Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shakespeare at Navy Pier and Brown Derby Dressing

It was a dark and snowy morning as we headed into the city for our 1 p.m. viewing of A Midsummer Night's Dream.  You might think us incautious but 'twas (I get a little carried away after spending time with The Bard) warm enough to melt the big flakes as they hit pavement and merely leaving the grassy leas and trees coated.

I had the good fortune to snuggle in the passenger seat while The Baker fought the elements with only a few "suggestions" from me.

We stopped first at Fox and Obel to replenish our fine bread supply and have lunch.  While The Baker had hot soup and a hot sandwich, I wanted a salad.

I chose the cobb salad.  It was loaded with the freshest of greens-romaine, endive and arugula.  The slices of chicken breast were juicy.  The crumbled bacon was crispy.  The sliced avocado was colorful and creamy.  The Roquefort was perfection!

When it came to the dressing, Brown Derby, I had brain freeze intellectual overload!  What is Brown Derby dressing?  The lady at the counter explained it as "kind of Italian".  I finally decided if F and O thought it worked on their salad it should be quite tasty.  Just in case, I ordered it on the side.  It had a light taste that complemented the salad perfectly. 

I checked on line and found that the complete salad had been made famous by Los Angeles' Brown Derby Restaurant back "in the day".

Brown Derby Dressing from the Brown Derby Restaurant

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 clove garlic, minced

Blend all the ingredients together and add:

1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Blend the oils into the other ingredients and use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.



  1. i admire you for only a few directions given while driving in the elements, i give LOTS of directions and i do mean LOTS

  2. LOL about the minor directions! Looks like quite an adventure! I wondered if the brown derby didn't have balsalmic in it. Looks so good!

  3. Podso has a good eye. The original dressing didn't have balsamic. It had red wine vinegar which didn't make for a "brown" dressing. Balsamic was used later.


  4. the only time i am not driving is on a busy interstate, when i am in the car i am behind the wheel. hubby is Earnhardt's brother behind the wheel.

  5. I just saw on the news there is a storm coming your way. Here we will have high winds. This time of year when warm meets cold...Bango!

    Your lunch look yummy to my tummy. I did a chicken salad the other night with a mustard sauce.

    Good you all made it home safe.

  6. Oh mercy me, I am so hungry now!!!! Looked divine!! Is your hubby a baker????

  7. When I worked in Chicago the last law firm I worked at was on Michigan Avenue, so Fox and Obel was a short walk and I would go and drool over everything at least twice a week.


    Love that dressing!

  8. Oh, I adore Shakespeare... all of Shakespeare. Sounds like a wonderful day. I was almost certain The Brown Derby was where the cobb salad originated. And, you confirmed it. I've not had lunch; I think I might need a salad. Hugs! Bonnie

  9. LOL! Evan doesn't always appreciate my "suggestions". ;)

    The Brown Derby dressing sounds very good. And, you salad looks perfect!! Yum!! My kind of outing. blessings ~ tanna

  10. Thanks for this, it looks yummy and I have just printed it. I wonder if it will be hard to find balsamic that is white? Your fog pictures are way cool, thankfully nothing like on the mountain!!!

  11. You two always have so much fun. Cobb Salad is one of my favorites.


  12. Oh boy that looks cold!! I should call my dad to see if he went to the play as well.

    Lunch looks great, but I think I would have had what the baker had ;)

  13. The only thing worse than driving in snow is riding with someone who's driving in snow. Sounds like a fun outing nonetheless. :) The dressing sounds good too- I try to make my own and I'm always looking for new ones.

  14. Oh, Bonnie, I absolutely love a Cobb Salad. And the dressing sounds interesting and quite yummy. I am going to "pin" it to my salads page.

    Speaking of Brown Derby Restaurant, have you ever seen the "I Love Lucy" episode where Lucy runs into William Holden (!!!) in the Brown Derby while the Ricardos and the Mertzes are on vacation in Hollywood? It's my favorite episode (as you would expect, since I'm wild about Mr. Holden), and I've watched it oodles of times. It's hysterical. Look for it on YouTube if you are interested.

    Your theatre outing sounds delightful! Lunch out only made it that much better.

    Blustery and cold here this week, but there's light at the end of the tunnel. I am going to Florida for 16 days in 5 weeks. The last 2 years it hasn't gotten nice here until June, so I figured I needed a getaway. (Was going to go in March, but with it being spring break, it's too expensive, so I'm going the first week of April.) I will visit with family and friends, enjoy the sunshine, and frolic at the beach.

    Have a great day.


  15. Hope you had a lovely time. Kind of ironic that you were driving through a snowstorm to see "A mid-Summers Night's dream" LOL!!! Lunch looked delicious too!

    Have a great weekend!

  16. Wow...some storm and how brave of you to venture out. I used to huddle in the house when those things hit.
    Great salad dressing!
    Loved your comment on Edna Lewis. The comments are always fun to read, but I was astounded this time on the number of people who had met Edna Lewis.

  17. Simple dressing but it sounds great. You just gotta love a trip to Fox and Nobel. Sounds like a great time

  18. how long do i have to wait to see the restroom far I have posted a mural on a restroom wall and now a chair, who knows what I will find since I use almost every restroom I pass. one of the joys of old age

  19. I love cobb salad but would love to have it from the Brown Derby itself it were still around.

  20. I agree Balsamic makes it so better than red wine vinegar. I fact that is what I have been doing; replacing many of my old recipe with Balsamic.
    Saving this one.

  21. YUM, love Cobb it's lunchtime and you are making me hungry!

  22. The passenger seat is a great place to be in weather like that. Glad you go to where you were going safely! That dressing does look like an unusual blend, but well worth trying! Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

  23. What an adventure!! Love the salad and dressing too:)

  24. I've never heard of the dressing. How interesting. The Cobb salads I've eaten had a blue cheese dressing on them. As I was reading I began to remember that the Cobb salad originated at the Brown Derby and glad that you confirmed it. Amazing that so many restaurants don't use the original dressing.

  25. Fox and Obel is one of my favorite foodie stops in downtown Chicago. Everything we have tried there has been fantastic. This looks like a very tasty dressing for a cobb salad.

  26. I definitely will enjoy this. I'm glad you made it through that dreadful weather and were able to enjoy lunch before the play. The fact that you made speaks well of your ability to give directions:-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  27. That dressing sounds and looks FABULOUS~ WOW

  28. I'm glad we were out of town for that one! I would have said far more than you did :)

    The dressing sounds delicious!


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