When I first moved to Seattle, my job had me driving all over the Northwest. Any time I drove to Spokane or Boise, I stopped at the Bar 14 Restaurant in Ellensburg, WA. I did that for one reason.
The Smoked Chicken Caesar Salad.
This was the best salad I had ever had. The chicken had a great smoky flavor. The dressing was thick and rich. The lettuce was crispy (though that's hard to screw up). It was the perfect flavor for the road. And I could even pretend it was healthy.
So tonight I was looking forward to it as I drove my rental car from Kennewick to Seattle.
I sat down at the Bar 14 for the first time in more than four years. The waitress handed me a menu and plunked a large coffee pot on my table. She walked away, and I opened up the menu. The excitement quickly faded from my face as a I scanned the salad list. My beloved Smoked Chicken Caesar Salad wasn't there. I asked the waitress and she confirmed they got rid of it a a few years back.
I ended up having a ham, turkey, cheese, and tomato melt with fries. It was very good but not why I was there.
The coffee was still good. The sandwhich was good, and the people are great.
But unfortunately I have to downgrade the Bar 14 from, "Oh my God. You HAVE to stop there," to, "It's a nice place if you're hungry."
I'm sure this declaration of mine will make restaurateurs tremble throughout the state.