My lab headed over to Sweet Cheeks in Fenway to stuff ourselves with BBQ for lunch one day last week. The restaurant was recently opened by Tiffani Faison, who was a finalist on both Top Chef Season 1 and Top Chef All-Stars. You can probably guess that I was pretty excited to check it out!
Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed with my pulled pork sandwich. The meat just wasn’t as tender and juicy as the pork at Blue Ribbon, and the sandwich was advertised as being served on Texas Toast, which I always thought was thick slices of garlic bread, but apparently is just normal slices of white bread? I did like that they had a couple different sauce options, and I will definitely be returning to see how Sweet Cheeks’ ribs and brisket stack up at some point. Their sides, however, blew Blue Ribbon’s out of the water. I wanted to dive into the mac & cheese, and my favorite part of the meal actually turned out to be their farm fresh salad. I know, I know, I was surprised too, who would expect a killer salad at a BBQ joint? The greens were tossed with hazelnuts, Brussels sprouts, and grapes, and the combo was perfectly balanced. It was so tasty that I decided I needed to make a salad featuring grapes and Brussels sprouts at home!
I mixed a large bunch of spinach and mixed spring greens in my salad bowl, along with roasted Brussels sprouts, halved grapes, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and a healthy dose of shaved pecorino romano cheese. Then I took portions out throughout the week and dressed it with balsamic vinaigrette as I went along. I even caught Apolinaras dipping into the salad bowl a couple times – if that doesn’t indicate how delicious this is, I don’t know what does. Thanks to Sweet Cheeks for the inspiration!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Grapes
8 ounces mixed greens (I used half spring mix and half baby spinach)
2 cups roasted Brussels sprouts
2 cups halved grapes
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup shaved pecorino romano cheese
1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette
To assemble the salad, mixed greens, roasted Brussels sprouts, grapes, dried cranberries, pecans, and shaved pecorino romano cheese in a large bowl and toss until well mixed. Evenly distribute on 8 plates and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition: 210 calories, 15.1g fat, 3.9g fiber, 4.5g protein per serving
Cost: $1.45 per serving