In the year 1969, it may have been possible to enjoy a salad as a side item in Columbia, SC, but salad entrees were a rare find indeed. With his trademark menu items being so popular, Ivan Miller had set the bar high for any new sub or sandwich additions to his Groucho’s Deli menu. His innovative creation of the Formula 45 Sauce with the STP and Apollo Dippers, had made a huge impact on the City of Columbia.
In the summer of 1969, Ivan, or Pop as we lovingly called him, watched his pregnant wife combine two side salads into a fat bowl. She then topped the mound of lettuce, tomato and cucumbers with Groucho’s thin sliced turkey, cubes of cheese, and 45 sauce. This became his wife’s salad, which he took home for her to enjoy at the end of his workdays. Soon, Pop came up with the idea of using double the amount of salad mix. He blanketed it with slices of turkey and ham, then poured on the 45 Sauce. In the center he placed bacon bits and cubed cheese. It looked like a magnificent erupting volcano! He served it with a plate under the bowl, which held slices of pumpernickel or rye. Their purpose was to catch the delicious overflow of 45 sauce and toppings; because really, who would want to waste that? Pop named it “My Wife’s Salad Bowl”, and it was Columbia’s very first entree-sized lunch salad. Eventually, the bowl became a plate, the dressing became a side, the Captain’s Wafers replaced the bread slices, and this signature salad is now available across 30 franchised locations in South and North Carolina.