Hot!Visiting Main Street Ohio

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Michael Hoffman
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/21 16:46:50 (permalink)
annpeeples

Boy, that roast beef sandwich has my mouth watering. Just love food like that!!


For some reason, around here they call a hot roast beef sandwich a Split. Same for meatloaf and turkey. But they're served exactly the same way as the roast beef sandwich in buffetbuster's photo.
ann peeples
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/21 20:37:29 (permalink)
Well, give me a split anytime-including a turkey and meatloaf!
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/21 22:54:27 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

I thought that was going to be sour cream raisin too!  So I'm guessing a sweetened condensed milk custardy version instead?  That place looks like Pie Valhalla.

So one serious question.  When you are faced with an abundance like that, how do you decide?  Do you have preexisting 'I will get this' rules or do you go more with what's in front of you?
Thanks for asking.  When faced with a lot of choices, it is some combination of if they have something unusual or unique, what I'm in the mood for and what looks good.  The cherry pie here was chosen simply because it looked so outstanding.
 
AHI-
Glad to know that I can still surprise you occasionally! 

buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/21 23:21:03 (permalink)
hatteras04
I have been to Ben & Joy's a few times.  My wife and I camp at Deer Creek state park right near there a lot and we've had dinner there a time or two and breakfast once.  The breakfast was better as both times for dinner we got the buffet which was ok but not outstanding.  Unfortunately, I've never gotten pie so I can't tell you if it is worth driving very far out of the way for.  But we are probably going to go camping there starting next month so I'll check it out and let you know. 

Thanks for the reply!  It sounds like it would be better to go to Ben & Joy's in the morning, so as to avoid the buffet.  If you do get there before me and try the pie, please report back.  I much appreciate the info.  And if you get to Peggy Sue's, let me know what you think.
MiamiDon
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/22 08:05:07 (permalink)
Great-looking pies, BB!
 
You didn't by any chance inquire as to what BK Chicken was at Tommy's?
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/22 08:34:23 (permalink)
Thanks MD!  I did see that but didn't ask.  BK Chicken sounds like something the minds of Burger King would come up with.
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/22 10:43:53 (permalink)
Like most of our trips west, our first stop after I picked up Mariton was at Mehlman's Cafeteria

in St. Clairsville, OH.  This is because:
1) it is right next to the highway
2) you can easily be in and out in a half hour
3) we love the variety of food that you get at cafeterias
4) the food is really good!
 
I have been here at least a dozen times and the huge parking lot has always been almost full.  Yet we never seem to have a long wait.  That is because they have two lines. 

And when we walk up, everyone is always in the line to the left.  Doesn't matter if it is two people or 20 people, the line to the right (which in this photo would now be the line to the left) is always much shorter.  On previous visits, I would stop and make sure I'm not cutting in front of people.  Now, I just walk right through.  It does make me wonder why everyone is in the other line.  Does it have a bigger selection?
 
Anyway, even before you get to the line, they have a menu board with the prices. 

You have to love those prices!  Like any smart cafeteria, they have the dessert first,

which is fine with me.  We grabbed a couple trays full of food and sat down.  Here is a photo before we started eating. 

You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out which tray is mine and which one is hers.
 
One of the odd things about this place is the lighting.  There seems to be plenty of light, but I have never been able to get decent photos here without using the flash.  Mariton got the tuna noodle casserole, which is what I would have got if I was in front of her, instead of the other way around.  Tuna noodle casserole is one of my very favorite dishes and the version here, filled with peas, carrots and thick noodles is perfect!

The side of pierogies were nice and tender.   The broccoli casserole was also well received by her and disappeared quickly.  We both got sides of deviled eggs and how can you screw that up?
 
My sides were less successful.  The green beans lacked flavor and needed to be infused with more pork.  The mac and cheese was not good and it tasted like they used some low quality cheese. 

Luckily, the ham loaf, my go to dish here was as good as always.  I got a question for you?  They always ask if I want my ham loaf covered in chicken gravy or beef gravy.  I usually get the chicken gravy, but which one do you think would work better?
 
The pies were coconut cream and apple.


In a change from the norm, Mariton preferred the apple pie, especially the apple filling, while I was a fan of the coconut, especially the airy meringue.
 
One of the interesting things about Mehlman's is that we are usually by far the youngest people dining here.  Apparently, the younger generation doesn't like cafeterias or cafeteria food.  I guess they got enough of that in school.
 
Mehlman Cafeteria
51800 National Road
St. Clarisville, OH
740-695-1000 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/03/22 10:51:47
GeoNit
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/22 12:13:06 (permalink)
Cliff, I usually get in the left serving line at Mehlman's because the Prime Rib ($7.95) isn't available from the right serving tables!
ann peeples
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/22 12:17:52 (permalink)
I would prefer a chicken gravy on the ham loaf. Gosh, I havent had that in years!! I am glad to hear it is a consistent choice, BB.
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/22 12:26:45 (permalink)
GeoNit-
As usual, you come up with a great answer!  Thanks so much.  Since the prime rib doesn't interest me, we will stay in that right line.
 
ann-
Glad you agree with me about the chicken gravy.  And how many restaurants even serve ham loaf anymore?
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/22 13:51:28 (permalink)
We got all the way to Cincinnati before we stopped for food again.  Because it was after 9:00PM and a lot of places were closed, our choices were limited.  We settled on the Roadfood reviewed Zip's Cafe.  Truthfully, the place didn't really appeal to me too much, until I saw on their website that they get the meat for their cheeseburgers at Avril-Bleh, which is a 120 year old downtown meat market that the Sterns recently reviewed.
 
Zip's Cafe

doesn't have their own lot and even though there is plenty of street parking, we had to park a good distance up the road and walk.  The inside is dark and small and luckily for us, one booth was open.  There is a train which silently moves along the tracks of the front dining room. 

As young as we felt at Mehlman's, the exact opposite was true here.  We were by far the oldest customers and it looks to be a college hangout.  Despite us being the old fogeys here, we received excellent service.
 
Mariton went to the ladies room and told me to just go ahead and order. The menu

is what you would typically see in a bar, with no real surprises.  Without her to reign me in, I got four different things.  First thing brought out was the chili. 

I only ordered this because of the Roadfood review.  The cheese, onions and jalapenos on top were a nice addition, but the chili itself was mild and nondescript.  The rest of the food was brought out and Mariton started on the onion rings. 

She ate a few and then started to feel queasy.  She thought the onion rings were greasy and thought it was the oil they were fried in was old.  I agreed they were greasy and heavily coated but felt no ill effects.  Since this was Cincy, I went for the grilled mettwurst. 

The waitress did ask me what I wanted on top and settled for onions and mustard.  The wiener came out sitting in a hamburger bun.  Although it was nicely grilled, a hot dog bun would have been a better choice.  I also assumed the onions would be chopped.  When I pointed out it had no mustard, she said that there was yellow mustard on the table.  I had hoped for a brown mustard, but since I didn't specify, we will chalk that up to being my fault.  So, I ended up eating the mett by itself.  It was nicely grilled and flavorful.
 
The food highlight was definitely the zip burger. 

There is no doubt that this is high quality beef they are using and it tastes like it.  Of the four items we sampled, this was by far the best and the only thing we finished.  They did have some desserts available, but we were tired at this point and headed for our hotel in Blue Ash for the night.
 
Zip's Cafe
1036 Delta Avenue
Cincinnati, OH
513-871-9876
Greymo
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/22 15:10:02 (permalink)
It was interesting to read that you were offered a choice of chicken  or  beef  gravy on your ham loaf.  I  would have never thought to use either  but  chicken would certainly be the better choice.  I make ham loaf  quite often and always served it with a heavily peppered milk  gravy   and  sometimes  put  freshly grated  Parmesan on top.
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/22 15:13:41 (permalink)
Greymo-
While the chicken gravy does work on the ham loaf, your milk gravy sounds 100% more delicious.
ann peeples
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/22 20:38:58 (permalink)
I agree with BB-your gravy sounds great, Greymo.
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/23 13:56:21 (permalink)
Since we got in so late the night before, we slept later than we had hoped.  We didn't arrive at our breakfast destination until 10:15AM.  Located in a neighborhood I don't think I would go to at night, Tucker's

has been in business since 1946.  The place was mostly full, but there were two seats open at the far end of the counter, so we grabbed them.  The inside is charming, in an old school kind of way, with both booth and counter seats available.  Look in this photo

and you can see how uneven parts of the counter are.  The menu is two sided,

with breakfast on one side and lunch on the other.
 
Soon after we ordered, an elderly woman came up to us and asked if we wanted the booth she had been sitting in.  I didn't notice when I first walked in, but now recognized her as Mrs. Tucker, now in her 90s.  Michael Stern has a photo of her in the Roadfood review, sitting at the booth peeling potatoes.  We declined her offer and I told her I saw a photo of her on the internet peeling potatoes.  She laughed and said she has been doing that for 65 years now and that you would think there would be enough of them by now!  During the entire time we were here, she was busy, in and out of the backroom.  I snapped a photo of her clearing some dishes. 

She is a very nice lady and it is great to see that she is still involved in the family business.
 
Unfortunately, things went downhill from there.  Because there was only one waiter and one man at the grill, the food was taking a long time.  I'm sure the fact that they were really busy played a major part.  Still, the waiter could see that by the time an hour had passed, we were getting frustrated.  He came over and assured us a couple times that it would be out soon.  
 
Finally, after an hour and ten minutes, we got our food.  Mariton went with one of the specials, the red flannel hash. 

This was a combination of potatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, turnips and of course, beets and she seemed to really like it.  The side of fresh fruit was also much appreciated and we both worked that over.  I went with the six cheese omelet and a side of goetta. 

The goetta, which they get from nearby Eckerlin Meats, was perfectly crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside and was the best goetta I have had yet.  While I was eating the goetta, Joe Tucker came over and put another extra portion , hot off the grill, on my plate, which also disappeared quickly.
 
Now, about that long wait.....  Mariton thinks that some regualrs who came in after us, got their food first, which is why we had such a long wait.  Although I did see some people get their food first, they ordered stuff that doesn''t come off the grill, so they should get their English muffins and other such things quickly.  I would have been more upset if the waiter wasn't hustling, but he must have refilled Mariton's coffee cup at least a half dozen times, if not more.  I will never, ever, be happy with an over a hour wait for food, but in this case, I think it was more of a matter of bad timing and a one man grill than anything.  I would definitely go back to Tucker's, but go much earlier in the morning.  By the time we left, it was already noon and we had to skip a few other things we had hoped to do.
 
Tucker's
1637 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH
513-721-7123
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/03/23 13:57:58
Ahi Mpls.
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/24 09:00:23 (permalink)
 Yikes! that is WAY too long to have to wait for breakfast. 
  I was morning gal at my last cooking gig, and the grill (flat top) was SO teeny that I would be constantly visiting tables with an apology and free cinnamon rolls.   
 It's just a bad situation for everyone. 
 But, YAY! for great goetta!  
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/24 09:44:10 (permalink)
One of the things that brought us to Cincinnati for the weekend was a chance to visit another President's house, this time William Howard Taft.  Although he didn't live here much as an adult, this is where he was born and spent his childhood.  The big yellow house

really sticks out in the neighborhood.  Here is a photo of the house in 1868

and the young guy sitting on the post in the left of the photo is the future President. 
 
Because the house was sold out of the Taft family and even became an apartment building at one time, there is very few original family pieces in the house.  They only have three rooms decorated with period furniture, while the rest of the rooms are used as a museum.  In the living room,

the curtains not only match the chair, but go well onto the floor, which I found unusual.  Taft was also famous for being a very large man (here

are four men sitting in the special bathtub which had to be installed in the White House for him) and also being the first President to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game.

 
My favorite part of the museum was seeing all the political cartoons as this time in American history is when this style of cartoons really seemed to be at their zenith.  The first one shows Teddy Roosevelt touting Taft

as his choice to be the next President and then the split between T.R. and Taft

four years later over the Republican Presidential nomination.  Having been born in the Philippines, Mariton really liked the section on his time as Governor-General of the Philippines.
 
After spending almost two hours here, we were ready for lunch.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/03/24 09:45:51
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/24 13:26:41 (permalink)
A big thanks to Roadfood poster TJ Jackson, who always has plenty of good suggestions before I visit the Queen City.  This time was no different and he reminded me that we should go to Terry's Turf Club for a burger.  We did go and we couldn't be happier!
 
Things did get off to an inauspicious start, though.  We pulled up at a small building that said Terry's Turf Club parking

and when I walked up to the front door, it was locked and the inside was empty.  Is it really possible that this place had closed?  Are we really being
?
There was a yard sale at the house next door and I asked Mariton if she could ask them what happened to the restaurant, while I walked around looking for any signs.  Mariton consulted with them and then told me that Terry's is just a short distance down the street and this lot was used for spillover parking.  Whew!  As we got closer, there was at least a dozen people milling around outside, so I went in to put our name on the list.  The hostess said since we only had two, she could seat us right away at a hightop table for four, which we would have to share with another couple.  No problem!
 
Seeing how big the famous burgers are on other people's plates, Mariton said there was no way she could eat one herself.  So we decided to split one and get a couple of sides.  The menu is two sided laminated and if you have really good eyes, you might be able to read them.


The menu had some real surprises on it.  When was the last time you saw a bar that specializes in burgers also serve pate and foie gras?  Definitely a first for me!
 
While you are waiting for your food, you can help yourself to the bowl of peanuts

and yes, you can throw the shells on the floor.  The first food out was one of the specials, filet mignon chili.

Sorry about the poor photo, but the lighting in here was funky.  The chili was beanless, had long shreds of beef and had a nice zing to it.  I would get this again.  We were close enough to the open kitchen, they we could oooh and aaahh over the beautiful burgers

on the grill.  By this time, we were really salivating in anticipation.  When our wonderful waitress Margot brought the burger over, I asked her to pose for a quick pic and she was happy to oblige. 

A big thanks to her for bringing us a serious knife, since we were splitting it.  Mariton insisted on doing the cutting and chopped off no more than 1/4th of the burger for herself.  Oh my goodness, what a great burger this is!


No doubt that they use high quality meat and it delivers that strong beefy flavor.  Grilled to our medium preference, it was very moist and juicy.  For toppings, the grilled onions added lots of extra flavor along with lettuce and tomato.  All on a nice squishy bun.  The superb fries,

were a lovely golden hue and tasted hand cut.  I will be hard pressed to find a better burger all year.
 
The inside of Terry's is dark, but mostly lit up by a huge collection of neon signs. 



For a neon lover like myself, it is a sight to see.  The outside


is decorated with all kinds of signs, clocks, memorabilia and other strange stuff.  This place has an even busier exterior than Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville, although not quite at the level of Hillbilly Hot Dogs in WV.
 
As we started to walk out the door, Margot told us to hold up and she went to the bar and grabbed us a souvenir pen.  And not just any pen, this one also has the menu on it when you puill down!

Terry's Turf Club gets an unequivocal thumbs up and we will most likely eat here on all future trips to Cincy.
 
Terry's Turf Club
4618 Eastern Avenue
Cincinnati, OH
513-533-4222
 
Since we were in the area, we stopped at the old Lunken Airport

to see the art deco murals


in the main building.  This was Cincinnati's main airport until 1937 and now used mostly for private planes.  You can also take flying lessons or get a helicopter ride here.  Anyway, the murals are quite nice and we enjoyed poking around the old place for a half hour or so. 
 
More to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/03/24 13:31:49
NC Cheesehead
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/24 15:11:17 (permalink)
I thought Charlotte NC. was the Queen city named after Queen Charlotte Mecklenberg.  Did not realize there was a Queen Cincinnati. 
The Travelin Man
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/24 15:21:13 (permalink)
I know that you were joking, but I went to Terry's Turf Club with CajunKing only to find the place closed.
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/24 15:25:00 (permalink)
The Travelin Man

I know that you were joking, but I went to Terry's Turf Club with CajunKing only to find the place closed.

Of course you did!
 
NC Cheesehead-
Apparently, there are quite a few cities that claim to be The Queen City.
  
 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/03/24 15:26:25
TJ Jackson
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/24 15:26:46 (permalink)
Both cities (Cincinnati and Charlotte) are called the Queen City by locals
 
Even more surprising than the foie gras is the jamon iberico bellota, which i think is something on the order of a hundred bucks a pound or more.  I dont think they stock it consistently
 
I believe the place has no electrical lighting other than Neon.  The owner is a big fan of neon, and in fact his previous eatery was called - Neon's
 
Glad you liked it
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/24 15:30:49 (permalink)
NC Cheesehead

I thought Charlotte NC. was the Queen city named after Queen Charlotte Mecklenberg.  Did not realize there was a Queen Cincinnati. 

For your information and edification about Cincinnati, the Queen City:
 
In 1854, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote his poem, Catawba Wine, to memorialize the city's vineyards, especially those of Nicholas Longworth. The last stanza of the poem reads:
 
"And this Song of the Vine,
This greeting of mine,
The winds and the birds shall deliver,
To the Queen of the West,
In her garlands dressed,
On the banks of the Beautiful River."


MiamiDon
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/25 08:46:48 (permalink)
NC Cheesehead

I thought Charlotte NC. was the Queen city named after Queen Charlotte Mecklenberg.  Did not realize there was a Queen Cincinnati. 


Oddly enough, there is a Mecklenburg Gardens in Cincinnati.
 
http://www.mecklenburgs.net/
 
 
Nancypalooza
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/25 11:32:25 (permalink)
Yeah, the jamon iberico did seem . . . huh? . . TJ if you know more about the owner or originator, I'd love to hear more about that place.  And now I want one of those burgers real bad! 
 
I love those murals Cliff--did you know anything about the artist before you went or you just knew they had art deco stuff?
buffetbuster
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/25 13:43:21 (permalink)
Nancy-
I knew nothing about the murals ahead of time, just that the old airport was art deco.  Thanks to you guys pointing it out, I looked up jamon iberico.  Seriously, how odd is it that they have it there?
 
MiamiDon-
And we drove right past Mecklenberg Gardens on this trip.  I ate there about a decade ago and wasn't particularly impressed.
 
Michael-
Thanks for posting the stanza from Wordsworth.  It is amazing what you can learn in these forums!
soozycue520
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/25 18:42:47 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

Yeah, the jamon iberico did seem . . . huh? . . TJ if you know more about the owner or originator, I'd love to hear more about that place.  And now I want one of those burgers real bad! 

I love those murals Cliff--did you know anything about the artist before you went or you just knew they had art deco stuff?


Nancypalooza~
Terry Carter used to own a bar called "Neon's" for many years in Over-the-Rhine, the area directly north of downtown Cincy. That is where his collection of neon signs grew. He decided to "retire" to travel and fish. After a while, he got bored and decided to go back into the bar business.
Terry's nephew had just graduated culinary school, and he hired him to create a menu. His nephew is the creator of the sauces.
I have been to TTC numerous times, and Terry is usually there, introducing himself, asking what you ordered, and handing out samples of new sauce ideas. One time, it was a tangerine habanero mustard. Very good.
My standard order is a burger with sauteed onion, blue cheese and the burgundy wine, mushroom & truffle sauce. Yummo!!!
As for how the jamon iberico got on the menu ~ Terry brought some back from a trip to (I believe) Spain, and served it at a private cocktail party. Everyone enjoyed it so much, he decided to offer it, for a short time, as an appetizer at TTC. A friend and I went so we could try it during the "limited engagement". It's served with assorted cheeses. It really is fabulous ham, albeit quite expensive. This was quite a long time ago, so obviously, it has done well enough to make it past a limited engagement!! When we were first there to try it, he had the black hoof on display, since this is the way you verify the authenticity of the jambon.
I have a review under hamburgers, I believe, with a picture of Terry.
Found it!! Terry's pic is down a bit, with my update on 10/21/08:
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Terry39s-Turf-Club-Cincy-PicsUPDATED-102108-m440425.aspx
post edited by soozycue520 - 2011/03/25 18:48:11
soozycue520
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/25 18:53:51 (permalink)
Oh, and Buffetbuster~when I saw you went to Zip's, I was gonna say you should have gone to TTC, since you were so close, because they have a much better burger. Glad you made it!!
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/25 20:24:37 (permalink)
Soozy - I have never been in Terry's when it is empty, as it is shown in some of the early pictures in your thread linked above.  The place is always packed, albeit I have not made it there during their new-ish lunch hours, so I dont know if thats a (relatively) slow time for them or not
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
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Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio 2011/03/25 21:47:33 (permalink)
Soozy thank you!  Now all of that makes perfect sense!
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