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  #51  
Old 10-31-2019, 09:42 AM
doreen is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
I don't know why Straight Dope seems to be in a constant battle with me to claim I'm making stuff up about House Dressing not being a thing.

Just got back from Chili's, saw the receipt and it said I ordered a salad with "House" dressing on it that was clearly just ranch, distinct from their own blue cheese and italian dressings.
Nobody said a restaurant couldn't have a ranch dressing as house- only that they aren't synonyms, and that the house dressing is different at different restaurants. I looked on the Chili's menu. There is no choice of "house dressing" - it refers to "house-made ranch" in some places and simply ranch in others. The list of dressing choices includes Caesar, Citrus-Balsamic Vinaigrette, Avocado Ranch, Acho-Chile Ranch, Honey Mustard, Honey Lime, Bleu Cheese and honey lime vinaigrette along with plain old "Ranch". It is entirely possible that the "house" on your receipt was an abbreviation for "house-made" as simply listing "ranch " might not be clear with three different kinds of "Ranch".

Typically a place with a house dressing will not have nine or ten dressing choices. Usually they have the house dressing, perhaps a Caesar dressing , maybe cruets of oil and vinegar and that's it . Here's the menu of a place I go - you will notice there are no dressing choices listed . That's because there is no choice- all salads come with the house dressing. The "signature Italian vinaigrette" on this menu - just another way of saying "house dressing" * - the only other option is Caesar dressing for Caesar salad.





* and although the house dressing at both places is a vinaigrette, at neither is it your typical bottled , vinaigrette.
  #52  
Old 10-31-2019, 12:46 PM
D_Odds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
I don't know why Straight Dope seems to be in a constant battle with me to claim I'm making stuff up about House Dressing not being a thing.
You poor victim. Keep at it, you'll beat those windmills one day.
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  #53  
Old 10-31-2019, 01:49 PM
pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asuka View Post
I don't know why Straight Dope seems to be in a constant battle with me to claim I'm making stuff up about House Dressing not being a thing.

Just got back from Chili's, saw the receipt and it said I ordered a salad with "House" dressing on it that was clearly just ranch, distinct from their own blue cheese and italian dressings.
I think you're misunderstanding something.

As I said in my first post, you're not alone in thinking house is synonymous with ranch. As a kid and teenager, I thought they were synonymous, probably because all the diners around here that had a house dressing had ranch or a creamy ranch-like dressing.

All "house" dressing means is whatever the regular dressing is at the eating establishment you're visiting. It may very well be a ranch, as in the case of all the places you mentioned. In other places, it's a vinaigrette. Or perhaps a unique house creation that doesn't really fit under either of those labels.

If you look in Merriam-Webster, it says:

Quote:
Definition of house (salad) dressing
US
: the regular salad dressing in a U.S. restaurant
The house dressing is a creamy vinaigrette.
(The last sentence is a usage example and not part of the definition.)

Similarly, if you look up "house dressing" recipes, you'll get a wide variety of stuff. Here's a doctored up vinaigrette, for example. Similarly, in this Rachel Ray recipe, it's also a type of vinaigrette. Here's a creamy house dressing, a bit more ranch-like, but distinctly not ranch. This one is pretty much ranch, as it includes ranch dressing mix in the ingredients.

As for bottled dressing, the best I could find is that Wishbone has a House Italian. I can't find any commercial dressing labeled simply as "house" because that doesn't really make any sense, unless it is the house dressing of a particular establishment.

It's like asking what "house red" is or "soup du jour" (as mentioned before) is. It's whatever that particular dining establishment says it is.

Last edited by pulykamell; 10-31-2019 at 01:52 PM.
  #54  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:20 AM
mixdenny is offline
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Long ago at a somewhat fancy restaurant I ordered a particular salad. The waitress said they were not serving it that day as the chef could not make the house dressing as he had run out of tarragon. I told her that was OK since I didn't like tarragon anyway. I still didn't get my salad.

Dennis
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