Sometimes, you just want a great salad for lunch, one that isn’t loaded up with a lot of the unhealthy items most restaurants put on them so they can think they’re being creative and charge you more in the process.
That’s why I prefer make-your-own salad bars, I can pick — and pay for — only the ingredients I want, avoiding any high in salt or fat. Knowing my salad bar preference, my daughter found a really good one for us to have lunch at during my recent Portland, Ore., trip — the Garden Bar.
The Garden Bar isn’t exactly make your own. Ingredients are under glass and a staffer makes the salad to your specifications. Or you can choose one fo their pre-planed salads. Both the people I was eating with went with pre-planned house salads, I made my own since the menu salads often have one or more items, like nuts, that I don’t eat.
I started with a base of spring greens, went with tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, beets, carrots and cranberries. Six items come for the basic price. Meats are extra but I didn’t want any, so it was fine. I also was able to get oil and vinegar rather than any pre-made, high-salt dressing.
The atmosphere was fresh and exceedingly clean with a bit of offbeat humor in a sign I really enjoyed.
If you’re looking for a light lunch in Portland, I recommend one Garden Bar’s five locations.