Holy Caesar!

I love it when discussions start up spontaneously that get everybody thinking. This week, folks started talking about the area’s best Caesar salad–a thread that spawned from the opening of Stark’s Steakhouse.

And that got me thinking. After a week of shortribs, mashed potatoes and gut-busting stews, where can you get a top-notch salad? Despite the winter chill, raw veggies clearly aren’t just a summer thing with us Northern Californians.

I’ll admit that I rarely order salads when I’m dining out–it seems like a cop-out when I’m jonesing for serious meat-and-potatoe entries. Why fill up on lettuce, when there’s Liberty duck to be had, right? That, and the fact that when I do order them, they always leave me, well, a little cold.

A couple of faves (from my limited experience):

Spinach, walnut, blue cheese and pear salad at Flavor Bistro, 96 Old Courthouse Square. Santa Rosa, (707) 573-9600.

– Beet and goat cheese salad pretty much anywhere

Poached egg salad at the Parkside Cafe

Sauteed mung bean spouts at Chinois

So, the lines are open folks. Where’s the best Caesar (I had no idea Equus did one tableside)? Who’s got a line on the Big Salad? Shout it out.

Oh, and regarding Dempsey’s Caesar: I put in a call to see if Bernadette would part with the recipe, but no luck. She tells me they sell nearly 25,000 of the salads each year and how they make it is a closely guarded secret. She did let a few hints out, however. The use red wine vinegar and the “classic” inclusion of uncooked eggs in the dressing. Hey, we’re willing to play a little food roullette for this salad.

Here are the original posts…
Posted By: Loveslifegal (11/01/2008 6:38:53 PM)
Comment: Had dinner at Stark’s last night (the official opening night to the public). Nice atmosphere, beef was fabulous, as were the sides I ordered. The only less than perfect item was the Caesar salad, I would suggest you skip it. If you have ever had a Caesar’s at Dempsey’s you are spoiled for life. I will return to Stark’s very soon!

Posted By: Loveslifegal (14/01/2008 1:47:06 PM)
Comment: To Ms.Steak, the caesar dressing didn’t have any significant amount of lemon, anchovy or garlic flavors. I love a caesar dressing that is big on all of those flavors. The dressing at Stark’s actually tasted like something out of a bottle and there was in fact very little dressing on the salad. If you like caesar salads, treat yourself to the one Dempseys in Petaluma serves. I drive 20 miles just to have it. Wish they would part with the recipe…..

Posted By: garliccrouton (17/01/2008 11:31:47 AM)
Comment: There’s a blog I would love to start…best caesar salad in Sonoma Co. My pick is Cafe Citi, Kenwood.

Posted By: Wojamo (17/01/2008 2:27:17 PM)
Comment: I second the motion for adding a “Best Caesar Salad” post. Not in the running: Union Hotel. It seems to fit “loveslifegal’s” assessment of Stark’s- kind of insipid. Blah.

Posted By: Michelle (17/01/2008 10:09:30 PM)
Comment: The tableside Caesar at Equis is good it’s not the same on the lunch/lounge menu though. When it is done tableside, it tastes better! The caesar salad at Rosso’s is good too. Good blog Garlicrouton!!