The Caesar salad was named not for the Roman emperor but for Hollywood restaurateur Caesar Cardini, who first tossed it together table side during the Roaring ’20s. These days, it’s usually made in restaurant kitchens and includes romaine, Parmesan, lemon and, sometimes, anchovies and/or egg.
Each of these three restaurants puts its own spin on the American classic.
SMOKIN’ AL’S FAMOUS BBQ JOINT, 4847 Merrick Rd., Massapequa Park, 516-799-4900, smokinals.com
Eccentricity that works: Barbecue boss Al Horowitz’s Caesar salad topped with pulled pork or chopped brisket. A substantial main course that easily serves more than one. $22.99; $12.99 plain
CIRO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT, 74 Main St. Kings Park, 631-269-2600 and 470 Wheeler Rd., Hauppauge, 631-761-6378, cirosrestaurants.com
The simple Caesar served at these Italian-American restaurants is cool, crisp and creamy. $8.95
3 BROTHERS VEGAN CAFE, 1038 Montauk Hwy., Copiague, 631-464-4328, 3brothersvegancafe.com
Chef Jay Astafa makes a vibrant vegan Caesar using house-made croutons and cashew Parmesan. $9. You can also get it with romaine or kale. $12