Often when I order in, I will chose a salad for health reasons, typically with grilled chicken. (I assure you that when I go out I am my normally adventurous Chowhound self.)
Lately I am increasingly pissed at the cost of a regular salad on the UES. Last night for example, I ordered pasta for my toddler and a "garden salad" ($3.75) from Delizia, a normally reliable pizza joint. I added on grilled chicken, and was offered "one or two pieces". I chose two. The salad came out to $11.75, hence $8 additional for the chicken. I received what was surely no more than six half inch wide strips of chicken breast.
This is commonplace. Diners and other take out places in the area essentially charge $12 or so for what is no more than lettuce, maybe tomatoes and carrots, and not much chicken. The cost of these salads is so far out of whack to the cost of the raw materials.
One value that I return to is Jackson Hole, where a good amount of chicken atop field greens is about $10. But it seems ridiculous that lettuce and chicken is $10. Their Greek salad is also pretty good, it's $10 and grilled chicken on top is another $4.
Sure, I can move. Sure, I can easily make a salad at home. That is not the issue. Is it possible to get a decent salad, with grilled chicken, on the UES at a price which is REASONABLE . . . commensurate with quality, cost of raw materials, etc?