One of the hardest things  we’ve had to get used to in our move was the reduction in restaurant choices.  In Columbus – I know it gets confusing; we’re from Cleveland, OH; lived in Columbus, OH for the past several years, and have now moved to Knoxville, TN – although we sometimes wished there were fewer chain and more local restaurants, there was a myriad of choices.  We didn’t know how good we had it!  Knoxville…so far, we’ve tried a number of places, but we don’t have a lot that we’ve really loved and wanted to return to.  Nevertheless, my stomach wins out, so we’re continuing to try!  If you have any restaurant suggestions please send them my way. 🙂

Cameron Mitchell runs several great restaurants in Columbus including Cap City Diner.  There are two locations, and we used to live basically across the street from one of them.  They have a wonderful Tomato Bisque soup that Corrie, being the sweet hubby that he is, ran across and got for me one day when I was ill, which thankfully doesn’t happen very often.  And when I say wonderful, it’s scrumptious, and as this blog has documented, I don’t like tomatoes!!  For lunch, they have a wonderful trio that allows you to pick a cup of soup, a half of a sandwich and a tiny salad which I loved the variety of.  I always ended up ordering the Tomato Bisque and this Two Apple Salad…delicious!!  Can’t wait to return, visit a few Columbus friends, and stop in Cap City for tasty lunch!

I’ve left the original recipe intact below, but I usually cut the dressing recipe in half as it makes a TON!  There were tomatoes in Corrie’s bowl…

Cap City Diner’s Two Apple Salad

Found at Cap City

  • Fresh Spinach Leaves, large stems removed
  • Cheddar Cheese, 1/4″ cubes (obviously for me, I included several ounces!)
  • Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • Red Onion, julienned
  • Fuji Apple, sliced 1/8” with skin on (I only ended up using Granny Smiths, because I love them!)
  • Granny Smith Apple, sliced 1/8” skin on
  • 1 Tbsp. Bacon, diced

Candied Pecans:

  • 1 c. pecan pieces
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 oz. butter, softened

Sherry Vinaigrette:

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic puree  (I just make a paste of a garlic clove using the kosher salt included in the recipe.)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 5 tsp. sugar
  • 8 tsp. whole grain mustard
  • 8 tsp. sherry vinegar (I used champagne vinegar since that’s what I had on hand.)
  • 1 c. corn oil
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. shallots, minced (I didn’t include these since I had already used red onion in the salad and am slowly developing my taste buds for onions!)

The chef’s way to make the candied pecans is to mix the three ingredients for the pecans together and bake until the nuts are golden and sugar has begun to harden in a 350 degree oven.  However, it’s hot here!  I didn’t want to turn on my oven so I just tried to re-create a similar effect by combining the three ingredeients on my stovetop and caramelizing the sugar a little bit.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients except the oil in a small bowl.  While whisking, add the oil, and whisk until everything is combined.

Combine spinach, cheddar cheese, red onion, pecans, apples, tomatoes, and bacon.  Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.  Serve and eat reminiscing about the hundreds of restaurant choices in far-away lands. 🙂