It was one of those days. Where it just seemed like everything was not going my way. And it was only Monday morning. Yikes, I hope this is not a prelude for the week…
I made plans with my friend Shradha for lunch a few weeks in advance. We had rescheduled a few times and didn’t solidify a place to meet until that morning. Not usually a big deal. That is until my conference call that morning went an hour and fifteen minutes over and then I realized I was rushing to meet Shradha at 11:45am for lunch. As I’m on my way to meet her I get a text asking if we were supposed to meet at 11:30am or 11:45am? Crap! Now I feel bad. I swear we had decided on 11:45am but maybe in all the rescheduling I missed something and it was supposed to be at 11:30am.
When I finally show up at 11:55am, all sweaty and out of breath from pretty much sprinting to meet her, we walk into Wow Bao to order our lunch. I hadn’t been to Wow Bao in probably over 10 years, and my first experience many years ago was just so-so. I was definitely willing to give it another shot this time around, especially because they have so many vegetarian options and they had changed up their menu quite a bit.
Wow Bao is a great, Asian, fast-food spot where the specialty are “hot, steamed, stuffed Asian buns”. Wow Bao has an awesome combo special in which you can choose either 2 bao (the hot buns) or 5 potsickers/dumplings plus a small side salad (choice of cool pad thai salad, Asian vegetable salad or spicy peanut noodles). I went with the whole wheat edamame bao (which is delicious and surprisingly flavorful!!! Definitely make sure to ask for the spicy chili sauce to put on it) and the Asian vegetable salad.
Now, I’m not really thinking that there is going to be anything special about this salad when I see it. The salad comes in a little plastic container and there are two smaller separate containers on the inside with the crunchy noodles and the mustard, sesame vinaigrette so that you can mix the salad on your own. I add both and toss-up my salad.
While Shradha and I are deep in conversation about topics ranging from careers, politics and dating, I notice my attention being diverted to this salad. What is so good about this thing? Why have I never had anything like this before? It is so light and refreshing!! I find myself needing to refocus between our discussion and the salad. I felt like I was having a serious moment of ADD not knowing where to focus my energy.
The salad consists of mixed greens, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, fresh and crunchy bean sprouts, red peppers, diced celery and what I believe are the key ingredients; chopped cilantro and basil. I guess I wasn’t expecting these in the salad, but they are the two items that really make this salad stand out and have more than just a same-old salad feel and taste. Mix that with the crunchy noodles and unbelievably light and tasty dressing and this is what I am going to claim as one of my favorite salads.
So, sorry if you felt a little duped from my headline on this post. I bet you were hoping that I was going to reveal some dark, hidden secret about myself. Yeah, all I’ve got is an addiction to a salad from a fast-food joint….I know, I know, I’m really living on the edge!