The king of all salads, the “Crab Louis,” is indeed an original creation of The Davenport Hotel. Both the hotel and our famous salad are named for Louis Davenport, the founder of the now-known Historic Davenport Hotel. This world-famous dish is still on the menu where the first one was served over 90 years ago for only 75 cents.
The legend of the Crab Louis has been debated for years, but this delicious salad came into popularity under Louis Davenport’s reign. Mr. Davenport himself was known for serving luxuries such as caviar, fresh crab and lobster as early as 1890, when he opened Davenport’s Restaurant on the corner of Sprague and Post. Edward Mathieu, the Davenport’s Executive Chef from 1917 to 1947, was trying to impress his boss by creating a new dressing – the Louis Dressing – that he used on lobster and crab. In his autobiography, The Life of a Chef, Mathieu includes a recipe for his special Louis dressing.
The freshness of the crab is one reason why this world-famous dish is so popular here at our Davenport properties. As a matter of fact, we sell 2,000+ Crab Louis Salads in a month. Lettuce, crab, dressing, oh my!