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The Caesar Salad was created by Italian immigrant to the U.S., Caesar Cardini, in 1924. If you don't like anchovies on your Caesar, don't feel bad—neither did Cardini. His original recipe called for whole lettuce leaves (to be eaten with the fingers) with coddled eggs and olive oil.
Today, the standard Caesar recipe includes romaine lettuce, croutons, shaved or shredded parmesan, black pepper and a Caesar dressing. The eggs from Cardini's original recipe are included in the dressing, along with lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil.
When my salad arrived at Fox's, for a minute I thought they brought me the wrong thing because, along with hard-boiled egg, there were onions and cherry tomatoes on it--both items I'd never seen on a Caesar before. After pushing all the onions to the side, I got to work.
The plate was chilled (nice touch), the romaine was fresh and not overly dressed, and the dressing (that the menu touts as homemade) was really good, albeit a bit on the tangy side. The hard-boiled egg yolks were overcooked, and unfortunately, there was no parmesan on the salad and the croutons were a diversion: they were the mega garlicky variety that only taste good in a garden salad with lots of ranch.
The good: The homemade Caesar dressing on a fresh, cold salad was tasty.
The bad: For customers craving a traditional Caesar, this is not the salad for you. Althought it's a nice salad, the garlicky croutons, tomatoes and onions just do not constitute a Caesar salad.
, New Lenox
Many entrees at Prime Time come with choice of soup or salad, including Caesar. The romaine was fresh, there was the right amount of parmesan and it was a generous size for a dinner salad, but it was drowning in dressing. There was enough dressing on it for four or five salads. I picked out the three pieces of lettuce I found that weren't completely doused and let the server take the rest.
The good: Quality ingredients included fresh romaine and shredded paremesan.
The bad: The abundance of dressing made this salad inedible. My suggestion: order the dressing on the side.
Here at the Chowdown, we try patronize local joints more than chains, but since a reader suggested Panera's Caesar specifically, we gave it a shot. The salad was fast, fresh and tasty. Shaved parmesan and dressing were on top, not mixed in, and at first it didn't seem there would be enough dressing, but after mixing it all myself, it turned out to be the perfect amount.
The good: A perfect balance of ingredients made this a good Caesar.
The bad: Panera makes a solid Caesar, tasty but nothing special.
THE WINNER: Panera's Caesar salad wins basically by not screwing up.
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