Bret's Salad, honoring Butler native Michaels, stars at Hard Rock Cafe

| Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Hometown boy Bret Michaels, Poison's frontman and reality-show star, is now starring in a salad available this month only at Station Square's Hard Rock Cafe.

Starting July 2, patrons at the cafe can enjoy the salad that Michaels and chefs created together, with healthy ingredients that are high in protein and low in carbs to reflect the rock star's diabetes diet. And Michaels, the same day his salad debuts, is donating his rare Pittsburgh Steelers guitar to the restaurant, which will display it among the other music memorabilia.

Bret's Salad contains a grilled tuna fillet on a bed of bibb lettuce, green beans, grape tomatoes, a hard-boiled egg, cannellini beans and radishes, topped by a lemon-Dijon dressing.

Michaels, a Butler native, has played many sold-out solo shows at the Hard Rock Cafe, says Gary Marasco, the local Hard Rock Cafe's general manager. He recalls one instance when Michaels turned the restaurant into a meet-and-greet session, spending about an hour-and-a-half to sign autographs and take pictures with all of the fans there.

“He makes great connections with people,” Marasco says. “He's very down to earth. He's a breath of fresh air. ... It's a pleasure to deal with him. It's great for the Hard Rock Cafe to be associated with someone like Bret.”

The idea for naming a salad after Michaels seemed a perfect way for the restaurant to thank the singer, who starred in three “Rock of Love” seasons on VH1.

It's an honor, Marasco says, “especially for artists that hail from Pittsburgh and around Pittsburgh to have a piece inside our cafe.”

One dollar out of every $14.50 for a Bret's Salad will benefit Michaels' Life Rock Foundation, a charity that helps children with diabetes and other causes, Marasco says.

“We wanted to ... try to extend this to the restaurant piece of what we do, and see what we can do ... to raise money for his foundation,” Marasco says.

If you want to see Michaels perform, you can catch him in a solo show beginning at 8 p.m. July 2 at the Big Butler Fair. Details:

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7824.

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