Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Hot/Cold Salad Bars

I don't like hot/cold salad bars which are so popular at delis around town. By the same token, I'm generally not a big fan of buffets, but usually the buffets are all-you-can-eat, so there's less cause to complain, although some of the same complaints below still apply.

First, HCSBs are unsanitary. Let's face it, the "sneeze guards" they put up over them are completely useless. I once in fact actually did have to sneeze while trying to find my food. I had to totally turn my head, seeing as I knew that no matter how directly I sneezed into the guard, it would hit the food, and that would be gross.

The sneeze guards are also placed at varying heights, obviously based upon ... well, I don't know what, but they're not a uniform height. And they shouldn't be, seeing as people obviously will vary, but still, it means that people whose heights don't match the sneeze guard will not be "shielded" should the sneeze (or drool, or snot, or anything) escape their lips (or noses).

Second, HCSBs seem to bring out the worst in people. In getting to pick and choose exactly what makes it on to your plate, people can get so rude in terms of the stuff that makes it to them. I'm talking about things like people putting some General Tso's chicken in their container, then changing their mind and putting them back. Sometimes, this happens after they've put other things in their container, too, so they're using their tongs to poke past other foods in their effort to replace the General Tso's chicken, and the chicken they're putting back now has some other foreign substance stuck on it.

Third, it's way too easy to overspend on a single lunch at HCSBs. Around where I live, it usually costs anywhere from $4.50 to $5.99 per pound for the food. A sandwich would cost, say, $5 or $6, but loading stuff onto your plate -- including salads -- can quickly total more than a pound, and suddenly you're paying $8, $10, $12 for lunch.

Call me OCD, but I try to avoid these things as much as I can.

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