Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No. 16: Fried green tomato salad from Cafe Roux

Posted By on Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Every fresh green salad needs something deep fried on it
  • Every fresh green salad needs something deep fried on it
Every fresh green salad needs something deep fried on it

To whet your appetite for The Pitch's annual Best of Kansas City issue, we're counting down our favorite Top 50 dishes each weekday until October 7.


Fried green tomatoes have become a very fashionable starter lately. The upscale Webster House serves its version of the Southern side dish as an appetizer with creamed spinach and tomato chutney. The Louisiana-style nightclub-restaurant Fat Fish Blue offers the crunchy tomato slices with collard greens and a Cajun-spiced mayonnaise.

The healthiest way to enjoy this dish is as an ingredient in a light, summery salad -- like the one created by Cafe Roux owner Jen Coniglio and her culinary consultant Jason Czaja. Surrounded by fresh greens, bits of fluffy goat cheese, almonds and a tart green-onion vinaigrette, it makes the lowly unripe tomato seem almost elegant.

There are recipes for fried green tomatoes (mostly in Midwestern cookbooks, interestingly enough) dating back to the early 1900s. But writer-actress Fannie Flagg, the author of the popular 1987 novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, has said that the dish really came into its own during the Great Depression, when poor Southerners "would fry up most anything and pretend it was meat or fish."

Green tomatoes can be a little tart, but most are flavorless -- the green-onion vinaigrette in the salad gives the fried fruit its extra punch.

Our list so far:

No. 50: Chocolate Malt from Fox's Drug Store

No. 49: Il Parma from Bella Napoli

No. 48: Italian sausage and eggs from Cascone's Grill

No. 47: Orange Roll from Clock Tower Bakery

No. 46: Tacos de cochinita from Frida's Contemporary Mexican Cuisine

No. 45: Barbecued pork bun from 888 International Market

No. 44: Tableside fresh mozzarella from Jasper's

No. 43: Gyro Sandwich from Mr. Gyros Greek Food & Pastry

No. 42: Apple strudel from Grunauer

No. 41: Rice noodle bowl from dim sum at Bo Lings

No. 40: E-Crush from Hi-Hat Coffee

No. 39: Flight of Freshness from Fresher than Fresh Snow Cones

No. 38: Curried chicken salad from Cafe Provence

No. 37: Apple fritter from John's Space Age Donuts

No. 36: Pollo con limone e olive from Lidia's Kansas City

No. 35: Wedding-cake cookie from LattéLand

No. 34: Stroud's cinnamon rolls

No. 33: Smoked Polish from Werner's

No. 32: Burger and frites from Westport Cafe & Bar

No. 31: Paletas from Paleterias Tropicana

No. 30: Goat korma at New Cafe Tandoor

No. 29: Lemon cake from Cafe Europa

No. 28: Chocolate Mousse Torte from Napoleon Bakery

No. 27: Spring rolls from Vietnam Cafe 

No. 26: French fries from LC's Bar-B-Q

No. 25: Classic Cookie's herbed-potato-and-sausage casserole

No 24: Farmer greens salad at The Farmhouse

No. 23: Egg salad sandwich from You Say Tomato

No. 22: Waldorf Salad from Bloomsbury Bistro

No. 21: Pork tenderloin sandwich from Kitty's Cafe

No. 20: Root beer from Mugs Up Drive In

No. 19: Flank steak sandwich from Happy Gillis

No. 18: Chicken Picatta from the Hereford House

No. 17: Mom's Macaroni and Cheese from McCoy's Public House

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