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Jul 9, 2010 06:22 AM

Great Salad Bar

I live around Central Square and work in the South End (just over the bridge from the Back Bay stop) and I can't seem to find a really good salad bar or place where they make salads to order. Does anyone have a good suggestion?

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  1. I can't remember the last time I was in a restaurant with a salad bar -- I think the cold-item buffet at an Indian place at lunch or a churrascaria doesn't count -- but isn't this what Tossed (in the Pru) is about? I have never been in one, can't tell if it's a salad bar or a made-to-order place, but salads seem to be this chain's specialty.

    1. Have you tried Sebastian's? There is one in Kendall MIT area, and a bunch in Boston. They make really good salads to order.

      1. This doesn't help you geographically, but Boston Kebab House in Liberty Square has an incredible salad and meze bar. The line for this every day is huge and reminiscent of what you would see at Chacarero's old Filene's location.

        (And the kebabs are very good as well...)

        Boston Kebab House
        7 Liberty Sq, Boston, MA 02109

        3 Replies
        1. re: StevieC

          Agreed, that mezze bar is terrific, and it's a salad bar I've been to lately.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Kebab House is the best. I also frequent Souper Salad since I work downtown and its a decent deal if you really load up the container as they don't charge by the pound.

            You mentioned living in Central Square. I love the buffet at Rangzen. They usually have a couple different types of salads every lunch and they are usually great.

            1. re: Kinopio

              Third that - it was the first thing that crossed my mind on seeing the post. I did think they charged by the pound - I've definitely come away paying different amounts (and I do load it up). I had also heard they have a day where the mezze is half price, but I may have imagined that. I skip the "regular" salad line and go right to the mezze bar, where they have all the same stuff, and the awesome items such as artichoke fritters, chicken kofte, baba ganouj, lamb losh kebab type things, spinach and cheese pie, a bazillion different veggies and beans.

        2. Perhaps Souper Salad at Berkeley and St. James? I've never been so I can't comment on the value/freshness.

            1. re: trufflehound

              With a few caveats, Whole Foods would get my vote. I just went to the one at the Cambridge Street store (in Beacon Hill) for a pre-movie picnic and it was excellent: fresh, abundant, good variety.
              Caveat 1: it does vary a LOT with the store. The Prospect St. store near Central Square (which, granted, has major issues with lack of space) has a rather bad salad bar - small selection, *constantly* running out of containers, undercooked vegetables (I mean things like roasted sweet potatoes which are just nasty when they're al dente) - I go there sometimes for lunch but it's kind of the all-else-fails option. (Fortunately they do usually have chicken wings in the hot bar which are a guilty pleasure.) The larger stores are generally much better in quality and variety - they usually have two or three stations with a correspondingly larger selection.
              Caveat 2: the dressings kind of suck. They're loaded with thickeners and stabilizers and taste like it. My usual trick is to half-fill the little plastic container with their strangely gelatinous "balsamic vinaigrette," and then top it off with the actual balsamic vinegar and olive oil that they provide, for a reasonable facsimile of a decent dressing. not gourmet but not bad.
              Caveat 3: beware the weighty frills. Some of the stores have dessert bars which try to sucker you in with "strawberry shortcake" and "tiramisu." One, they're not very good, and two, they're heavy and at 8 dollars a pound that's a pretty expensive mediocre dessert. Obviously this is just common sense but salad bars are designed to make people go a little crazy with choices.
              Apart from all that, though, they *are* the best option I've seen around.