Is it common for most people to think their Dad as a rock star? Mine definitely has earned that status in his industry.
My father’s restaurant career spans five decades and two separate countries. When he first set foot in a Philadelphia dining room he didn’t speak the language and was starting again at the very bottom, as a bus boy. By the time he officially retired and closed the doors of the restaurant in Glenside that bore his name, there were a lot of regulars and friends that knew they would miss his table-side showmanship.
But my father is part of a generation that doesn’t seem to know the meaning of retirement.
I can’t be sure whose idea it was. Maybe it was my sister who asked, maybe it was my father who offered, but I can be very sure that he signed on more than willingly to appear at my sister’s shop twice a month and bring his Caesar salad show.
Alfio’s Caesar salad was the winner of the Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly award for years not just because my father was one of a few that continued making the salad following the original recipe, but because of his table-side showmanship. His routine always included lots of playful banter, a bit of pepper mill juggling, sleight of hand, jokes, lots of charm. . . and an exceedingly large custom made wooden salad bowl.
I brought Dad into the studio to make some promotional photographs for my sister’s store, and had him make his salad while I photographed some of the steps. There are lots of image options she can use for social media.
It’s definitely worth short ride for anyone living in the Philadelphia area to come get some Caesar salad, meet the man, and taste what a Caesar salad should be.
Alfio is at Ana’s Corner Shop on the last Friday and Saturday of every month from 11AM to 7PM.
3310 North Wales Road , East Norriton, Pennsylvania 19403