New York's Best Salad?

Oct 14, 2011 3:01 pm

Our budget-minded columnist finds his salad nirvana

Chicken Caesar Salad
"Is that the face of God, or a Chicken Caesar Salad from Landsdowne Road?"
 

What if I told you that a faux Irish rugby pub on 10th Avenue is currently whipping up the best salad in New York City? What if I went further? What if I said that, with the possible exception of the lunchtime salad bar at the Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse in Waretown, NJ (an unfair comparison, really, it being a salad bar), this is the best salad I’ve ever eaten, anywhere? I bet you’d scoff. Well, don’t.

Allow me to introduce Landsdowne Road’s glorious Chicken Caesar Salad.

I’ve been thinking. What is the highest compliment one might pay their favorite workplace lunch spot? I mean, what words might do Landsdowne Road’s Chicken Caesar Salad justice? As my coworker and fellow Caesar devotee, Will, put it, “How do you describe the Northern Lights?” It’s no small feat to quantify perfection, especially with my vocabulary. So I did what anyone would. I Googled “words used to describe Jesus Christ.” And while “perfect,” “righteous,” “mighty,” “fulfilling,” “compassionate” and “infallible” are all pretty spot on, I think I can go one better. Check this out.

Landsdowne Road’s Chicken Caesar Salad is so good, I’d eat one in real life. Yeah, you heard me. Even if I weren’t forced to spend 9 hours a day cooped up in a cubicle one block from Landsdowne Road, I’d go there on purpose to eat a salad. This salad isn’t just work good. It’s actually good. It’s downright delightful. It’s like the best date you’ve ever been on, only way cheaper. Imagine every heroin scene in Trainspotting, only without the AIDS. This salad is that good.

“What’s so great about it?” you ask. Far be it from me to second-guess the music of the spheres, but let’s indulge that question for just a moment. The brilliance of Landsdowne Road’s Chicken Caesar Salad is in the harmonious comingling of its various parts. Is the Romaine organic? I couldn’t tell you. Is the dressing from a bottle? Who can say? Is the Parmesan shaved in-house? Would you ask a woman her age? How dare you. We are discussing a ballet of tastes and textures, a masterpiece of chopping and dressing. Each component perfectly sized. The ratio of one ingredient to the next as balanced as a Calder mobile. This salad is not for us to understand, only to enjoy. Finally, evidence of intelligent design.

You won’t find any anchovies or similarly obtuse embellishments on this particular Caesar Salad. This is straight up, in your face deliciousness. This salad is so creamy, you might need to take a breather halfway through. Let your body adjust. Have a few sips of your ice cold brew (daily specials abound, by the way). Then dig back in. This is a huge salad. You won’t feel the same after. Just go with it. Don’t you deserve it, after all these years and all these crappy salads?

Technically speaking, the chicken is optional. You can also order a sundae without whipped cream. But why mess with perfection? And speaking of perfection, go ahead and request a side of buffalo wing sauce, medium. Please believe me when I say that nothing will prepare you for that first bite of Caesar Salad, a little buffalo sauce drizzled on and mixed in for effect. Goodness gracious. Now that’s a salad.

Landsdowne Road is located at 599 10th Avenue in NYC. The Chicken Caesar Salad will run you $11.95. 


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