I think that if Eric and I were to get married and, like most couples when they reach a certain age, decide to do things that really horrify younger generations — like wear matching tracksuits and white walking shoes or just any number of touristy things — then our “thing” might be going to Caesar salad competitions. I’m actually not sure if this is a common event across the U.S., the sort of thing we can do on the weekends in the camper that we’d have to have if we really wanted to be That Couple, but if not, I suppose we’ll just have to make sure we’re in Houston every year for its annual Caesar Salad Competition.
That’s right. Some people in Houston realized that there is pretty much no better idea than getting a bunch of restaurants and chefs together and inviting them to present their best Caesar salad creation for the public to consume.
When I first found out about this, I was so excited. Eric and I love Caesar salad; it’s a go-to option for lunch or dinner pretty much any day of the week. And a Caesar salad buffet? Where chefs were presenting their best work?? With an open bar?!?!
It wasn’t even a question.
The event was held downtown at the Doubletree Hotel and, after paying for admission and getting wristbands, we were given plates — that had convenient wine glass holders cut into them — so we could started on our Caesar taste-fest! There were two categories: classic and creative. The creative were obviously the most fun. They took the basic elements of a Caesar salad and its dressing (Romaine, egg, cheese, anchovies, croutons) and went wild.
There was the spring roll Caesar from an Asian restaurant…
And two salads layered on crispy garlic breads…
The crouton bursting with salad…
And the Caesar salad cupcake that was created by a baker…
I thought that one had the best presentation. What was so impressive was that despite using all the classic ingredients, it actually still tasted sweet.
I didn’t love all the salads. Some were a bit too fishy for me, and while we tried a few Southwest and Mexican inspired ones, none of those really blew me away. We actually ended up voting for the salad from Max’s Wine Dive, which is a restaurant I like a lot.
As he handed it to us, the chef said it was topped with an egg poached in bacon fat, and Eric and I were both like, “Done and done. You’ve got our vote.”
We also took two different Caesar salad shots….
Drink the pureed lettuce and cheese and bite the crouton? Don’t mind if I do!
And speaking of alc, we were sure to refill our glasses with white wine enough times to feel good and happy.
It was a perfect date for us and such a fun event! This was the 26th year it’s been held, and I’m already looking forward to the 27th. And the 60th.