If the kale salads punctuating local menus are any indication, last year’s “it ingredient” is here to stay. There’s the much-lauded—and deservedly so—bowl of tossed kale, shaved apple, and grated Parmesan at Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder. (The popular dish has carried over to Steven Redzikowski’s menu at Acorn in Denver, as well.) In Cherry Creek, I almost always order True Food Kitchen’s rendition with pungent garlic, a burst of lemon juice, and toasted almonds. I even find the powerhouse green at spots like Larkburger and Aspen’s CP Burger. But among the many versions out there, the salad at the Weathervane Cafe on 17th Avenue is the one I crave.

Owners Lindsay and Alex Dalton roughly cut the fibrous leaves into bite-size pieces before tossing them with toasted coconut flakes and sesame seeds. The dressing strays from the more standard garlic-lemon combination to a blend of sesame oil and soy sauce cut through with Bragg liquid aminos. Crunchy, ridiculously healthy, and inventive—this is a salad I’ll drive across town for.

1725 E. 17th Ave., 303-355-5863

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.