Salad Days of Summer: Sunterra Market

Drawn to Sunterra Market‘s Commerce Place location (2nd floor, 10150 Jasper Avenue) to satisfy a craving for vegetables, I was happy to find it absolutely hopping. I usually patronize them only after work hours for sweets, and thus have never had the opportunity to see it so vibrant.

I’m not sure about their recently completed renovations – the compartmental affect seems to block natural light from flowing through the previously more open space, and the “Frenchification” of everything (“bakery” has become “boulangerie”, garbage cans are now labelled “poubelle”) further increases Sunterra’s pretentiousness. At any rate, I’ll hold out final judgement after a few more visits.

On this day, I headed straight for the salad bar, where a focused employee was diligently filling up half-empty containers of salad options to satiate the bustling crowd. There were nearly two dozen options – a bed of spinach, wild greens, or romaine to be topped off by veggies (carrots, green peppers, grape tomatoes, among others), protein (hard boiled eggs, cubed ham, shredded chicken, chickpeas, sunflower seeds), various carbs (fried Asian noodles, croutons), cheese (feta, marble), and a choice of six unlabeled mystery dressings.

I picked up a plastic box, and with the Mongolie Grill principle of choosing the lightest ingredients, built my salad. I indulged a little – marble cheese cubes and a slice of roasted red pepper – which I thought would topple over my mainly spinach and white mushroom creation, but on the weigh station, the total came to just $3.70 (0.266kg at $1.39/100g).

Yes, maintaining a fridge and pantry of fresh ingredients would certainly be a cheaper way to go, but with the fun and variety possible with Sunterra’s fresh salad bar, I can see why people would shirk a packed lunch and opt for a spur-of-the-moment greens creation instead.

My salad, dressed with a healthy dose of raspberry vinaigrette

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