Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Doug's Cobb Blog

My post "Regarding Martinis" was actually inspired by another misappropriated food name. The Cobb Salad. I love Cobb salad. It is my comfort food. So much, that I have considered starting a blog to review all the Cobb salads I have ever eaten. My Cobb blog. Consider this my seminal blog post.
It took 20 minutes today to receive my Cobb from the ***** restaurant in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which is more time than it should take to make a chopped salad with only seven ingredients. In fact, my salad was missing three of those ingredients: bacon, avocado and fresh tomatoes. In their place was some breaded, deep fried abomination on top of the lettuce.
“Is this a Cobb?” I asked the waitress.
“Yes.” She said.
“It doesn’t look like a Cobb salad.”
“That’s our version of a Cobb Salad. I don’t know if it’s like Cobb Salads at other places.”
I bit my tongue to avoid arguing with her.
“Our version of the Cobb salad?” What is this shit, I was thinking. A Cobb Salad is not a thing that can be modified by the whimsy of a local chef. It was invented at the Brown Derby in Hollywood in the 1930s, and named after the owner of that restaurant. A Cobb salad must contain greens, boiled egg, avocado, tomatoes, chicken, bacon and bleu cheese, together with some vinegar dressing. If you want to replace three of those key ingredients with some deep fried mystery vegetable, name it after yourself, not after the esteemed Robert Howard Cobb. I didn’t say this to the waitress at the *****. I don’t think she had much formal culinary training. But I did ask the owner about it after my meal.
“It was good, wasn’t it?” He asked me, fishing for compliments.
“It was OK.” I said. “But it wasn’t a Cobb."

And at $11 with no bacon or avocados, and no indication on the menu that it would be lacking those things, it really wasn't OK.

The worst Cobb I have ever eaten was at the Bronx Zoo.  It contained apples and walnuts.  That's the beginning of a Waldorf salad, not a Cobb.  Don't ask me why I ordered a Cobb salad at the Bronx Zoo.  That's kind of like ordering a martini from Applebees.

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