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best cole slaw?

My grandmother used to make brilliant cole slaw. It contained cabbage, of course, and some kind of wet stuff (mayonnaise?), and lots of celery seed. The family recipe is now lost, and our attempts to recreate it from memory have failed miserably.

At this point, my pride is shattered, and I'm quite willing to buy some slaw from a deli or market. Any suggestions as to sources of good, tasty and interesting slaw? Maybe with a hint of horseradish?

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  1. Langer's does a solid, traditional slaw. No horseradish, though, but very good flavor.

    1. Where is your grandmother from? Was she from the South? You could google traditional southern coleslaw and start playing around. Good Luck, I feel your pain.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Burger Boy

        It hadn't occurred to me that region was a factor, but it certainly makes sense. Grandmom was from St. Louis and was born in 1900, so her recipe might well have had a Southern influence and would have used traditional ingredients.

        Thanks for the response so far!

      2. Any discussion about cole slaw should include that from the Pantry.

        While I would not buy it from the Pantry and take it home, the recipe has been published. I have made it a number of times and taken it to parties and BBQs. It is wonderful fresh.

        2 Replies
        1. re: SilverlakeGirl

          While I like The Pantry's slaw and have made it from the recipe published in The Times, frequently at the restaurant it is too watery for me and somewhat bland. No amount of salt and pepper can revive it.

          1. re: SilverlakeGirl

            The basic coleslaw recipe from the Pantry, I think, is classic. That is why I have kept it and
            used it with minor adjustments to taste.

          2. My grandmother also made great cole slaw. Alas, she too has passed on, but I I actually have her recipe somewhere. Once I dig it up, perhaps I'll put it up on the Home Cooking board. It was a spicy slaw; lots of celery seed was involved. There was mayo, but also sour cream, I think. It was actually very similar to the cole slaw served at the late, lamented (by some) Love's BBQ here in SoCal. If anyone reading this actually has the Love's recipe, I have a hunch that would satisfy your hankering.

            I've never found cole slaw anywhere that measures up. The only ones I like are the Pantry and Philippe's. Surprisingly, I found a rather tasty cole slaw dressing in the supermarket. I'll check the bottle at home, but I think the brand was "Lighthouse." Nice & tangy. I added more celery seed to it, and was quite pleased with the result.

            1. Ina's (Barefoot Contessa) cole slaw is my absolute hands down favorite. I make it all the time. You should be able to look it up on the foodnetwork site under her name - try it! Oh and if you do, I typically double the vegetables and half the dressing and it is plenty and not drowned.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cinzia

                Brents Deli Westkake Village or Northridge.

              2. I like the lemony cole slaw at Philippe's.

                Philippe the Original
                1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                1 Reply
                1. re: David Kahn

                  I also like Philippe's, David Kahn. I vary my choice of sandwiches, but I always get the cole slaw.

                2. Your grandmother's cole slaw sounds like the one they serve at the Valley Ranch Barbeque on Sherman Way near Balboa. It's one of my favorite cole slaws. It has celery seeds. I'm not sure about the horseradish, but it has a bit of tang. Could be horseradish???

                  Valley Ranch Barbeque
                  16623 Sherman Way, Van Nuys, CA 91406

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Kate is always hungry

                    I also like this slaw. It's basic and a good balance to their meat.

                  2. At Mendocino Farms, they add a blue cheese cole slaw to their Buffalo Chicken sandwich which is outrageously good ... and I'm not even a blue cheese fan (I normally detest most cheeses unless it's in a cake or on a pizza).

                    Dunno if Mendocino Farms sells their cole slaw separately, but it's worth asking.

                    Mendocino Farms
                    300 S Grand Ave Ste Lp40, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: WSB

                        I have no shame and I have to agree.

                    1. Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks has a very tasty one, and not at all soggy, but in fact more on the dry side. That is why I like it, yet the flavor is superb as well.

                      Boneyard Bistro
                      13539 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

                      1. The coleslaw with peanuts at Bandera is fantastic

                        Bandera Restaurant
                        3201 E Coast Hwy, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

                        1. Brent's has the best slaw Ive eaten west of the Hudson R. Creamy and delish!

                          1. My favorite coleslaw is Houston's. I like that they put parsley in it, gives it a bright flavor.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tissue

                              seconded! i've had a lot of coleslaw at barbecue joints and delis, but houston's gives coleslaw the attention it deserves.

                            2. Wood's Ranch!! Its not mayonnaisey...which is one of the things I like about it..and, it has peanuts in it...makes it nice and crunchy.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Shadow

                                Go to Plaza Produce on Foothill Avenue in Glendora.
                                Out of the way local place, but wow, their cole slaw is amazing.
                                There's more to Glendora than just Donut Man.

                                1. re: Shadow

                                  Agree! WR's slaw is wonderful. And the peanuts are just genius.

                                  1. California Chicken Cafe. Yes, I'm serious. They call it Chinese Cabbage Salad, but it's an Asian style cole slaw. It's fantasic.

                                    1. Cookie's Cole Slaw is like being back amongst the magnolias and it is part of an all you can eat meal at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue inside the park at Disneyland. The meal includes chicken, ribs, beans and cornbread. The meal is good but that slaw is outstanding. I wish they sold it by the tub to take home.

                                      1. I'm was never a big cole slaw fan until I had cole slaw at THE CRAB COOKER out in Orange County. It's plenty crunchy, moist and not all soggy and sweet like the slaw sold at some places (like KFC). They have two locations, one in Newport Beach and the other in Tustin.

                                        They sell quarts to go.

                                        And, I usually pick up a quart of their delicious manhattan chowder and a crusty sourdough loaf.

                                        1. I use a pound of coleslaw from the deli, and a bag of dry-cole-slaw from the produce section (rinse it before using, then add salt & peppr).

                                          I mix it up all together in a ziploc bag and let it sit over night. You can add a little horseradish or a little more mayo, some celery seed, whatever you want. I get a lot of compliments on this super-easy cole slaw......generally the "deli" coleslaw is way too runny/soupy.

                                          1. Pann's at La Tierja and La Cienega near LAX. Not too tart, not too sweet., good balance of acid -- some bits of pineapple mixed in. A perfect counterpoint to the rich, savory fried chicken and mashed potatos and gravy.