downtown Salem for those days when a packed lunch isn’t feasible.
The Ritter family has a history of providing quality food to the Salem community at the Wild Pear, ACME Cafe, and now Ritter’s Housemade Foods. The fact that all three Ritter siblings are long-time members of our club only helps solidify the fact that they are committed to healthy living. Yes, they do have some amazing splurges scattered throughout their menus: I say Amen for our beloved 90:10 rule and hello wood-fired pizza and ice cream.
I met up with a friend at Ritter’s for a workday lunch, as their counter-service and convenient downtown location offer a quick and easy 30-minute lunch option. We both loved the idea of their salad bar, especially since they do the work and mix each salad for you! However, the Mykonos salad won my vote. With feta cheese, cucumber, tomato, pickled onion, pepperoncini, spinach, red pepper, and Kalamata olives and tossed in a roasted shallot and sherry vinaigrette, the salad sounded like a trip to Greece for $11. To add a bit of extra protein, I added grilled chicken for an additional $3. My friend, also health-conscience, ordered the Roasted Beet, Rogue River Oregonzola, and Toasted Pistachio Salad mixed with a honey poppy seed dressing and mixed greens for $11.50. She also added the grilled chicken for the protein component.
Our expectations were high and Ritter’s definitely delivered, both in taste and healthiness. Our salads were fresh, flavorful and definitely added to our must-order-again list! Both salads had a good combination of protein, veggies, and healthy fats, and the portion size was in line with our nutrition program’s recommendations for a healthy and well-balanced lunch. In retrospect, we would both request half the dressing in the future as Ritter’s was generous with both the Poppy Seed Dressing and Vinaigrette. I really enjoyed the combination of the tangy vinaigrette and pepperoncinis with the rich taste of the Kalamata olives. My friend loved the perfectly cooked roast chicken and the abundance of all the goodies – hazelnuts, beets, and blue cheese.
It didn’t take long for two aspiring foodies to finish our salads and pour over the menu for other healthy options for future lunching. The salad bar would be a great choice, especially since the crew at Ritter’s makes each salad behind the counter which will help keep portion sizes in check. We also thought the Pub Lunch would be a well-balanced lunch option (just keep the fat content in check with the ham, cheese, and olives). Of course, we will be back in for a cocktail from their amazing bar and a Phat Mike’s wood-fired pizza, but for the remaining 90% of the time, Ritter’s is an easy choice for a healthy lunch downtown.
Are you interested in learning more about our nutrition plan?