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.
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:
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.
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.