Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Salad bar

Getting close to Easter. OK, for may of you the new Politically Correct term perhaps should be Spring Break, but calling them Spring bunnies and colored eggs just seems wrong. We usually do a picnic in the back yard, now we’re back to little kids in the yard. It’ll take a few years before we do eggs or anything similar, but the concept is there.

Last week we went to one of our ‘standard’ restaurants, Sweet Tomatoes salad bar. Back in San Diego we would hit the salad bar quite frequently, different chain there, same concept. You’ve got about a hundred feet of counter filled with lots of little bins of different items.

The above pic covers about a quarter of the serving area. You start with the base layer, several types of lettuce or spinach, then move down putting on tomatoes, cheese, onions, cucumbers, beans, broccoli, well, you get the idea – almost anything you can think of that would be on a salad, and quite a few more. There are also prepared salads – Caesar, Chinese Chicken, and a few others. Around the corner is the soup area, usually six different soups. Then assorted muffins and rolls, cornbread, focaccia, and three kinds of hot pasta. And a dessert section, with cake and brownies and frozen yogurt and stuff. Pay and keep going back as much as you want. I think it’s about $12 per person for dinner. Lots of food, and if you’re a vegetarian it’s pretty good.

I ended up with some of the Chinese Chicken salad, a sweet spinach with dried cherry dressing, and a pile of stuff (lettuce, cucumber, red onions, kidney beans, green bell pepper, chopped eggs, blue cheese, raisins, sunflower seeds), the rosemary potato soup was good, as was the cheese soup and the cream of tomato.

Ended up with a small bit of the chocolate lava cake for dessert. And then somebody came around with fresh chocolate chip cookies.

We had a friend out from back east a few years ago and went to a similar place. She just could not understand the concept. She liked it, but was used to a small pile of lettuce with a meal (sometimes). Is that still the same, or are these places now standard across the country? How about in GB or Europe? We didn’t see any when we were there, but were more interested in local food as we are able to get enough California grown stuff here.

Old story I probably told before: when our daughter went to visit a friend in Minnesota a few years ago. One night going out to eat the friend (also used to live in California) wanted to show her the ‘California Burger’ at a local place. What made it a ‘California Burger’? Avocado? Bean Sprouts? No, just a single piece of lettuce. I don’t know, does adding a little green to something make people think of California?

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