Not to be all "I'm not like other girls," but I usually skip the salad section of any menu entirely. It's not that I hate vegetables, I'm just cheap and like to lie to myself.
I don't order salads because I think I can make them at home for way less money. Why shell out the cash for something "easy" I can do myself (cut lettuce) when I can instead pay for something I can't do (deep fry potatoes in large quantities)?
The problem, of course, is that even though I technically could make a great salad at home, I won't. I won't spend time caramelizing pecans, I won't buy the right kind of cheese and my arugula will always go slimy before it sees a world beyond the crisper. Salads at my house are made from whatever is already in the fridge.
It's a salad stigma I'm trying to get over, and this week I used the much-contested method of exposure therapy. I got a bacon and egg miso bowl from Field and Social Dunsmuir in between a furniture showroom opening and improv practice (yes, I moonlight as a loser).
Here's a rundown of this beast, and how likely I would be to actually recreate each element myself:
1. Romaine and arugula. Easy enough. Can't guarantee the arugula will be slime-free.
2. Orzo pasta. This isn't currently in my cupboard, so I likely wouldn't buy it.
3. Roasted yams. Easy to do, but too time-consuming for a single-portion salad. They also have to cool before can add them in.
4. Black pepper bacon. Same deal as the yams.
5. Miso dressing. I would probably buy this off the shelf, use it once, and forget about it for months.
6. A ramen egg. I actually don't know how to cook an egg this perfect and I don't want anyone to tell me. I believe in magic.
All in all, this salad is a masterpiece. Sweet yams, extra-thick cuts of bacon, that magical ramen egg, and the little kick of orzo that keeps you full—it's delicious. They nailed every taste and texture, putting any boring salad I could make to shame. It's also quite large, and could definitely be split into two lunches (Did I do this? No! Did I regret it? Yes!).
Purposely buying—and enjoying—a $17 salad instead of any other fast food in the downtown area is some real character development for me. What's next? Making my own optometrist appointments?