Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I’ve just discovered the salad bar, Tossed, on St Martins Lane. It may well have been there ages but its new to me anyway. The concept is simple – you pick what you want as the base of your salad (lettuce, mixed leaves, pasta), hand it over to the assistant who tips it into a large bowl, you pick out extra ingredients you want to add to it from the salad bar and your choice of dressing and they toss it for you. Its put in a container, you pay for it and take it away to eat.

A good idea in theory, especially for someone who loves salads as much as I do, but in practice it wasn’t quite right. The servers were pretty impatient so I didn’t really feel I had time to browse and make up my mind what I wanted. Which led to a rather random selection of things that I like but I’m not sure quite work together:

Mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes (I like tomatoes!), broccoli (OH hates broccoli so I have to grab every opportunity to eat it when he’s not there), walnuts (the woman in front of me seemed to know what she was doing and she had walnuts so I just copied), Roquefort dressing (very bad for me I know but again I panicked with my choice – actually it went well with the walnuts).

It made a change from my usual lunches but there were too many walnuts towards the end (do they sink?) and the dressing got a bit sickly after a while. Also I’m still very hungry!

I think the problem might be with me, and the British attitude in general towards food & customer service. I am woefully indecisive so these things are always problematic for me. I need time to consider the options, make my choices, dither, without the man behind tutting and the server banging the salad bowl impatiently. In this country, we are used to ‘getting what we are given’ ‘liking it or lumping it’ when it comes food. We don’t have the culture of requesting the way you want your sandwich made, the way they do in America. And actually, that was bizarrely probably the only thing I didn’t like about New York – you could have whatever you wanted to eat, but you had to make that decision yourself.

I will probably return to Tossed, but next time I'll go back with a plan, a salad strategy.


Lies said...

You start by lying, it's the only way.

M said...

It's probably one of the reasons our obesity rate is so high. People have a lot of choices, and they make too many bad ones.

Miss Forthright said...

Lying, eh?!

M has a point actually, it's very tempting to go ' I'll have bacon and... hmm, some cheese, and... ooh! some mayo please...' etc etc etc until the sandwich/ salad weighs about 4 stone.

I'm not sure the salad bar sounds all that great, I'd rather make my own at the Sainsburys serve yourself bar. I see what they're trying to do though.

SandDancer said...

They did have a huge amount of choice though - its just that I didn't really have time to take it all in.

I used to use the Safeway salad bar a lot when I was in my previous job but then somebody told me that they left the stuff out all night and some of it did look a bit off. All of the supermarkets around here though are just thoses Metro ones so there aren't many alternatives for salad.

Miss Forthright said...

Yeah that's the problem with London. Was in Covent Garden with my sister last week and she said 'where is there a proper Sainsbury's round here?', and couldn't believe it when I said 'errr, nowhere!'

Anonymous said...

I'd be the same - dithering about and indecisive about what to put in my bowl.

I'm the same with menus always narrowing my choices down to 2 or 3 things then havign to make a snap decision when the waiter comes along. In New York I was tutted at and harrassed by people down the queue in the deli when faced with indecision adn too much choice asked the bloke behind the counter what he would recommend

On that basis I can see me and Tossed would not work...I'm better in Greggs - cheese ploughmans, choice of 3 flavoured chicken or prawn sandwiches - easy I can deal with that!

SandDancer said...

NM - Greggs! I never go in Greggs down south as their pasties aren't as nice as the ones up north and cost about twice as much.

Chocolate & cherries said...

I just love the idea of a salad strategy :o)