It's been a minute, but I still incessantly think/write about food. Here's a link to a satirical review I wrote about my school's salad bars for our paper, the Herald. The dining hall is truly a lifestyle... and yes, the "Baseball Burrito Bar" is real.
Traditional Salad Bar
This is your average salad bar. It’s fine. The official recommended system is to get a to-go box, add all your ingredients and dressing, then shake it like you’re listening to OutKast in 7th grade. If this sounds like your type of lunch, this is the right salad bar for you.
Mediterranean Salad Bar
Two words: feta cheese. Feta makes this a salad bar to die for. Romaine, tomato, and cucumber? Eh. Romaine, tomato, cucumber, olives, and feta cheese? Greek salad? Sort of. Authentic in the true-to-the-dining-hall-salad-bar sense. And if there’s tahini or tzatziki, you’ve got an inventive dressing! Pita chips go well in salad, by the way.
Cobb Salad Bar
I don’t know. Between the translucent avocado and sweaty turkey chunks, if you manage to find something you actually want to eat, it’s bound to be coated in a hearty sprinkling of crumbly hard boiled egg. In the morning, when I log onto my most visited website, brown.cafebonappetit.com, (does anyone else have the rest of that autofill on Google Chrome if they type “b”? Asking for a friend…), I chant repeatedly, mildly hoping to see “Italian Antipasto Bar.” Instead, “Cobb Salad Bar” appears, conjuring images of deceptive black bean salad, where half of the black beans are sweet, bloated raisins, and I have to push these thoughts out of my mind. Skip it. Or eat it and complain to your uninterested friends. How could one person think so much about salad?
Caesar Salad Bar
Pretty nicely done, Caesar Salad Bar, although nothing to write a listicle about. The bite-sized pieces of cold chicken make for even-temperature salads (as opposed to that spinach wilt you get from throwing a piece of “Grilled Montreal Chicken” straight from the Ratty grill onto your leaves). There’s just no excitement for me about the Caesar Salad Bar. I don’t see those words and get pumped about lunch that day. In fact, Caesar Salad Bar weeks are ones where I am prone to PB&J.
However, a Caesar Salad Bar week coupled with the Roots and Shoots Wheatberry Grain Bar, now that’s a salad bra to write home about. The grilled broccoli! (If you caught that I just wrote “bra,” it was on purpose. I think the readers should get at least a sneak peek at the uncountable amount of times I’ve typed salad bra instead of salad bar while writing these reviews. On another note, I just googled salad bra, and evidently your bras will last years longer if you toss them around in a salad spinner with some gentle detergent like little gems of lettuce. Learn something new every day.) On that note, alternative lettuce varieties are welcome and encouraged by students.
Italian Antipasto Bar
This is definitively the best salad bar because of mozzarella.
Baseball Burrito Bar
This one is just a big question mark. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Good? Not that either. You can end up with… a hard taco shell crisply enveloping a boiled hot dog of little league nostalgia. Smother that in sour cream, pickled jalapeños, and relish? I mean, why not? Points for variety. Also notable, the Caesar Salad Pizza Bar. (See next week’s post “10 Reasons We Love the V-Dub.”)