Food & Drink

Fresh as Fresh Can Be – The Salad House Opens in Somerville 

Dave Delinko, owner of The Salad House in Somerville. Credits: Rod Hirsch
David Delinko, foreground, and his crew are ready to please at The Salad House in Somerville. Credits: Kelly Communications
Salad House owner Dave Delinko helps a customer work her way through the extensive wall mural menu. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Salad House owner Dave Delinko, rear, and chop salad "specialist" Carlos Daniel at work behind the counter. Credits: Rod Hirsch
Salad House owner Dave Delinko and employee Nina Klimko. Credits: Rod Hirsch

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Disillusioned with the grind that comes with being an attorney, David Delinko has gotten a fresh start, preparing and serving fresh salads to customers at the Salad House, which celebrated its Grand Opening Friday, Feb. 2.

The owner of Somerville's newest restaurant, located at 58 West Main St., opened the door for a “soft” opening for family and friends two weeks ago; since then a steady stream of customers has been coming in to order customized salads from an eight-foot square, hand-painted mural that lists 75 menu items.

The restaurant creates fast healthy salads and meals that are made-to-order or signature salads that put a twist on popular favorites such as the “Greek Out,” “Eat Cobb,” “Stay Classy Caesar” and more.

Sign Up for E-News

“We serve health-conscious, comfort food that is personalized to suit the individual taste, dietary and nutritional needs of each and every customer whether they dine in or choose from our wide selection of catering options for their home or office family,” Delinko said.

Most menu items are gluten-free, according to Delinko.

Customers who prefer to be more interactive can punch in their order on a keyboard and watch their creation come together on a flat screen. The electronic “Create Your Own Salad or Wrap” stations enable customers to check off their selection of lettuce, vegetables, and other ingredients like beans, eggs pumpkin and sunflower seeds, crispy wontons, honey mustard pretzel pieces, chopped bacon, almonds, apples, mandarin oranges, candied walnuts, the House hummus and others.

The list also has "dine in" or "to go" check-off boxes and a “Keep My Salad on File” box that speeds up the ordering process on subsequent visits. The sheet also advises “Skip the Line, Order Online.”

“We’re trying to offer a convenient experience,” Delinko said.

The restaurant has seating for 20, and will have limited outdoor seating when the weather gets warmer.

Fresh salads are the specialty of the house, but Delinko and his staff also offer home-made soups, appetizers, sandwiches and wraps, flat bread, smoothies, fresh brewed coffee and tea, even a kids’ menu that features grilled cheese – bacon and tomatoes are an option; plain pizza, chicken fingers and fries, even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. 

The Salad House is also equipped for corporate catering; prior to the official opening, Delinko had already put together three off-site events.

Fresh produce is delivered daily, and the bread is baked fresh each day and delivered from Calandra’s Bakery in Newark, considered as one New Jersey’s best.

Delinko takes pride in prepping the menu items in house; fresh bacon is fried and minced every morning; turkeys are baked every other day; dressings are homemade including Tamari Thai Ranch, Champagne Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Green Goddess, L’il Kick Chipotle and Creamy Balsamic.

“I make the brownies myself,” he said.

Whipping up a batch of brownies, ordering produce, walking customers through the menu and chopping lettuce is a welcome change from the intense world of litigation and representing clients which Delinko had done for years at a law firm in northern New Jersey.

“After a while I realized it wasn’t for me,” Delinko said. “It was a negative environment, a cutthroat world, if we won my clients were happy, but someone would always be unhappy. I was miserable.”

Ultimately, Delinko reached the point where he said “enough is enough.”

He and his wife, Caryn, who is a vegetarian, had discovered the original Salad House in Millburn and were regular customers. There are also Salad House franchises in Morristown and Westfield.

Delinko was looking for a business opportunity; the Salad House made perfect sense.

"People are taking better care of themselves, eating healthier. This is not something trendy that will be gone tomorrow," he said.

One thing led to another, and Delinko bought the Somerville franchise. He quit the law firm in February, and worked at the other Salad House restaurants to learn from the ground up.

“I’ve lost 25 pounds, I walk taller, I’m healthier, happy and I’m not the butt end of any more lawyer jokes,” he said.

Order online at Further information is available by calling (908) 203-5252

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Basking Ridge

Whole Foods in Bridgewater to Officially Open Doors March 21

February 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Whole Foods Market Bridgewater, the first Somerset County location for the retailer, will officially open its doors on Chimney Rock Road March 21.

According to a release from the company, the 49,000-square-foot store will open at 9 a.m., and there will be prize giveaways, special sales and product demonstrations and samples.

"We can't wait to serve Bridgewater and ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 16, 2018

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and staring at some pretty ridiculous tuition fees.

Early ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Wed, February 21, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art , Bedminster,

Dan Bischoff: Critic As Artist

Arts & Entertainment

Wed, February 21, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Keepers of the Chroma: An Exhibition Regarding ...

Arts & Entertainment

Franklin: Sister2Sister Seeks Volunteers for 5K Run; Breast Cancer Health Summit and Screenings March 24

February 20, 2018

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ – Sister2Sister, a non-profit organization that supports minority and underserved breast cancer survivors, is getting an early start on planning its 5K Breast Cancer Run & Walk For Life with an organizational meeting Thursday, Feb. 22.

Those interested are invited to the organization’s headquarters at 1201 Hamilton St., Somerset for the 7 p.m.


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!