The Bear Rock Cafe's most interesting component is an interior style that emulates a ski lodge, which is about as foreign as you can get in sunny Florida. Still, it's a cozy setting to enjoy a nice salad. It's Chicken Caesar Salad, which costs $6.29, contains Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken breast, Parmesan cheese and homemade croutons tossed in creamy Caesar dressing.
This whole cafe reminded me of Panera, so it was not surprising when the salad reminded me of Panera too. The salad is indeed tossed, as it should be, and the dressing is mild enough to not overpower the rest of the ingredients. The chicken, as with Panera's salad, comes in precooked chunk form which are nonetheless tasty and moist. The Parmesan and the Romaine are fine. The biggest feature of the salad, and not in a good way, are the croutons. These "homemade croutons" are seasoned within an inch of their lives and are way too intense for their own good. They make all the other flavors take a back seat. This brings to mind an old cooking axiom: Just because you can season doesn't mean you should.
In a head to head match with Panera, the slightly cheaper and more enjoyable Panera Caesar still comes out on top. Oddly enough, I'd recommend this Bear Rock salad to anyone still on that Atkins kick. Just tell them to hold the croutons, and you'll have a fine carb-lite meal to enjoy.