Running a little sum in the back of my head, there are no less than 35 places with five blocks of my workplace from which I can get a chicken or antipasto salad. This ranges from the Hilal lunch cart two blocks south of me where I can get a salad and a can of soda for $5.00 to Pain Quitidien where I will pay closer to $20.00. There’s a stop on that spectrum every two dollars or so with clusters around $7.95, $10.00, and $12.50.
Today I went to Joe’s Pizza for an antipasto salad and a man looking the acme of Irishness with lily white skin, red hair and freckles to the point where the name “Kieran Patrick McO’Connor” would have been appropriate took my order with a thick Sicilian accent. I asked if they offered drink refills and he gave a knowing smile and said “yeah”. When the salad was done, I was called up and asked what dress I’d like. I said “caesar or blue cheese” and the server put down his bottles of Italian and Ranch and pulled out a dusty box with Velveeta signage on it and fished out a packet of Newman’s Own that looked kind of beat up. It was unexpired and unpunctured so I tipped a packet to adventurous eating.
THe salad was fine and reasonable as part of an $8.00 lunch. When I returned to have my drink refilled, it was done by a chesty middle aged woman who gave me the same knowing smile as the guy who took my order.