April 29, 2010 – Tender Greens

29 Apr

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11:30 am

Tender Greens

tuna nicoise salad

1 glass of blood orange soda

When Henry Ford invented the assembly line, he probably didn’t think it would be used to compose salads. But that’s exactly what Tender Greens does. Everything there revolves around lines. You wait in line to order, then wait in another line that slowly meanders its way to the cash register to pay. While waiting, you see the assembly line in the kitchen putting your salad together. There’s a guy who throws various vegetables in a giant metal bowl with some dressing. It gets plated by someone else. Yet another person garnishes your salad with more vegetables. My tuna nicoise passed through a hand who’s sole purpose was to add haricot verts to the plate. Meanwhile, a guy is responsibly for grilling beef, chicken or tuna while an entirely different person is only responsible for slicing the meat on a bias. In all, nine people might’ve had their hand in making your salad. And that doesn’t count the 2-3 people at the register getting your drinks, making sure you have silverware and taking your money.

By utilizing an army of prep cooks, Tender Greens’ salads are a bit complex than the usual fare. Besides the standard mix of arugula and escarole, my tuna nicoise had chewable pieces of dill and surprisingly, mint. There were haricot verts, tiny fingerling potatoes and a hard-boiled quail’s egg that matches the size of the tiny potato. The tuna is of decent quality and seared rare. For some reason, I always get the tuna nicoise. I’ve tried the other salads like the cobb and the steak salad, but they’re both heavy. Still, some people like rich, hearty salads, and they’ll probably steer toward those. The other regular menu item I usually get is the tomato and bread soup, which is delicious. There are specials, and they sound good. It was braised lamb cheeks on the day I visited. But again, I stuck to my usual. I stuck to the assembly line.

7 pm

white cheddar grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough bread

1 can of Diet Hanson black cherry soda

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