Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On the Cusp of Salad

My quest for an easy, effortless way to obtain a salad in Forest Hills is almost over, but not quite. Yes, this simple desire, so easily fulfilled in countless other neighborhoods in New York City, remains stubbornly out of reach of us Forest Hillers—unless, that is, you are willing to play by the rules.

For example, the wonderful new make-your-own salad bar at Natural is oh so inviting and a fantastic idea. But then there are its sketchy hours of operation—apparently they only make the salads during the day-time. And since no hours of operation are posted on the salad bar, when you are going to be delighted with a crisp, freshly customized salad of your own choosing, and when you'll be greeted by a sad empty metal salad space remains uncertain. Not the best way to plan your salad days.

The new wonderful cafe OvoSodo on Queens Blvd. near Ascan has a customized salad option. But it's not a salad bar. You have to order what you want off the menu. Not a salad option for us harried New Yorkers who want to see salad, point, mutter, and leave.

BareBurger has some incredibly complex, inventive and healthy salads. But, once again, sans bar. You have to order it off the menu like you would one of their scrumptious Bison Burgers.

In this age of Just Salad and Chop't, where freshly-built, custom-made salads are just a short line wait away for millions of other New Yorkers, I long for the day of a no-drama, streamlined salad operation that will bring Forest Hills truly into the 21st Century and help all of our waistlines. There are a lot of chubby Forest Hillers who are only getting chubbier.

Behold! Natural's new semi-open salad bar:


  1. There are no good salad places here because we do not have many office buildings. The salad rush usually occurs at lunchtime and if you don't have many people clamoring for a lunch salad, there's little profit in it. This is a residential neighborhood full of families who can very easily make a salad for themselves. It's not that hard to make one yourself, I'm very lazy when it comes to cooking but a salad? I can make that in the dark!

    1. I find salads to be one of the most annoying things to prepare food-wise. Way too much preparation involved. I cannot disagree more. Not only are there a lot of people who do work in this area, but there are also plenty of people who would pick up a salad when they get home rather than schlep it on the express train. And also weekends as well. I couldn't disagree with you more. There was one independent salad place on a side street off of Austin a while ago which wasn't very good. A major salad chain would do great here in Forest Hills, especially considering the influx of young professionals who don't have the time and want something healthy to eat. It's a big gap here, a real need.

    2. Anon is 100% right on all counts. There is no office crowd in FOHI, but a lot of families. Natural has some of the freshest vegetables around so why not just go home and make a great salad yourself.

      Drake, you should get salad making for Dummies. It will work wonders for you and save you money too.

  2. I too have longed for a decent salad bar. There used to be two great salad places in the area. One was where La Boulangerie is now and one was downstairs from Ripe (and that one served warm fresh bread with your order and gave a discount to NYSC members!). I think both of them undercharged and that's why they went out.

  3. I pre make my salads at home. I buy a couple bags of salad mix, some tomatoes, a bag of shredded cheese, a few avocados, salad dressing, and I grill a few chicken breasts. Total cost $18. I get just about 4 nice sized salads for the week and bring them to work. I save about $20 by not going to a salad shop. That's $1k in a year that stays in my pocket. I bought a salad from Chopt in Midtown last year and paid over $10 for it!