Shots of Caesar

by Rachel on October 3, 2010

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.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bonnie B October 3, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Loved all the pictures, but especially the last. Always a delightful read.

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2 Emma October 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm

You are so pretty! :)

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3 Emma October 3, 2010 at 2:17 pm

That’s right. I clicked over from my Google Reader *just* to tell you that.

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4 Rachel October 3, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Awww…thanks, lady! :)

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5 Sarah (Syrup & Honey) October 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm

This is the best kind of ridiculous. And ditto what Emma wrote.

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6 Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic October 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm

My bf and I both love caesar salads too! I wish we had a caesar salad competition in Boston also. That last one (with the egg poached in acon fat) sounds absolutely fantastic.

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7 Jessica October 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm

You guys are ADORABLE! I wish my town had an event like this…

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8 Erin October 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm

An entire festival dedicated to Caesar salad?! I love it! Everything looks gorgeous and delicious.

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9 Elizabeth October 3, 2010 at 6:03 pm

WOW all that food looks so good and is so creative! I can’t believe that’s all based on a simple ceasar salad!

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10 Midgetkeeper October 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm

You guys are so cute and this even looks like so much fun. I love love love Caesar salad, and love playing around with it at home.

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11 Ashley October 3, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I was really surprised to read that the Caesar salad cupcake still tasted sweet. Like you said, presentation was awesome.

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12 Rachel October 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I know!? Crazy but it really was!

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13 Robyn October 4, 2010 at 12:14 am

Love, love, love that pic of you and Eric. :) Sooo cute!

And a Caesar salad festival!? WOW! I’m dying to go to the Gilroy Garlic Festival here in CA . . . I can’t believe I’ve lived in California for more than half of my life (and a decent chunk of that was spent within an hour of Gilroy) and I’ve NEVER been!!! It’s famous! They make GARLIC ICE CREAM FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!

/crazed Garlic rant

Anyway . . . Looks like a very fun date. :)

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14 Carolyn October 4, 2010 at 1:51 pm

My boyfriend and I were actually thinking about going to this, but we have this unspoken rule that we only do one somewhat pricey downtown event per weekend (we went to the House of Blues last night :D.)

So then I started thinking… do you ever run across readers in public?

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15 Rachel October 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm

You know, I never have!! It most definitely wasn’t going to happen when I was living in Grand Blanc, MI but it would be cool if it did in Houston…and I’m not going to lie, I’d be pretty damn excited if it did happen.

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16 Smash October 4, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Wow. Drooling. Yum.

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