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Nov 6, 2008 11:48 AM

Table Side Caesar Salad

Does anyone know of a restaurant in SF that still serves a table side caesar salad? I am having a difficult time finding one. Your help is much appreciated.

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  1. Alfred's on Merchant does one or at least they used to. You might want to call and check.

    Alfred's Steak House
    659 Merchant St., San Francisco, CA 94111

    2 Replies
    1. re: lanersg

      I don't think they have it anymore.. A lost art, sadly.

      1. re: lanersg

        Alfred's discontinued this practice a number of years ago, which was really too bad. I'm not aware of any other places in SF that still do tableside Caesar. Funny thing, it seems that every "Mexican" restaurant now makes guacamole table-side. If restaurants can afford the guac cart, why not a Caesar cart?

      2. You might give Caesar's a call. It was known for this, but it was either lunch only or dinner only. I've not been there myself so can't offer a firsthand rec.

        Caesar's Italian Restaurant
        2299 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94133

        1 Reply
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          The Culinary Academy at Polk and Turk used to to have that tableside-prepared Caesar.
          It's a very good Caesar -- if they still do it -- but perhaps that isn't the type of restaurant you're imagining.

        2. I seem to remember a coddled egg being involved in the making. Is the dearth of table side preparation due the the effort involved or the fear of salmonella? Probably the former since raw eggs seem to be a regular addition these days.

          3 Replies
          1. re: wolfe

            It's more the expense of the cart (gueridon), the lack of training (Caesar, baked Alaska, Romanoff,
            etc.), the extra labor needed, and the lack of appreciation of tableside "theatre" etc.

            1. re: maria lorraine

              You left out my favorite, Steak Diane.

            2. re: wolfe

              Tableside or not, I think most places now use a glob of mayonaise in lieu of the coddled egg. By the time you mix the warm egg with the lemon juice and oil, what have to got? Viola! Mayonaise.

            3. Tableside caeser? I'm usually thrilled if I can even get a proper caesar to begin with period.
              It's the salad itself which is a lost art, and the last couple times I experienced it made table side were still big letdowns.

              If I see a caesar on the menu I'm prone to asking if it's made traditional, or verify if it's tossed, and without fail the waitstaff can't answer, and doesn't understand why I'm asking. They just do not know the difference between a modernized take and the real thing. It doesn't help when the menus will say "classic", "traditional", "true" for salads that aren't even chopped and tossed.

              1. Well, House of Prime Rib makes a salad table side, but it is not Caesar.

                The closest would be the Iron Gate in Belmont where you can find all things from the past like flambes and steak Diane

                Should you be in the North Bay, Equus does a tableside Caesar

                Though I have not read much good about the place, The Seafood Peddler in San Rafael does make Caesar tableside

                I read Marin Joe's made it tableside, but it doesn't mention that on the menu.

                If you are in the East Bay Massimo's in Fremont makes it (pdf format for link)

                I swear when I was updating Place records one of those touristy Fisherman's Wharf or North Beach restaurants did this. I remember thinking "how about that?" However, I'm not finding it, so maybe not. Maybe it was Ceasar's as Melanei mentioned, but I don't see tableside prep noted on the menu.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rworange

                  Found my old post from 2004 on this rumor,

                  I was walking by the restaurant about a year ago and stepped in to ask the bartender if this was still available at lunch time. He said he didn't know and tried to find the manager to ask. He couldn't find him and I didn't have time to press further.

                  Maybe someone will call and find out.