Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Brockles in Dallas

WHEN? Late 50's & early 60's

WHERE? Dallas, Texas · find us on the map

Just the name of this blog, The Perpetual Vacationers, leads one to believe that it's about places we have been and things we have seen. Please forgive me for using a poet’s license to include a trip into the past. Not one about where we went or what we saw, but about something we ate.

Back in the late 50's and early 60's when we lived in the Dallas area, there was a restaurant on Ervay Street, just off downtown, named Brockles Restaurant. It opened in 1929 under the name of Brockles' Club Cafe. Andrew Brockles, Sr., went into the restaurant business in 1919. In the Brockles Restaurant on Ervay, they made and served a special dressing on their salads. The salads were nothing more than a quarter of a head of iceberg lettuce covered with this special dressing. There was also a bottle of the dressing on each table and an ample supply of saltines to nibble on until the food was served. The dressing was so good, and in such demand that they started selling it in some of the grocery stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Actually, their special dressing began being produced and sold commercially in 1942.

The first time I ever tasted the dressing was at the Texas State Fair. They had a booth there, and were passing out crackers with this special dressing spread on it. It was Soooo Gooood! Needless to say our house was never without Brockles Special Dressing as long as we lived in Texas. My job, however, took us other places and the dressing was not to be found.

I admit that I thought about the dressing from time to time, but after three or four decades, I had about forgotten about it. Luckily, Mae Dean had not. You see, she had worked with a lady who’s father-in-law was either the owner or one of the owners of the business, and had thought about them from time to time. Eight or ten days ago she made an internet search to see it she might find something about the restaurant and it’s dressing and got a BIG HIT. A member of the Brockles family had a web site on The Brockles Family, Brockles Restaurant and Special Dressing. Not only that, but since neither the restaurant nor the dressing business are still around the whole Brockles family agreed to include the recipe for that great tasting Special Dressing on their web site.


1 Pint Jar of Mayonnaise (16 oz)
4 Tablespoons Sweet Pickle Relish, drained
2 Teaspoons Paprika
1½ Ounce Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

Place Mayonnaise in a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients one at a time stirring to mix after each item is added. Continue stirring by hand until it is an even color and texture. Place sauce back into the mayonnaise jar that has been washed. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours before using.

Note: There should be a little left after filling the jar. Just spread on a saltine and enjoy your effort. This sauce is good as a salad dressing or just eaten on a saltine cracker.

I made my first batch today. I can assure you that our house will never be without Brockles Special Dressing again.

~ Wendell Smith

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