In the land of dreams and opportunity, a dark secret roams the streets, hides itself on the menus of pizza shops and local pubs, and is known only to those bold enough to ask.
There is no ranch dressing.
That’s right. In the melting pot of the world, a dressing which is basically an emblem of flavors that make up America (cream, aka the thick milk found in udders of our country’s cows; spices, found in dirt somewhere, probably out west; and good ol’ U.S. saturated fat, found in everything but black coffee and skim milk) is nowhere to be found.
Sure, local publication The New York Times published an ode to the condiment, but did they really dig deep into its representation on menus?
It calls ranch dressing “America’s favorite flavor,” a fact that doesn’t need to be checked, because it is the truth. However, the publication doesn’t mention how scarce it is at pizza places, bodegas, and yes, even sports bars.
In the same Times article that called ranch the free world’s favorite flavor, it touched on a serious problem with local New Yorkers: they don’t know what it is, or don’t care about its existence.
According to the article, when a heroic pizza-loving family opened a pizza restaurant called Emily in Brooklyn (likely trying to save the city from impending bleu cheese doom), “the house-made ranch they drizzled over certain pies was considered bizarre by many New Yorkers.”
Bizarre? How about a $13 cocktail during happy hour. That’s bizarre.
As a former member of the Midwest, land of people over-apologizing and saying ‘Ope’ when they bump into you, I find this lack of support both appalling and offensive. Because in places like Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and Illinois, the dressing isn’t a topping. It’s everything. It’s a pizza sauce, a crust dunker, a wing topper and the perfect match for a potato in any form it may come.
Some of New York City’s most popular late-night spots don’t even have it. That’s right. The drunk nectar that cures impending hangovers is not on the menu. Not at Artichoke Pizza. Not at 2 Bros. (we expected better from the brothers; their pizza is only a dollar). Not at Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop in Greenpoint (the place has classic Coca-Cola decor, but lacks the decency for a classic cream-based delicacy).
Even the salad places don’t have ranch — and it’s a dressing! Those are used on salad!
Sweetgreen offers green goddess ranch, aka a healthy spin-off for those on diets pretending avocado is similar enough to buttermilk (it’s not). But get this: the chain that sells bowls of lettuce for $12 only offers the green goddess SEASONALLY. Meaning only sometimes when they think the weather matches the dressing!
To place the blame of no ranch on a season like winter — the season home to CHRISTMAS — is evil, no, sinister.
Sweetgreen has za’atar breadcrumbs, aka a concoction of sesame seeds, thyme and other spices. Meaning, they have one ingredient — thyme — found in ranch. They can find parsley, dill, pepper, buttermilk, onion and garlic at local business Trader Joe’s.
Lucky for the world, unsung heroes (hipsters who demand outrageous menu items to put on their food Instagrams; and also, Eric “Legalize Ranch” Andre) have risen to the occasion. Because of them, and because this city is sometimes great, there are some places that appreciate ranch, thus appreciate customers.
Almost every pizza at Krave It, out in Bayside, Queens, welcomes ranch dressing onto its crust like New Yorkers welcome escalators into their subway stations. “Red sauce is for the traditional pizza eaters,” said Krave It owner Vishee Mandahar. “It’s time for pizza to take it to the next level and why not explore different types of sauces [ranch]. It gives pizza a new taste and a new look.”
It’s time, indeed.
The ranch shortage in New York City is not new. Our records find it’s been a problem since at least 2015. A Quora search proves it.
The look you get when you ask for Ranch dressing for your pizza in New York City. # familyvacation pic.twitter.com/HCfc5p3ayK
— Chad Rogers (@CoachChadRogers) July 12, 2018
Can you imagine getting this disapproving reaction from a donkey and/or zebra? That letdown is one with which ranch lovers in the city are all too familiar.
I’m currently in a pub in Brooklyn and was just told they do not have ranch dressing. How do you serve food in ANY establishment, let alone a PUB, and not have ranch dressing. I looked at the menu. They serve salad. Isn’t ranch a standard?! I’m in NEW YORK CITY!! No ranch?! Wtf?!
— Dan Frisina (@CoachFrisina) March 9, 2018
Coach Frisina’s caps lock doesn’t deserve this treatment. New York City is responsible.
Ordered food from this bar in New York City and asked if they had ranch dressing and they said no I said what the fuck Is this place prison
— Victoria ♔ (@v_sykes2011) August 3, 2014
If you ignore the grammar, that Victoria crown emoji’s profound question is one owners, chefs, children and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should look into: What the fuck is the place: Prison?
Loved this story. The writing was terrific and entertaining, and raises a major issue with the city. Not sure why de Blasio hasn’t done anything about the ranch crisis yet. Sad!