RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ??

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i95
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2004/01/14 16:55:08 (permalink)

RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ??

I had an observation today (in addition to my daily one which is that sometimes I feel that I'm the only one that thinks we need to make it back to the moon as soon as possible) and that was:

"Do we take our own, local, hometown Road Food -- or
potential Road Food -- spots for granted ?"


For example, my business (as an international man of mystery, of course) takes me frequently to both Annapolis, Maryland as well as Richmond, Virginia. At both of these locales, I have my favorite, repeatedly-visited Road Food finds including Annapolis' Chick & Ruth's Delly on Main Street and Richmond's 74-year-old Sally Bell's Kitchen on West Grace Street. In fact, today, I stopped by Sally Bell's to pick-up my string-tied box lunch of homemade chicken salad on a homemade roll, cheese biscuit topped with a pecan, homemade potato salad topped with a sweet pickle, a scrumptious deviled egg and an "upside-down," yellow batter cupcake with all but its original top covered in chocolate frosting. Each item, as always, was hand-wrapped in wax paper by the kindest of ladies each of whom I believe have been there for most of Sally Bell's seven-plus decades of culinary service to the south. Tomorrow, I'll be at Chick & Ruth's. It's never a big deal.

Yet, truth-be-told, as much as I frequent these establishments I've never given thought to what would happen if they disappeared. Worse yet, a recent search revealed that neither of these local haunts has ever been mentioned on this bastion site of American restaurants.

What about where you live? Are your favorite BBQ, sandwich or bacon & eggs joints overlooked? Would you / do you recommend these places to others? Are any of them hanging-by-a-thread.

This is not a roll-up-you-sleeves call to action for some historical and or gastronomical gain, I just felt a little guilty for insufficiently basking in the Road Food places I do call home.


#1

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    Lone Star
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/14 17:12:58 (permalink)
    I freqent a lot of different restaraunts and cafes around our are during lunchtime, all locally owned and non-chain. With the exception of Luby's cafeteria where I had lunch today. I don't know if it is because I work between downtown and midtown, but business always seems healthy at my favorites which would include:

    Niko Nikos - greek
    Andys Cafe on 11th street - tex-mex
    Barnaby's on Fairview - best salads and burgers in town
    Yale street grill - patty melt and onion rings
    Doyles - on 34th?
    Colinas
    King Biscuit
    Le Jadiete on W. Grey
    This is It! - soul food
    Hickory Hollow - bbq
    Cafe Adobe - mexican
    Spanish Flowers - mexican
    AND
    My ALL TIME FAVORITE - the Spanish Village on Almeda!
    #2
    UncleVic
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/14 17:19:37 (permalink)

    "Do we take our own, local, hometown Road Food -- or
    potential Road Food -- spots for granted ?"



    Absolutly not! I take my local roadfood very seriously here... In fact, some of the best I've had! I totally support these fine establishments and try to refer as much business their way as possible! (Dont want to lose a good thing due to lack of business or anything).
    Yet, some have closed... Sold to a bigger dollar establishment that totally destroyed the quality and amazingly increased their prices!

    If your in the Grand Rapids Michigan area I suggest these places:

    Cantina Mexican Restraunt (Drive thru has the best wet burrito I've had (remember to ask for the meat sauce! (or they give ya Ranchero, which is not bad either))..

    "Get-em-n-go" Located over the town, get your burger fix for under 75 cents a burger!

    Yesterdog! Like stepping back into the 40's here... This is the hot dog place they replicated in the American Pie movie series... (Writer of American Pie grew up living on their food). And they serve the "Ultimate Chili Dogs".... (This place really deserves a roadfood write up)!

    Corner Bar in Rockford, Another place known for their Hot Dog Wall of Fame!

    There's plenty more! These are just a few small hometown places that deserve mention!

    #3
    Bushie
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/14 17:59:07 (permalink)
    I make a point to not only eat at locally-owned restaurants, but also to shop at locally-owned businesses whenever possible.

    With all the great local restaurants in my area, I'd be a fool to pass them up. But I also just like supporting local businesses. I've always been that way, but I've been more "aware" of it the last few years.
    #4
    i95
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/14 20:14:36 (permalink)
    BTW, the purpose of this thread (and I have NO idea why it's under "seafood" unless I was thinking "see...food!!") was to selfishly vent a little guilt in that although I, indeed, partake in local restaurants, businesses and attractions I might not appreciate the ones in my very backyard as much as I daily should beacause, folks, when they're gone, they're gone.

    See you at Chick & Ruth's tomorrow, amigos!
    #5
    EdSails
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/14 20:21:30 (permalink)
    I guess a lot of changing the public-at-large's impression-----and that's basically that chains are better. That's not gonna happen. All we can do is bring our friends to our favorite roadfood places and hope that's enough. If they are as good as we thing the are (and I know all of us Roadfooders here have impeccable taste) then our friends will like them too. I've seen it happen many times, where my friends will call up and say "I've gone to (insert name here) to eat again today. I love that place! Thanks for recommending it". I just hope there are enough people like us around to do this------I'd sure miss my favorite place!
    #6
    Michael Stern
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/14 20:24:27 (permalink)
    Sally Bell's is still there? GREAT! I thought it was gone. Please, take pictures and post a review. It will be a while before we get there.

    On subject, I feel your pain. Any time any Roadfood restaurant anywhere goes under, I get a twinge of guilt, thinking that it was somehow my fault that it didn't succeed. (I didn't order enough pie after supper; I didn't write a good enough review, etc.) Jane might remind me that my feelings are best explained by a bit of an inflated-ego problem: the whole world collapses if I don't keep it spinning every day!
    #7
    EliseT
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/14 20:46:57 (permalink)
    I have to say, when I lived by the beach, I hardly ever went to the beach. There are a few places that have great reputaions that just never seemed like that big of a deal to me...Tommy's chiliburgers, Cassell's and In n' Out to name a few.

    I was most surprised by the nostalgia for Bob's Big Boy here on Roadfood. I drive by one of the 2 remaining Bob's all the time, and while I admire its cool old googie sign it never occured to me to eat there. Growing up, Bob's was like Denny's. But I will go in there one of these days and have a double burger for all you guys.
    #8
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/14 21:40:43 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    Although I get burned out on eating at the same places all the time, I support mom-and-pop eateries whenever I possibly can. Come join me sometime at The Normaltown Cafe' in Athens or The Lakewood Diner in Atlanta.
    When I leave the library tonight, if I'm in the mood, I'll get a chef salad at The Grill on College Square. If I want something else, I'll proceed to The Waffle House on Oconee Street (I know it's a chain, but sometimes I want what I CAN get there and can't get anywhere else! Plus, the Oconee Street store is by far the cleanest Waffle House in Clarke County.).
    Whenever I am able to travel, I try new places. As soon as my AAA check clears the bank and I have towing if I need it (well, not me... Blanch the Cadillac),I need to waddle up to Seneca, South Carolina to try a place that has been highly recommended to me.
    This is a good, thought-provoking thread.
    Unhungrily (At The Moment), Ort. Carlton in Athens, That Most Athenean (NOT "-ian"!) City Of Georgia.
    P. S. i95, were you around Richmond when WGOE, Progressive Radio Richmond, was on the air? Now THERE was a great radio station!
    #9
    signman
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 00:33:08 (permalink)
    Elsie, you're aging yourself. For Shame. You won't just be having a double burger -- you'll be having the "Original Big Boy Double Decker Hamburger Sandwich"

    i95, Love to meet you at Chick & Ruth's sometime. Just need a little more advance planning. Look out for the crowds though - the General Assembly just convened. But I'm speculating that you know that. Richmond, Annapolis, both state capitals, you in both cities on consecutive days. The mystery deepens.

    Actually Chick & Ruths would be a local (Baltimore area at least) restaurant that I take for granted. I've known about C&R forever, have passed by numerous times, but have never actually been to.

    They did get a nice treatment on Food Channel's "Best Of" though. Mark Silverstein (also a Baltimoron)showed how Teddy leads the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, and showed the Governor's table (complete with ex gov Mandel).

    How's the food there anyway. What do you like?
    #10
    EliseT
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 04:15:01 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by clothier

    quote:
    Originally posted by i95

    [green]I had an observation today (in addition to my daily one which is that sometimes I feel that I'm the only one that thinks we need to make it back to the moon as soon as possible) and that was:




    Why do you think we need to go back to the moon?

    Is there something there we missed the first time around?


    Well, from Bush's speech, it sounded like he was ready to start strip mining! Something along the lines of "...there are many natural resources that could possible be utilized for making fuel..."

    Everybody's wonderin' how high the moon
    But the moon never wonders how low we are
    Do you know what they have on the moon?
    They raise potatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes and potatoes
    Potatoes the size of the Hollywood Bowl!
    And how do they peel them?
    They peel them with a bulldozer!
    Just imagine the nice big bowl of potato salad!

    (Ort...??? Name that artist!)
    #11
    EliseT
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 04:18:01 (permalink)
    Signman: I couldn't remember the name of that "Bob's Special" or "Bob's Big Deal" or whatever it was called...a burger-fries combo. But at least I remembered it was a double-decker. Especially considering that for the last few years all I ever had there was coffee as I sat in a booth chain-smoking and writing tormented, angst-filled teen poetry.
    #12
    Chumley
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 11:26:43 (permalink)
    Boy, there are so many places that I love that would cause me pain if they closed. Splitting my time as I do between Philly and NY, I have to pay both locale's their due.

    NY:

    Benny's Thai, Lower Manhattan
    Tokyo Lunch, Lower Manhattan
    Cafe El Parador, Midtown
    Manganaro's Hero Boy, Midtown
    Harold's NY Deli, Edison, NJ
    Jackson Diner, Jackson Heights
    Many wonderful Chinese and Indian restaurants too numerous to mention
    Burger Heaven, SoupBurg, Jackson Hole and numerous other burger joints throughout the city
    RIP: Smokey's, Hwa Yuan, Shanghai Manor -- gone but not forgotten

    Philly:

    Tony Luke's
    Lenny's Hot Dogs, Feasterville
    Steve's Prince of Steaks
    Tortuga's Mexican Village, Princeton, NJ
    Turkish Family Restaurant, Bristol
    Under the Pier, Bristol
    Passage to India, Lawrenceville, NJ

    I could go on forever!

    And with a nod to Ort. Carlton, two progressive radio stations that I do NOT take for granted - WFUV in NY and WXPN in Philly!
    #13
    Howard Baratz
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 12:05:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Chumley
    And with a nod to Ort. Carlton, two progressive radio stations that I do NOT take for granted - WFUV in NY and WXPN in Philly!


    Chumley,

    Is Vin Scelsa still on WFUV? I remember him fondly from his stint on WNEW-FM.


    Now back to regularly scheduled programming, some of my favorite locally-owned Tulsa haunts:

    Mario's NY Style Pizza
    Royal Chicken
    Ron's Burgers and Chili
    Ri-Le Vietnamese
    Big Daddy's BBQ
    White River Fish Market
    Cancun Mexican


    #14
    Grampy
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 12:29:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by clothier

    quote:
    Originally posted by i95

    [green]I had an observation today (in addition to my daily one which is that sometimes I feel that I'm the only one that thinks we need to make it back to the moon as soon as possible) and that was:




    Why do you think we need to go back to the moon?

    Is there something there we missed the first time around?


    Alice Kramden?
    #15
    EdSails
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 12:34:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EliseT

    I have to say, when I lived by the beach, I hardly ever went to the beach. There are a few places that have great reputaions that just never seemed like that big of a deal to me...Tommy's chiliburgers, Cassell's and In n' Out to name a few.

    I was most surprised by the nostalgia for Bob's Big Boy here on Roadfood. I drive by one of the 2 remaining Bob's all the time, and while I admire its cool old googie sign it never occured to me to eat there. Growing up, Bob's was like Denny's. But I will go in there one of these days and have a double burger for all you guys.


    Have a chili size for me!
    #16
    i95
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 13:56:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    Sally Bell's is still there? GREAT! I thought it was gone. Please, take pictures and post a review. It will be a while before we get there.

    On subject, I feel your pain. Any time any Roadfood restaurant anywhere goes under, I get a twinge of guilt, thinking that it was somehow my fault that it didn't succeed. (I didn't order enough pie after supper; I didn't write a good enough review, etc.) Jane might remind me that my feelings are best explained by a bit of an inflated-ego problem: the whole world collapses if I don't keep it spinning every day!


    quote:
    Originally posted by EdSails

    I guess a lot of changing the public-at-large's impression-----and that's basically that chains are better. That's not gonna happen. All we can do is bring our friends to our favorite roadfood places and hope that's enough. If they are as good as we thing the are (and I know all of us Roadfooders here have impeccable taste) then our friends will like them too. I've seen it happen many times, where my friends will call up and say "I've gone to (insert name here) to eat again today. I love that place! Thanks for recommending it". I just hope there are enough people like us around to do this------I'd sure miss my favorite place!


    Michael and EdSails, you both captured my sentiments exactly which is that: today's Road Food places are precious; our own local ones should never be under-valued; and that it's absolutely heartbreaking (and guilt-inducing) especially when our neighboring ones disppear.
    #17
    i95
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 13:58:19 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ort. Carlton.

    P. S. i95, were you around Richmond when WGOE, Progressive Radio Richmond, was on the air? Now THERE was a great radio station!


    Nope but I do remember the ORIGINAL, "home-grown," just north WHFS-FM in Bethesda, Maryland. Do you, Ort?
    #18
    i95
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 14:48:30 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by signman

    i95, Love to meet you at Chick & Ruth's sometime.


    Let's do it! Yup, Mandel is often there and I've been there more mornings than I can remember where the owner, Teddy, has twice (each morning) led the crowd in the daily Pledge of Allegiance. While I've eaten just about everything there over the years, I'm especially fond of the breakfasts (with free potatoes for the asking), hot pastrami sandwiches and clear broth, Maryland crab soup. These and other dishes are all named after national, state and local elected officials (as Annapolis is Maryland's state capital). In fact, one of my lunch guests today was a former State Delegate grousing that he has yet had a dish named after him (in addition to bitchin' that we were seated under a photo of his political nemesis).

    Shoot me an e-mail, signman, next time you're north of the City Dock and we'll pow-chow at Chick & Ruth's!
    #19
    i95
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 14:50:28 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Chumley

    And with a nod to Ort. Carlton, two progressive radio stations that I do NOT take for granted - WFUV in NY and WXPN in Philly!


    WXPN-FM is a great college station, Chumley!
    #20
    i95
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 15:12:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    Sally Bell's is still there? GREAT! I thought it was gone. Please, take pictures and post a review. It will be a while before we get there.


    I will, at some point, do just that. Although I'm there so darn often () that it will be as comfortable as photographing my own family around the dinner table. There is a six-year-old mention / review by former Washington Post restaurant critic Phyllis Richman quoted (pretty close to what I said above) as:

    What I really loved was a box lunch from Sally Bell's Kitchen (deviled egg, great potato salad, chicekn salad on homemade Sally Lunn bread, a pecan cheese wafer and lemon chess pie--every bit of it homemade).


    It can be seen at: http://discuss.washingtonpost.com/zforum/98/richman980903.htm .

    Michael and Jane, you should, indeed, make your return trip -- especially before the south rises again and then you won't have a choice.
    #21
    EliseT
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 17:03:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by EdSails

    quote:
    Originally posted by EliseT

    I have to say, when I lived by the beach, I hardly ever went to the beach. There are a few places that have great reputaions that just never seemed like that big of a deal to me...Tommy's chiliburgers, Cassell's and In n' Out to name a few.

    I was most surprised by the nostalgia for Bob's Big Boy here on Roadfood. I drive by one of the 2 remaining Bob's all the time, and while I admire its cool old googie sign it never occured to me to eat there. Growing up, Bob's was like Denny's. But I will go in there one of these days and have a double burger for all you guys.


    Have a chili size for me!


    Come on now, you're not that far away...you can join me!
    #22
    Chumley
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 18:00:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Howard Baratz

    quote:
    Originally posted by Chumley
    And with a nod to Ort. Carlton, two progressive radio stations that I do NOT take for granted - WFUV in NY and WXPN in Philly!


    Chumley,

    Is Vin Scelsa still on WFUV? I remember him fondly from his stint on WNEW-FM.


    Oh, please don't get me started! I grew up listening to WNEW-FM. Vin's show, "Idiot's Delight" is on WFUV every Saturday night and he is every bit as crazy as he used to be. I think the show is also archived on their website www.wfuv.org. You might want to pop over their as you could be enjoying it right now on your PC.

    Food content - egregious ommission: Telly's Taverna in Astoria!
    #23
    Chumley
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 18:07:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by i95

    quote:
    Originally posted by Chumley

    And with a nod to Ort. Carlton, two progressive radio stations that I do NOT take for granted - WFUV in NY and WXPN in Philly!


    WXPN-FM is a great college station, Chumley!


    Whohoo! XPN is my current fave and the soundtrack of choice for a double-meat-prov-wit-xtra (fried onions) at Steve's Prince of Steaks in NE Philly. I can't tell you how many times I've had to clean the onions off the seats in my car, not to mention the laundry problems I create by eating in the car!
    #24
    lleechef
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 18:35:22 (permalink)
    Everyone who wants to know why we need to go back to the moon, read this:
    www.adn.com/doogan/ Sheesh! They're gonna send all us Alaskans there! Time to go to Palm Springs!
    #25
    Bushie
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 18:47:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by lleechef

    Everyone who wants to know why we need to go back to the moon, read this:
    www.adn.com/doogan/ Sheesh! They're gonna send all us Alaskans there! Time to go to Palm Springs!

    Hilarious article!
    #26
    lleechef
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/15 18:51:21 (permalink)
    But it might be better than living in Eek and paying alimony.........naw, I'll take California.
    #27
    Howard Baratz
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/16 10:50:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Chumley

    quote:
    Originally posted by Howard Baratz

    quote:
    Originally posted by Chumley
    And with a nod to Ort. Carlton, two progressive radio stations that I do NOT take for granted - WFUV in NY and WXPN in Philly!


    Chumley,

    Is Vin Scelsa still on WFUV? I remember him fondly from his stint on WNEW-FM.


    Oh, please don't get me started! I grew up listening to WNEW-FM. Vin's show, "Idiot's Delight" is on WFUV every Saturday night and he is every bit as crazy as he used to be. I think the show is also archived on their website www.wfuv.org. You might want to pop over their as you could be enjoying it right now on your PC.

    Food content - egregious ommission: Telly's Taverna in Astoria!


    Chum:

    Thanks so much for the heads up re: Idiot's Delight. I'll definitely check it out.

    WNEW-FM was an incredible radio station in the pre-Clear Channel era when disc jockeys were able to express themselves through personally selected playlists. Man, I miss those days. Dave Herman, Pete Fornatale, Scott Muni, Rosko, Allison "The Night Bird" Steele all hold a special place in my memory.

    By the way, in an obligatory food reference, I also love Telly's Taverna in Astoria.
    #28
    10X10
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/16 11:00:42 (permalink)
    Shanghai Food, 32nd between 6 and 7 NYC, Best dumplings ever.
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    Spudnut
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    • Total Posts : 655
    • Joined: 2003/06/30 14:10:00
    • Location: New York, NY
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    RE: RESTAURANTS TAKEN FOR GRANTED ?? 2004/01/16 11:04:56 (permalink)
    Whenever I hear that anyone is visiting my hometown of Niagara Falls (NY), I always suggest a small handful of genuine, independent Roadfood-type places -- assuming I'm talking to a Roadfood kind of person (yes, non-Roadfooders exist -- sigh.) With the increasing number of chains and poor local economy, I'm always concerned that the places I've enjoyed so much my whole life won't be there the next time I go back. So, I remain tremendously loyal to them:

    Mom's Restaurant: old-fashioned, inexpensive breakfasts

    Viola's: subs, especially great steak and cheese subs

    Old Greenwalls: any number of snack foods that, during the summer, can be eaten at a picnic bench alongside the dirtiest creek you've ever seen. They clean it, and it's brown again within a month.

    The Pressbox: a bar/restaurant next to the local newspaper that requires you to write your order on a piece of scrap paper, which you then need to bring into the kitchen yourself.

    DiCamillo's: tremendous donuts, Italian bread and other baked goods that pop up in specialty stores around the country at FAR higher prices.

    Dee-Dees: during the summer only. Really tasty, thick, old-fashioned ice cream. It's hard to get near the place when it's hot. Not my favorite, necessarily, but a very fun place to go.

    Apple Grannys: in nearby Lewiston. My favorite wings in the immediate, non-Buffalo area.

    Most people want to stick to the Canadian side of the Falls, for numerous reasons I entirely understand. But the one thing I can say for the American side is that the Roadfood is generally better, in part because the whole place is grungier. 2003 was the first year in my life I didn't make it back home, so now I'm REALLY eager for these places. As far as fancy dining...forget it. I didn't even really know that existed until I moved away!
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