Monday, January 28, 2008

Make Your Own Salad

Margaret: Well, it's the moment of truth. It's all on the line, this is the place, this is the time...yeah, anyway. So FINALLY, its make your own salad day at Foodstuffs. I've done some complaining about FS, but they do have a lot of salad fixins! Alot. So, mine consisted of lettuce, carrot, broccoli, garbanzo beans, egg, green pepper, onion...I think that's it, with of course, the peppercorn ranch dressing. And you know what? It was good! Hell yes it was, because you know who made the effer! I got my salad dressing on the side and I'm glad that I did, I didn't like their peppercorn ranch, it was too ... vinegary or something. So yeah, it was a good salad. It still wasn't a GREAT salad and its because their produce just feels 30% dumbed down. The broccoli tastes like hints of broccoli, the onion was hint of onion...the only thing that tasted strongly was the yucky peppercorn ranch. So, I'm going to give it a B. Even though it was my own salad, that I made, I still didn't think it was all that great. Peppercorn ranch, whatever.

John: No line on our last FoodStuffs/SaladDaze visit. Of course. All signs point to this being the best salad they have to offer. Right? Well it was. Baby greens, goat cheese, mushrooms, red onion, tom, bacon, carrots, sunflower seeds and croutons all in pretty good proportion. The "make your own" really is the only salad to get at this joint. It takes the same amount of time as a "standard" menu item and costs the same (minus a meat up-charge) too. I gobbled this one down in like 6 minutes. The only bummer for the me was the lack of 1000 Island dressing. WTF? When did 1000 Island drop out of the top 10 dressings? I'll tell ya. When Ranch stuck its buttermilky nose in our business. Anybody remember the 70's when Ranch was just called "house dressing" and we were cool with the mystery of the whole thing? Before it became the go-to sauce for every whitebread fatty out there? Those were the glory days of the salad bar. 1000 Island and French ruled side by side with a benevolent hand. Oh 1000 Island you are so much more than "special sauce" or "that orange stuff that comes on a Reuben" - you are an institution. Hold all 1k of your heads high. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, B++ for the "make your own" at FoodStuffs, which has gone B.Y.O.1000.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Caprese Salad

Margaret: You know, I don't know if it's just because we're towards the end of our salad eating, or that I'm so effing tired of this freaking cold, but I was truly annoyed with Foodstuffs today. We got the Caprese salad, which should have been great, mozzarella cheese (yum!), some basil, tomatoes, onion..these are all things I like. When we got the salad, instead of tomatoes our salad maker had put green peppers in instead. I even like green peppers, so I was willing to let it fly. But the thing about Foodstuffs is just really holding true, nothing has any taste but the salad dressing. It all looks good, big chunks of mozzarella, but when I ate just a piece of the mozzarella alone I couldn't taste a thing, and it was kind of gummy. I just think its annoying that they make us wait so long so they can "MAKE OUR FRESH SALADS" and their fresh salads don't taste like anything and then they put green peppers in one of their stock salads. They annoy me. Once we're done there, I'm done with Foodstuffs. Take that FS. D.

John: I will give you, any reader, $20 for every tomato you find in this Caprese Salad. $20. Maybe you'll make like $100 off me. Maybe not. Actually not. Cause there aren't any f'in tomatoes in this salad. Instead our genius server gave us green peppers. It it wasn't for the basil, this wouldn't have tasted like anything. When you omit the KEY ingredient in something you get an F. No amount of watery mozz will make up for your sins. F for your big fat fucking face Foodstuffs. Thank God we got egg rolls as a backup lunch. F.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Artisan Wine Cellar
Salad of the Day

Margaret: Surprise! The wine/panini artisan store has salads of the day! One day you think you're done, the next day, something else happens to remind you you're not even close. Fleeting salads. So this "salad of the day" should have been called "yicky salad of the day." It came in a box, which is nice, I like salads in a box, there was also bread in the box, which is good, because I like bread, the rest of the salad is downhill from there. There were some leafy greens, a vinagrette dressing, fennel and bleu cheese. I took a bite without bleu cheese and it still really tasted like it. Blech. I handed the salad over to John and he said "yup, this really isn't your kind of salad with the bleu cheese and the fennel" and I said "you don't know how I feel about fennel!" and I took the salad back and had a piece of the fennel on its own and thought "oh, he's right, I really don't like fennel." So yeah. Blech. This is a big ole bleu cheese fennel mess. And, there was still too much salad dressing on it, lettuce is not supposed to drip salad dressing. D.

John: We just keep finding salads. Artisan Wine Cellar is a little wine/cheese/gourmet shop in the mart with a tiny little deli case. I've eaten their panini before and been very happy with their commitment to "doing it right" with good ingredients. So this week they added a daily salad, and since I'm sick to death of Foodstuffs - I couldn't be happier. Mixed greens, fennel, apples, bleu cheese and a red wine vin. YUM! This is easily the best bleu in the mart. Creamy with a bite that loves me long time. Hixx and I have been wedding reception shopping and if I could get a salad like this, we just might make to the altar. (sorry babe) The shop is on the first floor - riverside. Get there and get yours before this place gets overrun. It will be a new salad daily - but I suspect the quality will hold. A-

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Greek Salad

Margaret: I thought this salad might be fine, I'm not in love with Feta cheese, but as far as crumbly, smelly, b.o. cheese goes, this Feta is the best of the lot. And I was right, this salad was fine for me. Because this salad tastes like every other salad I've had at Foodstuffs. I really think they're stuff is so generic. This tasted just like the chopped salad with chicken breast, exactly the same. You can't taste anything in these salads but the lettuce and the dressing really. Again, I really liked the dressing...that is totally what they're doing, they're making generic salads with delicious dressing on them. Fine, totally edible, but uninspiring. C.

John: BLAH BLAH BLAH. This salad tastes just like most of the rest from this joint. Here's why. Take TOO MANY ingredients and chop them together. You'll get the same salad again and again. Why does all garbage smell the same even when its made up of different stuff? Same reason. It was as good as it was forgotten. Could have been a C if it hadn't taken forever. C-. BLAH.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

California Dreaming

Margaret: California Dreaming my ass. My idea of California Dreaming is San Francisco on a beautiful day, some hippies give us some of their sweet stuff and we go hang out at the park and eat delicious fruit. Foodstuff's idea of California Dreaming is all things that don't go together. This salad had walnuts, cranberries, tofu, blue cheese....yuck. All the things I'm not into at all. I had a couple of bites of the spinach and that was okay, the dressing was tangy enough, it just was not good. I don't know what's up with California, but their salads suck it. I'm giving this one a D. Because I really could only eat one bite.

John: I'm a big fan of "California" style salads with their nuts and berries. Target has a great one I used to get all the time when I worked in the burbs. The Foodstuffs version is "pretty good" overall. I got it tossed instead of chopped - because spinach turns into weeds once you chop it. That idea was both good and bad. The spinach was GREAT but the tofu was left in big ol chunks. Sort of a 6 of 1 - half a dozen of the other kinda complaint. I really liked this salad. Its the first one from FS with an actual POINT OF VIEW. I knew what I was eating and I knew it was good for me for a change. The rest of the FS salads all just taste and look so similar. Once I'm free from the bonds of this blog I will get this again for sure. Solid A-.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Chop Ten Salad

Margaret: Happy New Year! Who would have guessed when we started that it would propel us to 2008 huh? Crazy huh? Yeah? Huh? So anyway, nothing has changed in 2008 for the Foodstuffs, I'll tell you what. It's still slow, it's still too crowded, the people who work there are still painfully nice while trying to manage the too long lines. Today we got the Chop Ten, filled with all kinds of goodies. There were green peppers and corn and edamame (my new favorite salad topping I think) and broccoli and cukes, all kinds of things. And then there was the honey dijon or some kind of dijon mustard. And you know what? The salad tasted like dijon mustard. I can't figure it out with Foodstuffs, it all looks good, fresh and so many things in the bowl, and then when you pop a bite it all just tastes like lettuce with dijon salad dressing on it. My control group was the artichoke hearts. I love artichoke hearts, but sometimes they are just so pungent and tangy I can only eat little bits of them. The artichoke hearts in the Foodstuffs salads are like, 20% of what they usually taste like. I don't know, I mean, it was a perfectly good salad, but its not outstanding. There is something missing about Foodstuff's produce, like...taste. B-

John: Why wasn't today's salad an A+? I can't tell you for sure. Everything was in place. I think that although the veggies are "fresh" they aren't "freshly cut" and that makes all the difference. You'd think that with 10 ingredients that I could taste at least one once. Nope - every bit was the same. Until I dumped the dressing on the last bit. I think that the salads are FS are tailored to "dressing whores" and can't really be enjoyed without a cupful. I give you a C+ for the time and cost that don't seem to be playing out.