It seems like salad bars are hard to find anymore. They used to be in restaurants and grocery stores everywhere, then they seemed to fall out of favor.
So when I find one I haven't tried before, I like to dig in deeply.
There's plenty to dig at the salad bar at Marlene's Market & Deli, near the Tacoma Mall. The bar contains 33 items, nearly half of them organic. There are seven salad dressings, all made from scratch.
And you won't even feel guilty about packing your veggies home in a take-out container. The clamshell containers are made from compostable sugar cane.
We'd like to hear about your favorite salad bars for an upcoming News Tribune article. Where do you go when you're craving fresh veggies?
At Marlene's, my dining companions and I built our salads with three types of crisp organic greens: green leaf lettuce, spinach and mixed greens. We were delighted with the salad dressings, sampling raspberry vinaigrette, Oriental and ginger honey.
Along with the usual complement of cucumbers, peppers, carrots, tomatoes and croutons, there were plenty of creative additions. Try balsamic vinegar-infused tofu, cubes of pepper jack cheese, edamame and hard-boiled eggs from free-range chickens.
Instead of mushy potato salad as a bonus item, Marlene's features freshly made salads, including tomato with fresh mozzarella, spinach farfalle pasta and more.
The salad bar costs $7.99 a pound. Be careful how much you pile onto your plate, because costs can add up quickly.
Marlene's salad bar was kept spotless by attentive staff members, and the veggies and other items were fresh. You can enjoy your salad at one of the cafe tables in the deli, or take it to your home or office.
Marlene's Market & Deli
2951 S. 38th St.