Saturday, April 15, 2006

Authentic Casar Salad, Caesars Sports Bar and Grill, Tijuana, Mexico

The finished product -- the genuine, authentic, and real Caesar Salad!
Serving the final product
Renee, our waiter, putting the salad together
Viagra and antibiotics are not among the ingredients, but you can buy them next door.
Prescriptions not rquired!
Caesar Sports Bar and Grill. We did not go in, but had a pleasant seat outside where we could watch the world go by.
The magic ingredients

Most foodies know the origin of Caesar Salad. It was invented by an Italian American called Caesar Cardini in 1924. A chef and restaurateur,who lived in San Diego, but worked in Tijuana to avoid prohibition, Signor Cardini created the first Caesar Salad. So naturally, walking by a sign on the Avenida Revolucion, we were attracted by a sign that told us that we would get the authentic and original salad.

When we asked, we were promised that this was definitely the place, and that if we went to hotel on the next corner, they would certainly claim authorship. However, they were liars, and this was the real thing. Satisfied with that categorical assurance, we sat down and had lunch. Thank goodness we escaped the Caesar Salad imposters!

The Caesar experience is designed to be a culinary lesson as much as a gastronomic experience. Our waiter Renee prepared the concoction at our table, and produced the meal shown above.

As far as the feeling of doing the real thing in the real place, I would not have missed this experience for the world. But it was not the best Caesar Salad I have ever had. I like my croutons to be golden brown and toasted under the grill after being spinkled with good extra virgin olive oil and no silly seasoning. I like a couple of anchovies to be visible guests at this feast, but it seems that the authentic recipe calls for them to be ground into the sauce. And big dry slabs of Parmigiano Reggiano are, to my taste, preferable to the cheese served in Tijuana.

But you should go for the experience. I don't have all the directions, but if you walk down the Avenida Revolucion, you will find Caesar's bar. Just make sure you don't get fooled by the liars on the corner.

The cost of this experience is very high for Mexico -- about $6.00 for the salads, and quite a lot for the Margaritas that wash it down. But this is one of those experiences that must be done at least once in a lifetime.

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