The Beauty and Bounty of the Steakhouse Salad Bar

January 5, 2017

How the serve-yourself buffet became a star feature of American dining

With neon-hued Mandarin orange segments, chilled pasta spirals tossed in vinaigrette, and an incongruous amount of cottage cheese, steakhouse salad bars are a tableau of vintage dining. Some offer slice-it-your-self wedges of Swiss cheese, others lay out sweet squares of zucchini bread or massive bowls of pre-mixed Caesar salads, with a sidecar of filets for the anchovy-inclined. There are salad bars that bookend meals with crocks of hot soup and fresh fruit displays, and others that lend themselves to baked potato garnishing sprees.

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