On Caesar Salads, Popovers & Normandy Kitchen

I eat a disgusting number of Caesar salads. They’re one of my top three favorite foods.

I still ordered Caesar salads through romaine lettuce scares, 1, 2, and even 3. A Caesar salad-related death would actually be fitting for me.

Years ago when I worked at a restaurant, we went around naming the food we would choose if we could only choose one to have unlimited supply for the rest of our life.

I exclaimed “Romaine Lettuce!” and everyone thought I was nuts.

My favorite Caesar salads are made with a creamy dressing. But not the pre-made kind from industrial tubs. I can sniff out the jarred stuff in a second. And anchovies are always available upon request.

The Caesar salad I loved the most is from the recently closed Spoonriver (the dressing is also in the cookbook).

Normandy Kitchen is a strange little restaurant located inside the Best Western (Plus) in Downtown Minneapolis. On the outside, Best Western mostly looks like you’d expect a Best Western look – but its lobby and restaurant have a glamorous, old-school vibe and charm. Almost like you fell back in time.

The chef offers a French forward menu with dishes like Nicoise salad, Beef Bourguignon and Steak Au Poivre Frites. “Everything is homemade,” the bartender explained with pride.

The Caesar Salad here is A+. The dressing reminds of Spoonriver’s. It’s creamy and super punchy with garlic. The croutons tasted slightly sweet, like they were made from brioche.

I think I’ve reached the age where you get really excited about popovers. For $3, you can add a big popover with honey butter.

The bartender described how a customer poked a hole into the popover, plopped the butter inside and shook it like a martini. This method makes sense, but personally, I’m a butter swiper.

Jake enjoyed the The Henry VIII Burger ($15 with your choice of frites or salad) – it was a decent, basic burger with homemade frites.

I can’t speak for the rest of the food or the cocktails, but the vibe is cool, the Caesar salad is above average, and you can order popovers.


  1. Stacy

    Ahh, popovers are the best. Very different sort of restaurant but Brothers Deli in the Skyway has amazing popovers with honey butter too!

    • Jeni

      Thanks Stacy – haven’t been to Brothers Deli yet but hear good things. Didn’t know they also had popovers!

  2. Ted Hammond

    Jeni, the Caesar Salad at Campiello in Eden Prairie is also great. I think that is my favorite. Thanks for the nice article.

    • Jeni

      Thanks for the recommendation. Haven’t visited there before.

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