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100 Favorite Dishes: Punch's chopped Italian salad

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As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2010, coming this spring, Hot Dish is serving up a hundred of our favorite local dishes. Send your own nominations to hotdish @citypages.com.

No. 68: Punch's chopped Italian salad

Sharing's fun and nice and all, but to avoid some serious silverware-related injury you might be best off just getting your own when it comes to Punch's chopped Italian salad. The salad comes in "half" and "whole" sizes, but even the moon-like expanse of the serving dish for the larger one won't keep you from diving across enemy lines--fork tines poised menacingly--after choice bites of the salad's various meats, cheeses, and veggies. The plentiful salad comes with cayenne salami, Black Forest ham, and little twists of baked, ruby-red prosciutto that's tender like jerky (but like 10,000 times better), mixed in with soft pieces of fontina and gorgonzola, garbanzos, carrots, and cherry tomatoes--all tasty little treasures nestled in a sea of crisp, mixed greens and accompanied by a few wedges of olive oil and rosemary-sprinkled pizza crust. Watch dem hands, peeps!

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 100: Volcano Salad at Tiger Sushi No. 99: Eclair at Butter No. 98: Moussaka at Gardens of Salonica No. 97: "Flappers" at Colossal Cafe No. 96: Bento Box at Obento-Ya No. 95: Sausage, salami, onion, and green olive pizza at Black Sheep No. 94: Crab Cake at the Kitchen No. 93: Passion fruit cake at Pardon My French No. 92: Kafé 421 Signature Dips No. 91: Lutefisk at Landmarc Grill No. 90: May Day Cafe Croissant No. 89: Dowjic at Babani's No. 88: Osso Bucco at the Modern Cafe No. 87: Chef Shack Hot Dog No. 86: Adult Mac & Cheese at Good Day Cafe No. 85: Ropa Vieja at Victor's No. 84: French Toast of the Dead at Chino Latino No. 83: Uni at Origami No. 82: Bagel at Common Roots No. 81: Jasmine Deli's bánh mì No. 80: Pho 79's bò cuốn lá nho No. 79: Sweets Bakeshop's Kettlecorn Cupcake No. 78: D'Amico Kitchen's Chicory Salad No. 77: Be'wiched Deli pastrami sandwich No. 76: La Grassa's lima bean appetizer No. 75: Bulldog NE Tater Tots No. 74: Pop's Swedish Meatballs No. 73: Hot Plate's Caramel Apple French Toast No. 72: Grand Cafe's Ham and Cheese No. 71: Galactic Pizza's Thailander No. 70: Jackson's milk chocolate gelatoNo. 69: Patrick's Bakery and Cafe's tiramisu