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Skillet Diner's famous kale Caesar

I popped into the new Georgetown Hitchcock Deli the other night, where the charcuterie dazzled as it always has at the Bainbridge branch. (BTW, the BLT rocks right now. Thank you, tomato season.)

But the unexpected star of my meal was the kale salad, a sorta-Caesar made with bite-sized rips of raw kale, seasoned croutons, pine nuts, a killer anchovy vinaigrette, and a thick flurry of earthy grana padano cheese that softened and united everything into a luscious whole. Really, this was a sensational salad, served as dinner ($10) or a largeish side ($5).

Others I’ve admired include Liam’s kale Caesar, which is made with Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar, and Homegrown’s, with parmesan and cherry tomatoes. Home Remedy sells a kale Caesar so popular it can’t keep it in stock; its sister restaurants, both Serious Pies, offer a marinated kale salad whose leaves are dressed in a garlicky oil and lemon, then tossed with pine nuts and Calabrian peppers and dusted with parmiggiano. It’s heavenly.

Probably the most famous kale salad in town is Skillet Diner’s kale Caesar, where the greens come with croutons, parmesan, garlicky dressing, and cured anchovies—and where diners can, brilliantly, request the addition of fried chicken thigh. This one even merited inclusion in Food and Wine's June roundup of the Best Kale Dishes in the US.

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