Caesar Salads

Does anyone make just a regular Caesar salad anymore? Lately, when we go out to eat, I’ve been ordering Caesar salads. For some reason no one seems to make just a plain Caesar salad anymore. Everyone has to distinguish their Caesar salad in some way in order to make it stand out. Here is what I look for in a Caesar salad:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Anchovies
  • Crutons
  • Caesar dressing

Romaine lettuce is a given most of the time. The other day, however, the romaine lettuce was mixed with kale. Kale is apparently a trendy new leafy green. It reminds me of my college days working in the dorm cafeteria. We would decorate the salad bar with kale. It makes it difficult to eat in a salad. Kale does not belong in a Caesar salad. Keep it on the salad bar.

The thing I like about Caesar salads is that they are simple. There are five ingredients. If a restaurant adds something to the list, it is no longer simple, and no longer a Caesar salad in my mind. There was broccoli in my “Caesar” salad the other day. I like broccoli, but not in a Caesar salad. One establishment added tomatoes to my Caesar salad.

Kelly always orders here salad dressing Sally-style1. I, on the other hand, take what they give me. One day, I got a Caesar salad with oil and vinegar instead of Caesar dressing. Another day, I ordered a Chicken Caesar salad, and was given a plate full of Caesar salad dressing with some Romaine lettuce to go along with it.

It is almost impossible to find a place that offers a Caesar salad with anchovies. So many people have refused anchovies in their Caesar salads that restaurants have stopped offering them. They have ruined Caesar salads for the rest of us. I’ve been to a few places that offer Caesar salads with anchovy Caesar dressing. The dressing probably contains something like “anchovy paste.”

Caesar salads are light, simple, relative inexpensive dishes. Can’t we just keep them that way? There is no need for embellishment.


  1. I just made up that phrase. If you get the reference, feel free to use it.