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Cobb Salad Battle: Sierra Bonita Grill vs Cartel Kitchen

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Bob Cobb. Ring a bell? How about cobb salad? Thought so.

Back in the 1930s, Bob Cobb was the owner of The Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, and on one brisk evening found himself craving a midnight snack...or so the story goes.

Out of these midnight cravings, coupled with a montage of ingredients rummaged from the refrigerator, the cobb salad was born. The original ingredients were said to be a head of lettuce, an avocado, some romaine, watercress, tomatoes, a cold breast of chicken, a hard-boiled egg, chives, cheese and some old-fashioned French dressing, as well as a little crisp bacon.

Sounds good enough to eat. Enter our battle of the dishes, Sierra Bonita Grill in north Phoenix versus Cartel Kitchen in downtown Phoenix. Which kitchen finds will make their cobb salad? Find out after the jump.

In One Corner: Sierra Bonita Grill
6933 N. Seventh St. Phoenix

The Set-Up: House greens, grilled carne asada, bacon, sliced egg, tomato, cucumber, avocado, salsa fresca and jalapeno jack cheese. Served with your choice of dressing--we went with poblano ranch.
Pros: Carne asada with the hard-boiled egg is reminiscent of steak and eggs--southwest style. Spinach was a nice choice of greens for all of the hearty ingredients neatly placed on top. It's definitely large enough for sharing, especially if you're starting with their house made guacamole.
Cons: We tried to eat here a couple times before realizing that the cobb salad is only on the lunch menu. Bummer.

In the Other Corner: Cartel Kitchen 1 N. 1st Street Phoenix

The Set-Up: A bed of mixed spring greens, havarti cheese, english muffin "croutons," thinly sliced red onion, sliced bacon, tomato, buttermilk dressing and a sunny-side up egg.
Pros: The egg yolk is a fantastic secondary dressing with the richness complimenting the tart buttermilk dressing and creamy havarti cheese. The english muffin "croutons" are like mini dressing sponges so that there's creaminess in each bite. Although we're not sure if the salad was meant for breakfast, lunch or dinner, we'd eat it all day long.
Cons: You can't actually have this salad for dinner. Cartel Kitchen keeps early business hours and closes at 3pm. Luckily, there isn't usually much of a wait during the day.

The Verdict: Honestly, we loved both salads, but Cartel Kitchen takes the win with a sneak attack -- the sunny-side up egg. Totally killer.

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