Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Detroit's Legendary Maurice Salad Dressing

New York City has Macy's,
Chicago had Marshall Field's,
Here in Detroit, our Grand Dame of department stores was J.L. Hudson.

For over a century, the J.L. Hudson Department Store on Woodward Ave. was more than just a store--it was a Detroit icon and a world-class cultural treasure. At 25 stories, it was the world's tallest department store, and second largest (after Macy's in N.Y.C), and was at one time home to the most exceptional offerings in shopping, dining, services, and entertainment.

The store prided itself on stocking everything from grand pianos to spools of thread. In addition to departments offering fashionable clothing and home furnishings, the original Hudson's store featured an auditorium, a circulating library, a magnificent place called "Toytown", and the world's largest American Flag.
To read more about this magnificent department store, check out this book: Hudson's Detroit's Legendary Department Store.

Now this blog is not about shopping, it's about food. Hudson's downtown location housed many culinary retreats for hungry guests. The thirteenth floor was home to several restaurants, including The Pine Room, The Georgian Room, and The Early American Room, which later evolved into The Riverview Room. The store also offered a tearoom, snack bar, bakery, and fine wine shop, among other specialty food and dining venues.
Though Detroit's downtown gem closed in 1983, many of its culinary traditions have been passed on to its other Hudson's locations. Now under the Macy's name, and before that, Marshall Field's, Hudson's favorites continue to delight beyond Michigan.

One menu item from Hudson's, in particular, was the Maurice Salad. Who was Maurice? Some say he was a chef at Hudson's, where this salad made its debut, though no one knows for sure. While Maurice's identity may have faded into obscurity, his chef's salad with this lemony-mayo dressing remains the number-one seller in all of Macy's Michigan restaurants known as "The Lakeshore Grille". Bottles of this famous dressing can be purchased in all of Macy's Michigan locations, and now you can make this delicious dressing yourself!

Look for small bottles of onion juice in the spice section of many supermarkets. If it's not available, grate a piece of onion and squeeze the pulp through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer.

To make this wonderfully easy and tasty dressing, you'll need:

2 teas. white vinegar
1-1/2 teas. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 teas. onion juice
1-1/2 teas. sugar
1-1/2 teas. Dijon mustard
1/4 teas. dry mustard
1 cup of mayonnaise (homemade or store-bought)
2 Tbls. chopped, fresh parsley
1 hard-cooked egg, finally diced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.

Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, onion juice, sugar, Dijon & dry mustard's in a bowl and whisk well to dissolve the sugar.

Now whisk in the mayonnaise, parsley and egg. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Use this as a salad or sandwich dressing. Keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Now if you'd like to make the official Maurice Salad, as served at Hudson's, in a large bowl, combine 1 lb each of cooked ham, turkey breast, and Swiss cheese all cut into thin julienned strips and 1/2 cup minced sweet pickles. Toss lightly, add the dressing and fold together. Shred one head of iceberg lettuce and arrange a bed of shredded lettuce on 4 salad plates. Top the meat & cheese mixture onto each bed of lettuce and garnish each salad with 2 pimento stuffed green olives, and a couple hard-cooked egg slices. Serve at once!


  1. Oh, how I miss Hudson's... While I'm thankful that Hudson's are now Macy's (for obvious reasons!), I do miss the glory days of the downtown Hudson's store. You are absolutely right.. the Maurice salad was a classic. Thanks for the recipe for the dressing!
    PS: Have you read the book you mentioned in your blog? I bought it not too long ago and LOVE the look back on the great Hudson's days!

  2. Kenn- yes I have that book. I too bought it a few years ago and love it. Since I was too young to experience the downtown Hudson's that book let's me enjoy it in a small way. I also bought a video from the Detroit Historical Museum called "The Hudson's Building" which I think you'd enjoy!

    1. They still serve the Maurice at Southland Macy's.

  3. Hudson's sounds like it was a wonderful place to shop and eat. Thank you for sharing it with us and for the dressing and salad recipe.

  4. I only recently heard that the wonderful Maurice
    Salad Dressing was still around and I got so excited, that I decided to see if I could find any information as to where I could purchase some. I am a native Detroiter,(Grosse Pointe) and I worked at Hudson's for many years, beginning in the College Shop as a high school and college student and upon graduation, I worked in the Fashion Division
    student and upon graduation, worked in the Fashion Division - Training Bureau.
    Every work day I had lunch with co-workers and we always had the
    ever famous Maurice Salad. There was nothing like it!

    I was sorry to see Hudsons 1960 we moved to Atlanta and many other places afterward
    and after Hudsons left in 1983, I really lost all track of its takeover and thus I lost track of wonderful Maurice.....never thinking that the
    salad was now being served at Macy's. I am a terrible cook and would definitely not try to follow your recipe for the dressing. Am I able to buy it anywhere? I sure would stock up!
    Many thanks....

    A long ago past employee and lover of all J. L. Hudson Co. had to offer..

    J. D. May, The Villages, FL.

    1. My Father, Milton Haney, worked the night shift at Hudson's in the 60's They tell me everyone knew his as "Haney". If anyone reading this post knew my Dad I would appreciate a response to this post

    2. My late cousin was the manager there for years and her sister worked there, too. She says her sister created that dish. Email me? stacey @ TYIA. :)

  5. To J. D. May: The bottles of Maurice dressing are sold in Macy's stores in Metro-Detroit. They used to be sold on, but not sure if still there. I bet if you call up one of the stores in Metro-Detroit (Eastland, Lakeside, Somerset), I'm sure they can ship some to you. The recipe is very simple, try and give that a shot! Good luck!

  6. As kids, we belonged to the Hudson's kids birthday club. Every year on our birthdays we got to go to Hudsons for a Maurice salad - the highlight of the year! I want to try to recreate this salad for my mom and this recipe sounds spot on. But parsley isn't listed in the ingredients. How much do I need and does it have to be fresh?

  7. Christine, thank you for pointing that out. I guess I didn't proof-read very well! It's 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley. If you want to use dried, cut that down to 2 teaspoons. I've also made the correction in the above recipe! Thank you again and enjoy!

  8. Thank you for sharing. I was so excited to find your page and how to make this salad that has so many holiday memories attached to it.

  9. I just made Maurice salad for my family - something as a native Meeeechigander, I grew up on. The fam loved it - even our 9 y/o son, who is notoriously suspicious of new dishes. :)

    So glad to see the recipe out-and-about on the web - I have my mom's copy of it and figured it had slipped in to obscurity, otherwise. ;)

  10. I have many fond memories of the J. L. Hudson downtown store from when I was a little girl. My mom loved the Maurice salad and the dressing in particular. I am delighted to have the recipe for both the salad and the dressing so that I can once again, enjoy those childhood memories even more.

  11. Union Station on Woodward not far from Wayne State, has a really good Maurice Salad.

    1. Yes! Union Street, 4145 Woodward

  12. As does Detroit Brewing Company just blocks from the Fox Theater.

  13. The Maurice salad at Hudson`s was AWESOME!! Both the Hudson`s Downtown store`s merchandise and the Hudson`s building were also AWESOME!! It was an extremely sad day for both Detroit and Michigan when Hudson decided to close that most beautiful store.

  14. Jennifer's Cafe (on Haggerty and Richardson in Walled Lake) has an awesome Maurice Salad too!

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  17. My grandma worked for hudson's for 23 years in bed and bath. so I grew up a Hudson's kid. Spoiled to death, and I truely believe I dereived my fashion sense from Nana and Hudosn's. I remember easters and christmas' the most. The downtown store was like a wonderland as a child. I remember the Maurice Salad and the delicious Tuna Salad as well. But my favorites were a super moist yellow batter cake, with vanilla butter cream frosting in between what seemed like a thousand layers frosted in a hot fudge/chocolate icing--deeeeeeelish!(wish I could find one that even came close. Thinking about it, it may have been meant to compete with Saunders Bumpy Cake, equally delicious, but I preferred the Hudson's cake) and the fresh baked black bread my Nana used to bring home. Nothing like home, nothing like the level of service and quality; nothing like Hudson's.

    1. My Dad worked Hudson's downtown in security and I remember the Christmas animation in the windows at Christmas as a child. My children say I walk down memory lane far to much but home is where the heart is and my heart is in Detroit. I lived between Southfield & Greenfield and 7 & 8 mile road on Asbury Park. We used to walk to Northland, shop at Hudson's & eat at Saunders...too much hot fudge sundays. I went to Henry Ford High and stopped at Kowalski's for penny candy...what a selection!!! I miss it so very much. God bless all of you who remember the best city to grow up in in the best state of the US.

    2. I too lived on Asbury Park and walked to Northland to shop at Hudsons and eat at Saunders. My parents eventually moved to Livonia but as I got older I continued to shop at Hudsons and eat at Saunders but I also ate many a maurice salad at Hudsons. I am soooo happy to get the recipe!!!


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  33. you can buy the dressing here

  34. We are introducing the Maurice Salad in all of our Grand Traverse Pie Company shops starting Sept 8-Jan 5th as a limited time offer. I was born in Detroit and grew up in Grosse Pointe and have many fond memories of Hudson's and the Maurice Salad. We hope our serving it will bring smiles to many.

  35. My Mom & I used to take the train from Durand to Detroit & walk from the station to Hudson's--to shop & eat on the 13th floor. This was in the late 30's & 40's. It was quite an adventure for small town people! Maurice salad was my favorite. Later, when Hudson's had a store in Genesee Valley shopping center, the restaurant had Maurice salad--this was in the 80's & 90's-- & I was able to enjoy it again. What memories!!

  36. I lived just down the road from the Hudson building as a child. I remember going there at Christmas to see santa and to watch the animated characters in the windows at Christmas. And my mother and I used to go and she would have the salad and I would have a ham sandwich. I really miss those times.

  37. Does anyone remember during the Christmas season when they converted one of the floors to a winter wonderland complete with merry go round and an area where kids could go gift shopping without their parent.

  38. I sure do. Every child was esorted by a "Santa's Helper" who helped them select gifts in their budget. I once bought a comb for a bald cousin. LOL! I also remember having breakfast with Santa and Christmas Carol which was either at Hudsons or Crowley's

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  48. Do you know which stores in Michigan have restaurants? The Marshall Field State Street store is much like the Hudson's downtown that I remember and surely warrants a visit. It still operates several restaurants including the Walnut Room.

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