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Stabbing Caesar: Sophia’s Kitchen

The businesses around the intersections of Water or George and Parkhill must see a lot of trade from the denizens of Trent Radio and Sadleir House. I personally have experienced love and loss at the Subway (Oh falafel subs, when will you return? How cruelly you were torn from the menu. Vegetarians mourn your absence. RIP gone 2 soon). Anyways, two weeks running I ordered a Caesar salad from the menu at Sophia’s. Here is my report:

Stepping through the door of Sophia’s transports you instantly into another dimension. The décor is a homey nostalgic style, with a black/white/red colour scheme that calls to my mind Twin Peaks, Black Lodge. Maybe it’s the trippy triptych of painted glistening red lips, teeth and and an eyeball peeking out from above your head. Dale Cooper would surely approve of the friendly greeting you receive on entering.

To be honest, Sophia’s is (excuse me) a damn fine bowl of Caesar. I leaked my undercover identity as a salad reviewer the second time I ordered a salad. Pat Nelson, owner of Sophia’s, worriedly checked my salad to ensure it was up to her standards. (It was no different than the one that I had eaten the week before; consistency!) When I admitted that Sophia’s was my (so far) favourite, she jumped for joy. Literally bounced on her toes and clapped with happiness. Her energy is infectious.

The components:

Price? $7.95, a good sized portion. Bump it up to $11.25 for a chicken Caesar.

Lettuce? Romaine, torn into bits. I appreciate the range from pale crisp inner leaves and rich dark ends.

Dressing? Not made in house, but tasty and liberally applied.

Croutons? Nothing special, not too fussy. A good number of ‘em.

Bacon bits? Little nuggets of meaty goodness. Is it real bacon? I don’t know and don’t care.

Parmesan? A dash of Kraft parmesan (or at least, that’s what the canister said) tossed in and well integrated.

Overall? Sophia’s Caesar is comfort food. Simple and delicious. I enjoy that you can watch your salad be created before your eyes. For extra comfort, you can phone in your order in advance and arrive in a couple minutes to collect and cash out. This Caesar loses some points due to the fact that the Styrofoam take out container isn’t recyclable, which isn’t all that environmentally friendly.

Other than the Caesar salad, Sophia’s menu has wonderful gyros, and the best, most affordable veggie burger in town*.

*Source: consensus at Trent Radio.

A Caesar salad from Sophia’s Kitchen, October 2017. Photo by Tree Chomko.

FUN FACT: Sophia is Greek for wisdom! The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was constructed in 537AD, more than 600 years after the birth of Julius Caesar. That’s an equivalent time to the start of the Renaissance to now (roughly). By the time the Hagia Sophia was being constructed, the Roman Empire had morphed into the Byzantine Empire and converted to Christianity. The pagan Roman goddess of wisdom was Minerva, and her sacred animal was the owl. However, being a night owl does not guarantee gained wisdom.

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