Where would you go to eat a favorite food from childhood?

sheilajoyce_gwMay 10, 2013

I grew up in Peoria, Illinois. All my siblings have moved away, as did I over 45 years ago. Nevertheless, we still wax poetic about special restaurants of our childhood, all of which are long gone too. Delicious beef BBQ sandwiches and sauce at John's BBQ. Pork tenderloin sandwiches at Hunts Drive-in. Fried chicken at the Original Murphy's Restaurant with the accompanying platter of corn fritters. Lemon cream pies from Melvyn's Bakery. Chinese food from Hoy Toy Lo. Almost anything from the Wolfe's Quality Bakery. If my siblings were looking over my shoulders, I am sure a few more would be added.

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Sitting at the counter at Woolworths in Buffalo NY with my Nani in the late 50's after talking the bus from North Tonawanda.

Those burgers on a toasted bun with real lettuce, tomato and onions are something I have tried to copy forever without any luck. I dared not tell her they were the best as she ran a Mom and Pop Italian restaurant then.

I bet if she were here today the burger would taste even better.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 4:52PM
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Hespe's restaurant in center city Philadelphia. My sister and I often spent weekends at our grandparent's in South Phila. and a special treat would be dinner at Hespe's (their favorite) restaurant.
The waiters all wore white shirts, black pants, with a white tablecloth(I presume) wrapped around their waists for an apron.
They would call me "little miss".
Live tanks swam in a tank. I loved lobster, but wasn't allowed to order it - until I was 12 years old.
And, when I did, I was allowed to order it. I felt sooo adult, but when I heard a soft "Miss" from behind my seat, and saw the waiter with the live lobster, tentacles twitching....I gave a gasp.
Grandpop told the waiter that it met his approval, and that was always done.

That day, I knew I was growing up.

I sure wish it was still there..I still love lobster.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Onion rings at the Pig N Whistle in Memphis, or BBQ at Leonard's.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:11PM
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Mexican Chili Parlor downtown Gadsden.
Bestest, messiest, doggone fantastic chili burger I ever had.

And a must is to sit on the stools at the counter to eat them.

Doyle's Drive-in East Gadsden! Vanilla Milk Shake

Root Beer float at The Coffee Cup and sit in a booth with wall mounted music players (can't think of the real name of those things)

This post was edited by glenda_al on Fri, May 10, 13 at 20:33

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:12PM
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Juke boxes? Or is that for only the big baby?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Yep, mini juke boxes that were on the wall of each booth.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Cafe Kloetzchen, in Gau-Algesheim, Germany, to eat a piece of Schwarzwaelder Kirsch Torte (aka Blackforest Cherry Torte).

But, that isn't there anymore, and a flight to there, to eat that delight is way to expensive anyway...

Thus, I don't have the option to go and eat something I realllllly like. :)


    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:20PM
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Besides my mother's kitchen, I'd love to revisit my home town and have a breaded tenderloin and chocolate malt. Have to make my own now since we can't find them in Florida. The meat and breading would stick out about 3" on either side of the bun. So danged good!

Then I'd go to Frisch's Big Boy and have a Big Boy (hamburger), root beer float (yep, me too, Glenda) and a large slice of their famous strawberry pie.

It's a wonder I didn't weigh a ton!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:22PM
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Nathan's hot dogs and fries. They do not taste the same now as they did then.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:25PM
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I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and as teenagers it was Frisch's Big Boy, Skyline Chili or Dixie Chili for my husband and Pasquales Pizza for their steak hoagies , white castle. All places we go to when we return home.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:28PM
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Definitely a Frisch's Big Boy with a side order of onion rings. Also...going WAAAAYYYYY back, a Frisch's Filet of Sole.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:32PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

A little drive in called the Comay that is long gone in my home town for their shrimp or crab burgers and a soft serve cone chocolate dipped.
There was a great hamburger place the next town over that is also long gone that had the biggest juciest burgers ever, my daddy loved them too.
And this other place we used to go to late night after partying in my college days they had huge home made onion rings that were amazing.
Jay's lounge in Cankton, Louisiana the gumbo, this was a club that had some of the greats in Louisiana music, saw so many amazing talented bands there, we would dance till we could not stand then eat some of their gumbo. Now Jay's was a wild place, old falling down holes in the floor but packed wall to wall every weekend. Wow so many good times at Jay's.
OMG I just found this youtube of Clifton Chenier playing Jay's in '75, oh my been there done that!
Clifton Chenier plays Jay's Lounge laisse les bons temps roulers!
Excuse me while I have a flash back LOL!!!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:58PM
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Hah! There was a Coffee Cup in my hometown, too, but it was more of a lunchonette/break place for local merchants.

For booths and juke boxes on the wall...that would be Piper's. They had a soda fountain, and they also made their own candy. You could get a chocolate high by just breathing there. Up the street at the six corners was our town's 'movie palace'. A kid could spend a whole Saturday afternoon watching cartoons and getting sick on Milk Duds.

I ate a lot of shore dinners and *swordfish* during summer visits to Providence -- and on the Cape. When we'd take the northern route to the East, I'd look forward to stopping for a big mid-day 'dinner' at The Krebs restaurant near the bdeautiful Finger Lakes.

When my mother and I went 'downtown' to shop at Marshall Field's we'd often have lunch at one of the restaurants there -- always The Walnut Room at Christmas. We often ate at Stouffer's across Randolph St. from Field's, where it seemed all the waitresses were short, older Irish ladies. A shopping trip to Field's in Evanston would mean lunch at Cooley's Cupboard. Field's in Oak Park? Gabriel's Tea Room. (All of these trips involved dressy dresses and white gloves -- which would be black with soot if we took the train downtown.)

Summer Sundays I'd sometimes be invited to keep my neighbor friend company by going to dinner with her and her parents to The Hapsburg Inn. Her parents were of Norwegian and Austrian backgrounds, and they loved the German fare. The restaurant was in a big, red, converted barn.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:01PM
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When my family would travel to the BIG city, Birmingham, we'd always stop at Britlings Cafeteria.

They served the best chocolate pudding!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:22PM
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If any of you nostalgia buffs ever want to go back in time 60 years and are passing through Niagara county in southern Ontario there is a place in Dunnville Ontario called Knowles, it has the original equipment, tables, chairs, copper ceiling, floor and soda counter as it was in 1952. It is constantly being closed for movie shoots. Heck some of the ketchup bottles are from the 50's as well. It's one of the only places that people go to look at the original ocean surf green Hamilton Beach mixers and not the food.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:23PM
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a fat boy or italian steak from tropical treat drive-in or a pizza burger from rea and derick drug store. they were the best!! :)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 6:34PM
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lived in los angeles with several great places to go...but have never had duck as good as robaires on melrose....we never really had "fast food"...in fact, my first whopper was in 1969, when i first moved down to san diego...

have to lol, when i look at part of a menu from nicodels (sp) with clint eastwood's autograph...chicken livers with slivered egg? at $.50 a serving...(he was there before the opening of a movie)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Our family never went out to eat when I was a kid....
But, in high school, my classmates and I always went to Stan's Drive In for fresh strawberry pie or DiRico's for pizza.
If I had to pick, it would be Stan's.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:35PM
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I can't remember eating out food that was very much better than what my mother cooked or my best friend's mother. I worked in a little restaurant through high school, and they had a plate lunch every day...along with the regular hamburgers, fish, chicken and shrimp baskets, and that sort of thing. The lady who owned it made the best roast beef, and her sister made all the pies and cakes. They taught me to make the pies and I make my roast beef the same way she did. My favorite food growing up was shrimp....but I married a shrimper, and I would rather eat shrimp at home than anywhere else. My best friend's mother made the best shrimp creole. Mine is good but wish I could taste hers one more time to see if I need to tweak my recipe.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:01PM
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We rarely went out for dinner. Most of my memories are of treats purchased different places. Lime rickeys and rainbow ice cream cones at Copeland's Drugstore. I could ride my bike there. I'd also read the comic books and put them back on the shelf.

Milkshakes at the Moooo, across the road from our swim club. I remember racing across the busy road in my wet bathing suit.

We also belonged to a skating club that had a snack bar. they had the best hot fudge sundaes and ice cream bon-bons. You can't get stuff like that any more.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:22PM
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Funny that you mentioned BBQ sandwichs. That was my favorite in my small hometown. On basketball game nights (high school) I stayed after school to clean up the bleachers and gym floor getting ready for the game. After my job was complete, I had about an hour to kill in which I'd saunter down to the local corner resturant and order up a BBQ sanwich, a coke, and fries. That would hold me until I got home after the game. That little resturant had the best pulled pork BBQ in the area. If I was really hungry, I would get a banana split for desert.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:27PM
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Royal Fork buffet in Olympia. Roast beef under the red light, I thought I was in a 5 star hotel. LOL - and all you can eat? A dream for a gal in a large family of 8.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:32PM
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I know we never ever went out to eat when I was a kid. The first time I ever went out to eat was when I was about 14, I think.
My mother was the best cook. So it would have to be to her kitchen or to my brothers who can cook a lot of the things she did.
Or I would have to go and find an old german cook who could cook like my mother did.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Frisch's Big Boy hamburger. Didn't get to try it until I moved to Dayton, Ohio when I was 21 but they were GOOD!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 11:53PM
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I grew up near NYC and every week my grandmother and I would go to Horn and Hardart Automart. I was amazed at the place each and every week. Who would have thought that all you had to do was put a few nickels in a slot and you could open the door and take out your food! LOL!! I always got their Mac and Cheese and to this day, I haven't had any that can compare to theirs.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 1:54AM
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SouthernCanuck, there's an old-fashioned restaurant in Waterloo called the Harmony Lunch. Original wooden floors and you can get real milkshakes in the metal cans from the green Hamilton Beach milkshake mixers.

They are famous for their homemade burgers, using pork and a lots of fried onions. He makes everything on a grill out in the open and has a mountain of fried onions all the time.

They have regular customers who have moved away and he sends them food!

This post was edited by jasdip on Sat, May 11, 13 at 10:43

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Two places -- and the more I think about my choices, it's not just about the food.

First, The Farm Shop, a little restaurant in Connecticut, where my mom and I would go together. It was part of a small, walkable "downtown" shopping area. Cheeseburgers for both of us. The burgers were really good, I recall, but the bonding was better.

Second, Carvel ice cream (which I think you can still find some places, but the shops are what I'm thinking about -- not the frozen stuff in the grocery store!). Really good soft-serve; my dad loved it, and that was a bonding time for just us, too, sometimes after we went to the library together or were just in the mood. We always got Carvel ice cream cakes for birthdays and for holidays when we had to bring something to a relative's house.

OK, 3 places: In downtown Hartford, Conn., there was the flagship store of a small department-store chain called Sage-Allen. Great tuna sandwiches and a vinegary diced cole slaw in their cafeteria but AWESOME, incredibly moist pumpkin muffins at the bakery. I have the recipe (tho every ingredient is in huge quantities), but trying to replicate the taste is impossible. The bakery also had extra-large cupcakes with frosting and nuts on top. All these newfangled cupcake bakeries today have nothin' on Sage's cupcakes!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 11:39AM
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I grew up in a Chicago suburb. We rarely went out to eat and certainly nowhere fancy. McDonalds--the original one--was a rare treat. Howard Johnson's, Big Boy, Shakey's pizza, the Kresge drugstore counter for sodas, I-Hop, a local hot-dog place called Dogs and Suds. That's about all I can recall.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:44PM
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southerncanuck - I too would go to Woolworths with my Granny and sit at the counter eating those hamburgers. But mine was located in Vancouver, B.C. - opposite end of the continent.

Another favourite restaurant growing up was the White Spot for their burgers (Triple O sauce which is sooo good) and milkshakes. We still go there for birthdays and my DH worked there as a Car Hop through high school. It was a favourite of my mom's when she was a teenager as well and she is now 84. The White Spot has been around since 1928 and is still going strong.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:58PM
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"Where would you go to eat a favorite food from childhood?"

Mom's house... or any of my aunts' houses. Better than any restaurant.
We were too poor to eat out as so many of you have!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:59PM
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dedtired -- Laughing about your reading comics and putting them back on the rack. My DH used to do that until the drugstore put up a sign: This is NOT a Public Library.

marita40 -- Hmm, do you have a diploma from MTHS? East? West? Ever go to The Choo-Choo, where your hamburger arrives at your counter stool on a model train flatbed?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:09PM
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LuAnn--we didn't eat out as a family, either. With 7 kids it would've cost an arm and a leg. My post, at least, referred to high school days after I had a job. I'm getting so old I think of the teen years as childhood :-)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:26PM
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Prime rib & chocolate cake, eaten at the country club my father managed. I like it served at home best!

My mothers speciality......she was a terrible cook.....:0) PB&J's with a bowl of Campbells vegetable beef soup.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 3:27PM
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My childhood years began in 1950. We lived near one of the earliest MacDonald's, and not far from the first one ever.
Their regular small hamburger (no onions) was a childhood favorite of mine, and it still tastes the same to me.

(The french fries were better before the lard was eliminated, IMO, and I still miss the strawberry shortcake they sold in the mid '60s)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 3:33PM
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chiuse: I grew up in LaGrange right next to LT north but went to Nazareth. And yes I remember the Choo Choo restaurant, although I can't remember where it was! A train ran around the counter (?) and brought you your food? My memories of that are very, very vague. . .
I remember a time when there were virtually no restaurants on LaGrange Road except cruddy coffee shops and the other I mentioned above. Now it is a restaurant mecca.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 4:01PM
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Growing up and as a teenager I did not eat out, so my favorite even if I had would still be my Mother's homemade chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, green beans and garden fresh sliced tomatoes. That is still my favorite kind of meal today.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 4:50PM
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My grandmothers mushroom gravy - whole button mushrooms in a rich brown sauce.

My mom's fried chicken, and her pancakes and potato pancakes (not together LOL). And her grilled cheese. Squished with the spatula, dark - almost burnt - on the outside, and cut into four pieces with that same spatula.

We ate out a lot, especially more going toward the teen years. But I can't say I had a distinct favourite. I had one everywhere we went LOL.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 6:05PM
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There were only two real restaurants in my hometown, and both had excellent food. There probably would have been more if the town hadn't been 'dry' -- and the town probably wouldn't have been dry if the Country Club didn't exist!

The daughter of family friends lived with us one year and waitressed at The Tally-Ho. She'd bring home some great leftovers! A classmate of mine helped her parents run The Pantry, which expanded from a wartime storefront to a beautiful, purpose-built restaurant with family quarters above it.

I thought of another early childhood favorite: Black Cherry Ice Cream. The maitre'd at my father's club wouldn't even ask for my dessert order; he'd just bring it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Menu from 1959

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 4:20PM
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some of my fav's still around include hamburgers at Redamaks in New Buffalo MI and yes I do drive to MI from Chicago just for their hamburgers LOL. We used to have a summer place in New Buffalo MI and that place is THE place to go for lunch & dinner. I still always visit Teibels in Schereville IN when in NW IN seeing friends, I always have the Walleye grilled. My DH makes us stop at Zel's for barbeque sandwiches & plain pulled pork in Hammond IN and Schoops for hamburgers - he won't drive to MI LOL. House of Pizza in Hammond IN when I'm in the mood for square cut, thin pizza.

A few fav's long gone include Puntillo's Restaurant, growing up we used to eat fish (either lake perch or breaded cod) there every Friday, they closed up in the mid 80's :-( Ralphs Pizza we used to get pizza delivered on Sat nite or Sundays for Cubs or Bears games when I was little. There was also an awesome DQ around the corner from my house, we used to bug my dad to walk over there and get us a bag of dilly bars in the summer, when we were too little to go by ourselves LOL.

Food was very different back then, I rarely find a place to go out to eat that is as good as the restaurants I grew up with :-( ~ liz

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Sally Brownlee

We didnt eat out a lot, but occasionally Dad would surprise us.
After church on Sunday he would take us to Blue Ball PA to the Ice House (since torn down)
It was an old fashioned ice cream parlor in an old hotel. Huge porch, big glass framed doors, rickety floor, wire tables and chairs and of course, the huge wooden ice cream counter with the gigantic mirror back.
They also had a player piano that had me mesmerized.
There was a giant set of stairs, I assume once were rooms for rent.
The place looked just like an old western saloon, but ice cream replaced the whiskey.
Ice cream was our lunch. We could have whatever we wanted. I almost always got a banana split. I dont ever remember being able to finish it.
Mom always put up a fuss, but not for long. She got out of making lunch and dishes.
I wonder sometimes about the conversation between them that led up to "ice cream for lunch"

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Oh bigfoot liz,
I miss Redamaks in New Buffalo, MI. Used to stop there on the way to Milwaukee, WI to visit my daughter. Best burgers ever. Loved the wood every where, walls, tables, ceiling. Just can't figure out why they didn't have coffee!
And the menu was round, yes, round with so many choices!

Here is a link that might be useful: Menu

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Shakey's pizza in California. There was a player piano and it was just fun. Right up there with Farrell's Ice cream. They had a big bowl with 32 scoops of ice cream (still do) that was delivered by guys wearing firemen gear and it was carried on an old time looking stretcher. I hear it's now delivered with a whopping sparkler in the middle of it instead. :( Both were early to mid 70s.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 4:20PM
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Wow Rob, sounds like we grew up in the same neighborhood. :)

We didnt go out much, so I would choose any Sunday dinner at my grama's house. I cook in some of her old pans, and when I do my kitchen smells just like hers. It's great.

I miss a good Kasper's hot dog. Steamed bun, and the dog snapped when you bit into it. Mmmm. Some of my favorite burgers were from the baseball/soccer field where my brother and I played. I guess someone's dad was responsible for them.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 1:58PM
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