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Archive for the ‘Vintage Food & Beverages’ Category

Looking for a cool place for a classic cocktail, live music and all around hip scene with a vintage vibe? Then look no further than The Blue Comet in Glenside, PA.

The Blue Comet Exterior Sign

I’ve already told you how excited we were to find that The Blue Comet had reopened after being closed for 2 years, and I was psyched that RetroRoadhusband and I were able to visit there recently before-and after- a show at the Keswick Theatre for a swell date night! And since I’m hunkered down at home with the RetroRoaddog tonight, what better time reminisce about some weekend fun?

Blue Comet Door

It’s a cozy space with the bar up front where you can look at the vintage barware and entertaining kitsch while you wait for your perfect Manhattan to be created by one of their nattily dressed bartenders.

Bar Scene
Ah! There it is! Come to Betty!
Manhattan
You can order food at the bar if you like-or wait here for a booth in the back. I like the bar scene here, as you can watch people come and go, and best of all – talk to the person next to you, as instructed by one of their TVs.
Talk To The Person Next To You

Since we were heading out to a show we did order some nibbles and decided to sit at one of the upholstered booths in the back to eat. I dig the mood lighting in the Blue Comet as it does wonders in making everyone look young and beautiful, alas not so good for the photographing of food. Which was tasty for sure!

Glass Block Wall and Ortliebs BeerFolks all around were enjoying their dinner and drinks, and if it were a Saturday or Sunday they’d also be able to enjoy live music, with a Rockabilly bent. The memorabilia above our table showcases some of the bands that had played there in the past. The best place to keep up with their schedule is on The Blue Comet Facebook page.
Rockabilly Rumble PosterSince we were off to see some live music ourselves, we reluctantly had to leave the vintage environment of the Comet sooner than we’d like, but are already making plans to go there with some pals very soon.

Glenside is a neat little enclave of independent businesses – don’t leave without enjoying the science-fiction like displays of their neighbors Humphrey’s Pest Control (in business since the 1950’s – nice!):

Damage To Suitcase By Termites

And, horror of horrors:

Slide Carousel and Slides Destroyed By Termites

The Blue Comet Bar & Grill
106 S Easton Rd
Glenside, PA 19038
(215) 572-9780

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Speaking of vintage Italian restaurants – Tony’s Baltimore Cafe in Atlantic City New Jersey is an authentic old time AC eatery, located just a block from the famous boardwalk.

Tony's Baltimore Grill Atlantic City, NJ

There are 2 entrances- one on the corner that leads directly to the bar, another into the wonderfully in-tact retro dining room. Either way you’re told to sit anywhere you like, by one of the seasoned waitresses.

Bask in the Glow of Red Neon

We opted for the dining room, which at the time of night we were there wasn’t packed, but did have a decent stream of folks coming in out of this freezing cold windy evening for some warm pasta, pizza and throwback ambiance.

If you’ve spent more than a minute inside one of the many boardwalk casinos, with their recycled air and shopping mall vibe, you will appreciate the authentic feel of a place that has been here long before the giant buildings took over the seashore. And as you can see, they cater to the late night crowd.

HoursOpen for over 70 years, you could almost envision the Rat Pack sitting at one of the booths. (Alas the music on the jukeboxes did not live up to my swingin’ sounds expectation).

Tony's Dining RoomLike the front sign says “Spaghetti Pizza” and we said YES! I got the pizza, RetroRoadhusband got the spaghetti and meatballs and we both split a “Large Salad Bowl”. As well as a couple of affordable beers!

The pizza crust was definitely fluffier than the thin crust pies that are my fave, but this pizza was still good. RRH dug his spaghetti tho the meatballs are on the mushy side, however I informed him that I read they’ve been that way for years.

Tony's Grill PizzaI thought it was ironic that some of the casino hotels and restaurants give that old time vibe (thinking of The Continental, etc) but right here, in the shadow of these behemoths, the real deal lives on.

You Go, Little Guy!

Tony’s Baltimore Grill
2800 Atlantic Ave
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
(609) 345-5766

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Not sure why it’s called Victory Pig, but that name and the fun vintage sign shown below was enough to make me swing the Retro Roadmapmobile into the parking lot of this classic roadside restaurant in Wyoming, PA (between Scranton and Wilks-Barre PA). And I am pleased to report I got a winner of a slice of NEPA* or Old Forge style pizza here!

Victory Pig Barbecue Pizza Curb ServiceThe Victory Pig Barbecue and Pizza has been open since 1942 and still provides curb service, as the signs on either side of the stucco building indicate. Not knowing what was on the menu I opted to head into the restaurant. As soon as I walked in I was pleased to see a retro looking decor with brown paneling and orange accents, definitely original. And I didn’t take a picture of the interior because it was so full of families, couples and solitary diners that you’d see more people than vintage details.

Victory Pig Curb ServiceOverhearing the lovely older ladies at the table next to me reminiscing about checking their packages at the Rainbow Room (after a day of shopping in New York City, back in the day) confirmed my decision to stop here for a bite was the right thing.

*This area of Pennsylvania is famous for their distinctive pizza – known as NEPA (North Eastern PennsylvaniA) or Old-Forge style pizza, named after Old Forge, PA. There’s even a different lingo surrounding them, where these square or rectangular pizzas are not called pies, but rather “trays” after the baking trays they are cooked on, or perhaps the plastic trays they are served on. Also you don’t get slices you get “cuts”. Luckily I did not feel too out of place when I ordered a slice, and not knowing if that would be enough food I just knew I had to get a “wimpie” after seeing this sign:

Homemade Wimpies I later found out that a Wimpie is like a sloppy joe, and while it isn’t my absolute fave flavor of sandwich, I was proud of myself for being culinarily adventurous! I did not have any of the barbecue, but from what I read it also is a local interpretation of the dish.

You can see my wimpie right next to my “cut” of “pig pizza” and boy was that pizza tasty! The crust is somewhat crispy from being fried in the tray, the sauce was tangy and sweet with bits of onion in it, and the cheese was just the right amount and flavor to harmonize with this local trio of flavors.

Wimpy and Pig Pizza

Now I’ve heard some people compare this local interpretation of pizza to the frozen Ellio’s version but that does not hold a candle to this distinctive pizza flavor and texture that had me longing for another slice while on my drive home. And I am pleased to report that the ratio of cheese to crust does not allow too much cheese to stick to your teeth as some folks have complained about Old Forge style pizza doing.

Doing a bit of internet research I find out that the Victory Pig is family owned and operated and they are very proud of their secret pizza recipe and crust. They’re also only open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday…because they can be! While part of me bums out thinking I won’t be able to indulge in Victory Pig pizza when Retro Roadhusband and I scramble up to Scranton on Sunday November 14, I think it’s kinda cool that someone in this day and age can make such odd business hours work for them. And from the hustle and bustle of that Saturday evening, you can tell that local folks make the effort to get there when they’re open!

If you’re feeling a bit full from the food (or beer and cocktails that are surprisingly available in this casual fast-food atmosphere) perhaps you’ll want to check out Rich’s Golf and Fun Center, located just behind “The Pig”. Or maybe you’ve just saved room for some soft serve ice cream?

Rich's Golf Fun Center Sign(you can see the Victory Pig behind this sign – it’s been stucco’ed over, but it’s still cool inside!)

I will warn you that it isn’t nearly as retro and picturesque as its sign, but it could be a fun way to shed some of the calories that you’ll consume once you taste this delicious pizza!

Victory Pig Pizza & Barbeque
905 Wyoming Ave
Wyoming, PA 18644-1360
(570) 693-9963

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This photo of All American Burger in Massapequa NY, posted on the Vintage Roadside Facebook page is what totally put Long Island on the Retro Roadmap for me and got me thinking about visiting. Thanks to photographer Don Brunjes for not only capturing a great shot of that fabulous vintage neon signage, but also granting me permission to share that photo with you all!

all-american-burger-massapequa-ny-don-brunjes-retro-roadmap

My photos didn’t nearly come out as good as that since we were visiting during the blistering hot afternoon, but in the name of research I got myself one tasty cheeseburger, some fries and a diet Coke (this is after, mind you, breakfast in a diner, a dish of ice cream and a chocolate egg cream all within 4 hours or so!).

Burgers Franks

All American Burger has been serving up burgers franks and fries since 1952, and the prices have remained affordably affordable!

All American Burger Menu

The place was packed when we got there and if I were more of a “take pictures of people I don’t know” kinda gal, I totally would’ve snapped a photo of our order taker, who looks like she’s worked here for a while, and was totally adorable with her hair just so and big sunglasses.

All American CheeseBurger

What I do like to take pictures of are designs that continue to be used by businesses and look authentically original. I snapped the above photo as we sat outside at one of the few round tables out front, dodging sparrows who were divebombing our fries (which alas weren’t crinkle cut). One thing I didn’t realize until it was time to throw away our trash, was that cool shield design was also on the bag as well. Dang, guess we’ll have to go back there again!

After the sweets we had eaten already this day our cheeseburgers totally hit the spot, and from the raves this place gets online and in person, I know we’re not the only ones to have enjoyed our meal here.

Go the All American way!

All American Burger
4286 Merrick Rd.
Massapequa, NY 11758
(516) 798-9574

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I’ve started my new year off right, and one of the best things I’ve done in these past 3 days is to FINALLY go to Sambo’s Tavern in Leipsic DE for crabs! Don’t let the fact that it’s a NASCAR fan frequented tavern scare you off, unless you have folks under 21 in your party, as it is an actual tavern (no kids allowed). Nor should the beer signage be something to dissuade you from entering this classic waterfront establishment.

Sambo's Tavern PBR & Bud

As once you get past that and step inside you can sit at a newspaper covered table and have a view like this:

Water View From Our Table

One of the few Delaware entries in the Jane and Michael Stern books, I’ve known about this place for years, but never stopped by until yesterday when we had to pick up the Retro RoadDog 1/2 way between the beach and home. (Leipsic is right next to Dover/Smyrna in the middle of the state). I was happily surprised to find that it was a Retro Roadmap worthy stop, but since I wasn’t prepared, these photos come courtesy of my cell phone (so modern!)

The tavern itself has been here for 55 years and when we walked in I was immediately smitten with the vintage chairs and clean linoleum floor.

Vintage Chairs and Linoleum

As well as the authentic bar stools and knotty pine bar decor.

Leipsic Tavern Bar

Now I know some people are a bit curious about the name of the tavern, so I thought I’d let you know it was founded by Samuel “Sambo” Burrows and still run by his family. I believe that’s him on the T-shirts available for sale.

Sambo's Tavern T-Shirts

And I thought it was nice to read the Delaware State Senate proclamation stating that he was “The Town of Leipsic Gentleman whose unique tavern is known the world over and has created a colourful segment of the history of our state”

“OK” you say, “so knotty pine and ocean views, vintage tables spread with newspaper are all well and good, but what about dinner?”

This is my reply:

Delaware Crab Feast - Happy Birthday Mod Betty!Real Delaware crabs – YUM!

Nothing says summer in the mid-Atlantic like hunkering down over a tray of crabs, mallet in hand, roll of paper towels by your side, and newspaper there to mop up all the goop. Crack them claws, search for the sweet meat and just beware of the “Devils Fingers” notes my Delaware born and raised honey!

I think this is why Sambo’s has friends and fans from all over the world:

Sambo's Fans Are From Everywhere!

Now a couple of random things you should know- they only serve steamed crabs in season, and they aren’t caked with Old Bay but rather coarse ground salt. Good thing for a tavern owner, as the pitchers of beer we ordered helped, but if a salt-a-holic like me is telling you to make sure you brush most of the salt off, then it’s a good idea to do so. Old Bay can be asked for on the side. Speaking of sides, they were nothing special, but we were there for the crabs, as were many other folks who came in after us.

Sambo's Dining Room

And one last bit of advice- leave yourself plenty of time to devour your crabs, and don’t try to rush through them like we did. A dozen is a lot, even for a couple of crab lovers like Retro Roadhusband and me, so keep that in mind too. RetroBrotherInLaw was pleased to find we had a number of crabs left over, and considered them a fine payment for taking care of RetroRoadDog for us!

(Update 10/1/10 – Sambo’s closes for the season on Sat Oct 30. From the Sambo’s Facebook Page update: Come in to visit us this month and enjoy your last taste of steamed crabs or any other menu favorites. We close for the season on October 30th and will re-open on April 1st, 2011. Make a note of it!)

Sambo’s Tavern
283 Front St
Dover, DE 19901
302-674-9724

(Credit cards accepted for orders over $25)

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The Dutch Haven Gift Shop and its whirling windmill is one of my fave sights on Route 30 in Lancaster County PA. It started out in the 1920’s as a luncheonette serving Pennsylvania Dutch style food, but now it’s a gift shop filled with Amish Stuff and known for just one type of food, Shoofly pie!

Dutch Haven Windmill(Who can resist an actual turning windmill? It even lights up at night! Fancy doin’s especially in these parts!)

A molasses based gooey pie with a crumb top, the Dutch Haven’s sample of Shoo-Fly pie goes is handed to you with a generous blop of whipped cream on top. “This is how they getcha!” I say to Retro Roadhusband, “First they give you a sample, then you want the whole pie, next thing you know, you’re turning Amish!”
Dutch Haven Made Shoo-Fly Pie Famous

Now you and I both know that I don’t need another souvenir, tchotschke, gew-gaw or dust catcher, but does that ever stop us from wandering around the Windmill? Nosiree! And c’mon I have to buy something, I mean, they gave me a free bite of pie!
Some People Are Wonderful Nice
I never get tired of looking at the well preserved signs and paintings that surround the interior of the main building with their brightly colored Plain Folk (oxymoron?) and clever sayings.

Interior of Dutch Haven

And the lover of the tacky treasure in me always delights in their wide assortment of trivets-with-a-message.
God Bless Our Camper

So if you want a sweet treat or a corny gift to remind yourself of a wonderful trip down the Lincoln Highway in Lancaster County, look for the spinning windmill at the Dutch Haven. It’s a Retro Roadmap must stop!

Dutch Haven
2857 Lincoln Highway East
Ronks, PA 17572-9607
(717) 687-0111

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It’s a perfect night / weekend for a retro road trip, and the Red Rabbit Drive-In is a drivin’ destination for sure!

Red Rabbit Duncannon PA Blink Lights For Service

Located in Duncannon, PA and opened on Mother’s Day of 1964 the restaurant is still family owned and operated by the daughter and son-in-law of the original owners. Only open Friday, Saturday and Sundays, Retro Roadhusband and I used it’s drive-in allure as an excuse for a roadtrip north of Harrisburg on a sunny Saturday.

Make The Red Rabbit a Habit
We weren’t the only ones who made the unexpectedly sharp right hand turn off the busy road into the parking lot that day, and because we had just spent a while in the car we declined the car hop service and opted to eat at one of the picnic tables under the overhangs.

We sat under the Bunnyburger side ( in the left of the above photo) and a friendly waitress came right over to hand us menus. Since I saw the Bunnyburger advertised, I ordered that, and Retro Roadhusband got the pork BBQ sandwich. Total bonus waitress points for her hearing us discuss sharing our sandwiches and offering to have them cut in half!

Red Rabbit Duncannon PA Split Meal

Many of the favorites on the menu have been there since opening day, and next time I’m going to have to order the “Perry County Half Chicken” just because of its band name – ladies and gentlemen, the Disjointed Half-Fryers!

Red Rabbit Duncannon PA Menu

I am a definite fan of the Bunnyburger which is a “Ground Beef Patty, Hickory Smoked Bacon, Melted Cheese, Shredded Lettuce, Tomato Slices, Pickles, Onions and Our Own Sauce, served on a special seeded roll” – yummers! I’m told by WendyVee over at Roadside Wonders, that what makes their fries so tasty is “Bunny Dust” – go figure!

Retro Roadhusband has become very patient as he’s learned how much I like to photograph our food before we eat it, but this is what he’s really thinking:

Retro Roadhusband Eagerly Awaits Post Photo Food at Red Rabbit Drive In Duncannon PA

We were too full for the ice cream and treats that are also on the menu, but we did put a few quarters in the vintage pinball machines on the other side of the building.
Vintage Pinball Machines Red Rabbit Drive In Duncannon PA
And as you can see, Retro Roadtrip types come from all walks of life, as noted by this swanky Rolls Royce pulled up under the awnings.
Rolls Royce at Red Rabbit Duncannon PA
I don’t know if they have any Grey Poupon on the menu, but poppyseed rolls can be had for an additional 35 cents.

What I will say, is even if they’re only open 3 days a week, I can see why the Red Rabbit can become a habit!

Red Rabbit Drive-In
31 Grandview Drive
Duncannon, PA 17020
(717) 834-4696

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