Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, but as always all opinions are 100% my own.
Honestly, over the past few months we’ve much more enjoyed dining at home rather than getting out of the kitchen. When we compare the cost and the experience with our home-cooked dinners, it sometimes just doesn’t seem worth it. Don’t get me wrong — we enjoy dining out and taking a break from cooking. However, when we do, we want to feel it was something extra special. That’s exactly what happened when we celebrated John’s birthday recently with his parents at the Creamery Park Grille, a local little community restaurant housed in a historic Fountain City building. The food was both delicious and plenteous, and the service was outstanding. We all started out with the Creamery’s famous Seven-Layer Salad topped with the “secret recipe” house dressing.
Since we’d just moved into the neighborhood the same week, we’d eaten out often. Just a couple of nights before, we had dined at a larger chain steak house with friends. Each of us left feeling we’d spent too much money for mediocre food and a scary server—she was totally not on her game! It was an entirely different story at the Creamery Park Grille. A little personal attention and excellent service made a huge difference in our dining out experience. The servers were friendly, attentive, and helpful without being overbearing. The food was well-presented and perfectly prepared. We noticed that the owner was out greeting several tables and it was apparent that there were many regular diners—a testimony to his establishment.
As for the Seven-Layer Salad, it’s an old favorite with a creative twist. All the recipes I’ve seen in the past call for layering the ingredients and pouring dressing all over the top, then refrigerating until it’s all soaked into the layers. This salad, however, is tossed just before serving which keeps the ingredients crisp and fresh. I decided to try the salad at home and topped it with a homemade Buttermilk Parmesan Ranch Dressing — not quite the same as the Creamery’s version, but pretty tasty none the less!
Want to meet purveyors who are making a difference with their customers? Check out BonAppetit.com’s “Out of the Kitchen”, an ongoing exploration of the relationships that build and sustain the food industry. See how hyper-local food markets operate and how their focus on quality and service keep customers coming back for more.
- 1 Head iceberg lettuce chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup frozen green peas thawed
- 1/2 cup chopped roma tomatoes
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 6 slices bacon fried crisp and crumbled
- Homemade croutons
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 small garlic clove pressed
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 oz. parmesan cheese
Add all ingredients to a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Stir to combine, then cover and shake vigorously to blend. Chill at least 30 minutes. Shake well before serving. (Refrigerate in covered jar up to 1 week.)
Place all salad ingredient in a large bowl in the order listed. Toss well with the dressing and serve immediately.
Dressing recipe by Southern Living, February 2015