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Today's Case

Poppin Fresh Restaurant

Subject: Doughboy Salad and Burger
From: Lora
Date: 1/23/2022, 10:44 AM

On 1/23/2022 8:39 AM, Lora wrote:

I worked at Poppin Fresh pies in Illinois back in 1977. Two of my favorite menu 
items were the Doughboy Salad which was a romaine chopped salad with a secret 
Parmesan dressing tossed with crumbled  melba toast. The Doughboy burger had a 
secret sauce that was delicious! I know Pillsbury sold the restaurant in the 
early 80s and it changed hands several times after. Would love to locate those 
recipes for the dressing and sauce! 

Hi Lora,

I had very little success with this. Pillsbury sold "Poppin Fresh" to "Village Inn Restaurants", which renamed them "Bakers Square".  I'm afraid that the sale was the last trace of "doughboy salad" and "doughboy burgers" and the secret Parmesan dressing and secret doughboy burger sauce along with them. If a recipe for those items still exists, it most likely only resides in the offices of Village Inn headquarters. It's doubtful that the secret dressing and secret burger sauce were made from scratch at the individual restaurants. Poppin Fresh, like most restaurant chains, probably made these at a central commissary or had them made by a third-party vendor and shipped them to the local restaurants, to insure consistency. So, very few people would have known the recipes for the dressing and burger sauce, even back in the day. Neither Bakers Square nor Village Inn serve anything like the doughboy salad or the doughboy burger in their restaurants. To complicate things even further, there is an unrelated "Doughboy Restaurant" in operation currently, and it has both a "doughboy burger" and a "doughboy salad" on its menu. These "Doughboy" items are both dissimilar to what "Poppin Fresh" sold. The salad has chicken.

I found a "Poppin Fresh" menu image here: Facebook It has a description of the salad ingredients:

"Doughboy Salad - Freshly chopped lettuce and
bits of melba toast tossed with our secret recipe
Parmesan dressing and garnished with tomato,
egg slices and carrot sticks...............2.25"


Fastest reply on earth!!  Thank you. I will let the memories reside where they are. 
It was my first job. I gained a ton working there… between those menu items and the 
free pies they let us take home every night. Thank goodness i was only 16 and lost 
the pounds when i left the job. Lol
Stay safe and well thank you for this site and your kind research and reply!! 

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