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.