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Best caesar SALAD in the GTA?

duckdown Sep 2, 2008 09:52 PM

Hey all

I noticed theres a "Best caesar (not the salad)" thread, so I figured why not make one for my favorite salad.

Who's got the best one?

Non-browned or wilted lettuce,
a good bit of dressing,
good croutons

all of these are important elements :)

Good ones that come to mind, for myself.. I had a great one at Queue de Cheval in Montreal, that's probably my most memorable.. massive fresh baked croutons, lots of bacon and parmesean shavings... awesome... also $12 for a side salad, but what the hell

People often tell me "The Keg" but I don't find theirs to be anything special..

Baton Rouge has an interesting "eggless" caesar dressing that I like sometimes.

Canyon Creek has a good one but there is definitely an anchovy taste to it. I don't think I like anchovies, but I do like this salad

Zet's Diner across from the airport has an insanely garlicky dressing, but it leaves you some killer breath. I also think theres turmeric or curry in it believe it or not because it has a yellow color and distinct flavor. It is real good.

What do you guys think?
Any suggestions for me?

Thanks :)

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  1. j
    juno RE: duckdown Sep 3, 2008 07:30 AM

    The Caesar salad, like the club house sandwich mentioned on another recent thread, has been reinterpreted to death by Toronto restos. Seems like every joint has one on the menu, and most of the time they're unrecognizable - pale, timid versions of the classic recipe. You MUST have anchovy, and lots of it mashed right into the dressing, and you MUST have lots of garlic, so much so that no one can stand to be near you for three days. But few people care for anchovy or garlic, so those ingredients were soon dropped - or severely cut back - by most restos offering the dish. Instead, you get a salad with minor-league ingredients, but rarely lightly-boiled egg, first-rate Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh-made croutons. The result in most places is some sort of salad that hits a price point (usually $7-$9), but it's not a true Caesar. To do it right would probably cost double, about $15-$20 or so, and few would pay that much for a salad (though a substantial portion of top-notch Caesar would easily make for a main course).

    So it is that I usually make my own, or dive into one made brilliantly by a friend who knows how to do it right every time out. I'm sure she's fielded numerous marriage proposals based mainly on her Caesar salad execution. I just had one of her Caesar creations a few nights ago and I'm still savoring it, though I don't dare breathe on anybody just yet.

    If I must go downmarket and try a commercial Caesar, I'm usually game for the one at Le Paradis, a grand old bistro on Bedford Rd., near Avenue Rd. and Davenport. At least they don't stint on the garlic there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: juno
      childofthestorm RE: juno Sep 3, 2008 02:32 PM

      Jacobs and Co. makes them tableside, the old-timey way. Fantastic.

      1. re: childofthestorm
        tbonetak RE: childofthestorm Sep 4, 2008 11:05 AM

        Absolutely Jacobs and Co. Hands down. After so many run-of-the-mill Caesars, it's a wonderful reminder of how great they can be.

        Now if I could just afford to eat their on my own dime...

      2. re: juno
        tjr RE: juno Sep 3, 2008 09:29 PM

        I'm not sure how much garlic a Caesar is supposed to have; I was under the impression the classic recipe involved rubbing a raw garlic clove on the wooden bowl for seasoning; not adding copious amounts of it.

        Other than that, the raw egg, anchovies, etc. turn most of the people who eat Caesar salads regularly (the meat and potatoes, Keg-type crowd), so they've been dumbed down.

        I've had some excellent ones in my life, but the only important thing is freshly made crouton, good parmigiano, good bacon, and the right ingredients to make an authentic dressing. I've had the one at Queue de cheval, which was good; North 44 also makes a pretty decent Caesar salad.

      3. f
        Foodie0423 RE: duckdown Sep 3, 2008 01:51 PM

        Hands Down, best caesar salad is at the Ocotogon. They make it at the table in front of you with the wooden bowl. So yummy.........

        1. Finnegan RE: duckdown Sep 3, 2008 02:13 PM

          Last time I ate a ceasar salad was 1983...I stopped eating them when I found out they had more fat than a Big Bac (True...google it). Caesars seem to be the mainstay of 80's style steakhouses, so your best bet would be someplace like the Keg or George Bigliardi's Steakhouse.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Finnegan
            danthediner RE: Finnegan Sep 4, 2008 06:07 PM

            I can attest to the taste of the Caesar Salad @ Bigliardi's on Church St.
            It's excellent.
            However, ut comes with store-bought croutons, and no bacon or pancetta.
            Romaine, some EXCELLENT dressing, and a sprinkle of cheese.

            They, do, also make an excellent Garlic Bread! :)

          2. m
            mstacey42 RE: duckdown Sep 3, 2008 02:25 PM

            Try the chicken caesar at Auntie's and Uncles. It's downmarket and doesn't enter into the authenticity game, but it's a remarkably satisfying caesar salad.

            1. f
              fleisch RE: escoffier Sep 4, 2008 01:52 PM

              This may seem random but a friend swears by La Cantina in Hamilton. I've only been there once and, despite the lack of neighbourhood charm, it was quite good.

              (Personally, I have a weird rule about never getting cesars in restos since they're basically romaine and dressing but I concede that one done properly can be a fine salad indeed)

              1. mlukan RE: duckdown Sep 4, 2008 03:49 PM

                The Rosebud has a wonderful caesar topped with a poached egg. They also use double smoked bacon. Rodney gave away his recipe for it on Steven and Chris. http://www.cbc.ca/stevenandchris/2008...

                1. Dr Butcher RE: duckdown Sep 4, 2008 08:15 PM

                  I had one at the Old Scott House last Christmas made table side in a large wooden bowl. It was my anniversary so I thought what the heck! It was very good and made to order, but, not worth the $15ish it was for the two plates we ended up with.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Dr Butcher
                    Bigtigger RE: Dr Butcher Sep 5, 2008 04:59 AM

                    Hy's makes a good caesar salad, better if you ask them to add extra garlic !

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