Saturday, August 28, 2010

Don's Pharmacy Potato Salad

I used to get all fancy and complicated with potato salad, because I really didn't like it. No matter how fancy I made it.
Then I discovered French potato salad made with vinegriette and that was pretty good. And different.
But it wasn't until I impulsively ordered  — and tasted — the house potato salad while at ONE OF THE LAST LUNCH COUNTERS IN AMERICA (and one of the few places you can still get a real malted milk shake) — for my annual BLT w/o the L or the T, that I knew I'd finally found the secret.
And what is it, you ask. KISS, honey, just KISS.

Take any number of white potatoes that you want and microwave them on baked potato setting, then let them cool but not get cold.
Or you can boil them if you want to go to all that trouble. They do get a little too soft in the microwave.
Chop up a bunch of scallions, greens included, until you've got enough to kind of balance the potatoes. Roughly, I'd do about one bunch to four medium potatoes.
Peel and dice the coolish potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks, throw in the scallions (you HAVE washed them, cut off the root ends and discarded anything that looks brownish, right? Do I have to explain everything?)
Then start spooning in heaping tablespoons of mayo (Best's only, unless you live in the Midwest, where I've heard Heilemann's is the man) and gently coating everything until it looks neither too dry nor too wet. Salt and pepper to taste. Eat. Enjoy.
Refrigerate leftovers. You can add chunks of peeled harboiled egg to this, but it's not necessary unless you're making it a one-dish vegetarian dinner and need some protein. Scallions and potatoes, scallions and just about anything. I would not recommend substituting any other kind of onion. Then it wouldn't be Don's and you'd have to get all fancy to pull it off, in which case, why bother, just buy some of that overpriced pre-packaged stuff at Safeway.
BTW, Don's is no longer called Don's. It's called The Leader Drug Store, which probably means the local newspaper publisher bought it and named it after his paper or paper company or something.
But to me, it will always be Don's. The waitresses are all the kind you usually only find in the movies, call me honey and some of them are older than I am.
The cook used to be female but they've got some passing ex-shed boy in there now.
He makes great potato salad, a decent cheeseburger and there's lots of B on the BLT without the L or the T.
It was a great place to hang out my first winter here when the rain was driving me crazy and the kid was at school. Still feels like home.
What's a shed boy? Well might you ask.

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