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The glory of fast food past


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When I frequented Taco Bell, in the early-mid 90's, I used to LOVE their fries. Fries. The one on Guam had fries, anyway. They had Naco Fries, Nacho Supreme Fries, and big Beef Nacho Bellgrande Fries. Batter dipped-sorta fries with a crisp crackly blistery exterior...omg. The plain nacho fries were 89 cents, and one could get two tacos or bean burritos for a buck. That, and some pilfered soda, from the fountain, and a couple of high school kids could eat like royalty.

Also, around those days, I just about lived (then got a job in) 7-11, and back then, we had huge pump of canned free nacho cheese. I used to wake up in the morning, hung over, thinking of nothing but 7-11 nachos, covered in free cheese and chili. They replaced it with this hulking steel cube that dispenses little drips of melted plastic masquerating as cheese and chili.

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....Batter dipped-sorta fries with a crisp crackly blistery exterior...omg. 

I seem to remember Rally's fries as being sort of batter-dipped. It's too bad all the Rally's around here have gone out of business. They were pretty good fries.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Krystal--yes the one w/ the mini-burgers out of Chattanooga (if you are a Yankee think White Castle)--used to make fried chicken and I do not mean a chicken sandwich but fried chicken. The chicken places were not in all stores but attached to the stores and had a separate entrance. Their "breading" was full of black pepper and spices and put the Colonel's to serious shame.

There used to be a fried chicken chain called Wishbones that I have not seen in for ever & really can not remember whether their chicken was any good or not but I remember their great signs shaped like a wish bone and slowly revolving above their parking lots.

And yes I remember Burger Chef. There was one about a 1/4 mile fr/ the only McD's in the area. I think we went to BC b/c it was cheaper than McD's. Both were on US 29 in Tucker, GA (just o/s of Atlanta). Speaking of McD's has any one seen an outlet where they still count the burgers served any more? The one in Tucker used to do so but I have not driven past there in a while so do not know if they still change their numbers. (Now most of the signs simply say "millions and millions served" or some such clap-trap) And while on that subject--are there any more w/ the big arches around any more?

in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--

the best cat ever.

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  • 1 month later...

Taco Bell Fajita Burritos. They had some very strange and pretty gross white sauce that somehow brought the whole thing together and made it decently edible.

Also, their 4 Alarm tacos. The sauce was actually spicy.

But hey, I was in college eating cereal out of the box and Lipton Noodles 'n Sauce so what did I know?

Andrea

in Albuquerque

"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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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.

Jell-O pudding pops are back under the Popsicle umbrella. I bought them about two months ago. They come in chocolate, vanilla and your beloved chocolate/vanilla swirl. They still taste almost as good as I remember them as a kid. And I still enjoyed the icy/crunchy exterior of the pop. My favorite is chocolate.

As for fast food favorites that I miss:

McDonald's fries cooked in beef fat

McDonald's fried apple pies

Wendy's Monterey Ranch chicken sandwich

Burger King's honey mustard chicken baguette

Someone posted a while back that the KFC Little Bucket parfaits were gone. But I still see them sold at all KFCs in my area. Chocolate and Strawberry. I also agree with the poster who said that KFC's cole slaw isn't as good as it used to be.

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I tried this on The Heartland and no one had heard of it, but I have to try again (actually jgm *did* find a co-worker who remembered them, relieving me of the notion I had dreamed-up the whole thing). . .

In the 60s (in Wichita, KS) we had a place called Virginia Hardy's Oven. They were carry out and featured nothing but pies, but really good ones - especially (IMHO, not having a sweet tooth) their beef and chicken pies.

In addition to the primo savory pies, I loved that they had O. Henry stories printed on their pie boxes. There was a new one at least once a month. This is what led me to believe they must be at least a regional, more likely national chain, since it's inconceivable that an independent would spend that kind of money on packaging.

Does this ring any bells with anyone else? I've google, I've tried everything I can think of and can't seem to find any relics of their existence. sigh.

Edited to correct typo

Edited by moosnsqrl (log)

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

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Taco Bell Fajita Burritos.  They had some very strange and pretty gross white sauce that somehow brought the whole thing together and made it decently edible.

You made me remember that 35 years ago, both Taco Bell AND Del Taco were actually good places to eat! (Okay, I was a kid, but I remember enjoying Taco Bell's tostado and Del Taco's burritos).

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I loved a fastfood joint called Zipps. I don't know if it was regional, but I made my mom go there every time she let me pick dinner. I'd get the chilli with a slice of cheese melted on top and an order of zesty curly fries to mix in. Sometimes I'd get the burger, but the most I remember about them was that they were kind of "gooey" - like they'd been melted all together. I was ten at the time, and "gooey" was still a good way to describe a burger, I guess!

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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I'm so glad someone mentioned Sisters Chicken in this thread. I miss that place so much. In their kids meals they always gave away these weird plastic monster finger puppets. I'm not sure what I enjoyed more about that place, the puppets or the chicken. And of what I remember, it was good chicken. Of course, this was also the period in my life where I wouldn't eat vegetables and I thought anything that wasn't fried or gravy-ed was "icky."

I dearly miss Rax as well. The last one in Columbus closed a few years ago, although I hear there is one elsewhere in Ohio. The Alligator kid's meal was always the highlight of my week, It came in an alligator box and had a fabulous roast beef sandwich, fries, and the only soda I was allowed to have for the week. Again though, this was during my non-vegetable phase and perhaps it is also nostalgia.

And those Little Bucket Parfaits at Kentucky Fried Chicken. I used to devour those.

Of course, I haven't eaten at a fast food drive thru in a while now. I think the last time was when I was in high school (over 6 years ago) and they had those teeny beanie babies.

*edited because I am the world's worst speller!

Edited by Shannon_Elise (log)

my new blog: http://uninvitedleftovers.blogspot.com

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Sealtest's Plum Nuts ice cream. One of those flap-end cartons that won't stay closed, and mookeys up the outside of your hand everytime you dip toward the bottom.

You could get it only one place---our smalltown drugstore, though the grocery stores carried quite a few flavors, just not that one. It was a rich vanilla ice cream, swirled through with a tangy clear purple plum sauce, and studded with crisp bits of salty, toasty almond. My favourite flavor of my childhood, and of all time.

Silly name for a delightful dessert. It's so gone, it's not even listed on Google.

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Sealtest's Plum Nuts ice cream.   One of those flap-end cartons that won't stay closed, and mookeys up the outside of your hand everytime you dip toward the bottom.

You could get it only one place---our smalltown drugstore, though the grocery stores carried quite a few flavors, just not that one.   It was a rich vanilla ice cream, swirled through with a tangy clear purple plum sauce, and studded with crisp bits of salty, toasty almond.   My favourite flavor of my childhood, and of all time.  

Silly name for a delightful dessert.   It's so gone, it's not even listed on Google.

I found this Sealtest Plum Nuts Ice cream poster in eBay Canada:

Sealtest poster But the link isn't working anymore. Sorry about that!

"Sealtest Ice Cream Flavors Metal Soda Fountain Signs"

"Kukla, Fran & Ollie Sealtest Ice Cream Spoons" (not for sale)

From this article from 1994 it sounds like Sealtest may still be around:

Two years ago, Unilever bought Klondike in the U.S. Last year, it acquired Kraft's Breyers and Sealtest ice cream businesses with annual sales approaching $500 million-making Unilever the largest marketer of ice cream in the U.S.

I also found this info:

Sealtest Ice Cream

Green Bay, WI 54301

Phone: (920) 499-5151

Business Types: Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts, Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt

I have no idea if this Wisconsin ice cream factory is still in business but it might be worth a phone call. Who knows? They may still make Plum Nuts ice cream.

Edited by Toliver (log)

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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"Kukla, Fran & Ollie Sealtest Ice Cream Spoons" (not for sale)

I have no idea if this Wisconsin ice cream factory is still in business but it might be worth a phone call. Who knows? They may still make Plum Nuts ice cream.

How very kind of you to do all that searching!!! I so fondly remember that as the most elegant ice cream I'd ever eaten, child as I am of the make-a-freezer-of-homemade-custard-every-Sunday generation. It was carefully rationed out, and did not go into the "everyday" bowls that our family could have a scoop in while watching TV; the Plum Nuts was for SPECIAL, and went into the clear stemmed tall "Sherbets" which lived in the glass-fronted cabinet in the dining room.

The dish sat on a clear saucer as well, sometimes with a little paper doily beneath, and always a thin, crisp brownedged butter cookie at its foot. One slight slip taught me to keep a thumb securely on the little bowlfoot as I served; I came near to a mishap at a special dinner party, and learned a valuable lesson all on my own. All that elaborate setup also shows the regard in which this particular dessert was held---not like cobbler and pie---oh, no.

I don't remember the spoons---seems that set must have been thought up by a designer who didn't have children---only one "character" spoon per set, and everybody else had to settle for the plain ones? Never work.

Thanks for caring about my hankering---I appreciate your finding the address.

rachel

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  Speaking of McD's has any one seen an outlet where they still count the burgers served any more?  And while on that subject--are there any more w/ the big arches around any more?

I don't know about the numbers, but we have a picture from a trip to Virginia last year---the McD's sign read: KAROAKE TUESDAY :blink:

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Awww, yeah - the Krystal fried chicken, the made-to-order waffles, and the cake donuts with vanilla icing were all fantastic. I vaguely recall seeing the fried chicken on the menu at the one in Dayton last year, but the donuts and waffles have been gone for a long time.

I was also partial to the Hardee's hot ham & cheese and the Taco Bell Bellburger. I think they must've dumped the Bellburger prior to 1980 - it was probably first or second grade when I remember not being able to get them anymore.

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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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.

Yes, but now KFC carries them (at least mine does). And yes they are fried, yes, they will burn the top of your mouth, and yes they are great!

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Speaking of McD's has any one seen an outlet where they still count the burgers served any more?  The one in Tucker used to do so but I have not driven past there in a while so do not know if they still change their numbers.  (Now most of the signs simply say "millions and millions served" or some such clap-trap)  And while on that subject--are there any more w/ the big arches around any more?

I thought that there was a McDonald's somewhere in Southern California that retains the chain's original architecture. I don't think it was the original McDonald's, which IIRC was somewhere around San Diego. I don't think there's been any moves to make it a National Historic Landmark if it still exists.

However, about three years ago, McDonald's built a brand-spanking-new restaurant on South Broad Street at Carpenter here in Philadelphia whose architecture mimics the original design, complete with golden arches. As the restaurant has two drive-through windows and ample indoor seating, it is far from an exact replica, however.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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There's an unusual McDonald's here in town that has 50's style interior design with neon and a checkerboard floor. I believe it's one of a handful of McDonald's that have been allowed to not toe the company line in regards to interior design.

Then there's the McDonald's in La Jolla (in San Diego) that has no interior dining area. I think it's even nicknamed "McSnack" since it consists of just the walk-up window and some outdoor tables. Not sure if it's still there (do McDonald's restaurants ever close down?).

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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(do McDonald's restaurants ever close down?).

Funny you should ask---just Saturday in our goings round town, we passed a deserted one, no markings, no arches, just the telltale-shaped roof and the windows. I craned back out my window to be sure, and there was the tall black-lettered sign, "McGONE."

And, does that 50's McDonalds in your town have a B/W picture of Elvis on the wall, standing in front of a crowd with the little RCA dog statue? If so, I'll tell more.

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There's an unusual McDonald's here in town that has 50's style interior design with neon and a checkerboard floor. I believe it's one of a handful of McDonald's that have been allowed to not toe the company line in regards to interior design.

Then there's the McDonald's in La Jolla (in San Diego) that has no interior dining area. I think it's even nicknamed "McSnack" since it consists of just the walk-up window and some outdoor tables. Not sure if it's still there (do McDonald's restaurants ever close down?).

If I'm not mistaken, that McDonald's in La Jolla is the one I was thinking about in the post above yours.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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There's an unusual McDonald's here in town that has 50's style interior design with neon and a checkerboard floor. I believe it's one of a handful of McDonald's that have been allowed to not toe the company line in regards to interior design.

Then there's the McDonald's in La Jolla (in San Diego) that has no interior dining area. I think it's even nicknamed "McSnack" since it consists of just the walk-up window and some outdoor tables. Not sure if it's still there (do McDonald's restaurants ever close down?).

If I'm not mistaken, that McDonald's in La Jolla is the one I was thinking about in the post above yours.

Sandy, I don't think it's the same one. If I remember correctly, when the "McSnack" was originally proposed, the La Jollans fought it tooth and nail. Huge golden arches would be the last thing allowed. If I recall correctly, the signage isn't very large at all.

It's odd but doing a Google search for the La Jolla McDonald's restaurant doesn't bring back many hits. I only found one reference to it on this website (it's the one on Prospect). so now I'm not sure if it's even there anymore. Hopefully, someone can drive past and check it out. I would have said to "drive through" but there isn't even a drive through at this place.

And, does that 50's McDonalds in your town have a B/W picture of Elvis on the wall, standing in front of a crowd with the little RCA dog statue?   If so, I'll tell more.

Rachel, I can't recall but I will swing by and check within the next couple of days.

edited for a wrong name!

Edited by Toliver (log)

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I really miss McDonald's pizza.  Given it was a guilty pleasure, but it was a pleasure nonetheless.  I think about it often, actually.  My wife is considering leaving me.

If I were your wife, I would probably also suggest that you lie down until the urge passes.

I can't help but think that McDonald's pizza was probably as authentic as McDonald's cheesesteak.

Which, BTW, they had the chutzpah to sell in their Philadelphia-area outlets.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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