After my horrifying experience at the grand opening at the Saladworks around the corner from my house last November, you'd think that I would avoid eating there at all cost. But alas, I am a fat man living by myself, so I have to find dinner every night somehow. There are only so many times I can go to Wawa each week; not because I'm tired of its food, but because the Hot Redheaded Chick is probably THIS close to putting a restraining order on me.
I also go to Saladworks because it's the healthiest place in the world. My goal is to lose one-tenth of a pound each week, and the easiest way to do that is to eat yummy salads.
Now, I know what you're thinking: How can salads be yummy? Easy. Salad dressing. When you go to Saladworks, make sure you get extra salad dressing so your bowl is overflowing with it. With all of that salad dressing, you'll enjoy your meal and lose weight at the same time. It's a win-win situation.
There are some problems with Saladworks, however. Walking into this particular one is difficult enough because there is a Five Guys right next to it. If you're unfamiliar with Five Guys, they make the best cheeseburgers of all time. It's so good. Like, if a scumbag, woman-beating terrorist kidnapped me in an attempt to make yet another pointless gesture by killing me on camera, and he asked me for a last meal, I would demand Five Guys. The joke would be on him - I'd enjoy my Five Guys and then die of a heart attack, nullifying his chance of murdering me on camera. Muhahaha!
The interior of Saladworks can be bad too. I haven't had a terrible experience like I did when it first opened up, but I still have had many Jerks of the Week moments inside this particular Saladworks. Let me share them with you.
1. The Case of the Disappearing Salad
This guy who lives right near me sits in his garage all day. I was told that he's super smart and good at solving mysteries. So, I waltzed into his garage, ready to pay him $100 for his services, when I saw that he had a sign that said: "25 cents per day, plus expenses." Really? That's it?
I told this guy what happened. I was in Saladworks one Saturday evening, attempting to order a Chicken Caesar salad with no eggs***. The old lady worker who had my salad appeared to bring it around the counter to the register. Once I met her there, I didn't see my salad.
***Side note - Whose brilliant idea was it to put eggs in a salad? Disgusting. Eggs are a breakfast food. They don't belong with salads. Besides, everyone knows that eggs are very unhealthy (otherwise I'd eat four Egg McMuffins for breakfast every day). Salads are healthy and eggs are unhealthy, so these two things don't mix. ***
Me: Hey, where's my salad?
Old Lady: Your salad will be right back.
Me: Right back? Where did it go, to the bathroom?
Old Lady didn't find this funny, but a woman near 50 and her hot-looking daughter both laughed. Great. I wouldn't eat dinner tonight, but I'd be able to game an attractive chick and her mom. Three-way? Oh yeah.
My dreams were crushed moments later. The mom and daughter moved closer to me as their salad was finished. The girl, who looked attractive from 20 feet away, was actually a hideous beast. Her mom wasn't any better. This was one of the most disappointing moments in my life.
The mom and the 20-footer paid for their salad and left the store. Minutes later, the old lady returned with my salad. I gave her a coupon that entitled me to a $5.99 salad, but she shook her head and declined it.
Me: What's wrong? This hasn't expired yet!
Old Lady: This coupon is only good Monday through Friday. Not Saturday. See?
She pointed to the microscopic words at the bottom of the coupon, and sure enough, it was only valid on weekdays. Ugh. Would it have killed her to just accept the coupon, especially after carrying my salad with her to the bathroom as she dropped a deuce?
I had no luck convincing her. I was out three bucks. Fortunately, the garage sleuth charged only 25 cents.
Oh, and by the way, he solved the Case of the Disappearing Salad rather quickly. Some douche wearing a crown on his head and a shirt that said "Bugs Meany" was the one who kidnapped my salad. How did I not see that coming?
2. Hours of Operation
Saladworks' hours of operation really piss me off. They close at 8 Monday through Saturday. Who the hell closes at 8? The aforementioned Five Guys stays open till 10. Subway shuts down at 9:30. Arby's is also done at 10. What makes Saladworks so special that it can lock its doors at 8?
I like to eat dinner between 9 and 10. That's just the way I've always done things. So, if I want Saladworks on a particular night, I have to leave me house around 7:25, so that I get there at 7:30. Then, I have to stick my salad in the fridge for two hours. How inconvenient.
Oh, and I have to arrive at Saladworks at 7:30 because that's when they carry their soups away. I found out the hard way when I asked for soup at 7:50 one evening. The old guy standing near the soup canisters laughed, "I've takesh the shoup to the kitchensh ha ha ha ha." That was a horrifying moment for me.
As bad as this sounds, it pales in comparison to what occurs on Sundays. Saladworks shuts down at 5 then. There is absolutely no logic behind that. Think about it - if you want Saladworks for dinner on a Sunday, you have to get there at 4:30. No one eats any meal at 4:30 except communists and people who are like 90 years old. Why not stay open till at least 6 to catch the crowd that eats dinner at 5 or 5:30? And if they don't want to stay open late, why even operate until 5? Why not just cater to the lunch crowd and then shut down at 2:30 or 3? It seems completely pointless to close at 5.
Ugh. I don't get it. The only reasonable explanation I have for these weird hours is that the Saladworks employees take random salads into the bathroom with them after closing time. They must be stopped.
3. Six Soups Man
I know what you're thinking: "Walt, how can you like soup? Soup is disgusting." Not true. There are some tasty soups out there. I once had pepperoni pizza soup and cheeseburger soup at New England Pizza, and both were amazing. They were also healthy; my mom used to always force me to eat soup because it was good for me. Tomato soup is awesome too. In fact, that's half of what I usually purchase at Saladworks.
If you've never been to Saladworks, you may not be aware that they usually have something called tomato bisque soup. I was hesitant when I initially saw that. Tomato soup sounded good, but what in God's name is a bisque? I was two-thirds of the way there, so I bought it for the hell of it. And it was great! I'm still not completely sure what a bisque is, but I sure as hell like them in my tomato soup.
Saladworks doesn't have tomato bisque soup all the time, unfortunately, perhaps because bisques are difficult to find. One evening, Saladworks had two disgusting soups (broccoli and peas, or something) accompanied by a third - chicken pot pie soup.
I quickly broke it down in my head: chicken, great when fried, OK otherwise; pie, awesome; pot, kind of illegal, but maybe I can say I have medical reasons. I decided that I should try this mysterious chicken pot pie.
I barely got the chance. This fat guy in front of me ordered six chicken pot pie soups. Six! It was ridiculous. This man did not need six soups. He was humongous. In fact, I tried to count the amount of chins he had on several occasions, but I kept losing count. I did not have enough digits on my hands.
I asked for only one cup of chicken pot pie soup when it was my turn. Unfortunately, it was predictably pretty much gone. The guy behind the counter had to call the manager, and they stared into the canister as if they were peering into a magnifying glass. It took several minutes, but they scraped enough chicken pot pie soup from the bottom of the metallic container.
I tried it a couple of hours later, and it was pretty mediocre. It probably would have been decent if it didn't have a metallic taste to it.
Screw you, Six Soups Man. I hope you enjoyed your six chicken pot pie soups - and I pray that you grew yet another chin out of the whole ordeal so you can add it to your precious collection.
4. One-Millionth Customer
Believe it or not, I was this Saladworks' one-millionth customer! OK, maybe not. When I walked into Saladworks on Friday evening, this average-looking girl behind the counter exclaimed that I was the one-millionth customer. She then asked the tall black guy working there to dance me. This seemed appropriate because everyone else there was white, so he would have been able to out-dance us all.
Alas, the average-looking girl revealed to me that she was lying. I was not the one-millionth customer, and the black guy did not dance for me. And if this didn't totally ruin my night, when I asked for tomato bisque soup, the tall black guy said that he already put the soups away. At 7-fracking-20. What the hell!?
Now, normally, I would have complained. I would have asked to see his manager. But I didn't want to risk it. As you may have guessed, I was scared that he would use his superior athleticism to beat me up.
What? That's racist? Umm... I didn't realize that implying that tall people are athletic was racist, but I'll keep that in mind for the future. I promise to be more considerate of tall people going forward. Perhaps I should call them "vertically enhanced" from now on so I don't get any hate mail for politically correct douche bags who have dildoes up their butts.
5. Noodles in Salad
I'm only capable of purchasing three different types of salads at Saladworks because there are too many offensive items on the menu. The second-worst is something called Sophie's Salad. This is comprised of: Baby spring mix, chicken, bleu cheese, (here's where it gets bad), craisins, glazed pecans, green apple slices.
I don't know what the hell a craisin is (a cranberry-raisin hybrid?) but the thing that irks me is the green apple slices. How can anyone live with themselves after eating an apple in a salad? The mere thought of mixing yummy Ranch or Caesar or Blue Cheese dressing with apples makes me want to puke.
But Sophie's Salad must taste like Five Guys compared to Autumn Harvest: romaine, iceberg, roasted turkey, corn, carrots, (here's where it gets bad), craisins, sunflower seeds, crispy apple chips.
Yay, let me get some salads with cranberry-raisins and sunflower seeds! Don't forget the apples! Ugh. There are three reasons I can fathom why something as terrible as Autumn Harvest is allowed to exist in our world:
1. The creator of Autumn Harvest is an artsy-fartsy, new-age hippie douche. You know, the losers who hang out in a downtown Starbucks and brag about how awesome their art/music/screenplay is even though it's the worst thing of all time.
3. Satan asked the King of Saladworks to put it on the menu so that the sinners will have a preview of what Hell is like. In between getting boinked in the behind by a vertically enhanced man (not that there's anything wrong with that), you're forced to eat this Autumn Harvest piece of crap. Hell is truly a horrible place to spend eternity.
Meanwhile, many of the salads have a fundamental problem. For instance, the Turkey Club salad looks good until the very end: romaine, iceberg, roasted turkey, crispy bacon, tomatoes, radiatorre pasta.
Umm... I don't know if the King of Saladworks knows this, but noodles don't belong in salads. Noodles belong in soup, spaghetti or macaroni and cheese. Not salad. Any fifth-grader can tell you that.
Saladworks has 11 salads, excluding the aforementioned abominations known as Sophie's Salad or Autumn Harvest. Of those 11 salads, a whopping five have noodles. That means, according to Saladworks, there are only six salads in existence that are noodle-free. As a salad expert, I can tell you that this is flat-out wrong.
I hope the King of Saladworks is reading this. They're called salads for a reason, bub. You don't own a restaurant called Spaghettiworks. It's Saladworks.
You know, I just came up with an idea. I think I may open up a restaurant called Spaghettiworks. Think about it - you can make your own pasta dish. You can put as much spaghetti sauce or Cheese Whiz or chicken parm or meatballs on your pasta as you want. It'll be awesome. I'd eat there every day.
There's just one problem - how do I make a Spaghettiworks if I don't have any pasta? I imagine buying noodles at the supermarket, even if it's Bottom Dollar Food, would be terribly expensive and thus would limit my profit margin. Plus, I don't know how to make pasta. That's a problem, so I'd have to come up with an alternative.
That's where Saladworks comes in. My plan is to sneak into Saladworks at night, after all the customers are kicked out and after all the employees come out of the bathroom with their salads. I'll then steal all of their pasta by putting it into giant trash bags. As Emmitt Smith would say, I'd be killing two stones with one bird - I'd fund my Spaghettiworks operation, all while preventing Saladworks from ever placing a single noodle into a salad ever again.
And if I get caught stealing Saladworks' noodles? I can just have Bugs Meany take the blame. Case closed.