Chef’s Salad

by Sara on December 6, 2010

chef's salad with mixed berry sparkling water

I have fond memories of Perkins. In high school, it provided a place for my friends and I to go at night, hang out and drink coffee. Of course, we had to order something else, because at the time they enforced a $3 minimum order. I tried to order 3 pots of coffee for myself, but they didn’t bite. Those of us who were hungry ordered normal food, the rest of us ordered side dishes to get to that $3 mark. But in the grand scheme of things, it was an inexpensive way to have fun while staying out of trouble, something I’m sure our parents appreciated.

In college, Perkins became to the go-to place for going for breakfast, especially if we had family in town. Sure, there are local breakfast establishments that are amazing, but the draw of the chain is that everyone knows what to expect and often has a favorite dish. And really, if you’ve ever eaten breakfast there, you know how much food you can get for not much money – perfect for broke college students.

Then finally, I was in the working world with an hour long lunch break. When going out, we had to select a restaurant with fast service that was nearby. My friend Christine and I always ended up going to Perkins for their bread bowl salads. I always alternated between the chef’s salad and teriyaki chicken salad, both satisfying, both simple and familiar. I was definitely not very adventurous back then when it came to food.

chef's salad

Though those days are long past, I do still experience some lunchtime nostalgia, and throw together either my teriyaki chicken salad or a quick chef’s salad. This week, I had purchased my favorite deli meat (on sale!) and bottled salad dressing to recreate the flavors of my past. And though this isn’t really a recipe, here’s the basic mix I use for my chef’s salad.

Chef’s Salad
serves 1

3 cups prepackage salad mix or torn romaine leaves
3 ounces deli turkey and/or ham, torn into bite-size pieces
6 cucumber slices
6 grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon shredded parmesan
1-2 tablespoons prepared salad dressing

Layer ingredients, in order, in a large bowl or on a dinner plate.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah December 6, 2010 at 9:57 am

Oh my goodness, perkins!! I used to go there ALL the time in high school – they don’t have it out here on the east coast so I’ve forgotten all about it! We did the same thing to try to reach the minimum order – And I remember getting SO many glares from the staff after we had been there for hours upon hours.

Sara December 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

You know what I don’t understand? We’d always tip way too much, in an attempt to avoid the glares, but it never made any difference!

LunaCafe December 7, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Perkins, eh? I don’t think we have that chain in the Northwest. The big draw here was The Original Pancake House. For breakfast, I always ordered potato pancakes with sour cream. Then later at the University of Washington, we would cruise in very late (after some party) and order the Cheese Blintz. It must have been cheap because we never had much money either. Thanks for the walk down memory lane, and darn I wish I had that salad right now. :-)

Sara December 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Funny, I figured Perkins was everywhere, because I always seemed to come across one when on vacation. But, I’ve never been to the Northwest…

trina August 9, 2011 at 10:19 pm

brilliant idea! looks delicious I think I’ll try that! thank you :-)

Sara August 11, 2011 at 8:50 am

I hope you like it – it’s still a lunchtime staple for me.

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