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Archive for the ‘Retro Roadside Treats’ Category

Since 1948 the Tasty Dip in Heflin, AL has been offering tasty food and sweet treats to reward folks who get off of Interstate 20 to drive the back roads. The Tasty Dip wasn’t even on our plan or radar, but when we got off of 20 because of horrible traffic their cheery neon sign was our reward!

Tasty Dip Neon Sign AL

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From the comments on my photo of Bubbling Brook in Westwood MA I know I’m not the only one with fond memories of this seasonal restaurant and ice cream stand nestled in the suburban greenery southwest of Boston. Open since 1951 from mid-May to Mid-September a visit to The Brook is a sign summer has begun!

Bubbling Brook Restaurant(The 1897 on the chimney refers to the year that Westwood became a town,
separating from Dedham. Now you knows!)

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In the early days of RetroRoadmap’s Twitter account I was looking for cool and vintage places that might be using Twitter to promote their business. There were hardly any but when I saw  the vintage root beer sign of the LaPlace Frostop’s Twitter icon I followed them immediately and we’ve exchanged friendly messages ever since.

So, following the lure of their rotating neon root beer mug we headed south and were tickled to meet Frostop owners Jim and Terry Toler in person on our recent retro road trip.

Seriously, wouldn’t you want to check out this sign for yourself? Here’s the video I shot of it as soon as we got there- yes I was “wicked psyched”!

We made the right decision in “tweeting” ahead to see what time the Frostop closes, and barreled down the highway from Mississippi to get there before their 6pm closing time. When we rolled into their parking lot we were relieved to see that there were plenty of cars in the parking lot, and as soon as we went inside the restaurant we were given a friendly greeting from owner Jim and his daughter Terry, who is using her marketing degree and social media expertise to get the word out about the restaurant. As you can see from our experience, it totally worked! So glad to see modern advances can help drive business to a vintage destination.

Terry Toler of La Place Frostop Take 2

The friendliest of folks you’d ever want to meet, they chatted with us while gathering together a large order placed by a production company filming a TV episode of Memphis Beat across the street (click here to read the Frostop’s blog entry about THEIR appearance on Memphis Beat last summer and a recent photo shoot at the restaurant for the show as well!).

As we alternately chatted and tried to decide what to eat, we learned from Jim that the Frostop had been around since 1958. Originally owned by his father-in-law, Jim bought it in 1973, and he and Terry currently run the restaurant. Though at one time there were numerous Frostop locations dotting the south and midwest, there are only a handful of them left today. And the pronunciation of their town is “la plass”. Noted!

Vintage Frostop Root Beer Barrel

As you can see from the menus posted on the windows, the Frostop has a huge selection of items to order. Since we knew we were short on time we asked the Tolers what their best sellers were, and found out that they are famous for their root beer and their Lot-O-Burgers. Yes please! Since we were just half an hour north of Louisiana, I opted to get a shrimp po-boy, and RetroRoadhusband pretended to be healthy and also ordered a green salad with their Honey Gold dressing. Can you tell we were famished from our drive?!

While RetroRoadhusband sat at our table inside, I wandered around to take some photos in the glorious warm sunlight.

This cute little boy was getting a couple of bags of potato chips from the window service out front:

Window Service at The Frostop

And as I turned the corner I saw my arch enemy lurking in the shadows:

Vintage Scale at La Place FrostopDamn you, vintage scale! Don’t you know I’m on vacation and calories don’t count (and I’m not counting calories?!)

I was pleased to hear our number called out, so I returned inside and in moments our table was laden with more food than we realized we ordered! Our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomachs in this case, but I dug into, and dug, my sandwich immediately. RetroRoadhusband gave his his Lot-O-Cheeseburger with Lettuce, Tomato, Mustard,Mayo,Pickle,Onion the thumbs up and ate most of his salad with the dressing.

And this is a cool detail that I was surprised but pleased to see – since we were eating in the dining room we had real plates and silverware, not more trash producing disposables. Very retro and very green at the same time.

Lot-O- CheeseBurger and Shrimp Po Boy La Place Frostop

Two menu items that deserve special highlighting are the delicious and icy root beer, served in oversized frosted mugs, and the homemade onion rings.

Homemade Onion Rings and A Frosty Mug of Root Beer YUM!
I am telling you, I don’t know what it is, but these were the most tasty onion rings I have had in ages. Sweet onions, light and crispy coating, not too greasy, but greasy enough to be flavorful, I was stuffed when we left because I refused to leave any of those onion wonders on the plate. It’s probably good for my waistline that I didn’t buy a bag of their onion ring breading, but it’s good to know I can order it, if the memory of those onion rings comes back to haunt me. But alas it was time for us to get on the road again, so we left with some souvenirs and not an inch in our tummies for their ice cream treats.

La Place Root Beer Mug and Moon

Though it was well past their posted closing time of 6pm there was a steady stream of customers coming in the door, and each one was greeted with a friendly welcome, even though technically the door could have been locked. Business here in LaPlace had been affected by the storms and hurricanes over the past years, so it was good to see folks still swarming in to support this local landmark. This was definitely a highlight of our trip as well.

So if you’re even vaguely in the area – follow the rotating mug and visit the friendly folks at the LaPlace Frostop. I’m sure they’d be pleased to know that RetroRoadmap sent you! It was

LaPlace Frostop
411 East Airline Highway
LaPlace, LA 70068
985-652-6361

And talk about Social Media – way to go Terry!

LaPlace Frostop on Facebook

LaPlace Frostop blog

LaPlace Frostop on Twitter

LaPlace Frostop on Flickr

LaPlace Frostop on Urbanspoon

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The vintage neon clock on the deco glass brick wall of Tony’s Ice Cream in Gastonia NC clearly showed that it was breakfast time, so we stopped by this family owned and operated business for our first roadfood meal on our retro road trip through North Carolina.

Tony's City Ice Cream Neon Clock
Tony’s has been serving the Gaston County area since 1915, and since 1947 they’ve operated out of this yellow brick building right on the main drag in town. They also make their own ice cream here too, just 20 miles or so outside of Charlotte and a short hop off of 85.
Tony's Ice Cream and Sandwiches Exterior
We parked in the handy parking lot and entered through the side door to find a line of folks waiting for their breakfast fix. I was immediately taken with the tile walls, well kept chrome & red leatherette booths and Formica tables, many of them filled with families and local folks.

Tony's Ice Cream Red Booths
We were still getting our sea legs, this being one of our first food stops on our big retro road trip, so we decided to share a standard breakfast sandwich on toast. Looking at the menu now I wish we had thought to get country ham, or a biscuit or something more adventurous, but am relieved that we didn’t get the liver mush!

Breakfast Menu at Tony's Ice Cream

After placing our order (and trying to ignore the looming vintage scale behind us) we waited at the window for our number to be called, and tried not to get in the way of folks coming in the door. I wanted to grab some photos of the outside of the building so I met RetroRoadhusband out in the car where we unwrapped our delicious amalgam of egg, cheese and the everlovin bacon on white toast.

Breakfast Sandwich from Tony's Ice Cream
Mmmm look at that piece bacon sticking its tongue out!

This was to be one of many meals on the road, and I knew I had a burger in my future, so I graciously allowed RetroRoadhusband to polish off most of this sandwich. Next time we’re going through town I’m definitely getting an ice cream, no matter what time of the day it is!

Tony’s Ice Cream
604 East Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 867-7085

Tony's Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

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RetroRoadhusband and I started our Retro Road Trip off in perfect fashion – with lunch at Boehringer’s Drive In Restaurant in Adamstown PA, just minutes off the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It was the opening day for their 75th season in business!

We here at RetroRoadmap initially visited Boehringer’s a few years ago, and love this family owned seasonal stop right up the road from some great antique shops in Adamstown.

I had been waffling (mmmm….waffles) between ice cream or cheeseburger, but when we got out of the car and it was so danged cold I knew I was going to order something warm.

Step Up To Order - Step Back To Wait

RetroRoadhusband got some practice in not eating the food before I photographed it!He got a cheeseburger sub, on a long roll with lettuce and tomato.

Zerbe's Potato Chips and Cheeseburger Sub
You can read about Zerbe’s Potato Chips here

I loved the little tray my cheeseburger came on, and the fact that my burger was loaded with relish, cheese, ketchup, mustard and onions. Perfecto.

Cheeseburger

As we sat eating I told RRH to write a jingle for Boeh-RINGERS based on the classic Shirley Bassey version of Goldfinger, and now I can’t get it out of my head:

“…it was Cliff and BETH! they went to — BoehRINGERsssss” ;-)

Boehringer’s Drive-In
3160 N Reading Rd
Adamstown, PA 19501
(717) 484-4227‎

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When I spied the old fashioned sign for Bayard’s Chocolate House swinging in the brisk breeze I could not help but be swayed off of busy Route 130 and into their packed parking lot in Cinnaminson NJ.
Bayard's Chocolate House

Bayard’s has been providing the Cinnaminson and Cherry Hill area with Valentines day chocolates and candies since 1939, and being the weekend before Valentine’s day, the place was abustle with activity when I entered the Colonial inspired candy house.

Candy House

Though the place was busy I enjoyed taking in the old fashioned candy house decor. Somehow I always thought that New England had a stronghold on the whole Colonial theme, but here it was, on the wonderful vintage wallpaper and curtains. Each room has a different pattern from bicentennial to nautical, all working well together.  While I’m not a huge fan personally of this decorative style (having grown up surrounded by it) I can’t help but feel like I’ve stepped back in time whenever I see it.

Colonial Wallpaper and Curtains

I totally dug the display tables for the chocolates – many of them colonial style dining tables with glass shelves held up with brass candlesticks. This gave 2 levels – one for  the quickly emptying chocolate trays below and the other for pre-packaged candy boxes and gifts above. Once I was there for a few minutes and decided what I wanted, I realized I needed to get a number to ensure I would be waited on in a timely manner.

Take A Number with the Takacheck(I’m not sure if the “TakACheck” is used all the time but just in case, look for it near the entrance – I walked right past this groovy old machine. I LOVED the satisfying KA-CHUNK it made when I pressed the red bar for my ticket!)

Once my number was called I was delighted when I was told I could buy an empty box and have them fill it with whatever I wanted. As they would say in the record biz, “All killer, no filler! It being 2 days before V-Day they had a wide assortment of heart shaped boxes just waiting to be filled with sweets, for sweethearts everywhere.

Be My Valentine Heart Shaped Candy Box

The candies at Bayard’s are all made using fresh ingredients and ran the gamut from creams to jellies to crunchy centeres, all milk or dark covered. The chocolate covered pretzels appeared to be a big hit, and I was sorely tempted by their chocolate covered marshmallows. Knowing what RetroRoadhusband likes, however, I made sure to get plenty of chocolate nonpariels.
Chocolate Nonpariels

(And, knowing that I’d most likely help him polish off that box of candies, I made sure some of my faves were in there too. :-)

Service was efficient and friendly despite the crowds,  and I was pleased to see folks lining the walls of this local confectionary waiting their turn, instead of buying a pre-made, Lord-knows-how-old box of candies at a chain store. Trust me guys, your Valentine will spot the difference a mile away!

Don’t worry about missing your Valentine treats here this year…Easter is on April 24. Can’t wait to stop by and check out their chocolate bunnies!

Bayard’s Chocolate House
904 Route 130 N
Cinnaminson, NJ 08077-3318
(856) 829-5195

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I was told recently that ribbon candy – a staple in the Christmas candy dish of grandmas everywhere, was invented in Brockton MA – near where my RetroRoadsister and her fam live. A big holiday thanks goes out to Retro Roadmap Reader and blogger in her own right, Miss Cherry Bubbles of Past Life Vintage for letting me know that it still is being made by one of my fave candy shops – Hilliard’s Candy, located just next door to Brockton, in Easton MA.

Here’s a sneak peek into how Hilliards make -by hand and by wacky crimping machine-  this wonderful looking sweet treat:

I love how their ribbon candy has that satiny ribbon glow to it – I’ve seen other ribbon candy that looks more opaque, but this one reminds me of the Christmas candy of my childhood.

Speaking of Christmas candy – here’s Hilliards making some Peppermint Bark, using their own candy canes (and a mallet!). Yum! Hilliard’s is famous for their chocolate as well as their hard candies so you know this is going to be delish.

Family owned and operated since 1924, Hilliard’s is one of my fave places to visit year ’round with the Retro Roadkids – in the summer they have homemade ice cream made with their candy toppings – including their real chocolate jimmies or sprinkles to you non-New Englanders! I’ll have to snap a few photos next time I’m up there (when it’s warm enough to eat ice cream again!). They have 3 locations but my fave is the one in Easton, right near the RetroRoadfam!

Hilliard’s Candy
316 Main Street
North Easton, MA 02356-1107
(508) 238-6231

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