Sunday, April 22, 2012


Here is the actual recipe for the Old South Restaurant's salad dressing. Google it anywhere online and you'll find those who have tried to imitate the recipe have used things like 2 dill pickles or fresh garlic. Trust me, this is the real recipe and you can see it has NO pickles. Being an aficionado of garlic I also tried fresh garlic and discovered it made a change in the dressing that wasn't as good. You cannot get that "almost overwhelming" taste of garlic in this dressing using fresh garlic. The fresh garlic will add "heat" to it that you don't want.

I'm sure others are putting those pickles in to try and get that same taste as the restaurant's dressing. What they're missing is those salad olives with pimentos AND WITH THE JUICE. Also…don't use regular stuffed olives or you'll screw up your recipe. Tried it and it doesn't work. The only difference is Old South makes their own mayonnaise for this recipe and I just prefer recipes to be as easy and quick as possible.

I'm notorious for changing things in recipes and I tried it with this dressing. Learn from my mistakes. Don't add more or less of anything. I tried more olives, fresh garlic, less bleu cheese, etc. Trust me on this one. Just follow the recipe. Don't use a low fat mayonnaise. It gives it a sweetish tang that isn't good.  A quart may seem like a lot but if you love garlic salad dressings, this won't be around very long.

The last time I made this I used a cheaper garlic powder. It turned my dressing a little brown and grainy. So I'll buy good garlic powder that's white from now on.

We love to make chef's salads for dinner in the summer and this is the dressing we always have with it.

The dressing is pretty thick and Old South serves it on the side. So do I. Now I'm craving it and I just happen to have half a jar in my refrigerator so it's salad for dinner tonight.

Put in the food processor:
2 ounce bleu cheese, creamed
1/4 cup salad olives with juice (the kind that looks like olive and pimento pieces)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
(The chef at Old South in Russellville actually said:
"Start with a couple of tablespoons of garlic. Then when
you think you've got too much, add a little more.")

After processing this mixture, add:
1 quart Kraft REAL Mayonnaise
and thoroughly process until mixed well.

Put dressing back in the mayonnaise jar and refrigerate immediately.


  1. I live in Russellville Arkansas, the home of the original Old South Restaurant where this salad dressing was developed back in the early 1940's. Knew the old black gentleman who invented this wonderful brew. The restaurant is still open today, and serving the same dressing; the most called for dressing in the house. Viva Old South

  2. I want to thank you so much! My dad LOVES the dressing at Old South in russellville and always buys and brings some home when he passes thru. He didn't believe I could duplicate it. I showed him your recipe after a long search and tried it yesterday. He said it was spot on! You're an angel. Stephanie...Fayetteville, Ar

  3. Finally, a recipe that is the recipe for the Old South Restaurant in Russellville. If this is not the original recipe, it is darn well close

  4. Anybody recall the name of the black gentleman who invented it?

  5. Mr.stell owned the old south before my dad angus Gosnell in1955 iwas2 years old and my dad bought the Chevy Buick dealership in 1953 from Jackson lemley Chevy and Ernest worked for my dad the rest of his life... jerry Gosnell. By the way this recipe isn't even close to my moms, makes five gallons

  6. By the way, the black man was the meat cutter, mr. Leroy Riley I think...but my memory fades as I get older getting readyvt to turn sixty...jerry gosnell

  7. Thanks Jerry! I'm almost sixty myself! I was just back in Russellville and I've been in Chicago for many years. The place sure had changed but it was very nice to see the Old South up and running! and it's on the National Register of Historic Places no less! Had breakfast there twice while I was in town. Thanks for the info on Mr. Leroy Riley the inventor of the Old South Dressing!

  8. Until 1953 we had the motel associated with the Old South and my mom got the original recipe. I now have two different recipes (with this one, three) which are all called "original." I will bet on mine being the original though.

  9. The original recipe didn't taste like what is served now.

  10. I spent many late nights and a few overnights at the Old South. I always sat in Hazel's section, as the coffee came quickly and she was not above bringing a huge bowl of dressing on the side of a small salad.

    And, on behalf of my mother. Though she didn't spend as much time at the Old South as I did, she also was a fan of the salad dressing. She described it as "a delicious condiment in which garlic and olive struggle for supremacy".

  11. My aunt was a friend of the owners of the "Old South" in the early '60's and was given the recipe. Kraft mayo wasn't involved, but would think it would be a good substitute. Have been told that the real "secret" to the recipe was to rub the wooden serving bowl with fresh garlic just before filling it up. Health regulations now prevent the use of wooden serving bowls in restaurants.

  12. I remember this waitress we had for so many years. Her name I believe was Helen. She let us boys slide sometimes when we ran out of money. I'll never forget this place. I remember Frank Broyles and the Razorbacks used to stop when the game was in Little Rock. Besides the Old South Dressing, they were also famous for Lemon Ice Box Pie. At our 50th HS Reunion (Class of '61), I had lunch at the Old South with Carol Jane Wright (Morierty) and Betty Jo Page (Moore). Dang it! They were out of Lemon Ice Box Pie. Had a great time tho and lunch with friends and classmates was great.

  13. Close, but the last part about mayonnaise is not correct. I leased and operated the Old South for 4 years, so I know exactly how it was made. It was never written down because it was handed-down from Stell to Leroy to Darrel Griffin and the Keeling brothers. I watched it being made many times and it is a dressing which starts as homemade mayonnaise and ends up as Old South Dressing. It is basically on Old World European Bleu Cheese Dressing. The process begins with egg whites, some corn starch in an ancient floor mixer turned on high. A couple of gallons of salad (soybean) oil is slowly added and the result is an expanded volume of white mayonnaise. the mixer is turned down to low and the other ingredients are added. As for the garlic, we actually used granulated garlic, which is much stronger then garlic powder, but is not available in grocery stores. The stuff was legendary. Every day, we sold gallons of it. We made it in 5 gallon batches, and sometimes we came close to running out. I got a call one time at 3 in the morning (open 24 hours a day) from my cook. He was very concerned that we were going to run out of Old South Dressing. My response was to tell him to make some more. He was scared to even try, because he knew only certain cooks could make it. I told it would be okay if we ran out until morning. "But, he said, " we just can't be out of Old South Dressing". My name is Richard Bailey.

    1. And under your expert guidance, the Old South did a bang-up job on my wedding reception, though not literally. We enjoy reminiscing about the occasion, and other who attended still speak to us. Thank you.

    2. i richard, your recipe is the one i have i got it many many years ago. now i have one that is part the original part easy one. one i have is cornstarch/water cooked till thick then beat in olives,garlic salt, mayo,qt, blue cheese. i use the one in foil wrapped sq. pkg. linda

  14. My father is one of the cooks to whom the recipe was handed down to and it is a very hard dressing to make at home, but he can still do it. The recipe you have is not correct it comes more closer to Richard's version that is the truer version of the real Old South Salad Dressing.