I remember growing up and frequently going to restaurants with salad bars. There were a few in town that were known more for their salad bars than the food. Well, yesterday, my wife and I went to the last remaining restaurant in town with a salad bar...or so we thought. When our server asked, "Are you ready to order?" We, being frequenters of this establishment, naturally answered that we were, and my wife ordered simply the salad bar. To which, our kind server replied, "We don't have the salad bar anymore."
"What?" we answered in amazement. The darn thing was so big and prominently featured as you enter the dining hall, how could we have missed it, or missed that it was missing?
And this was no ordinary salad bar, mind you. It was the salad bar most salad bars aspire to be. In addition to the feast of garden produce, there were various and sundry other salads, too: pastas, pea, potato, and many not beginning with "p" as well, such as crab (imitation, of course, but still), broccoli, among others.
And, soup, yes soup. Diners frequently planned their dining experiences around which soup was featured on which day. Chicken & rice on Sundays and chicken and dumplings on Tuesdays (I believe) were my favorites. And it was convenient. You didn't have to go around to 12 tables shaking hands of all the after-church diners, everyone just met at the salad bar.
But, alas, the salad bar is no longer. It has been replaced with the tables from the party room evacuated to make way for the cocktail lounge. (Sigh!)
And not that we are fans of salad bars, per se. The thought of hundreds of diners breathing, or worse, coughing on and handling the utensils if not the very same food is not at all appealing. In fact, I can't think of another restaurant we frequent with a salad bar, save for the salad-bar-only restaurants (Jason's Deli and the like).
But, now that the salad bar is gone, I'm sad. I figure the whole town is in mourning. I guess we can all now have a drink and toast the salad bar. May it rest in peace.