I’m not sure when the fancy salad bar joint became the latest. Maybe it’s always been there. Maybe it’s a midtown phenomenon that only exists in the land of business casual and Treos–an area with which I’ve only recently become familiar. Go to Eighth Ave. to the West and Lex to the East, and these places all but disappear. Places like Dishes try to be everything to everyone. They have salads and sandwiches and sushi and hot lunches. The main feature is the by-the-pound smorgasbord bar. This used to be the low class territory of ragged secretaries and subcontractors, but the browsing bar has elevated itself above Roseanne Colletti sneeze guard stories and has become trendy and hip. Gone are the suit dudes standing in front of a greasy mirror shoveling a slice into their holes, replaced with high ceilinged, modern decor (think West Elm) and beauties in skirts picking through haricot vert and Turkish couscous. All this comes with a price (both monetarily and emotionally), as the joint gets super crowded and can run you over ten bucks for some odds and ends in a plastic container and a Coke. The food is pretty good, though, and is convenient for little groups of coworkers that can’t decide on one thing to eat. Kind of makes you ashamed to eat at that shit deli, really. [MF]
6 E 45th St.