Serious About Salad

By: Elizabeth Webber Akre

Hello, my name is Elizabeth and I’m a salad-bar-aholic. There, I said it.

Yes, it’s true. I love salad. I love salad bars. Now, my germaphobic friends are cringing, I know. But what can I say? I like to live on the edge. The reason I love the salad bar so much is simply that I like being able to have complete control over what’s going on that plate. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve ordered something other than a salad (in a non-bar restaurant) because I don’t want to go through the exercise of saying something along the lines of, “I’d like the grilled chicken salad BUT without onion, cucumber, celery, or egg.” And, many times, I’ve (logically) asked, “since I don’t want onion, cucumber, celery, or egg, could you put on some bacon bits or olives or something instead?” Of course not. That would mean they’re interested in making the customer happy, and they really couldn’t care less about that. With a salad bar, I avoid all of this awkwardness and annoyance.

I can build that salad with whatever I want and no one can tell me not to! The problem is finding any place with a salad bar anymore. I mean, it’s even hard to find a crummy salad bar. So, when you come across a good one, you want to stick with it!

This brings me to Jason’s Deli. I have been there twice now and both times have gone straight for their salad bar. OH MY GOD. If you haven’t checked this out, and if you’re a salad fanatic like me, get in your car now. This is the bar of bars. The choices are beautiful and bountiful! Romaine, spring mix, spinach, Kalamata olives, green olives, artichoke hearts, pickles, beets, cheddar, parmesan, pepperoncini, bell peppers, croutons, carrots, jalapenos, sunflower seeds, almonds, bacon…just to name a few! Lots of dressing choices, mini-muffins, crackers, and Jason’s deli flatbread crackers with sesame seeds & pepitas. Heaven!

Of course, there’s a lot more to Jason’s than just the salad bar. Throughout their menu, they feature organic, healthy ingredients, vegetarian dishes and a lot of gluten-free options. I’m also a big fan of soup and I can’t even begin to remember all the soups they had available the other day. I remember vegetarian vegetable, organic tomato basil, and broccoli cheese. My mom had the manager’s special which was a cup of broccoli soup and half of a “pastrami meltdown,” which contained beautiful pink pastrami piled on fresh bread with caramelized onion and melted cheese. You can see Jason’s menu here.

And the “icing on the cake” is the NON-high fructose corn syrup soft serve ice cream which is gratis with your meal. What a sweet little touch, huh? This place serves really fresh, good tasting food and offers choices to satisfy everyone, including kids. Of course, for me, it’s the bomb-diggity salad bar of salad bars! If you haven’t checked it out, do yourself a favor. It’s right on Gervais in the heart of the Vista…you can’t miss it.

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