By Kathryn Zahn
If you have lived in the Tampa Bay area for any amount of time, then you have most likely ventured over to Tarpon Springs for some local authentic Greek food or wandered into any of the Louis Pappas’ Market Café restaurants throughout town and ordered a Greek Salad. Have you ever asked yourself, “What is it about this salad that is soooo good and who decided to put the potato salad at the bottom?”
Louis M. Pappamichalopoulos served in France as an army chef in General Pershing’s “Wildcat Division” during World War I. It was there that he created his own version of a Greek salad by adding potato salad to sustain the troops during hard times. Louis Pappas arrived from Greece in 1905 to find opportunity in America. He and his wife Flora eventually settled in Tarpon Springs in 1925, and established the original Louis Pappas “Riverside Café”. With a handful of employees on sawdust floors, they opened their humble café, specializing in fine Greek-American cuisine and the Louis Pappas Famous Greek Salad. Potato salad at the bottom of a Greek salad soon became commonplace and the salad itself became internationally known. The success of the Louis Pappas Greek Salad has lasted for almost a century where it remains the most popular dish at our Louis Pappas Market Café fast casual restaurants in the Tampa Bay area.
Annie Laurie’s potato salad was recently one of the featured dishes during Gasparilla week at Datz deli. I am sure for those of you who love the Greek salad that after one bite you were smiling from ear to ear. I have never given much thought as to what the secret ingredient might be for this ever so delicious potato salad, and was completely surprised to realize that it is the wine vinegar. Now, this makes complete sense considering that it is also an ingredient in the Louis Pappas Greek Salad dressing.
If you choose to make this potato salad for loved one, friends, or guests…be prepared to be asked to make it again. It is delicious and a great compliment to almost any dish…but most especially the Greek Salad. Thank you grandfather Louis Pappas! Bon Appétit!
Annie Laurie’s Potato Salad for Greek Salad
- 2 pounds medium Idaho potatoes
- 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
Boil unpeeled potatoes in unsalted water. While potatoes are cooking soak chopped onion in the vinegar. When potatoes are done, cool slightly and peel, then cut in slices and cut the slices in half. Add onion and vinegar mixture to still-warm potatoes. Sprinkle in the salt and mix in the mayonnaise.