A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 14, 2004
Greek Salad
"Greek Salad" was probably named this in either New York or Chicago, two cities with large populations of Greek immigrants.

In Greece itself, it is simply "salad" or "country salad."

The following citations indicate that it was popular in delis and restaurants from the 1910s.


7 June 1910, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, "The Manicure Lady on Linguists," pg. 12, col. 5:
"Then he calls over the Spaniard and said something to him in Spanish that meant a steak, but sounded like water dropping on a hot stove, and when it came the Greek's turn he ordered a Greek salad, talking Greek that must have been the real McCoy, be4cause the Greek nodded his head.

4 July 1914, Fort Wayne (IN) Sentinel, pg. 27:
They had Russian cabbage soup, Hungarian goulash, Greek salad, Italian macaroni, German pancake and Turkish coffee.
(The story is by Israel J. Zevin and was originally published in the New York Herald -- ed.)

The Lunch Room as a Money Maker
compiled by C. A. Patterson
Editor and Publisher of the
AMERICAN RESTAURANT MAGAZINE
Chicago: Patterson Publishing Co.
1921
Pg. 79 ad:
The Odenbach Delicatessen
Announcing Friday Specialties
for Your Home Table

Here you can obtain pleasing delicacies to arouse the family appetitie on "Meatless Days" -- both economically and well.

FOR INSTANCE
Crab Meat Salad
Cold Slaw
Deviled Crabs
Shrimp Salad
Clam Chowder
Lobster Salad
Potato Salad
Oyster Loaf
Salmon Salad
Cold Salmon with Mayonnaise
Stuffed Tomatoes
Greek Salad
Crab Ravigote
Soft Shell Crabs
Smoked Sturgeon
Smoked Salmon
Fish Cakes
Marinate Herring

4 September 1922, New York Times, pg. 8:
Rabeles's Sunday dinner patrons are fond of roast chicken and roast duck. A Sunday dinner on Second Avenue is not complete unless it begins with chopped chicken liver, chopped herring or Greek salad, marked on the menu as "appetizer."

18 April 1923, Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. 23:
WINNIE WINKLE, THE BREADLINNER:
Better Add Pork and Beans, Winnie
Panel Three:
WE'LL START WITH RUSSIAN CAVIAR THEN SCOTCH BROTH, SPANISH MACKEREL, ENGLISH MUTTON-CHOP, GREEK SALAD, ITALIAN SPUMONI, FRENCH PASTRY AND TURKISH COFFEE.

Greek Salad:
An Autobiography of Greek Travel
by Kenneth Matthews
London: Peter Davies
1935

Salads and Herbs
by Cora, Rose and Bob BrownJ.
Philadelphia: B. Lippincott Company
1938

Pg. 180:
GREEK SALAD
Three parts shredded raw vegetables--cabbage, carrots, green pepper and onion. One part smoked herring, diced. Thin mayonnaise with sweetened vinegar, add and mix thoroughly. Pile on lettuce leaves.

19 April 1941, New York Herald Tribune, pg. 10, col. 6:
Roast lamb, almost without exception, will feature at the Greek Easter Sunday dinner. Potatoes will brown and sputter in the fat of the roasting pan. Greek salad substitutes for vegetables made as it is of radishes, green onions, tomatoes, lettuce--all dressed cozily in a film of good oil. Most dinners will take off with the national soup, maghiritsa, the stock for this made with the liver of the lamb, and the intestines cooked together long and slowly with dill in the water. A sauce made with cream and the yolks of eggs thickens the soup.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, August 14, 2004 • Permalink