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Chain Restaurants of Yore


markk
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I don't know if these were only local to NYC, but I remember "La Crepe" (anything you could think of, savoury or sweet, on a crepe) with its waitstaff with the fake French accents, and I remember Lum's (hot dogs steamed in beer), though I know this wasn't only NYC.

What "concept" chain restaurants do you remember from days gone by. Do you remember them fondly?

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Dog n Suds drive in

Fabulous root beer, onion rings and a burger called the Texas burger that if I tried to eat now I'd probably have a heart attack!

Geez, that was the first one that popped into my mind when I read the first post! Yes,

Dog n Suds! Also similar but not as fun, A&W Root Beer stand. I was thinking too that

the Magic Pan for crepes was quite fun in it's day.

"You can't miss with a ham 'n' egger......"

Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004

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Horn and Hardart?

Now you're talking! But that deserves its own thread for sure.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Dog n Suds

Lum's

Shakey's Pizza

I mention these because, I'm pretty sure, that they were the first fastfood that ever showed up in the North LA burg where I grew up.

I really liked Dog n Suds when I was a kid. Lum's? Not so much. Shakey's was cool not for the pizza or the oddly colored beer that my dad and his buddies drank there, but because it had a player piano availabe to throw quarters into. It was like magic or something, that piano.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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In the city:

Zum Zum - great grilled German sausages and sides, seemingly authentic. . .

Chock Full O' Nuts - decent coffee quick, and I remember the cream cheese sandwich on raisin bread as being a really cheap and fast and relatively healthy lunch. . .

Orange Julius - I can taste it now, a perfect Orange Julius with a hot dog. . .

Outside the city:

Howard Johnson's - BLT's, hot dogs on New England buns grilled with butter, clam rolls, and of course 28 flavors of ice cream!

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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Though not a theme chain, Wetsons, which was sufficiently savvy to give me my first fast food job - pushing 15 cent burgers.

Wetson's is one of the ones I meant to cite, as well as Horn &Hardart. Did we grow up in the same neighborhood by any chance?

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Both Wetson's and Carroll's for me - I worked at Carroll's for about 2 weeks.

I think you could get a burger, fries and a drink and get change back from $1.00!!

Went to high school on Long Island.

Edited by weinoo (log)

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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I miss Bob's Big Boy.

I know it's probably bad form to reply to yourself, but I think I should elaborate on this.

I miss the actual Bob's Big Boy statue. I loved seeing it and, up until the point where I was actually made to eat the food, I always asked my parents to take me there. The food, at least by the time I got to eat there when the place was on its last legs, was horrendous. I'm sure the food was good at some point, but by the time I got there, after much begging, it was really bad and went right along with their really bad service.

But I really miss seeing the Big Boy alongside major thoroughfares and the now seemingly sad excitement that the sightings elicited.

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I don't know if these were only local to NYC, but I remember "La Crepe" (anything you could think of, savoury or sweet, on a crepe) with its waitstaff with the fake French accents, and I remember Lum's (hot dogs steamed in beer), though I know this wasn't only NYC.

What "concept" chain restaurants do you remember from days gone by.  Do you remember them fondly?

I don't know if this is what you are thinking of, but I remember Toddle House very fondly.

Christine

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I believe the original Bob's BB still exists in Los Angeles but the number of restaurants definately not what it used to be. For those that want a piece of Bob, they can get BBB wobblers made by Funko. They made standard wobblers and the restaurant made 1,000 limited edition anniversary ones too. Pretty cool looking.

Yes, it sure was cool to visit and A&W complete with rollerscating staff. The only one I knew of was located in Santa Cruz, CA. Don't think it's there any more.

There are Shakey's Pizza here locally in San Diego. The one chain pizza place I don't see anymore is Straw Hat Pizza. SHP was much better than Shakey's IMHO.

The only restaurant that I remember as being all over the San Jose, CA area is Burger Pit. Complete menu with large selection of steaks, burgers, chicken, etc. Went there all the time as a child with my grandparents. None exist that I'm aware of.

Here in San Diego, the ONLY chain place I truely miss is Doodleburgers. I lived across the street from one once...good times.

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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I still have a rubber Big Boy doll.

No, it's not for sale.

(Interesting thread.  I guess we like chains that existed when we were children, and fulminate self-righteously against ones that exist today.)

Well, I'm hoping that the Horn & Hardart food that I ate in 1957 was more wholesome, or should I say, less adulterated and processed, than today's nuggets. But who knows really?

And maybe nothing about the food has changed. Maybe we, who fulminate, have changed.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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Howard Johnson's! How could I have forgotten Howard Johnson's?

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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The politically incorrect..........Sambo's

In San Diego, there is an old Sambo's that morphed into Perry's Cafe which is without a doubt one of the better places for a diner type of breakfast. Not fancy, but pretty decent food (B/L only) for not a lot of money. The interior is very retro - okay, so it hasn't been remodeled in 40 years - and feels very much like the old Sambo's. Somehow everytime I eat there I keep expecting the Jetson's to walk in the door...............

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In the city:

Zum Zum - great grilled German sausages and sides, seemingly authentic. . .

Chock Full O' Nuts - decent coffee quick, and I remember the cream cheese sandwich on raisin bread as being a really cheap and fast and relatively healthy lunch. . .

If I remember correctly, it was date nut bread, not raisin bread. Yum.

Schrafft's

Ilene

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:biggrin: It could very well have been. If it was, it was a good recipe for usually I can't stand the stuff. :raz: I vaguely remember how they wrapped the little sandwiches in paper to serve them, though. . .

And yes, Schrafft's! Scrafft's Fifth Avenue, wasn't it across from the library? I think it closed right around the time Lord and Tailor closed and another of those department stores. I can still see the tables piled with silk blouses out lining the streets in the sunshine, selling for some ridiculously cheap price, Shrafft's elegantly ensconsed right in the center of it all, an old dowager with some pride of place left . . .

Well. I've thought of two more. Nathan's, which I remember as having two places, now is a major player apparently.

And here's a scary one. Tad's Steaks. Gluggg. The one on 14th Street was really dreadfully strange. :biggrin: You could imagine that Mickey Rourke in one of his more frightening roles *lived* there.

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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