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The glory of fast food past


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I can remember Red Barn, Carrol's and Henry's Hamburgers in Niagara Falls, NY when I was a kid. I remember when they opened the first McDonald's, too - hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries, shakes and soda, sold at the outside counter to go.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

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I can remember Red Barn,

Yeah, Red Barn. They used to be right next door to Ponderosa Steakhouses. While I don't remember eating there more than once, I love the buildings and how they're still around. One in Wyandotte, Michigan has been a hemp-inspired coffeehouse, a chicken shack, and an Indian restaurant. Another in Taylor, MI was turned into a video arcade that recently closed. I should go take photos of them.

When I returned to Detroit five years ago, I started thinking about a book on Detroit donut shops. Especially the funky ones from the 50s and 60s that were still standing. Within the year, more than half of ones I loved were torn down- mostly for gas stations.

Bode

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Doesn't quite fit in with the fast food theme that seems to be going on, but I WISH they still made Jell-O Pudding pops. God they were good.

My favorite was the chocolate vanilla swirl.

Today is going to be one of those days.....

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We had a Red barn across from Campus in East Lansing, too, and it was open really late. I rememer we went over there from Abbott Hall one Saturday night in 1971 and took the following poll: "Do you think there was any speed in what you took tonight?"

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

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i had no clue Burger King had ever operated a salad bar/buffet in their restaurants.  I still think the Wendy's food bar was the single greatest fast-food deal of the century.  Did any other fast food places operate a buffet type thing?  I wonder why it went out of vogue...

I have an inking why both went defunct--two things come to mind:

(don't eat and read)

Burger King-My mother, who was G-d bless her, known as the "diet nazi" in my family went there on a regular basis to have her "diet" salad--until she had a run-in with a man who was clipping his fingernails in the vicinity of said bar.

Wendy's--there was one with a "superbar" near this telephone boiler room I worked at in college. Well let's just say that the clientel there left much to be desired and it was not uncommon for people to, excuse the pun, go hog wild and/or steal food even if they were just getting a hamburger.

Basically I think the cleanliness factor coupled with the high volume and potential for theivery was not worth their while. Sure these are issues at other salad bars, but this is my best guess.

-----------------

AMUSE ME

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In Vancouver we have a chain called the White Spot...It has been around forever and gone thru a few changes..but it's still basically a burger joint ..with.. I think a pretty good burger with a triple O sauce ..which is a gooey, messy mayo based sauce..yummy..but they have deleted some of the old things...like the honey dew drink..which I loved ..but the best was something called

CHICKEN PICKENS...O MY it was the best deep fried bunch of chicken ever..mind you I would probably eat my shoe if it was deep fried...

The White Spot also had many drive-in restaurants..sadly, there's only a few left..one of which, interestingly enough..is across the street from Lumiere's

IN FOOD, CHEF LYNN FROM ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS FOODS CAFE AND CATERING

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  • 2 months later...
For me, it's a tie between the McRib sandwich (tasty for a non BBQ product) and the now-defunct Big-N-Tasty (also by McDonald's).

Fearless Housemate has an unholy obsession for fast food in general, and Mickey D's McRib sandwich in particular. The other day he couldn't resist letting drop that the local McD's was serving McRibs again, and that he was all agog over it.

Now, I had never had a McRib, and to tell you the truth, the idea of a pre-formed meat-tile shaped with little rib-like nubs sticking out of it did not do much to inspire me to change that. But when FH appeared in my office doorway about 2 hours ago announcing he was off to McD's to get a McRib, and asking if I wanted anything from there, I decided it was time to find out what-all he was going so nutz for, so I told him to get me a McRib too.

Verdict: ech. It's tasty enough, for what is essentially a griddle-cooked chopped pork patty. The sauce is too sweet for my tastes, and there's way too much of it. I don't regret eating the thing, but I probably won't ever get one on my own. And I still think the riblet shape is just plain silly.

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I'm not sure if this was mentioned before (I haven't the patience to read the entire thread - as you get older, time is precious :wink: )

Mello Rolls:

Ice cream packed in cardboard tubes that you'd pop onto/into a cone then unravel the tubing to reveal the treat!

Gosh those were great, especially the chocolate Mellos that tasted like malted milk! MMMMMMMM-Good!

Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

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I still long for a Big Chef from Burger Chef. It was a sad day when they sold out to Hardee's.

There are still some Rax restaurants around, primarily in Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia. The Rax BBC was my favorite - roast beef, bacon and cheese on a bun.

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Back in the 70s, there were a few Jack in the Box outlets in New England: one in Hyannis, MA and another in Danbury that I can remember. I have fond memories of eating three or four tacos at a sitting with my father, who was equally enamored of these deep-fried coronaries.

Whenever we're in Texas visiting my inlaws or on the west coast, a stop at Jack in the Box is a must-do for some of those tacos, doused with extra hot sauce. My husband is grossed out by obsession, but considering I don't do any other kind of fast food, he patiently indulges me.

(And I always bring a couple back for my dad.)

Diana Burrell, freelance writer/author

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock (Marion Street Press, Nov. 2006)

DianaCooks.com

My eGullet blog

The Renegade Writer Blog

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Myabe it's just my tastes that have changed, but Kentucky Fried Chicken's cole slaw isn't nearly as good as it used to be. When I was a kid, it was just awesome! And now it has no flavor at all - I can barely taste the cabbage itself.

I also miss those little parfaits that Kentucky Fried Chicken used to have. It was so hard to decide which flavor I wanted.

And does anyone remember Holly Farms? It was basically a Kentucky Fried Chicken clone, but they served potato wedges. (This was back in the '70s.) And they were sooooo good! The one's KFC have now are horrible compared to Holly Farms.

-Greg

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Most of the FF places I went/go to serve the same basic things I have always eaten, with a couple of exceptions:

Sonic, at least around here, no longer has grilled cheese sandwiches on Texas toast or fried burritos on their menu, which sucks!

Also, again, just around here, Jack In The Box used to have potato wedges with real cheddar and bacon and beef taquitos on their menu. Also, I miss the "special sauce" that they put on the Jumbo Jacks.

Whataburger...they haven't changed a damn thing which is fine by me...except for the $0.05 coffee refills, that was cool.

Edited by Grovite (log)

Gear nerd and hash slinger

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For me, it's a tie between the McRib sandwich (tasty for a non BBQ product) and the now-defunct Big-N-Tasty (also by McDonald's).

Fearless Housemate has an unholy obsession for fast food in general, and Mickey D's McRib sandwich in particular. The other day he couldn't resist letting drop that the local McD's was serving McRibs again, and that he was all agog over it.

Now, I had never had a McRib, and to tell you the truth, the idea of a pre-formed meat-tile shaped with little rib-like nubs sticking out of it did not do much to inspire me to change that. But when FH appeared in my office doorway about 2 hours ago announcing he was off to McD's to get a McRib, and asking if I wanted anything from there, I decided it was time to find out what-all he was going so nutz for, so I told him to get me a McRib too.

Verdict: ech. It's tasty enough, for what is essentially a griddle-cooked chopped pork patty. The sauce is too sweet for my tastes, and there's way too much of it. I don't regret eating the thing, but I probably won't ever get one on my own. And I still think the riblet shape is just plain silly.

mizducky~

I am so sorry you have a roommate that likes them. So do I-my husband, for whom they produce copious amounts of ...unnnhhh....intestinal gas :wacko: . He is not allowed to eat them within 12 HOURS of coming home !

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  • 7 months later...

I loved the cheese scause McDonalds offered for a while for french fry dipping. It was some kind of Wisconsin Cheddar...that soft gooey cheese in the little plasitc container...you'd peel off the top and it was already warm and melted. I would eat the left over cheese plain...with my fingers. My dad used to bring my older brother and I there. I was about 11 or 12, my brother Brian was 13 or 14.

Edited by LindsayAnn (log)

"One Hundred Years From Now It Will Not Matter What My Bank Account Was, What Kind of House I lived in, or What Kind of Car I Drove, But the World May Be A Better Place Because I Was Important in the Life of A Child."

LIFES PHILOSOPHY: Love, Live, Laugh

hmmm - as it appears if you are eating good food with the ones you love you will be living life to its fullest, surely laughing and smiling throughout!!!

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Fast Food items I miss:

MCD:

McDLT

Apple Pie

Mint Shakes for St. Patrick's Day (they may still do this but I don't really go to MCD anymore)

Taco Bell:

Cinnamon Crispas

Burger King:

the miniburger 3pack

FF chains I miss (not here in Tennessee):

Mighty Taco - a Western NY chain, but they opened a location in the big mall so that was good for cheap eats while in hs. Unfortunately, the two top food court options - that and saladworks closed.

Jreck Subs - they're all over Central NY. From what I remember it was much better than Subway.

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McD's fried pies- any flavor: Cherry, Apple, redbean (still available in China, never available here to the best of my knowledge)

McD's fries from 3 decades ago.

Jack-in-the-Box Mexican Chicken Salad - test marketed at one location near my home in San Diego. I used to drive there from work (past a dozen more convenient franchises) to get that salad.

Jack-i-t-B's rice bowls- why didnt they just wrap them in a big tortilla so they could be eaten while driving?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Taco Bell used to have Santa Fe gorditas, with corn that I really liked.

Now they only have baja and supreme.

The Santa Fe Gorditas and Chalupas I really liked. I think they were the only Taco Bell items that had cilantro in them. Those are the two fast foods I miss the most.

Does Burger King still have the Big King (or whatever they're calling it to avoid lawsuits from McDonald's)?

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

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Colonel Sanders Roast Beef sandwiches were pretty darn good - several steps above Arby's. Yes - there was a Colonel Sanders Roast Beef but it wasn't a menu item at his fried chicken joints - it was a separate operation that ran as a pilot for a few years but never caught on.

I remember a Kentucky Beef and Ham in Breezewood Pa. It had the same KFC colors. Never stopped in and it's no longer there.

The only reference I could find was on a Washington State Transportation pdf. If you find-on-page for 'Kentucky', a few Kentucky Fried Chicken hits come up and then Kentucky Beef & Ham. Link below.

Thanks,

Kevin

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/mapsdata/TDO/PDF_a...locatorEA02.pdf

DarkSide Member #005-03-07-06

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For Burger Chef fans:

http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/jsf605213/myhomepage/

Also, does anyone remember the Club sandwich at Arby's?  Shaved turkey and ham with an awesome mayo/shredded lettuce combo on a toasted bun.  The cool meat and fixins on the slightly warm toasted bun was perfect.

Ah, Burger Chef, right next to the school I attended in grade 7 and 8. The best milkshakes, tasted like malted milk.

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Three words: Burger King Yumbo

If I remember it correctly, it was a gooey, greasy ham and melted cheese on a squishy bun. Then again this was 30 years ago and I was young at the time- but I do recall that I ate them exclusively while they were available.

Hmmm...I guess I know what I'm having for dinner now, only I'll have to do it myself this time.

Ah, the Yumbo, the meaty older brother of the Whaler :smile:

Burger King now has the BK big fish, a poor imitation of the Whaler. Perhaps they'll introduce an updated version of the Yumbo. It wouldn't be as good though :sad:

"Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce ..."

Thanks,

Kevin

DarkSide Member #005-03-07-06

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Ditto on the old way McDonald's did their apple pies. Oh my lord. The ones they have now are beyond contempt.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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