House Salad @ Carnation Cafe

Price: $7.00

When: April 9, 2017, 12:50 PM

Reservations: Recommended

Verdict? Not recommended

It’s lunchtime. Richard and I scored a reservation at Carnation Cafe. We arrive, get seated, and start figuring out what to eat.

I’ve been consistently impressed with the starters on Carnation’s menu. Whether it’s Fried Pickles, Walt’s Chili, or Baked Potato Soup, their offerings are well-designed, high-quality, and deliver above expectations.

Today, I’m going for the House Salad. (Let’s see if the hot streak continues.)

The friendly Cast Member takes my order, and asks what kind of dressing I want. It’s the usual options: Ranch, Thousand Island, Blue Cheese. I picked Blue Cheese.

The dish arrives. It appears to be a very generic salad served on a square white plate. It’s mostly lettuce, accompanied by two large slices of cucumber and four grape tomatoes. The blue cheese is on the side, in a metal dish.

I load up my fork, apply some dressing, and take my first bite.

It’s … super boring.

Maybe boring isn’t the right word. Maybe … lazy? I can’t quite decide. Everything about this is uninspired, phoned in. The lettuce is plain, and right out of a bag. The cucumber is decent, but watery. The tomatoes (when you can find them) are a tad mushy. And the dressing, while perfectly acceptable, is simply not up to the task of saving this mediocrity from itself.

Sidebar: this was so underwhelming, especially relative to other, great, Carnation dishes, that I kind of kept wondering if there was some “good part” hidden under all the lettuce. You know, like I just hadn’t managed to find the scallions or bits of roasted eggplant that were hiding at the bottom of the plate. Not the case.

Carnation should fix this item, or flat-out remove it from their menu. They’re better than this.

Not recommended.