Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Salad Style: In the Chapel? Or Under the Green Umbrella?
Green noodles, red cabbage, lime umbrellas, blue sky.
Who could ask for anything more?
Couldn’t resist stopping in here at Salad Style (807 F Street, 619-255-6731), what with the sunny day and the cute, little ol’ low red brick building, and this block (kitty-corner to the back of the post office) looking bright, like it’s an up-and-coming block.
Besides, on a day like today, you wanna be healthy, walk healthy, and – why not? - eat healthy.
And yes, I’m still on a campaign to get down to 200lbs. Doing okay. Three to go.
Of course inside, there’s a line waiting to order. I look at the salads menu on the wall. They start at $9, (or $12 for the large) at the top, with the grilled salmon salad, and go down to the house salad at the bottom (it comes with organic greens, cotija cheese, corn and other good stuff) for $6, or $8 large.
Also at the bottom, and also $6: Morning Glory, a mix of yogurt, strawberry, blueberry, pineapple, pear, Granola, honey and mint. Ooh. That’d be good.
Almost go for that, then see the Moroccan Couscous salad ($7/$10). Oh yeah. I remember having it once. Big molded chunk of couscous in the middle of a sea of greens, feta cheese, black currants, almonds, great.
But then, also at $7/$10, there’s the soba noodle salad, with green tea soba noodles, shredded cabbage, grilled chicken, shiitake mushrooms, peanuts, all sorts of good stuff, plus a ginger-sesame dressing.
I go for that. The small.
“Good choice,” says the guy behind the counter. Name’s Gy, spelled G-Y. The manager. “It has the lowest calorie-count of all our salads, 140.”
Wow. If it tastes good, that’s a win-win.
I’m tempted to sit down here inside, like most customers seem to be doing. It’s nice. Actually, it’s historic. The building could be 125 years old, says Gy. “And I was told this room was the chapel of the first Catholic church downtown.”
I can see it’s possible. The open timber rafters look old. The green wine bottle chandeliers don’t, but they kinda add to the atmos.
But, today being what it is, I decide to go out in the sun, under the green umbrella, on the sidewalk. Gy arrives with a glass of water, napkin, and beautiful, curly, heavy knife and fork. Wow. Worth it just for these.
The salad is pretty amazing.
So much stuff. The pile of noodles is on the bottom, but then you’ve got spinach. Endless chunks of grilled chicken, those tasty little sliced shiitake ’shrooms, shavings of red cabbage, carrot, scallions, lotsa peanuts, and that sexy infusion of the ginger-sesame really helping out my flavor-seeking flavanoids.
Back inside I have the gut filled but the plate only half-finished. Plop down on one of the heavy stools at the counter to get the rest packed to go. Notice, oh Lord: they have draft beer. A Coronado ale. Stone IPA. And wine by the glass (about $7). Lordy. Glass of white would have gawn down so great with this salad.
Sigh. Next sunny day, I guess.
Hey, that could be tomorrow.