Beat the Drum

Salads rarely inspire my adoration, because most of the time I associate them with dieting. But the grilled beef salad ($9) at Bongo's Latin Grill & Bar (818 Travis, 713-222-2254) is enough to get the rhythm pulsating through my body. Thin strips of charbroiled top sirloin, completely devoid of fat, come nestled on top of a salad of mixed field greens, whose monochrome color is broken by warm, roasted, bright-red tomatoes and rings of purple onions. Marinated in a chimichurri sauce made from olive oil, garlic and parsley, the steak is particularly flavorful and tender. An extra-creamy, homemade blue cheese vinaigrette goes perfectly with the beef, making this dish worthy of a drumroll.
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Paul Galvani