Posts Tagged ‘dinner’

In business since 1927, Hildebrandt’s luncheonette, soda fountain and ice cream parlor is the real Retro Roadmap deal. As soon as you drive down Hillside avenue in Williston Park, NY you can’t help but notice the light green vitrolite exterior of this corner shop, and the wonderful neon sign with the classic Hildebrandt’s logo.


Oh how I wish the tree wasn’t there so I could’ve taken a better photo of my favorite word, Luncheonette!

Ice Cream Cakes Our Specialty

As we walked through the door we really got that “stepped back in time” feeling, with the tile floor, counter with swivel stools and small dining area in the back with cute deco tables. Since we had only just had breakfast, it seemed as if an ice cream or sweet treat was in order, so we sat at the marble counter right next to the great vintage coke dispenser.

Hildebrandt's Marble Counter

You can see more photos of Hildebrandt’s interior here at their website.

As we sat waiting for our treats I was happy to see the place filling up with parents and kids, grandparents and kids, just some kids, just some adults, and it felt like the place was coming to life. They are known for their Italian specialties as well as their classic lunch counter fare.

Just down the end of the counter we could see the grill where they make their famous “fries” which are really round potato slices fried golden brown. I  read in Hamburger America by George Motz (where I actually found out about this place -thanks George! )he has included their burger is one of the top 100 burgers in the nation. If only my belly wasn’t so full from breakfast!

Not that that stopped me from ordering and eating most of a dish of home made ice cream:

Hildebrandt's Ice Cream

As you can see they still use old fashioned metal ice cream dishes so the ice cream doesn’t melt so fast. They also use classic soda fountain glasses for their raspberry lime rickeys. Suzanne was kind enough to indulge my “let me take a photo of it first” Retro RoadRule to show you her refreshing drink.

Hildebrandt's Lime Rickey

When it isn’t so incredibly hot out, they also make home made chocolates, and I hear it’s THE place to come get your Easter candy.

There was a message on Hildebrandt’s menu that to me sums up the raison d’etre of Retro Roadmap, in a nutshell:

Since 1927...Because One Person Tells Another

Since 1927…Because One Person Tells Another.

It’s as easy as that, folks! Hopefully I’m telling you all about this wonderful vintage corner shop so you’ll make a stop there and we can keep the place going ’til their 100th anniversary and beyond!

84 Hillside Avenue
Williston Park, NY 11596-2321
(516) 741-0608

Join the Hildebrandt’s Group on Facebook!

Hildebrandt's on Urbanspoon


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Today’s sunshine after yesterday’s sleeting miserableness made me want to take a retro road trip to grab an ice cream, and if I weren’t so beat from work a perfect destination would’ve been The Circle S Ranch House in West Lawn, PA.

Luckily Retro Roadhusband and I roadtripped up there last week, so I can tell you all about it!

Ranch House Neon Sign

Serving Greater Berks County since 1973, RRH and I were intrigued by the great neon sign and the western motif. Decorated in a 1970’s interpretation of the old west, replete with knotty pine paneling, cowboy paintings, faux old signs and giant wagon wheel chandeliers with spurs on ’em, it’s a bit like the Brady Bunch interpretation of the wild west. Pardner.

Please Wait to be SeatedWhile trying to research the restaurant online the only review I saw mentioned that it was her “grandmother’s favorite restaurant” and I could totally see that. There were grandmas mixed in with families with kids and when I posted a photo of the neon sign to my Facebook account, friends were reminiscing about showing up here after junior high school dances!

They’ve got a bit of a “western” flair to some of their names, but alas their “Wagon Wheel” was a burger and not a slab or slice or chunka, as we products of the 70’s TV think of a wagon wheel! The food is affordable and a nice alternative to the chains in the area. As I said to RRH when I ate my BLT, “There’s nothing wrong with regular food for regular folks”.

Welcome to the Circle S Ranch House

I wasn’t  planning on having ice cream and in fact our next stop was supposed to be a giant dairy twirl down the street in Wernersville (we’ll get there soon, don’t worry). But when I saw trays go by filled with ice cream sundaes, banana splits and dishes of ice cream ALL WITH A PRETZEL perched on EACH ONE I was POWERLESS to resist the lure  of my favorite flavor combo “the crunchy salty with the sweet cold smooth” – powerless, I tellya.

The Pretzel Made Me Get It!“the crunchy salty with the sweet cold smooth”

The ice cream was smooth and flavorful, they had butterscotch topping and you just can’t get that everywhere nowadays and even Retro Roadhusband was thinking he should’ve gotten a sundae after he kept tasting mine. I’m hooked.

The place was bustling when we were there (hooray!) so I did not get to ask anyone about the reason behind the pretzel on each ice cream. Since this is practically pretzel country with Tom Sturgis pretzels are made just down the street, that must have something to do with it.

Who am I kidding? They put a pretzel on each ice cream because it sells ice cream to folks who weren’t planning on eating it- folks like me! I fell for it, but that’s fine, it was sweet and delicious and I’ll be glad to bring them my ice cream business and help keep their great retro signs lit.

Exit Circle S Ranch House

The Circle S Ranch House
2738 Penn Avenue
West Lawn PA 19609
(610) 678-6282

Circle S Ranch House on Urbanspoon

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The Mai Kai has been on my “To Do” Retro Roadmap list for ages, and I’m proud to say “We DID”! This east coast tiki temple has been wowing visitors to Fort Lauderdale Florida since 1956, and it certainly wowed us. Definitely on our top list of Retro Roadmap Recommendations!

Mai Kai SignI am quoting that great tiki resource Critiki when I let you know that “The Mai Kai is perhaps the last of the grand Polynesian palaces still operating from when tiki was at its peak in the late 50s and early 60s. That the Mai Kai not only still exists today, but is vibrant and thriving, is something we should all be very grateful for–but not take for granted.” – I could not say it any better!

Mai Kai Entrance

The Mai Kai is a sprawling Polynesian paradise on a busy commercial strip in Fort Lauderdale, and takes on a look of mystery once the sun sets. Included in this time warp of wonderfulness are 8 dining rooms,  a fabulous sunken ship inspired bar, waterfalls, bridges, tropical foliage, and more tikis and idols than I could count.

This tribute to tiki is currently owned by Mirielle (the wife of one of the original owners) who also runs the Polynesian review dinner show- and was once a dancer in it, herself! She also makes sure all new dances added to the dinner show are performed properly according to the people who live on the island on which the dance originates.

We pulled the rented Retro Roadmapmobile over the bridge, left it in the trusty hands of the valet,  made our way into the darkened interior of the Molokai bar, and into another world.

Mai Kai Bar

Our waitresses were a bit goosebumply in their sarongs on this unseasonably chilly day- too bad they couldn’t have a Rum Barrel to warm themselves up, as I did!


The bar is a wonderful recreation of a sunken ship and turn of the century seaport saloon, replete with tiki music and underwater effects:

No matter what window you look out of, you would never be able to tell that the busy street is just outside, as each porthole and ship window reveals a lovely tropical scene:
Mai Kai Waterfall IdolsWanting to get a good seat for the floor show, we left the bar promptly at our reservation time and proceeded into the inner sanctum of the restaurant.

Mai Kai Gardens click here to see the inside of the Mai Kai!

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