A Loud Rant About Salad Dressing, Followed By Praise for Saladworks

Categories: Local Eats
Dave Lieberman
I miss New York. I miss San Francisco. Just not for the reasons you'd think.

You see, as an office drone, those cities are paradise for lunch. You can walk downstairs from any office building and walk into a takeout-only soup and salad place within two minutes. It's the perfect lunch for corporate workers, because it's quick and portable; you can take it back to your desk or to the break room, or maybe to a park if you want to hang out under the Smiling Warm Yellow Thing for a while.

Orange County? Not so much. You have to plan and drive if you want a specialty lunch salad around here. So it was that I ended up at Saladworks at the Village at Orange yesterday; I really wanted a salad and didn't want to deal with the self-serve lines at Souplantation ("MOOOOOM! NOOOOO! I DON'T LIKE JICAMA!" "Stop grabbing tomatoes from the bowl, you have a cold!").

The niçoise salad I love is gone, but it's easy enough to recreate (sans pasta--that's not a good substitute for slices of new potatoes).

I've written, really pretentiously, about Saladworks before, but one thing that drives me crazy is that every single salad dressing--there are sixteen--has high-fructose corn syrup in it. The Dijon Capri that I had the last time? Gone, replaced by "classic French" which appeared to be orange sugar syrup. Even the ranch had sugar in it.

A shout-out to Daniel, the guy who served me: he went back and read ingredients and nutritional content from the scary multi-liter cask of dressing they have, then listened patiently while I ranted about sugary dressings. Then--and this is where I wish they had a tip cup, because I'd have shoved a wad of money in there--he got out olive oil, red wine vinegar, brown mustard, salt and pepper from the sandwich station and let me create my own vinaigrette.

How about it, Saladworks? Train your employees to make a real dressing; 1 part mustard, 1 part red wine vinegar, 4 parts olive oil, plus salt and pepper. Herbs and shallots optional (and not in evidence, or I'd've asked). Put it in one of those dressing cups, clap the lid on tightly, and shake. Here, read my condiment-bar salad dressing recipe from the Corner Bakery. Same idea.

You've got tons of fat-free dressings (why are you eating salad dressing if you want a fat-free diet?) but not a single sugar-free dressing. Think it over.

Also, give Daniel a raise or some stock or something.

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Location Info


1500 E. Village Way, Orange, CA

Category: Restaurant

Saladworks - CLOSED

488 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, CA

Category: Restaurant


13041 Newport Ave., Tustin, CA

Category: Restaurant

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Hello David,


 I appreciate you taking the time to post on your blog regarding your recent visit to our location. Your help in our quest to make Saladworks the best that it can be is greatly appreciated. Whether positive or negative comments, we value our customer's submissions and do not take them lightly.


 We certainly appreciate your feedback in regards to the dressings and I have personally passed this information along to our corporate office. Saladworks understands that the food industry is always emerging and we are diligently working to be more innovative and health conscious with our products and ingredients. Our mission is to provide a fanatical customer experience and your feedback will most definitely help us achieve that. 


I just wanted to let you know that we still do carry both the Nicoise Salad and Lemon Capri Dressing. The Lemon Capri is next to the French Dressing and although the Nicoise is not displayed in our salad case, it is still one of our signature salads. 


 As always, we will strive to make sure your next visit to my Saladworks location is a pleasant and satisfying experience.  If there is anything you every need, please do feel free to ask for me. We hope that you will allow us to continue to serve you as our guest and fanatical fan of our brand. 



 Bomby Ahuja

 Village at Orange Saladworks 



I'm sure if they had a sugar free option it would have Sucralose in it... :(

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