Somewhere Over the Giant Eagle Supermarket Salad Bar


It was a gray day. My coworkers were gray. My supervisors, gray. My clients were well into charcoal gray. My joy of life-- gray with a touch of blue. I paused in the middle of my workday to sing a song about how somewhere, over the optical illusion of the spectrum presented when sunlight refracts through moisture in the Earth's atmosphere, Sialia Currucoides flew.

My coworkers-- the unappreciative gray wretches-- hollered for me to "shaddyap already." So any therapy from the singing vanished.

And then, I dropped into the Giant Eagle supermarket to get some lunch, like always. A part of a gray routine. And as I stepped through into the Prepared Foods area, suddenly....

The sun shone through the building rafters (okay, that was just brighter overhead lighting, but still...)

And color appeared before my eyes in a zillion vibrant MGM Technicolor shades.

A small terrier ran to my feet-- how the heck did he get into the store, is that sanitary?-- and yellow floor tiles had sprung up. And from behind stacked boxes of fruit punch and souvenir Steelers' merchandise, very short employees stepped out to share, in song, their enthusiastic affiliations with various Food Guilds...

And that's when I saw it:

The Giant Eagle folks had installed an all-new salad bar!

Oh, it was beautiful... Magical! Wonderful! (Yes, I do need to get out more. I do, I do, I do, I do!)

But instead of dipping into semi-frozen vats in the dark forest of mystery veg, now, under the new golden lights, we could actually see whether we were getting pickled beets or spiced apples.

And a whole rainbow bounty awaited! Bright red tomatoes, deep orange carrots, Greek salads, fresh fruit, and different kinds of lettuces and-- sugar snap peas! Me, the queen of French fries and gravy, got excited about sugar snap peas. Then I spied the chilled asparagus and-- oh, I just had to try some of that, too.

My heart soared! In pulling together a conveniently-located to-go box without having to trudge back and forth in an unnatural flow, I poured out my joy of fresh food and user-friendly organizational structure into an impromptu musical number:

"Boxes here... lettuce there....
And a couple of tra-la-lars!
That's how we dine the day away
With the merry new salad bar!"

But then-- a booming voice over the PA system shouted: "You there, in Aisle One! Who goes there?"

I looked around, frightened. Me?

I called out, "Why, I'm a lowly office employee, sir, insignificant and meek-- looking for an artichoke heart, a little brain food, and some cabbage. Just to tide me over until I can get home, of course."

The voice echoed, "Well, will you PLEASE. STOP. SINGING?! It seems to be interfering with the UPC scanning system."

"Oh," I muttered. "Sorry."

Still, I can't wait to go back there today. The sequel's never quite as good as the original, mind you. But the scallions and 'taters and pears-- oh my!

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34 comments:

Karen said...

I feel the EXACT SAME WAY!!!! But my singing voice makes the building fall down, so I just don't DO that anymore.

Jenn Thorson said...

Karen- My gosh, someone else who knows the joy of this salad bar... I am not alone!! YAY!

Rebecca said...

LOL

There's something about a good salad bar that just makes your day!

Jenn Thorson said...

Rebecca- I was so ridiculously happy, and laughing at myself about it yesterday, well, I figured there probably was a post in it somewhere.

Midwest Mom said...

Well, now, that's a tomato of a different color!

..hee hee...

:)

Jenn Thorson said...

MM- Heh-- indeed it is! You're sharp today. :)

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

LOL! EXCELLENT!!! And I get VERY EXCITED over sugar snap peas!

Jenn Thorson said...

Olga- They will be certainly making a grand appearance in my salads from now on!

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

I am ADDICTED to them...buy 'em by the bag...@ CostCo!...they have actually REPLACED potato chips! :0

Jenn Thorson said...

Olga- They do offer that CRUNCH that somehow just does the trick. I should really get myself a bag of them and try that. I've done that with the teeny-tiny carrots before and they... well... you get carried away with them and you seriously regret it later.

Jaffer said...

I grew up in a country at a time when the the only "real salad-bar" was seen at a Pizza-Hut.
And oh boy my Dad used to get excited over-filling his box because it was sold by size.

Other places had a "salad bar" that instead had Anti-pasto - and Saudis love 'em. They just don't have black and green olives - They want to choose between Nabali Olives, Souri Olives, Spanish Olives, California Olives, Malissi Olives...

Yep today's lunch will be at the Salad bar ! :o)

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- OH, I love olives. The new salad bar seems to have a few kinds, so that makes me happy, too.

So happy I could... SIIIINNNG!...

(Ahem) Okay. I won't do that to you folks. :)

PS- My best friend's dad LOVE the Pizza Hut salad bar. He talks about it like he'd been at some fine restaurant. "What was that place we went to again with that great salad bar?"

"Erm, Pizza Hut?"

Da Old Man said...

I remember when my favorite restaurant, Wendy's, (yeah, I'm a goober) took out their salad bars. They were lame, and the pudding was the best part, but it gave the appearance that I was eating something healthy. I miss them. The Shop Rite salad bar just doesn't have the same ambience.
Glad Giant Eagle is providing you with such joy.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Didn't Acme used to have a good one? I think I remember that.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

I like the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday's where you can also oder alcohol.

ReformingGeek said...

Now I have to go to the kitchen and find something healthy for lunch....Thanks for that ;-)

I have not seen a "good" salad bar in ages.

I have to limit my singing to when I'm alone in the car. Hubby has the voice in the family!

Tiggy said...

I miss the salad bar in the canteen at my old company.

I'm sitting here with a wilting peanut butter and jam sandwich. Sigh.

Jenn Thorson said...

Prefers- While the alcohol might make my gray work day less so, I kinda think my clients would prefer a more sober marketing writer. I know, I know... I'm no fun! :)

ReformingGeek- They really are rare, aren't they? It was so beautiful, I ended up trying a brussel sprout (it's still a no-go on brussel sprouts by the way-- cute, but not tasty). Ah, the CAR-- now that's the best acoustics!

Tiggy- I get hungry for peanut butter, too, sometimes.

Babs (Beetle) said...

Only you could write about a supermarket trip and make it so entertaining! That was a great read and I suppose I'd better stumble it now ;O)

Jenn Thorson said...

Babs- I think that's the nicest thing anyone's said to me! :)

Chat Blanc said...

It sounds dreamy! ;) I must admit I've found myself thoroughly excited about such things too. I'll take a bit of a thrill anywhere I can get it! :D

Da Old Man said...

Acme. I used to live a half block away from one of those.
It closed and I probably haven't been in another since before salad was invented.
I had to go reread the comments. I thought one said Acme salad bars served alcohol. That would make me search one out. :)
Sadly, it just turned out that my reading skills are declining. :(

Jenn Thorson said...

Chat Blanc- Heh, me too. I figure I'd better dwell on the small joys, like sugar snap peas. The big joys only come around once a millennium. It's good to pace ourselves. :)

Da Old Man- I think your Acme Serving Alcohol thing might just have been wishful thinking. But hey, who can blame you for trying?

jay said...

What ... ? No chocolate????

Poot.

Greg said...

Oh, this was delightful...but one might infer from all this that they have a broad variety of mushroom species, if you get my meaning. ; )

Tiffany said...

I'm picturing you like a Disney princess, dancing around the salad bar and singing a cheery song while little birds flutter around the corners and chirp in harmony...

Jenn Thorson said...

Jay- I'll leave that for a Willy Wonka spoof someday. :) One parody at a time, dear Jay... One parody at a time. :)

Greg- Erm, yes, I get your meaning, bub. But I assure you this was 100% mushroom free. Anyway, THAT would be an Alice in Wonderland spoof, wouldn't it? :)

Tiffany- Heh- only if Disney princesses now are on the chunky side and wear a lot of black. :)

unfinishedrambler said...

Salads: don't get me started. I love the SW Chicken Salad at Weis, which I get religiously every Wednesday when they're on sale. No onions, but with Ken's Chipotle Ranch sauce (unavailable retail, that bastard Ken), the best salad ever. Do I sound a little obsessed? I am.

Me-Me King said...

Nothing like a great salad bar. I just hate it, though, when the sneeze guard gets in the way of my grazing!

Diesel said...

I used to amuse my wife by reciting all of the items at the checkout stand to the tune of "These are a Few of My Favorite Things."

Drowsey Monkey said...

Oh it sounds heavenly ... and colourful!

DeadRooster said...

You know what I think? I think you watched the Wizard of Oz on either TBS or TNT last night (it was on both). THAT'S what I think.

Jenn Thorson said...

UnfinishedDude- Hey, when you find something you love like that, who can complain?!

Me-Me King- Admittedly, if you're tall in particular, the sneeze guard does make you do a bit of a limbo to reach things. But I guess I prefer that to the alternative... (yipes).

Diesel- You'll have to treat us to a WAV file rendition sometime-- heh-heh-heh....

Drowsey- It still was lovely the second time around on Friday, I have to say.

Dead Rooster- Ha, pay no attention to that man behind that curtain!-- I wrote this on Thursday! I haven't actually seen the original Wizard of Oz for quite a few years. I probably SHOULD watch it again, though. It was always a fave.

Awake In Rochester said...

A very colorful rendition. ;o)