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The Salad Bar Series: Chuck E. Cheese's

By Rick Kaempfer

Restaurant: Chuck E. Cheese's

Location: 511 North Randall Road, Batavia

Description: If you've never been, Chuck E. Cheese's is like an amusement park for kids; perfect for a 6-year-old's birthday party. The children buy tokens to play games, and earn hundreds of tickets to buy cheap plastic prizes that will be thrown out as soon as they get home.

And while Chuck E. Cheese is known for its cardboardy cheese pizza, they also serve beer for the adults (who need it badly at this loud, loud, wow is it friggin' loud, restaurant/fun park). They also have a salad bar.

Sneeze Guard: I was expecting it to be disgusting (there were about 100 kids there), but the clear plexiglass was actually spotless (and clear!) because the kids couldn't reach it with their filthy greasy pizza hands.

On the other hand, that also means that the sneeze guard wasn't guarding against pint-size sneezes because it was at adult height. Next time you watch a five-year-old sneeze, watch the care they take in making sure they don't sneeze on the food, and then think about the extra unseen condiments that must have been available in the Chuck E. Cheese's salad bar.

Estimated Length: Six feet, with two rows of bins.

Neatness Factor: Amazingly tidy. Vegetables not strewn to and fro, and all of the bins fully stocked.

Ambience: Surrounded by buzzers buzzing, children screaming, dings dinging, more children screaming, and WILL YOU KIDS JUST SHUT UP SO I CAN ENJOY MY SALAD! My God, I need a Tylenol.

Best Ingredients: While there aren't any surprises, the vegetables are all fresh, and there isn't anything lacking for a standard tossed salad. Even the black olives aren't gamey or chewy.

Biggest Disappointment: The croutons. There are three bins for croutons, but all three contain the same kind . . . too big and too bland.

Dressings: French, Italian, 1000 Island, Ranch.

Comment: I love salad bars that have different kinds of salads as part of the selection, and in that regard, Chuck E. Cheese's disappoints. However, I've also been to many restaurants that didn't have vegetables this fresh and crispy, which I consider the most important part of the salad. Therefore, I'm giving the salad bar an overall positive review. If you're stuck there with your kids like I was, it's one of the saving graces of an incredibly unpleasant (paging Dick Cheney - get your enhanced interrogators over here for training) experience.

-

See also:
* La Villa. Fake shutters, red vinyl, adequate sneeze guard.



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Posted on May 20, 2009


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