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Nov 3, 2003 03:47 PM

Salad Bars in Center City

  • j

Eating the below-average cold salad I created from the spread in the deli in the lobby of my office building, I wondered: where are the really good "by the pound" salad bars hidden in Center City? Cold, and/or hot?

I'll go anywhere...west or east of Broad...street access or interior access. Help! Thanks.

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  1. I have not found any really good ones, though I found the Food Bazaar (replacing Wolf's market at 15th/Locust) slightly better than average...and more expensive than average.

    My biggest complaint is that all of the "by the pound" places soak everything in oil, mayo, or water to increase the weight and thus profit. Very difficult to go "low calorie/fat", when everything is dripping in oil.

    The same thing holds true for the "Hot" side where the chinese-style food is often overly breaded and soaking in sauce.


    1. I used to like the vegetarian salad bar at the place just north of Berri Blue on 19th St. (just above Chestnut), but sadly it is gone. Berri Blue has gone downhill rapidly, as well. Too bad -- the concept is great but it's not well done here.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Susan H
        Howard Roberts

        I really miss the vegetarian place on 19th Street too. I used to enjoy eating there at least once a week. It was called East Meets West.

        However, I disagree with you on Berri Blue. They recently renovated and the place has a new, bright, clean look. To me, the food seems pretty much unchanged, with a huge variety of fresh ingredients. A large lunch seldom exceeds $6.

        I do have a few pet peeves: (1) They don't have fresh ground pepper -- just pepper in little paper packets; (2) No brown rice -- only white or fried; (3) Now that East Meets West is gone, I wish they would offer a couple of tofu dishes; (4) A good non-fat dressing would be nice instead of the lite Italian they now have.

      2. fresh fields at 10th and south has a very nice salad buffet! a little expensive but not crazy if you are wise....

        1. If you can get over the posters outside displaying a floating shrimp wearing a halo, you'll realy like Oh So Good Eatery on 19th and Market. They have a salad bar, very large hot bar, and sushi bar, all for 4.99/lb. The salad bar always has a good mix of salad staples (good crisp romaine, nice but slightly soggy ceaser, all of the regular veggies) and interesting add-ons (the wheat berry salad they have sometimes is amazing, as is the tomato with pesto/mozzarella salad). They also have an extensive choice of dressings.

          The hot bar is mostly soul food and chinese, and the bbq ribs, whitefish, fried plantains and fettucine alfredo I've had so far were all really good and not dripping with fat/oil. Stay far away from the sushi bar though, those rolls have been sitting under the heat lamps for way too long.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tasneem

            Hm. Personally, I'd skip the Oh So Mediocre being referenced here (and if you must go, the hidden one next to Verizon, on Market and next to the garage just east of 18th, is a teeny bit nicer and has fresher stuff). Every time I've been (and I've been a LOT ... and continue going), it's just so ridiculously mediocre.

            Pagano's Market on the north side of market in the area where Twenty21 used to be is my choice when I want to do a salad bar. The salad greens tends to be fresher, and the topping options are more varied (Oh So Good tends to have more hot items than salad-y items, and Pagano's tends toward the opposite end of the spectrum). All in all, though, I usually just hit one of the many Raindrop Cafe spots because it's easier to do by the time I get to lunch.

          2. Royal Gourmet on Sansom between 15th and 16th isn't bad. And you've got to have a drink in there sometime.

            Just so that you can say you did.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mike

              I was about to tell this poster that Royal Gourmet has been closed for a couple of years. (It is now Ladder 15)

              Then I looked at the date and remembered that I was (am) Mike