Brockles Restaurant and Special Dressing

Remembering my Brockles Family, Restaurant, and Dressing

Special Dressing Recipe

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For all who have asked and any who may be interested, here is the recipe for the homemade version of Brockles Special Dressing:

Ingredients:
1 pint jar of real Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
4 Tbsp of drained sweet pickle relish
2 tsp of paprika
1.5 ounces of crumbled Blue Cheese
1 Tbsp of garlic powder (adjust as desired for taste)

– Spoon Mayo into a mixing bowl
– Put the relish in a fine mesh strainer and press with paper towel to eliminate excess liquid.
– Add ingredients, each with a little stirring.
– Hand mix to an even color and texture.  A wire whip works well.
– Add another tsp of paprika for a little bolder color, if desired.
– Put finished mix back into cleaned mayonnaise jar (or container of your choice).
– Keep refrigerated.
– It always tastes better after a day in the fridge.

We often double or triple the recipe, making two or three jars at a time. Let us hear from you if you make some. 🙂

Written by Jim

December 9, 2008 at 8:12 am

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What happened to the Restaurant and Dressing Business?

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I don’t recall the exact dates, but as I remember, the events went something like this:

  • Grandad, Andrew Brockles Sr., passed away in 1965.
  • The family continued to run the Brockles Restaurant and Salad Dressing business on S. Ervay until 1970.
  • The restaurant was closed in 1970, and the property put up for sale.
  • The Brockles Food Company was sold the same year along with Salad Dressing name and rights.
  • The downtown property was sold and that whole corner block on So. Ervay was eventually razed and turned into a parking lot near the new City Hall.
  • The subsequent owners of the Brockles Food Company continued making and selling Brockles Dressings from a Garland plant through the 80’s, but eventually produced only two or three of the dressings in institutional (gallon) sizes.  This company quit making Brockles dressings in 1990 and ceased production operations altogether in 1995.
  • The Brockles Jr. Restaurant was opened and operated by my dad, my mom,  and brother Billy on Interstate 20 just outside of Canton TX during the 70’s.  It was sold when Dad and Mom retired to Cedar Creek Lake sometime around 1978.

Any corrections to above dates or clarifications are welcome.  Just post a comment below.

Written by Jim

June 15, 2008 at 6:17 am

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Name the Dressings

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Although the Special Dressing was the signature product, Brockles Food Company produced a number of dressings that were distributed in North Texas in those days.  I’m sure I can’t remember them all, but that’s what this post is about.  I’ll name the ones I remember off the top of my head and you can remind me of the others via the comments. 🙂

Let’s see.  There was the Brockles French Dressing, which actually caused quite a bit of excitement in the family one year when it outsold Kraft French Dressing in the Dallas market.  I can’t remember the year, I was a kid, but I remember the whoopla.

In no particular order, the company also made a Thousand Island dressing, a Roquefort dressing, and later produced Creamy Italian, Ranch, and Blue-Cheese dressings.

We also produced a Tartar Sauce and a Cocktail Sauce.  In retrospect, that’s a fairly impressive line of dressings and sauces for a little independent producer.label-creamy-ital-small.jpg

label-tartar-small.jpglabel-ranch-small.jpg

Written by Jim

October 16, 2007 at 6:41 am

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The thing about that Special Dressing . . .

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It is indeed a salad dressing, although with a thicker consistency than most.  You don’t have to worry about it running to the bottom of the bowl like vinagarette.  But I still like it best as a snack spooned onto crackers — Saltines, Ritz, club crackers, or whatever.homemeade-blog-pic.jpg

Here’s a jar of a recent batch we made — we even fixed it up with a homemade label.  We’ve made it for several family get-togethers this summer and it sure brings back memories. 

The thing is, it’s also great on hamburgers — Chet claims that the old Keller’s Drive-in used it on their No. 5 burger.  However, it’s also great on bologna or salami sandwiches.  I really think this stuff was unique.  Of course, you have to like garlic.  In our homemade batches, if you can’t smell the garlic when you open the jar, you haven’t put enough in.

Written by Jim

August 31, 2007 at 6:11 am

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About the Special Dressing

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Brockles Special Dressing became the signature of the the old Brockles Restaurant in downtown Dallas.  I remember it being served as an appetizer with a wooden spoon and bowl of saltine crackers.  Mmmm, good!  This dressing became the primary product in a line of dressings produced and distributed in Texas during that time.

The label I remember most for this dressing is shown at the top of the right sidebar.  Ahhh, the memories.  People are still asking for the recipe, but so far nothing on the internet comes even close.  We still make home batches for ourselves and family.   I think I’ll go have some right now. 🙂

A Modest Beginning

The Club Cafe on South Ervay began making its own “special” salad dressing in the late 1930’s.  The recipe concocted by Bill and Andrew Brockles became quite a hit with customers.  They were continually asked if they could make it available to take home.

milkbottle.jpgIn those days, milk was delivered in pint and quart bottles.  So, Grandad decided to make use of those pint milk bottles.  They began making extra batches of the “special” dressing to fill the milk bottles and sell over the counter to customers.  Uncle Arge remembers washing out the little milk bottles, filling them with dressing, and putting wax paper over the top held on with a rubber band.

During the war, the Brockles brothers set up a production facility next-door to the restaurant, changed the name from Club Cafe to Brockles Restaurant, and began selling Brockles Special Dressing commercially. 

Below is a Dressing Exhibit at a local Trade Show — probably taken in the early 1950’s.  There were already several dressings in the Brockles line at that time.  Notice there was apparently a plate of crackers for sampling the dressings that is empty. Ha!

dressing-exhibit.jpg

Written by Jim

August 23, 2007 at 7:59 pm

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