Favorite Saladbar

As an accompaniement to the Favorite Salad Thread. What establishment has your favorite Salad Bar? How do you assemble your salad? What are your ingredients for the perfect Salad Bar Salad?

Amish Salad bars are the best. I like fresh peas and garbanzos. The bar passes if they have those ingredients. I prefer real bacon bits and I also appreciate a good Bleu Cheese. Frisch’s has the worst (variety is good, it just is not fresh. That manager iis balancing fresh produce and waste on budget and it shows. I have had bad bad things there… dangerous things.)

The local Sizzler used to have the best around here, but they closed. Showing my age, but back before it was outlawed they had the best hot bacon dressing.

I hate peas and chickpeas, so we will never frequent the same places. I’m a man of simple means: solid base of lettuce, with a high percentage of iceberg. Then applications of chopped egg, onions, diced ham, a side dollop of macaroni salad and/or cole slaw, and an unhealthy coating of either French or Thousand Island dressing.

I think the best salad bar I’ve ever seen was at Churrascuria Plataforma, in Manhattan. Of course, you know what Admiral Ackbar would say about spending your valuable stomach space on salad when at a Brazilian steakhouse.

I have very, very limited experience with the salad bar, but the best I’ve had was one at one of the Brazilian steakhouses here, too. (Can’t remember which of the main chains it was.) I generally don’t end up at buffets, and the salad bars at the grocery store – I dunno. I just don’t trust them.

Is that chain? Haven’t seen them around here, but sounds like that’s the ticket.

Chain-wise? Sweet Tomatoes, hands down. Ruby Tuesday’s isn’t bad either.

Yeah, I like Sweet Tomatoes, too. I usually end up eating two big plates of salad and then a small cup of chili or chicken soup. Fresh Choice used to be okay, too, but they’re major suck nowadays.

I remember when salad bars were a new and exotic idea. Around here, only Marie Callendar’s had them at first. Imagine! Making your own salad, and as much as you want! It was revolutionary back in 1977.

No, When I refer to Amish Saladbars I am talking about a style of saladbar best exemplified by Amish Family Style Restaurants native to Ohio and Indiana like Der Dutchman and Das Essen Haus Thw AnmishDoorand numerous others, like Miller’s in Florida as another example.

Amish Salad bars are usually characterized by a huge, fresh, choice and various prepared salads and pickles influenced by a mix of Midwest American farmhouse cooking and their Swiss heritage. Things like potato salad, and pickled eggs, and Bean salads, etc. Never been to a bad one.

I am obsessed with Sweet Tomatoes, at least in the summer. I really cannot get enough of that place- and it’s Lemon Month!! Mmm, lemon cream pasta with capers. I love you, Sweet Tomatoes.

I should say they are Amish and Mennonite. Really, the Mennonite lifestyle allows for these Restaurants to exist, it’s an interesting schism in the religion. Kind of like the difference between Orthodox and Reform Jews.

damn, i love that place. it does have a great salad bar.

We have a regional grocery store chain with two stores in my city, one of which has a salad bar I love. The things that make it awesome are:

• There is always more than one kind of lettuce available. Usually, it’s romaine and either spinach or a spinach/baby greens mix. I don’t think they ever have plain ol’ iceberg.

• The cheese choices usually include bleu, feta, and shredded Parmesan, in addition to the standard shredded cheddar.

• Chopped bell peppers and red onion. I hate those items on a salad when they are sliced into big, unwieldy rings. The chopped peppers often are a mix of green and red. They sometimes have roasted red pepper, too.

• Lots of protein choices – roast chicken, smoked turkey, ham, pepperoni, chopped hard-boiled eggs, pickled eggs, and surimi are standard.

• Lots of choices of crunchy things – croutons, fried onions (the canned kind), sunflower seeds, glazed walnuts, sesame sticks.

Most other salad bars fall short, IMHO.

I live in Korea, the land Bleu Cheese forgot, and I miss me some Ruby Tuesday’s!

There seems to be a shortage of salad bars these days - I can’t remember the last restaurant I went to that had one. We have a decent one at our work cafeteria, though. I remember when we got married in New Zealand in 1987 - our host in Aukland was bursting with pride when he took us to their very first salad bar, just opened.

I miss Wendy’s salad bar and grocery salad bars. I guess they are either too much hassle or too little profit.

Another Sweet Tomatoes fan here, although at this point, it’s almost entirely because of their salad bar, because their soup’s been pretty awful for the last 6 months, and $12 is an expensive salad…but Mom still likes it, and she pays, so WIN!

I *love *peas from the salad bar; don’t know why I never think to use them at home. And Sweet Tomatoes has shredded butternut squash, which sounds weird, but it is really awesome! I’m also a jicama fan. Pretty basic in other respects: mix of greens, heavy on the iceberg, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, a little shredded cheddar. Sweet Tomatoes loses points by not having bacon bits.

At Sweet Tomatoes, I can’t pass up their homemade buttermilk ranch dressing. It’s perfection. At other places, though, I’m more likely to reach for BOTH the French and the Bleu Cheese. The two make a sublime combination.

I also love Sweet Tomatoes Tuna Tarragon Pasta Salad from the salad bar, and have just about perfected that one at home (the secret is not to put too much stuff in it: a little buttermilk, a little dab o’ mayo, a sploosh of honey, some tarragon and salt and pepper. There’s still one flavor missing; I think it might be lemon juice, but I’m not sure.)

I vote for Sweet Tomatoes also, although I wouldn’t miss the soup/pasta bar at all. I have tried to replicate their combo of greek salad dressing, fresh peas and feta at home but can’t quite get the same awesomeness.

There used to be a grocery store in Hyde Park, NY called the Amish Market. They were a combination of a farmer’s market and a foodie gourmet shop. They had a great salad bar.

My current favorite is the Wegman’s supermarket in Pittsford, NY. A couple of salad bars, a hot vegetable bar, an Asian food bar (with a dim sum bar), and a dessert bar.

Sweet Tomatoes or Churrascaría Plataforma. Both are awesome in their own ways.

As far as Sweet Tomatoes’ bacon bits, they have the real ones over by the soup, usually. Tuna tarragon is my favorite thing there, but I also love the seasonal tossed salads. The current Summer Lemon Salad is in my top 5 anywhere.

Sweet Tomatoes, always IMHO clean and fresh. And I love the soups, most of them, their cream of mushroom is awesome, the clam chowder OK (too many big hunks of potato), the French onion Ok, but they have asiago cheese to put in your bowl before you add the soup, which I love. It’s spendy, but a singleton can go in, with a book, and you won’t need another meal for probably the next day.

don’t forget won ton chicken happiness…
yeah, i like sweet tomatoes too, and i really like ruby tuesday’s salad bar. only reason to go to a tuesday’s, really. haven’t had that in forever because most of the ones around here have closed.