Favorite Things, Food, Humor

Here’s To Salad Bars and Armageddon Pudding

Salad bars were the shit when I was a kid. You’d think a salad bar wouldn’t be popular with the kiddos, but it wasn’t the healthy options in the salad bar that drew us in. It was bacon, cheese, and pudding.

Record scratch. Pudding?? Yes, pudding. Salad bar pudding is significantly underappreciated. Salad bar pudding necessitates its own Instagram account, its own Twitter handle.

Salad bars used to be available at Wendy’s and Pizza Hut. They too had salad bar pudding. I also recall going to sit-down restaurants where there was always a salad bar. I couldn’t wait to get out of my chair and head to the salad bar. My standard order was lettuce, onion, peas, broccoli, ham, cheese, ranch, sunflower seeds, croutons, and pudding (on the side of course).

Do you want to know a little secret? Those restaurants served Thank You brand pudding. Don’t ask me how I know this. Thank You brand pudding is available from wholesalers in seven-pound containers and it has a shelf-life of approximately 456 days. Perhaps we now understand why salad bar pudding is no longer a thing. Also, maybe I should have titled this post Why I Love Salad Bar Pudding.

Salad bars have become somewhat of a relic over the years. Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar was my absolute favorite. I recall being thrilled about sitting down at my neighborhood Ruby Tuesday and ordering their soup and salad buffet. It brought me so much joy. We need that kind of joy again, and to be honest, grocery store salad bars don’t cut it. Perhaps because there is no 456-day pudding in them.

I have written about my love of salads before; the seven-layer salad is one of my favorite ever salads because it reminds me of my salad bar concoctions of the past.

Lotso bad shit but fullo taste.

Sadly no pudding although if I could somehow make that jive in there, you know I’d be working on that.

I also love my steak and watermelon salad.  It ties in with the sweet/salty combo that I love (remember watermelon with salt?)

Grilled Steak Salad

Back when I had lots of energy (pre-menopause), I created a Summer board on Pinterest.

Lots and lots of pins full of summery things like:

Great DIY Foot Washing Station - keep the great outdoors out of your house!!!

I mean, isn’t this what a bathtub is for?


That looks like a lot of work for something that faces the neighbor who blares his Foreigner and Hootie and the Blowfish at 2 in the morning.

Who, ironically, is an HVAC repair guy.

I still want to do this one.

But amid all of my summer ideas that will never see the light of day sat a pin that I didn’t even realize was in there to begin with.

DIY salad bar

A DIY Salad Bar.

This pin just leads to a website and not the actual salad bar so I am not even linking it here but it’s a cool idea, isn’t it?

If I was going to do it for a party, I would take a page from this picture but for a random mid-summer dinner at home, it doesn’t have to be this fancy.

Since the closest Ruby Tuesday is 40 miles away and it costs 50 bucks to ship the armageddon pudding to my home, this will have to do.

I just got out all of my cereal and soup bowls and put all the ingredients we liked for salads into them.

If you don’t like the idea of all the dishes you will have to do afterward, get disposable paper bowls.

The great news is that most of this stuff, we already had in the pantry and refrigerator but if you don’t, you can totally do this on the cheap.

I really want to love homemade salad dressings but I have never found a recipe I like. I know you all have recipes that are easy and don’t taste like a urine sample. Not that I would know what that tastes like. 

The night we had our DIY Salad Bar for dinner, my parents were over and I happened to mention to my mom that this wasn’t my idea but rather inspired by Pinterest. To which my mom said something about Ina Garten and how she always says that it doesn’t matter where you got the inspiration, take the credit.

You know what? I am going to take more credit for things I don’t necessarily come up with.


It could happen.

30 thoughts on “Here’s To Salad Bars and Armageddon Pudding”

  1. Wendy’s had a salad bar?😲. I love salads. I looked forward to taking the kids to Chuck E Cheese so I could eat the salad bar. Like you, even as a child. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved salad bars in restaurants! And yes, I do remember the Wendy’s and Ruby Tuesday’s ones. Though I don’t recall the pudding. Guess that’s a good thing. There was a salad bar restaurant – yes, that’s all the place was, a gigantic salad bar – that Brian and I used to go to when we were dating, back in the early 80’s. It was on Dempster St in Skokie. It was the bomb and something totally different back then. Gurrrl, you can make your own delicious salad dressings – so easy and they do indeed taste good! Look at the ingredients on that bottled shit (soybean oil and a bunch of chemicals) and you might just change your mind, lol. Though Trader Joe’s has a salad dressing (fig balsamic) that has decent ingredients.



    1. I had you in mind when I was thinking of salad dressing recipes. Like, I need to do just olive oil but I want it to taste less….well, olive oil-ish.
      We can discuss this on Thursday. 🙂

      Also, a salad bar restaurant is something we need again.


  3. I used to love salad bars too, but as I got older, I got more and more aware of the amount of potential DNA there is on every surface. From the sneezing to the handles going into the buckets. Blerg. I think being pregnant started it for me, you know how the doctor tells you that you shouldn’t have deli meat and cheese because of the potential bacteria exposure? Also, I took a food safety course about four years ago, and I’ve never been the same. I’m telling you, the world is a bacteria-infested place covered in poo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to love Ponderosa and Bonanza salad bars. The hubby LOVES salad bars but I have a rule if we find one…dig deep. I move EVERYTHING from the top over to the side and always after 12pm. Two different places with salad bars said never go before noon because you’ve getting everything from the previous day and at noon they have a turnover where fresh is put out. I fondly remember York Steak House in the malls and I HAD to have chocolate pudding (covered in plastic, not on the salad bar though). I can vouch Fudge Stripe smores are awesome as are Reese PB Cup smores.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ruby Tuesday and Ponderosa salad bars! Yes!
    Also, I haven’t made your layer salad in like a hundred years. I think it’s time it made an appearance.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I vaguely remember the Wendy’s salad bar. There used to be a steakhouse and buffet restaurant chain here called Ryan’s, and they had the best salad bar, plus a dessert bar. Of course my salads are shitty by other people’s standards, but they had the stuff my family never bought, like pepperoni and green olives. (And that, plus lettuce, cheese, and croutons was my salad.)


  7. I was so smart to open your blog in a window on my phone while I had WiFi in Vancouver and could read your post while on a bus, but then I could not comment. Home now and I am loving me some ongoing uninterrupted WiFi.

    First of all, I used to love cafeteria style restaurants that we ate at a few times at rest stops while traveling and the best part was little jello cups. I would be all a twitter selecting one for my tray – you know the ones with the cut up jello squares and the bit of cool whip on top. We didn’t get out much.

    Secondly, Mom always bought thank you brand apple juice bottles when I was growing up. I didn’t even know that brand still existed.

    Thirdly, I grew up with a very picky eater mom so a salad bar was NEVER going to be where I gravitated. When we were home and mom made a salad it consisted of ice burg lettuce, shredded cheddar, a few bites of a hard boiled egg b/c she divided one hard boil egg between like 7 bowls, and french dressing. Seriously.

    Finally, I did work at Burger King on Milwaukee in you-know-where town. I had to restock the salad bar at times. The beets grossed me out beyond words. Then, guess what? At a restaurant in Vancouver I ordered a salad and it came with beets. It grossed me out, but I did try a bite (no, I had never actually tried one – again that is how I was raised, we didn’t try stuff. It was all plain Jane eating and being afraid of food) and I ended up enjoying the beets in my salad and ate them all. I must be a grown up.


    1. I totally forgot about cafeteria-style restaurants! They even had them on the Toll Road in Indiana back in the day. Back when eating was serious, sit-down business. I loved the jello cups too and if they had whipped cream? Even better.

      Why do I not remember Burget King salad bars? One of my childhood friends also mentioned the BK salad bar on Facebook (I have a private blog group on FB, email me for the link bc you need to be in there). I too, am not a fan of beets but grew up in a house that loved them.


  8. I am a professional salad creator. Really, I’m good at anything that doesn’t need to be cooked/baked. I totally forgot about Wendy’s Salad bar, but it was one of my favorites back in the day. While in High School I worked at Ponderosa; not sure if that was just a Florida restaurant, but I was in charge of the salad bar. Yes, we had pudding. What I most remember about working the salad bar was that when I was tired I would go into the walk-in cooler and sit my skinny ass on a 5-gallon bucket of chickpeas. 🙂 I still can’t eat chickpeas.


    1. PONDEROSA!! I grew up in Ohio and Ponderosa was a thing there as well as Bonanza (same concept, different name).

      I remember going into the walk-in coolers at McDonald’s when I worked there in the 80s to get a break from the madness. Looking back, I am sure that was a health code violation.


      1. Health code violation? I doubt they had them back then. LOL! We have a Ruby Tuesday on the other side of town and oh, how I love the SB! I just know that one day, it too will disappear.


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