Salad Guy

Went to a new place where you make your own salads. Well, they make it for you, you just tell them what to put in it.

Not sure the idea makes sense as a business model, but there you have it.

The set-up did give me ample opportunity to talk to the salad-maker. He told me you get to choose four ingredients (on top of your lettuce), so I chose tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers. Then I asked, “What’s the least popular item that people ask for?”

(This, by the way, is one of my favorite questions to ask in restaurants. What is the least-often-ordered item on the menu? Sometimes I ask my dining companion–Marny always hated this question, she always responded irately, “Why do you care?!”–and then we see who’s right by asking the waiter. At Jerry’s Deli, it’s the Romanian Skirt Steak. Since that was the first place I thought up the question, those who know me well will often refer to this as the “Romanian Skirt Steak” question.)

Anyway, the guy said, “Probably celery.” I said, “Not beets. Or baby corns?” He said, “No, people love beets.” The least popular ingredient is not always the strangest, I guess. Sometimes it’s just the most boring.

So I picked kidney beans as my fourth ingredient, and looked at the guy gleefully before saying, “Weren’t expecting that, were you?”

He said, “No, I was totally heading towards the onions. Good call.”

(That book 4-Hour Body says you should eat beans in every meal.)

I added chicken and bacon to make it delicious and we settled on a dressing. Overall, the salad was about as good as a salad bar. I don’t know, there’s just something about seeing it made that makes it not taste as good as a pre-thought-out salad. I mean, I love salads at like the Cheesecake Factory and CPK, but I would never go to the salad bar at Ralphs.

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One Response to Salad Guy

  1. annoyed reader says:

    Beans are good for you, but Tim Ferriss is a snake-oil salesman, and kind of a tool. Great post, regardless! I also ask pointless questions of waiters just like that the Romanian Skirt Steak Question. That it’s pointless, isn’t the point. But I do like to talk to strangers, naturally. And I do care what the answer is, because it’s food for thought, no pun intended.

    Another fun exercise, when you have topping or preparation choices, like on a sandwich or salad, (is to) ask the waiter how he he’d make it for himself. And accept it that way, either after the description, or without knowing in advance.

    If it’s a deli grill, and the order-taker also creates the sandwich, you usually get a masterpiece too!

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