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Out to eat / Great dishes, drinks and people

Eat up your kale

Fresh juices and healthful smoothies, sometimes augmented with wheatgrass and other vitamin-packed additions, are the main attraction at Liquid Energy (298 Main St., 512-1225).

But there's food on its take-out menu too, including one of the easiest ways to eat your kale, Liquid Energy's "Elysian Forest" ($6).

"Because kale can be a bitter green, we do a quick marinade of garlic, Himalayan salt and olive oil to help break it down," said owner Meghan Bromley. "It makes it more tender and takes that bite out of it."

It's briefly sauteed, to preserve the nutrients, then "we toss the hot greens in goat cheese and tofu for a yummy creaminess," Bromley said.

Liquid Energy has a new North Tonawanda location, at the Remington Lofts, but this salad is only available at its Main Street location. Bromley, a celiac sufferer, said that like all her salads, it's gluten-free.

She admits to meeting skepticism in starting a healthy food outpost in the home of the chicken wing. "But people are responding to it," she said. "A lot of people have been waiting for something like this."

-- Andrew Z. Galarneau