Monday, December 17, 2007

Chinese Chicken Salad

Margaret: Hmmm....Asian salad. So popular here in the Mart. Anyway, I thought this was pretty good. We asked for the dressing on the side and they did put it on the salad, but...alas, we ate it anyway. There really was too much dressing, but the salad was good! It had good decent chicken chunks, it had BROCCOLI (I swear people, it's the little things that make me happy), edamame, green peppers, cucumbers, all kinds of good things. The bowl is so big, John and I shared a salad and ate it for almost our whole lunch hour. I think this is the best salad we've had so far there, it just seems like Foodstuffs is kind of getting their act together. It's still on the expensive side, but if I have to pay extra for broccoli, then it is extra well spent.

John: When we walked up today the line was the same size as everybody else. Thats a good sign. Foodstuffs still has some growing pains to work out but its getting there. I'm a big time lover of the Asian salad. This one was GREAT! Romaine, edamame, red onion, broc, cuc, peanuts, carrots, grilled chicken and mushrooms all tossed in a light peanut vin dressing. There was actually so much salad that they couldn't shut the container. Its kinda pricey but worth it. Once this place settles in (and gets rid of those damn video menus) they are going to be great. For the fresh and yummy - A- for you Foodstuffs. You are welcome.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chopped Chicken Salad

Margaret: Okay okay, we're doing a little better at the Foodstuffs. The wait was a lot shorter this time around, the poor everyone there has kind of a problem with ordering a salad AND something else from the "sausage" menu, but all in all, s'not bad. My only other complaint is the screens with the menu on them. The screens keep changing all the time, so you can never look and just decide on a salad, you have to reach way up front and grab a paper menu to decide what you want. It's really annoying. Anyway, today we had the chopped salad with chicken breast. I liked it pretty well, it covered a lot of bases previous salads don't...for example, broccoli. Such an easy thing to put in a salad, but I think that this may be the first salad we've had with broccoli in it. I LOVE broccoli, and it really smartens up a salad, how can this be the first one I've had? The chicken was still processy, but less processy than some others. I thought the vinagrette dressing was fine, but would have preferred a Ranch. But I think there's some good things on this salad. I liked it fine, honestly, its better than most. B. Solid B.

John: I'm just not feeling the groove of this place. This just seemed like stuff in a bowl with a little cup of brown poured on it. $7.99 makes it the most expensive non-vomit-sushi-salad salad in the mart. Whats killing me is that everything in the bowl is fresh and great. Why then doesn't it taste like anything? Crappy crappy dressing. Thats what it is. I still feel like there is a shot for the "makeyourown" to be good. C me in line at Foodstuffs.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

BLT Salad

John: Foodstuffs is really just a 'lil Au Bon Pain. Too bad. Where to begin? I'm sure that once the "newness" wears off the lines will get smaller - but today it was a full half hour between the time we got in line and the time we sat down to eat. HALF AN HOUR! You can't do that to people who only get 60 minutes with travel time to eat. But its new and therefore being overwhelmed by people looking to try it and I can look the other way. The workers were moving at TOP speed the entire time and the wait didn't have anything to do with them. Our "Salad Artist" was great actually. The salad itself was also just so so. It reminded me of the Pazzini Chicken Salad. All the required ingredients were in the bowl, but it didn't seem like I was eating a salad. More like scooping things out of a bowl into my mouth. I already have my first tip for you readers - get it tossed with dressing on the side. Our chopped salads were more mashed than chopped - and the lack of a step will save you time. This place may turn out to be awesome. Maybe not. Today was a not. For the time and the lack of WOW, I give you D.

Margaret: Well well well, Foodstuffs huh? Sausages and Salads huh? Mkay, I can jive with that. I can even jive waiting way too long to get a frickin salad, because, well, its your opening week. I understand that things aren't going to run so smoothly right now. That's okay. Plus, the TWENTY minute wait for our food allowed us to meet other wonderful salad eaters as well.I actually think Foodstuffs could be the new meat market of Chicago, you never know where your next boyfriend is coming from. So we decided (I decided) on the BLT salad. Simple, easy, delicious...or not. Something was terribly wrong here. I'm not sure if it was the croutons, or the bacon, but something tasted funny. not funny like spoiled food or anything, but funny like they spiced something wrong. First salad, and already I'm leery about ordering the next seven. But I do what I have to do folks. I do what I have to do. D.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Just when I thought that we were out they pull us back in

Looks like we are going to have to postpone the World's Largest Salad Blog Photo. Why? Because FoodStuffs just opened in the old haunted Great Steak space. Suddenly we have 6 salads to go. Will Potbelly's get de-throned? Who can say? Oh yeah - us.

Friday, November 30, 2007

It ends with a single forkfull

"Over the next X days and weeks my sweet lady Margaret will be eating and reviewing every salad available for lunch at Chicago's Merchandise Mart. Rough estimate is somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 salads so we better get snacking. Why no review today? I'm having a last meal. McD Surf and Turf (Big Mac and Filet O'Fish) with an iced tea." - May 2007

The world was a different place then. Anna Nichol was still alive and Bush was still in the White House. We were so young weren't we? God you had a great butt. Who'da thought we'd find ourselves all grown up so soon. Pass on what you've learned and enjoy retirement - the salad days.

Loyal readers or as I know you call yourselves "Lettuceheads"

Please join us a week from today (Dec 14th) at 1:00pm in front of the Potbelly's in the Merchandise Mart to celebrate the "winning" salad THE CHICKEN SALAD SALAD.

Everyone who joins us for lunch that day will be eligible to be in THE WORLDS LARGEST SALAD BLOG READERSHIP FULL-COLOR GROUP PHOTO EVER. And that's salad history folks. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vegetable Vinaigrette Salad

Margaret: I think Starbucks salads are actually pretty good. When you've been around the salad world like I have, you can start to see how everything is going to go before you even open up the package. Today's salad sounded fine until I got to the word "mint". Yeesh. Is it me? Mint in my salad? I suppose its not THAT odd, but mint and feta? Mint and carrot? Mint and pepper? Mint and me? No. As far as I'm concerned mint is for two things, mint chocolate chip milkshakes and Frango's. And peppermint patties. Okay, mint and chocolate. I really did like the "Champagne vinagrette", I thought that was delicious. The veggies were fresh, the carrots tasted like carrots (and mint), the cukes tasted like cukes (and mint) and the red pepper tasted like red pepper (and mint). And again, the package is deceiving, it looks like a small salad, but its really not, there's a lot packed in those little bowls. So, I'll give this one a C, if there was no mint, I would have given it a B probably, but if you like mint with your veggies, you are strange, but you will also like this one. C.

John: This is more like veggies in a box than it is a salad. I liked how fresh everything was and the cham vin was great. My big problem with this one was the "base" of the salad. The box said "minted bulger" which I read as "Tabouli" or thereabouts. It really was just "minted bulger" in there. Its like they tried to cheap out on the other Tabouli ingredients and hope nobody noticed. The flavor was just too singular and strong to enjoy. For me this was another half/half salad. Half good - half processed and corporate tasting. For $5.25 you can do better folks. C- (would have been an A- with Tabouli)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tokyo Lunchbox Sashimi Salad

Margaret: Well, I'll admit that John and I went back and forth for a minute regarding whether I had to eat this salad. I really don't like sushi. I don't like fish anyway, so raw fish products are not my thing. It's the one thing I'm pretty staunch about not trying, the few times I have tried sushi it tastes like salty assfish. So...we went back and forth a bit, but this is OUR salad blog, and there can't be a salad that just one of us tries, so...I tried it. Lo and behold it tasted like salty assfish on lettuce. I had a whole huge mouthful, with a little bit of everything on it, the most honest mouthful I could have, and I was pretty close to spitting it out. The first thought that went through my head is when the lunch lady on Survivor had to eat those just underdone birds a few weeks ago. I held the salty assfish in my mouth, tried my best to be open minded, and then shoved the entire mouthful down with the biggest swig of Diet Coke anyone has ever had. So, needless to say, this salad was disgusting. F. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

John: Now Johnny likes nothing more than a good Japanese Tuna Salad that takes the flavors of my favorite items and gives them to me in a new form. I'll let you know when I find one. I, like many of you, am a sashimi/maki addict - if there was a spicy tuna faucet I'd put my lips right on it and gulp. I have never been so excited about a salad going in and so very very disappointed in the end. This was bad bad bad. Warm sushi rice, frozen lettuce and tuna, a busted up crab stick and finally what seemed like spicy ketchup all for $11. This is easily the worst salad in the mart while also being the most expensive. Tokyo Lunch Box - for breaking my heart you receive the ultimate shame - an F-. Yup. It hurts me too but this is tough love.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chicago Pita
Grilled Chicken Salad

Sorry about the delay. Somebody got her camera stolen in Vegas.

Margaret: This is by far one of the best salads at the Mart, if not the best. Seriously, I'm not messing around. I stopped smoking a week ago and there is no room for messing around in my life anymore. So you know that what I say today is the absolute goldarn truth, because my capacity for blowing smoke (or sucking it) is now gone. And this salad, is delicious. The chicken is so good. And its even warm, which in previous salads has made me hurl. But this chicken is so good, its real chicken, its warm, its delicious and there is plenty of it. There were also some fresh cukes, mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes...and a yummy creamy italian sauce. This is the kind of salad you could eat for a meal and not be starving or feeling unsatisfied after, its a real meal. And once again, the service is great. I love this salad. A+

John: Going out with a bang! Only two more salads left and I was starting to wonder if anybody else was going to hit the top 5. Well, REAL FOOD is a great way to do it. This was a really good honest salad. Best way to describe it. If the pitas were hot this would be an A+. Instead it just gets and A. YAY GREEKS!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Asian Salad

Margaret: Well, yay for the asian salad from Starbucks huh? It looked good going in, but John and I are too smart for that now, we know looks can be deceiving. But this looked delicious...the chicken, like yesterday, was very good (um hello? McDonalds?) and the rest of it was yummy, all kinds of little gifts in there with a tangy Asian taste, and you know, that's sort of what it felt like too, like getting a little present. The container is deceiving too, it looks like a small salad but its really packed and the bowl is deep. I liked this salad and glad that Starbucks showed us they could do it right from yesterday. I'm going to give it a B and not an A, and here's why...although I thought the salad was quite good, it was so tangy that I couldn't really see myself eating the whole thing. A few bites were enough for me, so...B.

John: Don't let the beige on beige on beige of this photo fool you! This was great. Edamame and black sesame seeds at a coffee shop! YUM! Its as good as the California Pizza Kitchen Thai Salad - and thats saying a lot! Everything was crunchy - everything was tangy. I like this salad as much as I hated yesterday's. If you are "on the go" and want to grab some food at Starbucks - grab this - it eats like a meal. A+. Really. Yes A+. I will eat this again and again until it gets cancelled by the bucks.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fiesta Salad

John: It may not have lettuce - but its labeled "salad" so away we go. Really tasty chicken strips top a mix of fire roasted corn, black beans and salsa. The chicken is awesome. Thats where the yummy ends. The bulk of the salad is composed of cold roasted corn. Cold corn. Who eats cold corn? If you took a room temp can of Green Giant Nibletts and dumped cold salsa on it - you'd have an exact duplicate of this junk. Really. There is no way anyone can eat this for lunch and feel good about what they just had. NO WAY. Too many calories in corn (320!) combined with a mushy mushy mouth feel make this an easy D. If the chicken had sucked it would SO be an F.

Margaret: It was the best of salad times, it was the worst of salad times. Pardon my waxing, but this salad so accurately fits the bill. So yeah, first bite of the salad was of the chicken on top. Grilled chicken, and to my surprise, it tasted like actual chicken! It was good, it wasn't chewy and gross, and I thought, "Yip!", finally someone got the chicken right. And if Starbucks can get a couple of pieces of frozen/grilled/whatevered chicken right, why can't everyone else? (I'm looking at you McDonalds). And then I dug into the mish-mosh that was the rest of the salad. And it just tasted like mushy mexican food. The taste was okay, I kinda liked that, this one had a texture problem. So even though I liked the taste okay, and the chicken okay, there was something about the rest of the salad that made it hard to swallow, like have to push them to the back of your mouth and wash 'em down with water/beer/vodka, whatever. This was the same, just something that made it really gross to finish, and I sucked down a lot of Diet Coke getting the corn mosh down my throat. was okay, but almost inedible...C.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Au Bon Pain
Garden Salad

Margaret: Okay. Fine. This was a perfectly good salad. Which is really annoying. Why? Becuase that means that Au Bon Shit knows how to make a perfectly decent salad. Granted, there was way too much dressing on it, but that's just become ABP's signature now. It's like how my signature is to do everything perfectly. Right? Right. To my surprise, the salad had sprouts on it! SPROUTS! I love sprouts! We've had almost every single salad at ABP and they put sprouts on ONE salad? If you have sprouts people, use the sprouts. Don't sit on the sprouts. Use them. People like them. Sheesh. I don't know, it was a fine salad, one of the better ones there. But it wasn't fabulous either. I'll give it a B-, the minus is for the fact that just walking into Au Bon Pain puts me in a bad mood. Crowded, unorganized and expensive. But hey. I love a good sprout.

John: Unremarkable. Yet I must remark. Lettuce sprouts tomato and cucs for just over $5. For that price I expect at least one fun ingredient. Here we go. The cucs made the dressing wet. The sprouts soaked it up and made it dry. So this salad was somehow wet and dry at the same time. So I give it an A and an F. I can't wait to not have to eat at Au Bon Pain ever again. C.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Veggie Salad

Margaret: Well, my head is as jumbled as my salad today. The Potbelly's vegetarian salad is just...too much. In the words of Mr. Mies Van der Rohe, "less is more." And this is very true in this case. Yes, there are lots of yummy things on this salad, artichoke hearts and chick peas and red peppers and they're all very good, very good. But I just think its too much. It doesn't all go together, it all gets too messy and ends up tasting like nothing all mixed up like that. I mean, its still miles ahead of most salads, but honestly, I could have done without maybe two of the ingredients. Granted, she asked us if we wanted "everything" on it, and of course we said yes (its like how Morgan Spurlock always had to supersize if they asked), but ... meh. I'll give it a B-, its still good, its just not great.

John: I was ready for this. Like some sort of "last hurrah" that we were saving for the end (we are so close) as a treat. Well I'm nothing but disappointed in this one. It took me a bit to figure out why I wasn't enjoying every bite like the other Potbelly offerings. Here's the trick with this salad - too many "preserved" ingredients. Chick peas, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers ALL OUT OF JARS. There was just too much of a wet brine flavor to enjoy this. My dressing went runny right away. Potbelly I'm going to use a tone I normally save for speaking to McDonald's so be ready. YOU NEED TO THINK THESE SALADS OUT A LITTLE. Where was the carrot? Absent. Why? Because Potbelly doesn't put carrots on sandwiches. And if it doesn't go on a sandwich then there isn't any place for it at a sandwich shop. Thats why this salad fails. The other three (lovely, lovely and lovely) all mimick a sandwich on the menu. This is just handy toppings on lettuce. Thanks for trying. C+.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Make Your Own Salad

Margaret: Wow, what a relief. Seriously, to sit down, and eat a salad and FINISH the salad because it was delicious. Well...I feel...satiated. We had the "choose your own" today and I appreciate the choices I had. I had the field greens, mozzarella, cucumbers and onions and oddly enough in this salad world of ours, everything tasted like what it was! The lettuce tasted like lettuce, the onions tasted like onions and the little crumbles of mozzarella were delicious, especially when it came down to the bottom of the bowl and it was this ranchy, cheesy goodness. The service at Pazzini's is unbelievably ridiculous, they take forever, but at least this one was worth waiting for. I almost licked the bowl. A. Yup, you heard me, A.

John: Romaine OR Field Greens with 3 toppings of your choice for $4.99. Now thats a deal. Tons of thing to choose from. Mostly Italian ingredients but still - thanks for the choice. I pretty much got my classic "salad bar" salad. It was awesome. Everything was fresh. The only snag in the day was the service. Everything went into the computer like 3 times even though the lady making it was standing right there. Also they kept giving away our ham and cheese pannini so we'd have to wait for a new one and then they'd give it away and we'd have to wait for a new one. So here is my review. Get this if there is a short line. Skip it if its chaos. I'm also going A on this one. Good work Pazzini - you snuck in to the top five!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Southwest Chicken Salad (Crispy)

Margaret: Well, I liked the grilled chicken southwest salad pretty well, which is rare for a Mickey D's salad, so I was okay getting this one with the grilled chicken. There's some kind of "pre-sauce" that comes on it and I started to dig in. Blech, I thought, this salad tastes like poo. Then John pointed out the actual salad dressing and that I hadn't put it on yet. So when I did put it on, the salad tasted much better! It's an okay salad I guess, I really like the little tortilla chips and corn and beans, and am impressed that Mickey D's has the inclination to put all that extra stuff in there. But I'm telling you, make sure you put the dressing on (at least some) because without it, it tastes like a big bowl of plastic lettuce. I dunno, I guess a C+

John: Oh McDonalds. This was your big break. I liked you grilled version of this salad alot. Today's was kinda limp by comparison. I thought it was still pretty good actually (once the dressing and lime go on to cover the taste of the lettuce) but not as good as last time. I finished it and that earns a solid B. Farewell Mcdonalds. Now that we have eaten all 8 of your salads I no longer have a good reason to go there. Well Monopoly........

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Au Bon Pain
Riviera Salad

Margaret: I'm no dummy. This time, we only ordered one salad from Au Bon Pain. Even though I was tempted by the "ranch dressing" which I love, I knew better than to order myself a whole salad, why you ask? Because, this one has GRAPES and CRANBERRIES. Blech. With ranch dressing? Blech. So I had my requisite few bites of the salad and it just...doesn't taste right. The ranch tasted funky, the salad tasted funky, there is just something so off about the Au Bon Pain salads, I mean, you can't even get ranch and lettuce right? WHY? WHY OH WHY? It is a mystery that this salad blogger may never get to the end of. So...I'll give this a C, because I didn't think much about it at all. Totally, completely in every way a mediocre salad.

John: A tragedy! The Grapes of Ranch. Too sweet. Too hard to eat (grapes are slippery devils) without shoveling. Must be a ton of sugar (2 fruits) in it. Every bite tastes the same. Like the Puggle - why does this even exist? At least is was fresh lettuce. C+

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chicago Pita
Greek Salad

Margaret: Well, the Pita Pavillion didn't amaze me with this one, but it was really just due to the cheese. The salad "looked" delicious, but I honestly only had a few bites of it because the goat cheese, or feta, or whatever moldy looking cheese they had on it just doesn't do it for me. But dang, they're just so pleasant there, and the chicken gyros I had was fabulous. So...this ones hard because really, the salad looked the way it should, I just couldn't bear to eat more than a few bites, so I'll go with a solid C on this one.

John: My least favorite from Chicago Pita so far. Good stuff but the lettuce in the bottom was a touch "overchilled" at some point in the cooler and had lost its texture. That kept me from really digging in the way I wanted to - feta I love you. Its good but for the extra buck get the gyro meat. C.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Crispy Chicken Bacon Ranch

John: Want to know how this one tasted? Take a look at the fancy SALAD DAZE PICTURE IN PICTURE. Thats how its tasted. Like rotten lettuce that was chopped in a dirty wood chipper sometime way back when Britney still had her babies. YUM! I think the Bacon Ranch is the worst of the offerings at McDs. Even deep frying couldn't save this one. F. BOOOOOO.

Margaret: Well, I have not too much to say on this subject, we all know how Mickey D's handle their salads, which is not very well at all. The crispy chicken is always tasty, I'm not going to deny it, almost everyone loves a chicken finger and some ranch dressing. But once you get into the lettuce and the cardboard carrots, it all goes awry. The lettuce tastes like plastic bag, so you end up just eating fried chicken and that is not really a salad. It's fine, but I'm bored with Mickey D's salads, they're sub-par and I know have not one ounce of something good in them. C-.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Raspberry Chipotle Chicken

John: Chipotle makes you think SouthWest doesn't it? Me too. There isn't a thing about this salad thats SouthWestern. Not even the dressing. I'm a pepper man and I couldn't taste any heat in the "sauce" that came with this salad. The only actual difference between this salad and the roasted chicken we just reviewed is the dressing. Really none of the Quiznos salads are any different once you take the "toppings" off of it. All in all it was fine but really this is just a Chicken Club Salad with a Raspberry Vin. So for lying to me, I give you a C+.

Margaret: Yes Quizno's you are very creative! Take a regular roasted chicken salad, put a raspberry smoothie on it and call it something fancy. Yes, you are very smart! Blech. You know, the roasted chicken salad was fine the way it was, there is no reason to put a raspberry smoothie on it just so you can have another salad to put on your menu. It doesn't taste good. I'm sorry, it just doesn't. It wasn't even raspberry vinagrette, literally like a thick smoothie on chicken. Blech. You know, I'm not in the best mood anyway today, but when Quizno's tries to pull a salad switch on me, I get very pissy. Yes okay, the little pita pieces (especially when the cheese gets stuck on it) are very good. Mmmmm. Oh wait, no they're not, because they're drenched in Jamba Salad dressing. Blech. Boo to you, I'm bringing your average way down Q to the Z, you get a big fat D. D!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Au Bon Pain
Chef's Salad

Margaret: You would think I would have learned by now that I should really toss my own salad because having someone else do it just doesn't hold the same satisfaction. This salad from Au Bon Pain was at least edible, as opposed to the other 999 salads from there. Plain old Chef's Salad. Au Bon Pain might be stingy with some of their more attractive salad items, but they are NEVER stingy with the vinagrette salad dressing. It literally drips off the fork, the lettuce, and any other poop ABP puts in there. It's just too much and you can't taste anything else in there besides the dressing. There's just something about the salads over there that I cannot stand. I'm not sure if its the wilty lettuce or drenched tomatoes, but they just never sit right with me. They always taste "off" and just look kind of unattractive too, a good salad should have myriad colors, reds and oranges and greens; the ABP salads always have this army green color with a splash of sad red or olive black. This one was fine, but it wasn't delicious and they have enough ingredients (much like Potbelly's) to make something delicious. I'll give it a B-, because I ate it, but I didn't want to.

John: Weird how dressing seems to be the natural enemy of auto-focus. Anyway. I dug this one. In my digging I discovered a truth about Au Bon Pain - You have got to hit it on a good day. Just like McD, these salads live and die by how fresh the BAG of ingredients is. Its reminds me of those claw games that they have at Chuckie Cheese. The secret to those is pick the prize that CAN be won - not the prize you want to win. Get the salad whose ingredients look the freshest - (you can take a peak over the glass before you order) - not the salad you have a taste for. Is this right? NO! Is this the way of the world? YES! I'm feeling good about this one. A-.

Stop Asking to See It!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Roast Chicken Salad

Margaret: This was a pretty good day for Quizno's. I was kinda hungry today so we went with the roasted chicken salad. I have a funny feeling these Quizno's salads are secretly not very good for you, but still, it was pretty good. Roasted chicken, bacon, tomatos, onions, cheese, all the classics. They have a very yellow honey mustard dressing that was pretty good, I didn't use much, it was just a little too yellow. But my favorite part of todays salad was the warm pita that they give you. It's always really soft and yummy and you can make little salad sandwiches with it, but today, the cheese from the salad melted all over the warm pita bread and it was all kinds of delicious. This wasn't so bad...I'll give it a solid B.

John: Better than the "theme" salads at Quiznos by a long shot. This one contains just what it should. I also thought the dressing was kinda odd. My only bitch is the price. Two salads and two drinks somehow costs like $20. Bee.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Chicago Pita
Caesar Salad

Margaret: Sometimes I just have to wonder why its so hard for people to serve good food with a smile. When we walked up to Chicago Pita today they were full of smiles, there's some convention at the Mart today and it was packed. But the Pita people smiled and recognized us, wondered why we weren't getting our regular order and made sure to smile over someone's pretty new ring. The salad was good. It's weird to get a Cesar salad without chicken or anything, but it was still really good. Fresh lettuce and tons of cheese took the place of the chicken and its huge still, even without much on it, it was still big and delicious, much like myself. I give it a B+, perfectly good salad, but the plus is for the smiles and the freshness of their food. You know what? Add another plus, B++ for the chickenless Caesar.

John: To borrow from Full Metal Jacket, today's salad is "too bookoo". Good through and though - just a little big for me. I would rather see this reduced in size and price to a SIDE CAESAR. As always the staff at C.P. was awesome. Today there is some sort of bridal show in the mart - so its full of tourist types. While everyone else got their order called out by number, ours came out as "Margaret and John your lunch is ready!" Suck on that hot bridal models from Iowa who were crowding the straw dispenser. Not to copy my lady but B++++++++

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Au Bon Pain
Mediterranean Salad

John: No the photo isn't out of focus. Its swimming in dressing. Yeah. What really kills me about this salad is that I just learned to LOVE Feta. That sour rustic flavor has finally grown on me. Too bad that Au Bon Pain Feta is just "crumbled white" cheese. This salad didn't taste like anything. Granted I had them hold the olives which would have helped but still. Too much dressing - not enough taste. C-.

Margaret: Patooey. I'm done with Au Bon Pain. I used to not mind it there so much. I like their turkey sandwiches. But their salads get worse and worse. And the lines and the way its organized is designed to make you annoyed. Berlch. This salad was literally swimming in dressing, way too much, it was dripping off the fork. I don't really like feta and I still couldn't taste it, which means it had no taste. The lettuce was fresh, but it was wet with vinegar and oil. A few red peppers helped things along, but much like the feta, it was washed out by all the salad dressing. Thank goodness they have big chunks of bread and plenty of butter, otherwise, I'd be starving right now. C-. I would give it a D, but this salad was at least edible. At least.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Grilled Chicken Asian

Margaret: You know, it kind of gets to a point with these salads, especially Mickey D's...where there's hardly even a point to reviewing them anymore. Because listen, I know you're going to sprinkle salmon-colored grilled chicken over a pretty good salad. I know I'm going to think its disgusting and I know I'm not going to eat the whole thing. I know I thought it was pretty good with the crispy chicken on it and I know I'm going to get a cheeseburger too because your grilled chicken is disgusting. Now that we know all this, lets just go ahead and give you what you normally get for your salmon chicken Micks, and bestow you with a C-. Good salad, disgusting chicken. Figure it out McDonalds, or else you're going down in FLAMES.

John: Great tasting salad full of fresh crisp ingredients! Too bad there is a rubber chicken on top of it. Really this would have been so much better without the chicky breast. Thank God I had a BigMac chaser! The difference in calories between the grilled and the crispy is only 90. The difference in taste between the two is like 1000. Go ahead clowny - clog my arteries with flavor! C.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sonoma Salad

Margaret: This was good! I was in a hungry mood today (no breakfast sammy this morning, just a nice fruit cup!) so I was worried about our Pazzini's salad. I even asked John if we could get an actual pazzini to share just in case. And I needn't have worried. This is a good salad! There was lots of yummy stuff in it, all fresh and colorful and nice. Definitely get the salad dressing on the side...even the little bread was good! The salad would have been plenty, but pair the salad with half a pazzini and you get what I would call an almost perfect lunch. Only thing missing was a vodka seven. B+

John: For what is really just a garden salad this bad boy is pretty pricey. BUT its also the best salad I've had at Pazzini's. For $5.99 we got romaine, cucs, cheese, tomatoes and little flatbreads. I think the secret to this joint is DRESSING ON THE SIDE. Great salad but the $ brings it back down a bit. B+. If you had been like a buck cheaper you'd have been in the top 5. Ah well.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cripsy Chicken Caesar

John: Man these salads are all starting to run together. Wasn't sure until I got back to my desk if we had done this one or not. Turns out it was the GRILLED version we had. Well I'll tell ya what - although I'm sure that the chicken in both comes from the same factory, the crispy just tastes better. This salad wasn't the best or the worst I've ever had. Everything is still kinda wilty and the dressing is plastic tasting. As C as C can be.

Margaret: Yup. Okay fine, I'll admit it, I had a breakfast sandwich this morning. Not from Mickey D's, but had cheese and sausage on it, and it was delicious. Some mornings, when I know we're doing salads, I'll get one, because I seem to be so picky about the salads that I'll usually end up not eating much lunch. So when I sat down to a plateful of fried chicken, I just...blech. It seemed so heavy, so gross...I bit into the damn thing and the lettuce tastes like eating a toy from a happy meal, the tomatoes are not even worth it, and the one thin slice of carrot is doing nothing to help me eat healthier. It all just seemed so gross today. So maybe not the fault of the salad, maybe the fault of the breakfast sandwich, but it all just seemed plain wrong today. C-.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wreck Salad

John: Today we have a special guest eat with us. And what a day to have a guest. I thought this was a pretty good salad - but not the best that Potbelly's has to offer. It almost had TOO MANY ingredients. Maybe it was two cheeses (swiss and bleu) that threw me off. Still a damn fine value and a damn fine salad. B+

Margaret: Delicious. Delicious delicious delicious. I loved this, I think salads with egg are just a little extra delicious. I love all the separate ingredients, you put your fork down and you come up with some cuke, some egg, some lettuce, some meat and a touch of ranch. That is truly the best bite of salad. Again, I can make my little salad sammitches I love so much and best of all, John got me a little bag of cookies for after the salad. And we ALL know that Potbelly's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are the best things on the planet. I love this salad (I will admit I got it without bleu cheese, but still)I give it an A.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Au Bon Pain
Tuna Garden Salad

John: I like everything about this salad except the salad. It was another of these WET tossed salads. Again with the runny cucumber. Also Au Bon - tuna juice isn't a dressing. Really. The only reason I finished was out of the guilt I felt for throwing down like 10 doughnut holes around 9:30. The high point was the actual tuna. I'll bet its good on a sandwich. Probably won't find out. C-. Boo.

Margaret: Ah, sweet relief, I thought as I opened this salad. I like tuna fish, not tuna, but tuna fish, and here it was in all its glory...WAIT, what is that? Is that a cucumber? IT IS! Wait...what is that? It's a tomato! Oh holy day! Au Bon Pain put more than lettuce and smelly foot cheese in one of their salads! I'm so impressed! I was happy, at first. The salad was dripping wet with too much salad dressing. I tried to make little happy tuna sandwiches with my croutons (like I do with Potbelly's chicken salad salad) but the croutons were wet. Then I tried to put some of the tuna on my bread that was separate, and that didn't taste right either. After about one minute the salad started revealing itself as a slightly scary salad, one with soggy veggies and not that good tuna. Boo Au Bon Pain, my lord, how hard is this for you people? CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chicago Pita
Garden Side Salad

John: I'm going to skip telling you that this little gem of side salad is so full that it bursts its container. B+++++ just like Tokyo Lunchbox. The story today is simple - the staff at Chicago Pita understands service and food. Food service if you will. Always friendly - always remembered - always quick. How many places these days can you say that about? If you like real food, made and served by real people, then Chicago Pita is for you. See you in line. I'm the one wearing dirty jeans.

Margaret: Yup, John is right. Becuase this little side salad was exactly what it was supposed to be, a tomato, a green pepper, tons of fresh lettuce. Exactly right. But I will say that I get other food from them a bunch (I sure do love that chicken gyro) and they always remember, and they're always kind, and they always make sure everyone's getting their food and moving along. The last salad we had from there was delicious (talk about getting chicken right for petes sakes) and we just had such a nice experience with them there today. It makes a lot nicer to go there for lunch, and you know, whether you're getting a salad or a gyro, that its going to be fresh and delicious and it won't be a fight just to order the dang thing. B+

Check out Margaret's Gyro Blog at:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Grilled Chicken Caesar

John: McDonalds has let me down again. The chicken breast has never tasted more injected and juicified. Its also never tasted "less" like anything. I knew that there was chicken in a bite when the bite was hot in my mouth. How can you enjoy a salad that includes the phrase "hot in my mouth"? You can't. Gross yet again. Next time I'm going to ask for the grilled breast to be un-microwaved and see what happens. D --- would have been a B without the chicken breast.

Margaret: Ack. It really is disgusting to eat "hot in my mouth" chicken. This time, I even tried to eat around the chicken and just eat the lettuce (because that's basically all that's there) and it was still gross, becuase you still have unexpected hot chicken explosions in your mouth. Once again there are the slim carrot slices and a tomato or two, but by the time I got to those, I was so sickened, I couldn't even move forward. This is the new millennium people, can we not learn how to deal with chicken? DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Friday, August 17, 2007

Au Bon Pain
Chicken Caesar Asiago Salad

Margaret: FINALLY. For petes sakes Au Bon Pain, if you can make one good salad, you can make more right? Today we had the chicken asiago Caesar Salad and it was great. The chicken was delicious and tasted like real chicken, the cheese was good, the dressing nice and tangy, the breadstick long and sesamish. It was really quite good. I ate my whole thing up, ate it all up. I don’t think I’ve done that with an Au Bon Pain salad yet. Simple, but delicious. Yum. I was going to give it a B, and I thought, why a B? You really liked it! Give it an A! So A it is.

John: I left work at 1:00 on my first summer friday of the summer. The sun was out - we got a table "on" the river - the company was fantastic. This salad had the advantage of being in a GREAT time slot. Like following Sienfeld back in the day. The Single Guy with Jonathan Silverman made it 2 years in that slot. Unlike that attempt at a darker jewish Friends clone, this salad was awesome. At one point I found myself making a mental connecting between the kinda peppery chicken in the salad and my grandmothers kinda peppery chicken in her chicken salad. Thats an automatic A for the whole semester, just like if your college roomate kills themselves. Welcome to the Top 5 Au Bon Pain. For now...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Black and Blue

John: Loved it! Its your classic "steak salad" but with deli roast beef instead of actual steak. My favorite from Quiznos by far. Everything was tasty and in good proportions. Fresh and crisp. What else do you need? Love the pita. Not a Potbelly killer but close. A-.

Margaret: Meh. It was okay. It's weird how the "okay" salads are turning out to be the best salads of all. Mediocrity in salads is winning here folks, write your Aldermen. I thought this was okay, I kinda of skipped the rules a bit and didn't get bleu cheese on mine. Because really, I'm going to hate any salad with hell cheese on it, so why even try? Isn't it more fair for me to judge the salad itself and not the hell cheese? Maybe, depends on which place we're getting salads! I thought this was fine. Lots of onion and tomato, the cute triangle container and the yummy pita bread all lead to an A, but the meat! The meat! This was not steak. Oh wait, John says its roast beef, okay fine but no roast beef on the planet is soft and squishy and flat as pancakes. I liked the salad dressing though and barely needed any because it was quite tangy. So for tangy and triangles, I'll give the Black and (no Blue) salad a B+.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Arby's Restaurant Wrap Up

In the end Arby's is as you would expect. OK. I will say this about the Arby's at the Mart: THE SERVICE IS SHIT! Really. When you pay your employees $6 an hour - you are never going to keep somebody long enough for them to get good at their job. Their easy easy job. I swear you have to BEG to order there. Merch Mart Arby's you suck.

Tokyo Lunch Box
Side Salad

Margaret:Yeah, see, this is what makes me mad about the whole salad situation. The goldang Tokyo Lunchbox has one of the best salads at the Mart? Really? YES, really. Small but pure (much like me), this salad has more in it than most of the 6.99 salads do. 'Bout four cukes, some carrots, and a nice bunch of green peppers, why is this so hard people (ahem, Au Bon Pain!). I even liked the dressing, and its not even Ranch! I swear, this is one of the top salads at the Mart. I got the gyoza to accompany my side salad, and it was a delicious little meal. I'm with John, B+.

John: The cheapest salad in the mart. The smallest salad in the mart. Two strikes? Nope. Simple veggies and a bright yuzu dressing for 2 bucks. Nothing more. But more importantly nothing less. I get my raw tuna groove on at Tokyo Lunch Box and this salad is a great way to fill out a meal without spending $20 on lunch. I can't give an A to a side salad so B+++++

Friday, July 27, 2007

Market Fresh Martha's Vineyard

John: Actual chicken tasting chicken on greens with cheese. Apples AND craisins AND almonds seemed like a bit too much sweetness on the salad that already comes with Raspberry dressing. Is there such a thing as a DESSERT SALAD? Yes and I had it for lunch today. Still I felt great and light when I was done and not too many salads these days leave you feeling like that. You need to like fruit on a salad quite a bit to enjoy this one. B.

Martha:Ha, funny John! Okay, I feel like I've been complaining alot about the salads lately. I have been. And guess what? One more day of it. Because, I found this to be the most unappetizing salad yet. I literally could not get through four bites of this one. Let me reiterate that it is not the salad itself, I think it was fine. But BLECH BLECH BLECH! GROSS COME ON! Craisins? Apples? RASPBERRY DRESSING? With cheddar cheese bits? BLECH! It was too much, way too much. If I wanted to eat fruit, I would eat a banana, not raspberrycraisinapples on lettuce. All they needed to do is throw some smellyfeet cheese on it and it would officially be the worst tasting salad in the WORLD. One thing I will say, the grilled chicken on this salad was better than most grilled chickens we've had. DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD I'm giving you a D. I really couldn't even get this one down. DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Classic Cobb

John: At $6.00 - Quiznos has the second most expensive salad in the Mart. When you pay a little extra for a salad you expect to see it and the Classic Cobb delivers in terms of ingredients and size. What it lacks is flavor - or maybe I should say FLAVORS. Every bite tasted the same independent of what was actually on my fork. Halfway through I said to the lovely Margaret "This could use some bacon" to which she replied "There is bacon" holding up a forkfull. I'm the bacon lovinest s.o.b. you are ever going to meet. I'd eat it everyday if wasn't deadly to do so. If I missed the flavor of bacon - then it wasn't there. What I tasted was a plastic corporate mess. C-

Margaret: Well, I remember liking the Cesar salad we got from Quizno's, too bad they couldn't keep it up. Bleu Cheese Bleu Cheese Bleu Cheese, why does everyone have this very distinctive cheese that half of Americans cannot stomach? Blech. The chicken is basically slaughtered in the tin, all shredded and salad-chicken soft, and it really looks like dead animal (I know it is actually dead animal, but still, its 2007 people! This is not The Jungle) lying ripped apart on some lettuce. There was some egg, I like egg...the bacon, I like bacon, it just didn't taste good. I'm starting to get very annoyed with a lot of these salads that, here they are, purporting to be fresh alternatives, and they're actually quite gross. I would have rather had a side of beef than have this "healthy" salad. I'm in a bit of a mood today, so I'm going to feel free to take it out on Quizno's and its Cobb salad. It was gross, couldn't finish it...D+. The plus being for the pretty tasty pita that comes with it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Au Bon Pain
Thai Chicken

John: Another Asian salad fouled by limp ingredients! Everything about this should have been great. Loved the dressing and the ratio of everything in there. But the cucumber was RUNNY and the chicken was spongy. In my salad experience (oohhhh aaahhh) Au Bon Pain employees are willing to put obviously OLD vegetables and meats on a salad. I've thrown away more than one of their pre-mades in disgust. Also they were out of my favorite breadstick. C-.

Margaret: I was kind of excited for this salad today. It's one of the few salads at Au Bon Pain that isn't marred by smelly man-feet cheese. And we had the Asian salad yesterday at Mickey D's and that was tasty, so...I figured this would be better. It wasn't. It just wasn't. Fine...I liked the fried won-ton strips okay? Is that something? I liked the salad dressing too. It was tangy and delicious. But the CHICKEN! What is it with the CHICKEN! Why is it so hard to have decent chicken? I mean this was gross, all rubbery and icky. I'm tired of it! DO YOU HEAR ME SALAD GODS? And you know what else? Just as a little aside? Some of us choose salads so that we can get our vegetables right? Not just for a lite lunch, but to actually get something healthy into our diet. And these salads, not just Au Bon Pain, but generally...these salads don't have anything in them! One shredded piece of tiny carrot, a wishy-washy cucumber, a dried out red pepper...put some broccoli on these suckers huh? Some more peppers? Cut up a few more carrots and lets get this thing rocking for petes sakes. This salad was just as gross as one with smelly cheese on it. Boo. C- from me too.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Crispy Chicken Asian

Margaret: Two broken lovers, one with a bit of the heartburn, one with a bit of the uterus burn. Hungry, but leery...interested but disheartened. We turn to McDonalds to get us through a Monday afternoon. And Mickey D's did pretty well. I liked the Asian salad. Again, no reason for little oranges to be in there, but I get that's part of the "Asian" thing. Fine..easy enough to push aside. The sesame salad dressing was light and tasted delcious on our crispy chicken. The edamame was good and bright green...I find it interesting that even though this salad was a bit wilty, it was still A THOUSAND times better than the Bacon Ranch crap we had from Mickey D's before. So..right now, Mickey D's is doing really well with their "influenced" salads (the Southwest Salad we both liked, and now the Asian) and is poop when it comes to a plain old Americany salad. What up with that? I enjoyed it though, I thought it was quite tasty. I'm giving it a B- for the wilty salad.

John: I am a lover of the Asian salad - always have been. C.P.K. has the best you'll ever eat. Anyway this was one of the salads I was looking forward to. I'm a sucker for sesame dressing and naked little oranges. The clown does a good job on this one. Red Peppers and Peapods and Almonds and Edamame - awesome and thanks. Although a soy bean on a salad isn't much of stretch for McDonalds since they have been "extending" their beef with them for years.... Today though this salad gets a C instead of the solid B it deserves. Salad Daze has made a breakthrough. Don't get salads at McDonalds on a Monday. The pre-made lettuce bowl has been sitting forever at that point. Everything was that 10% wilted level that turns a salad into a bowl of crap with dressing.

Better luck next time Mayor McChinese. C.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tuscan Garden Salad

John: Sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, salami, mozzarella cheese, pepperacini, red onions and sweet peppers on romaine for like $6.50. This one was WAY better than the last Pazzini salad. I think not using the bland house dressing helped. I choose the Bleu Cheese dressing and it was a bit much. I think with Caesar dressing this salad would be amazing. Still it was pretty darn good - who knew I liked Salami in a salad so much? I'm still not blown away by this place but this salad was "not bad" from first bite to last. I'm going B on this one.

Margaret: You know, the last salad we got from Pazzini's was foul. Really bad chicken, bad salad, bad bread. But this was definitely an improvement. At first I was really excited about the salami, but as I went on, the salami kind of lost its...vigor. It became a little more stringy and it was all bunched up together. Sometimes I wonder if I'm not really a vegetarian, because as I get older, meat tends to be a little more unattractive to me. Except for cheeseburgers, but I digress. I LOVE the red peppers, those were good and the bread was nice and soft this time around. And I got to have mine with Ranch, which changes everything. The only thing I suggest is, if you're very "lady" about your salad dressing, which I am, ask for it on the side. Although they mixed it in pretty well, it was still too much dressing. But overall, I'm happy with this salad. I'm giving it a B. I would have gone with a B- for the semi-stringy salami, but this is such an improvement from the last one, it gets a B.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Market Fresh Santa Fe

John: Great southwestern flavors. I just didn't like the way it felt in my mouth. The chicken and the tortilla strips were so crunchy/hard that everything else was just sort of floating around while I chewed. So it was like a salad - just not a salad. I can chalk the difficulties up to the chick strips being a little overdone so lets say C+ on this one.

Margaret: Okay, a week or so ago, John and I went to get salads. It was a Friday. We were tired and ready to be done with the week. We were up for Potbellys, but I forgot the camera and John said "Eff it, lets just go to McDonalds and get cheeseburgers". Well, me being who I am, did not need to be asked twice. So...I got a Quarter Pounder and fries. I felt awful later. I swear this is a sign of growing up. I felt disgusting. Tired, totally burnt. Couldn't run, couldn't do anything. I promised myself I would never do that again. Having this salad from Arbys is pretty close to doing that again. It's really...heavy. The chicken fingers are always good, but then add the tortilla strips, the ranch dressing, corn and beans, it all just felt like I had eaten a Big Mac. It was good, don't get me wrong, but checking the nutritional value-this "salad" is a whopping 477 calories. That's without the tortilla strips, which are 70, and without dressing, which is 112. That's almost the same amount of calories as my McDonalds meal. If I'm going to eat that many calories at lunch, and do myself in like that, I'll have the real deal and shove a Whopper in my face. This salad gets a C. Just for being annoying.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Au Bon Pain
Turkey Sonoma

John: I'm a big fan of somebody else tossing my salad. Ugh... I am. So I appreciate what Au Bon Pain does when they actually use a fresh bowl for every salad and then toss it by hand. This is a "California" style salad so its got a few ingredients that don't go together at first glance. You know those Californians and their fusion everything. Spinach, turkey, oranges, gorgonzola, red peppers, tomatoes, bacon and cucs with a honey mustard dressing for like five and a half bones. Not bad. I liked the way the oranges and bacon and cheese interacted. This would have been a A- or B+ salad for me had it not been for the meat. The turkey is manufactured. I did a little experiment: I actually "chewed" the turkey with just my tongue. It had that wet pumped up with salty water kinda feel that you find at McDonalds. So boo bon pain. B-

Margaret: Hee hee, sorry...but John likes it when someone tosses his salad...hee. Anyway, gross. This is a foul salad. I'm sorry. But come on! Honey mustard dressing (which I actually quite liked, tangy!) and oranges???? Honey mustard and oranges? Come on now, even in Californiyay, they can't eat oranges and honey mustard sauce. Boo. The turkey was smushy and the gorgonzola once again tastes like man-sweat. The bacon and cukes were enticing, but all the more infuriating to find beads of b.o. cheese on them. I got myself a delicious big ole breadstick, that was good..but that was about it. I didn't like this salad. Not one bit. D.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Italian Salad

Margaret: Why can't everyone do it like Potbelly's? This was the question I asked myself at a pretty nice restaurant we went to over the weekend. Their salad came with lettuce and one onions, no peppers, no cukes, no nuthin'. If Potbelly's can do it, why can't everyone else? This salad has a little bit of everything in it, all yummy things and you can just gather all this deliciousness on your fork and eat it. No eating "around" things (like fruit, or gorganzola). And, I was eating this salad for what felt like 20 minutes! You just eat and eat and eat and there's still all this yummy stuff left, so you eat and eat and eat. I have no reason to give this salad anything other than an A. Delish.

John: Romaine, roasted red peppers, chick peas, cucs, grape tomatoes, 4 Italian meats, provolone cheese, artichoke hearts and two kinds of croutons all for $5.29! This was a GREAT salad. Potbelly understands the concept of fresh ingredients. While this may not be the lowest calorie salad in the world - you'll love every bite. There are so many extras that I actually got a forkfull with no lettuce. This salad loses a half point for kinda chewy stale croutons. A-

Monday, June 25, 2007

Chicago Pita
Chicken Caesar

Margaret: Mmmmmmm. Delicious. Remember before about my "processed" taste complaint? Well, Chicago Pita has done what no other place has been able to do so far. Put actual, HUGE, chunks of real chicken on their salad. It was really good too. Really well flavored, and it definitely felt like I was eating something. Because I was, I was eating huge, REAL chunks of yummy chicken. I think there could have been a little more yummy stuff on it, but all in all, this was a pretty good salad. A-

John: One look at ACTUAL CHICKEN and I knew I was going to be OK. What I love about Chicago Pita is that almost everything is from scratch. The way a restaurant should be. Once you become a regular they remember you. The way a restaurant should be. This was a meal of a salad and everything worked out even (not too much or too little of any ingredient) in the end. Only gripe is I would have loved some hard boiled egg or maybe red onion. A-

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Chicken Caesar

Margaret: was okay. I like this salad well enough I suppose. I ate more of this salad than I have a lot of the other ones. I just can't get past the processedness of a lot of these salads. I thought the cheese tasted kinda funny. And the way they diced their chicken was smart, because it was so small, you never got a full bite of processedness. There were a nice amount of onions and tomatoes. The pita was good, and you all know me, I made little cesaer chicken pita salad sandwiches, and when I mashed them all together like that, it was pretty good. Now, I tried to find the actual nutrional information for the salad and apparently, Quizno's doesn't list their info. Which is annoying. But if you're stuck on an island with a Quizno's and a Great Steak and Potato Company, get the Quizno's. Fo shizzle. Oooh, and for some reason the triangle shape of the packaging really pleased me. B-

John: Quizno's you just might get back into my heart. You were a rotten client and when I tasted your "pre-release" version of this salad last fall I thought it was gross. Well you've turned it around. They have given up their own flatbread and switched to pitas. Good move. For $6 I got real chicken and real shaved parm and a big cup of peppery caesar dressing. Between the cheese, the dressing and the pitas I'm sure there must be some calories (934) but I'll take 'em. B+. Would have gotten an A- but I'm still pissed about all that overtime Quiznos made me work last summer.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Great Steak and Potato Comapany
Wrap Up

John: As a rule "Never eat at a restaurant with blue in its logo." Its not a natural food color (blueberries are purple) and should warn you off. The grades say it all. Nasty and glad its gone. Count yourself among the lucky if you've never been there.

Margaret: Not Comment - they weren't salads to begin with.

Harvest Salad

John: Romaine, cranberries, walnuts, gorgonzola, carrots and apples with a pretty light bal. vin for $5. I liked it well enough. I don't think the dressing was good/large enough to tie the ingredients together. From the first bite this was a B salad. No real raves - no real complaints. Starbucks does a good job of having "cafe feeling" food in its little case so if you are maybe looking for something quick and cheap and low in calories this will get you there. B.

Margaret: Now, see this salad is where things get a little screwy. Because, I thought this salad was horrible. Gorgonzola cheese tastes like smelly b.o., I've already mentioned my aversion to cranberries in my salad, and whole chunks of apple with a vinagrette dressing just doesn't go for me. So even though I didn't necessarily enjoy this salad, it wasn't the salad's fault! Everything was fresh, the apples were crispy, there were walnuts and carrots and it wasn't very expensive. So...the salad to me was unappetizing, but the salad for others might be delicious. So, in the name of trying to keep things balanced, I'll give this one a C+. They call me Middle of the Road Hixx.

Ding Dong the Wretch is Dead!

John: You dream about things like this - and then they happen. I almost believe in THE SECRET. Great Steak Company & Potato has closed its doors. Why? Who can say. Maybe there aren't enough teenage boys in the world to keep it open. The best part is never having to eat the damn HOT HAM SALAD!!!!

Margaret: Some days, you wake up, and everything is the same as it was two days ago. You're back at the same old job, doing the same old thing, and life seems like its just going to repeat itself over and over and over. UNTIL, something wonderful happens. Something so wonderful it can change your whole day, something that finally puts a smile on your face you didn't expect to see on a soon-to-be rainy Monday. Some days, life can change on a dime. One whole crappy food place opens, and one, oh so thankfully closes. Goodbye Great Steak and Potato Company, and don't let the ass salad hit you on your way out.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Great Steak and Potato Company
Turkey Salad

John: This $4.99 salad exceeded my expectations in every way. I thought is would be gross. It was fucking disgusting. I dread the next time this joint comes up. As a matter of fact I'm starting to dread most of the upcoming salads. Does anybody like hot meat on a salad? Really - please leave a comment if you do - cause I can't figure out for the life of me why these things are even available. The $15.00 I spent on lunch covered in french dressing would have tasted better. F.

UPDATE: I just threw up at my desk. Not a ton. But really how much puke is too little puke to mention?

Margaret: Eating this salad was a lot like eating elephant poop. With hot meat on it. And then like someone pooped on it again, just for good measure. Tonight I'm going to buy myself an ipod shuffle, and I REALLY didn't feel like getting food poisoning, so in all honesty, I really didn't touch my ass salad. I did take one bite of the turkey and it was like eating greasy, flat ass. At least the other Great Steak salad had "okay" steak on it. This turkey was truly disgusting. I saw a hot carrot and had a tiny bite of hot cucumber, and then I just wept into my ass salad, wept like a lost child at the carnival. I'm just going to stop writing now, because there is nothing I can say that adequately portrays how truly disgusting this salad was. This salad gets and F-, if there is such a thing. Blech. Patooey. Yuck.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch

John: YUK! One solid week of 18+ hour days at work on a pitch and this is my reward? Another hot meat on lettuce in a bowl nightmare. I finished eating it out of obligation and extreme hunger. What kind of salad is that? McDonald's - thanks for making the switch to romaine over iceburg. Thats cool and so are you. But this salad was designed as some sort broad demographically pleasing average salad. And average salads get average grades. C-. The minus is for the LACK of a packet of factory bread croutons.

Margaret: I'm with my boyfriend on this one. And you know what? I was looking forward to this salad, because the southwest salad was muy deliciouso. This salad? Tasted like warm cicada on wilty lettuce. I believe there were bacon bits on the salad, but I didn't taste them. There were definitely some carrots, shaved so thin you couldn't taste those either. The grilled chicken was a strange salmony color, which is great for salmon, but not chicken. Patooey. A hot salad on a hot day does not a cool Hixx make. Blechy. This was a gross salad Mickey D's...maybe that's your nickname because thats what your salad grade is...a big fat D.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chicken Salad Salad

Margaret: Well yee-haw Grandma! This was delicious. Just delicious. They have the best chicken salad at Potbelly's. Since I like my little salad sammitches so much, I would gather a huge amount of chicken salad and pair it with a tasty crouton and BOOM! Delish. The salad part is good too, fresh cukes, big chunks of provolone cheese, little cherry tomatoes, crisp lettuce, and oddly enough, cranberries. And if you swing it right, and mix in all the chicken salad with the rest of the salad salad, you really don't even need salad dressing. I was hungry and this salad rules. I'm giving it an A. It would be an A+, but I honestly believe that no fruit should touch meat, so it loses its plus for the cranberries. But for the size, money and quality, this is BY FAR, my favorite salad so far. Thank you Mr. Potbelly! A.

John: YUM! I was worried about this one. I'm not a fan of Potbelly's. Something about the bread doesn't work for me. Or maybe its because I made it to a second interview at their headquarters (in the very same merch mart) a couple years ago and didn't get the job. Luckily this isn't our sandwich blog - Also this is the first time I've been able to choose my own (1000 island) dressing. Everything was great. I even liked the cukes. I really liked the craisins. AND I figured out why - they feel like cheese when you bite down on them. That kind middle texture in a salad that lets you know a bite of something special is coming. You may notice this is the first salad to be served in a container that wasn't black or clear. I don't know why that matters. A.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chicago Pita
Greek Salad w Gyro Meat

Margaret: You know, when a girl is hungry, and is working off massive amounts of detoxification from her weekend in New Orleans, it was nice to see some salad with some meat on it! I agree with John, hot meat and salad is gross, but this was definitely better than the Great Steak hot meat salad. The gyros meat is delicious. There were lots of fresh veggies (green peppers, cukes, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese, which I delicately picked out)and the lettuce was cold and crisp. Also, they give you two little pieces of pita bread and I made two little gyros sammitches, I love little salad surprises like that. I thought the salad dressing didn't really go, a vinagrette with gyros meat? I think it should have been a nice cucumber-ranchy one, that almost would have tied in the meat with the lettuce. It was a big salad too, I didn't finish it even! B

John: Hot meat and salad! Why why why? The concept always throws me. Am I supposed to eat the meat off the top or just mix it all up? I don't know. I'll tell you this. I love Chicago Pita for their gyro. Ipso Fatso - I should love the Gyro Greek salad. And I do. This was a really big - fresh - filling - awesome salad. I ate it down to the empty box and sucked the rind of the Pepperacini. Thats a good sign. If Gyro and Feta are your "jam" then this salad is for you. B