I have never gone back for seconds at the Sweet Tomatoes salad bar.
For those of you who have eaten at Sweet Tomatoes, you may find this … strange. If you’re like me, however, you’re probably nodding your head and saying, “Neither have I.”
On Saturday, Belle, of Damian and Belle fame, did just that — went back for seconds.
Just so I’m being clear — I’m not talking about the soup bar, the ice cream, the focaccia bread, or anything else in that OTHER section of the restaurant. Of COURSE I’ve gotten up, time and again, to get more pizza or dessert!
I’m talking about the SALAD BAR … where you walk in, grab your tray and plates, and fill up with greens before paying the CASHIER.
So, back to the story … Belle walks PAST THE CASHIER, grabs a NEW PLATE, gets MORE salad, walks PAST THE CASHIER AGAIN, and sits down at our table. She asks me if I’ve tried the lemon salad, and how good it is.
“What? You got more salad?”
I look at Damian, who is equally shocked and amazed. I mean, we’ve eaten at Sweet Tomatoes HUNDREDS of times and … I swear, it never occurred to me that you’re allowed to go back to the salad bar. I figured once you pass the cash registers, that’s it. There’s no going back. It’s the point of no return.
“We’re New Yorkers,” Damian quipped.
Of course. I know I’ve been to buffets in New York where you pay and can only access certain items afterwards. The Sweet Tomatoes layout must be similar to this, and ….
“Wait a minute,” I asked. “You mean the cashier didn’t say anything to you?”
“No,” said Belle.
I mean, you’d have to bring your receipt, right? I’d have to do that — just flash that receipt to the cashier … or at the very least hand-signal the cashier and point at my table, indicating I’m coming back for seconds and not some riffraff trying to get a free meal.
I’d have to at least carry my cup. Damian pointed out that the straw would have to have the little droplets inside, as PROOF! that we had paid already.
Later on, we both thought of those struggling in the economy, and how easy it would be to walk in with a clear plastic cup and straw through the restaurant’s backdoor, grab a salad (remember, the cup is PROOF!), sit down, and commence eating.
We’re not suggesting anyone try that … As Damian pointed out, the cashier must be trained to memorize the faces of everyone who has paid … I’m sure they know every person that has walked both sides of that salad bar….
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