Food You Can Eat: 1905 Salad

Fun fact: The Columbia Restaurant started pushing this on their menu in the 1970s to counter the rise of the salad bar, the very concept of which filled them with horror. Me too, actually.


No, this is not the first salad I ever made for Better Half when we shacked up. It is instead also called “Columbia’s Salad,” for its origin in the famous Ybor City (Tampa, Florida) restaurant of that name that opened in 1905. According to the restaurant, this was invented by a waiter, Tony Noriega, in the 1940s, and really took off in the 1970s, so this is in my wheelhouse, if anyone uses that somewhat regrettable term anymore. I have never been to the Tampa area but I’ve had this in South Beach (Miami) so it has migrated across the Sunshine State. It is not far off from a classic Chef’s Salad, but if you make it this way you can impress your dinner guests with this piece of culinary arcana. This is from the restaurant’s website so it is the real thing, and serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a lunch.

4 cups iceberg lettuce, broken into 1½” x 1½” pieces
1 ripe tomato, cut into eighths
½ cup baked ham, julienned 2″ x ⅛” (may substitute turkey or shrimp)
½ cup Swiss cheese, julienne 2″ x ⅛”
½ cup green Spanish olives
2 cups “1905” Dressing (recipe below)
¼ cup Romano cheese, grated
2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1 lemon

Combine lettuce, tomato, ham, Swiss cheese and olives in a large salad bowl. Before serving, add “1905” Dressing, Romano cheese, Worcestershire and the juice of 1 lemon. Toss well and serve immediately.

“1905” Dressing Recipe

1/2 cup extra-virgin Spanish olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
⅛ cup white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix olive oil, garlic and oregano in a bowl. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper. For best results, prepare 1 to 2 days in advance and refrigerate. [The dressing, so you make the dressing in advance.]



    • Yes, Canadian pizza…I don’t understand. You have so many people of Italian descent and yet you have Canadian pizza. You don’t have as many per capita as the US or Australia, maybe a century ago they were frightened off by stories about how cold it got, but New York and Chicago are not exactly tropical.

    • Here I disagree, because someone died the day I was born in the early/mid-60s and I am reincarnated as he. Or she. What you do is, you cut a head of iceberg lettuce into quarters, slather on bleu cheese dressing (since it is the 1960s Kraft will do) and then sprinkle with crumbled crisp bacon. You cannot imagine how happy I am when I see this on menus, but that is very, very rare. It’s mostly steakhouses that do this nowadays, but every so often a diner will offer it.

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