The World is Coming to an End… I ate a salad for lunch yesterday


I know… I know.  What is wrong with me?  I’ll apologize up front, because it’s just not right.  I don’t eat salads.  I’m supposed to be killing myself, lunch by lunch, bite of fat after bite of fat, for all of you to see.  Salads ruin that plan.  Despite the timing, I did not eat the salad because of some stupid New Year’s resolution (I don’t believe in those), or because I had a fried pork and plantains sandwich at Tina’s Restaurant on Monday, followed by free Chinese food on Tuesday.

The salad is actually Fresh Direct’s fault.  See, the dirty little secret of Midtown Lunch is- I don’t eat out every day.  In an attempt to convince work that I’m not spending every lunch hour photographing street carts, plus to be a little “healthy”, and save some money (this shit gets expensive), I actually only eat out 3 days a week.  The other two days, I’ll bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to work (cute right?).  Maybe not the healthiest lunch in the universe, but it certainly has less calories than every single lunch I’ve ever eaten for this site.  Well, this week Fresh Direct forgot to deliver our damn peanut butter- leaving me feeling like I should at least attempt to eat healthy (and close to the office).  A salad it is.

I ate the damn thing- so I might as well tell you what I thought of it…. after the jump.

Not surprisingly, so many people at work ask me for lunch recommendations every day.  The conversation usually goes something like this:

“Hey Zach, where should I eat lunch today?”

“I don’t know.  Tell me what you’re in the mood for and I’ll give you a suggestion.”

“Um… I don’t know.  Something healthy.”

“Riiiiiight.  Does it look like I eat healthy?  Sorry, I don’t really know too much about that stuff.  Come back to me when you’re looking for lunch that doubles as a heart attack inducer.”

The last time I ate a salad was at Variety Cafe, in June of 2006, and I bragged about how I ”fat guy’d” it up by adding cheese, fried chicken and those fried chinese noodle thingys to it.  Once Variety Cafe was closed by the DOH, that was the end of my salad eating days… until yesterday. 

A friend from work has been trying to convince me forever that the Signature Salad from Cosi is delicious.  So, looking for that “healthy” lunch, I heeded his advice and headed over.  One of your garden variety fruit, nut & cheese salads, Cosi’s Signature Salad is mixed greans topped with pears, grapes, dried cranberries, pistachios and gorgonzola cheese (or as I like to call it- ”the savior”).  If I’m going to eat a salad, you better believe it’s going to have cheese in it.

All in all, it was pretty tasty (for a salad) but for $8.33, it was not particularly hefty (i.e. “Where’s the fried chicken???”),  and I couldn’t help but feel I had been ripped off.  Is this how ”normal” people feel, going to these places every single day and paying these prices for sandwiches and salads.  Luckily, it came with a piece of fresh baked Cosi bread, the saving grace of an otherwise generic chain, and I was able to convince myself it was worth it. 

Picking up my *cough* salad from one of the closest places to my office possible, and taking it back to my desk to eat, while convincing myself it was worth the $8+, I almost felt like a real Midtown worker for a day.  I don’t think I liked it.


  • Just Salad works for me. That thing is HUGE and the trick is to get their reusable bowl, so you get six toppings for the price of four.

    Honestly the salad is enormous. And the chopping makes it easier to eat. When I was working at Madison & 50th I would go there to get a salad to take to the ballgame. (If you go as often as I do you cannot eat ballpark food every time without going broke or looking like Tony Gwynn)

    I was ecstatic when I moved to 38th st. and found the just Salad on 37th.

  • Am I on the right food blog? -blinks, dies alil inside-

  • Best places to get salads in midtown is either Just Salads or Chop’t. Both places offer chopped salads (hence the name) which are much better than a regular salad which I don’t like (I don’t really like any type of salad but if you are looking to eat healthy).

    Chop’t – Montery Chicken Salad with Smoky Chipolte Vinegrette

    Just Salads – what was formerly the steak and eggs salad that got pulled from the menu – not sure why. Lettuce, tomato, red onion (my addition), egg, parm cheese, lemon vinegrette.

    There are other good salads at both places (never thought those words would ever come out of my mouth but what the hell).

  • 10 pts to Teen Wolf! Hilarious!

  • Salad….then listening to Abba in the car.

    It’ll be Will&Grace box sets next.

  • At least get some meat/cheese going in that salad.
    Btw, PB&J is actually a relatively healthy lunch – sorry if that disappoints you.

  • A salad of pigeon breast,black pudding,rocket(arugula??sp) topped with a softly poached egg dressed with a Modena classico balsamic reduction dressing is allowed though.

  • Salad: Last night’s steak sliced thin and marinated for 2-hrs in fresh lime juice and fresh grated ginger, fresh spinach, grape tomatoes, chiffonade of fresh mint, chopped peanuts, grated raw carrot, lightly-miso dressing+lime+light oil+hint of sesame oil.

  • If you want to try a good salad, check out Starwich (38th, just east of 6th Ave). The sandwiches and salad’s all hover on the $10 range, but they are good. And the dressing doesn’t taste like sludge (as most of them do in most delis in the area). I had the duck salad, which was really tasty.

  • Mmm, I had a Cosi salad like that before. I put it in a wrap with fresh ham, brie, two slabs of bacon, and a drizzle of Hollandaise. Then I deep fried it. It’s a delicious salad.

  • yes.

    Deep frying can improve even salad.

  • That cosi salad is actually less healthy than most of the lunches you eat. With the cheese, the dried fruit, the nuts, and all that oily dressing the signature salad is about 700 calories, plus another few hundred for the bread that comes with it. I had eaten cosi salads on occasion, but when i looked up the nutrition info on the website those days were over.

  • i think pax makes a good salad, the best in the neighborhood. the one on 40th & 6th is my favorite.

  • what a cute post! i love you, zach.

  • If you guys want a tasty filling salad, you have to go to Liberty on 49th between Madison and 5th ave. My coworkers and I are all hooked on it. If you do go, you should put roasted corn, roasted cauliflower, and croutons in it (among other toppings of your choice). I have tried salads at other places and they pale in comparison. The bonus: if you spend $5.00 or more on your salad, you get a free lemonade and bread. Trust me, for $8.00 you would be full from all the toppings you could get on your salad (VS. the Signature Salad at Cosi). Liberty also has a lot of other great tasting food for cheap. Zach, you should definitely do a post on this place!

  • If you are near 38th and 6th in midtown, Rafi is right…STARWICH rocks! A little expensive, but it is REAL food…real meats, real (and organic) veggies…try it if you’re in the mood for a treat. There is a menu but you can also fill out a card and design a salad or sandwich yourself. It’s pretty cool. My co-worker got me to try it and I am hooked! I try something different every day.

  • there’s a new salad place opening up.. 51st btwn 6th and 7th- Chop’t

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