Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why I was at Souplantation the other night is a long story.
Let's just say it involves one of my favorite friends Vanessa turning 30 and wanting to revisit a place where we loved to pig out growing up.
So a group of girlfriends (including two of their small girl kids) met up at the Souplantation in Garden Grove. Over the years, Vanessa started calling it "poop plantation" because the food always made her have to go. Like immediately after eating. Which is obviously gross and should have been a red flag long ago to stay away.
STILL, when she decided "poop plantation" was the place where she wanted to celebrate her 30th, I was relieved because I figured, being a salad bar and all, that there would be plenty of paleo stuff to eat.
Not so.
The garbage they offer up disguised as healthy food is a perfect example of why America is fat. The idea here is that you build your meal around a heaping salad. Problem is, there's no protein. Anywhere. Not even the little cups of chicken you used to be able to buy for some outrageous additional price of $3 bucks.
Instead, they fill up hungry customers with starch and sugar, from a bakery bar with muffins and pizza and all sorts of gooey mystery cake to a pasta bar where you can choose from cream sauce, and oh, more cream sauce.
I remember eating here as a kid and feeling like, it being a buffet and all, that I had to eat my money's worth. At more than $10 a person now, I'm sure plenty of cash-strapped people in the working class neighborhood where I grew up are going back for seconds and thirds.
And I'm sure plenty of them feel like it's healthy. "Sure, I had a couple small squares of pizza bread dipped in ranch, but I had a salad for dinner. And it was frozen yogurt for dessert. I might wither to nothing."
I guess I never realized just how much bad for you food replaces quality nutrition in an effort to keep down overhead and increase profits.
Literally everything came with a side of carbs. Which is why my friend Michelle was surprised when she saw my plate, piled with salad -- some spinach and green lettuce, mushrooms, olives, tomatos and oil and vinegar -- and wondered why it looked so healthy.
My plate isn't healthy, I told her. I need meat. I tried to find it at the soup bar, where two of the chicken and veggie broth-based soups said there was meat inside. But even those were loaded with noodles or rice or both, so dinner felt more like a search for submerged meatballs than having a meal.
Then I went home and made a turkey bacon and egg scramble. And the world was right again.


Sheryl said...

You are so funny- poop plantation, I love it!!! My ex's mom loved that place and I hated going there. To this day I still wouldn't be caught dead there! haha

Paleo Jen said...

So smart to stay away! I don't think I'll ever go back....

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