For a stretch of several years, I didn’t set foot in Midtown Brewing Co. “I can make burgers at home,” I reasoned. “I’m a teetotaler,” I protested. “I don’t like to crack open peanuts and toss the shells into a little basket,” I proclaimed. But then I ended up at the downtown brewpub for lunch and tried the grilled fig salad on a whim. I must admit that I’ve returned for this salad at least a dozen times in the past six months.

The kale is grilled, which completely changes the texture. It takes on the flavor of the grill which, as in sane as this sounds, reminds me of the supremely unhealthy — but unequivocally delicious — Burger King Whopper. Kale! I can’t believe it either!

The burrata is the second best part of this salad. What’s burrata? Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite thing. First of all, “burrata” means “buttered” in Italian. We’re already on the right track here. Burrata is fresh cheese with two parts. The outer shell is fresh mozzarella — think of the mozzarella you can buy in a plastic tub submerged in water, not the brick of cheese found near the lunchmeat. This mozzarella shell surrounds a creamy, dreamy mixture of mozzarella and cream. Bellissima!

Rounding out this delicious salad are pecans, a miso vinaigrette and two medallions of beef tenderloin. It is the perfect balance of healthy and indulgent, and it’s a brilliant showcase for kale. The hipster cabbage certainly has its detractor, but well-prepared salads like this can make a true believer out of even the most vehement kale hater.

— Gabrielle Johnson Lawrence

What’s your favorite dish/drink?

Do you have a go-to dish or drink at your favorite local restaurant? We want to know about it. Email your favorite dish/drink and a short explanation about why you love it to food@lansingcitypulse.com, and it may be featured in a future issue. If possible, please send a photo along with your description — a nice smartphone photo is fine. Cheers!

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