A Loud Rant About Salad Dressing, Followed By Praise for Saladworks
Dave Lieberman

A Loud Rant About Salad Dressing, Followed By Praise for Saladworks

I miss New York. I miss San Francisco. Just not for the reasons you'd think.

You see, as an office drone, those cities are paradise for lunch. You can walk downstairs from any office building and walk into a takeout-only soup and salad place within two minutes. It's the perfect lunch for corporate workers, because it's quick and portable; you can take it back to your desk or to the break room, or maybe to a park if you want to hang out under the Smiling Warm Yellow Thing for a while.

Orange County? Not so much. You have to plan and drive if you want a specialty lunch salad around here. So it was that I ended up at Saladworks at the Village at Orange yesterday; I really wanted a salad and didn't want to deal with the self-serve lines at Souplantation ("MOOOOOM! NOOOOO! I DON'T LIKE JICAMA!" "Stop grabbing tomatoes from the bowl, you have a cold!").

The niçoise salad I love is gone, but it's easy enough to recreate (sans pasta--that's not a good substitute for slices of new potatoes).

I've written, really pretentiously, about Saladworks before, but one thing that drives me crazy is that every single salad dressing--there are sixteen--has high-fructose corn syrup in it. The Dijon Capri that I had the last time? Gone, replaced by "classic French" which appeared to be orange sugar syrup. Even the ranch had sugar in it.

A shout-out to Daniel, the guy who served me: he went back and read ingredients and nutritional content from the scary multi-liter cask of dressing they have, then listened patiently while I ranted about sugary dressings. Then--and this is where I wish they had a tip cup, because I'd have shoved a wad of money in there--he got out olive oil, red wine vinegar, brown mustard, salt and pepper from the sandwich station and let me create my own vinaigrette.

How about it, Saladworks? Train your employees to make a real dressing; 1 part mustard, 1 part red wine vinegar, 4 parts olive oil, plus salt and pepper. Herbs and shallots optional (and not in evidence, or I'd've asked). Put it in one of those dressing cups, clap the lid on tightly, and shake. Here, read my condiment-bar salad dressing recipe from the Corner Bakery. Same idea.

You've got tons of fat-free dressings (why are you eating salad dressing if you want a fat-free diet?) but not a single sugar-free dressing. Think it over.

Also, give Daniel a raise or some stock or something.

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