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Best of Everything 2012
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A salad to Relish: This peachy perfection triumphs as a summertime favorite

The Best of, Relish, salad
Photo by Whitney Radley

This is a true story that no one who knows me will believe. Once upon a time last week, I had a lunch getaway planned to River Oaks to eat the best salad to ever touch my lips: The Texas peach salad at Relish.

It was my first planned trip since peaches came back into season, and I spent the morning daydreaming about it in anticipation: The soft, sweet peach slices next to the slightly salty, paper-thin strips of prosciutto, the goat cheese brightening up a bed of lettuce and baby spinach, the sweet crunch of the candied pecans, and the mild but permeating flavor of the peach champagne vinaigrette that has just a hint of cinnamon, making the entire salad taste like a dessert.

 This marks the first time in my life that I have ever been disappointed by the prospect of trading in a salad for a sirloin.

 Just before I headed out the door, another friend called to remind me of our previously scheduled lunch at a steakhouse. This marks the first time in my life that I have ever been disappointed by the prospect of trading in a salad for a sirloin.

The salad at Relish is just that good. I've tried similar concoctions at Haven and Brennan's, but Relish's version is bigger and less expensive than either of those, plus there seems to be more of the goodies (that's the non-rabbit ingredients) to go around on every bite. It's actually somewhat of an issue; I'm constantly trying to create the perfect bit with a little bit of everything and end of shoving about two pounds of salad in my mouth at a time. It's not exactly cute but I'm OK with that.

Lest I paint a picture of perfection, you do have to get your food to go or eat it on some rather uncomfortable bar chairs next to a slim stainless steel counter. But that's a small price to pay, especially if you pair the salad with a freakishly refreshing blood orange limeade.

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