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Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

Though we were not dressed to fit in with the church crowd, we absolutely loved our Sunday dinner at Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Atlanta GA. Since 1945 folks in these parts have enjoyed the southern cooking and hospitality at this landmark restaurant. And so did we!

Mary Mac's Tea Room Neon Sign Atlanta GA(Their cool neon sign didn’t hurt their chances of making it on the RetroRoadmap either!)

I was excited to visit Mary Macs as I have loved most “southern cookin'” that I’ve had (mmm biscuits, nom) and it was a good opportunity for me to try some of the more unusual things that you don’t get at restaurants up north. And the “Tea Room” name? According to their website:

Mary Mac’s Tea Room doors first opened in 1945 when Mary McKenzie decided to use her good Southern cooking to make money in the tough post-World War II days. In those days, a woman  couldn’t just open up a restaurant, so many female proprietors used the more genteel Southern name of “Tea Room.”

Mary Mac's Tea Room Midtown Atlanta 1945

The restaurant is no longer owned by Mary Mac (was she all dressed in black? With silver buttons down her back?) but is flourishing under the ownership of  John Ferrell who was hand picked by the last owner to take over the business. And by the crowds we encountered he’s doing it right!

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Normally places on the RetroRoadmap have a vintage look or feel, but I’m declaring that Joe Italiano’s Maplewood Inn in Hammonton NJ is going on the map because of their great homemade spaghetti. They’ve been in business for 65+ years on the White Horse Pike, and are still family owned and operated too!

J. Italiano's Maplewood Inn - World's Best Spaghetti(If you’re wondering why the above picture looks kind of wavy, it’s because I had to take it from the inside of our car in a rainstorm!)

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We were in Ardmore, PA the other night so RetroRoadhusband and I  decided to see what the Chung Sing restauarant AKA “diner that is actually a Chinese restaurant” was all about. Since we needed to grab a bite to eat it seemed like a perfect excuse for a little RetroRoadmap investigation. Let’s check it out shall we?

Exterior - Diner Chinese Restaurant Ardmore PAIt was raining so I just snapped this quick view before we headed into the vestibule. As you can see there’s no mistaking that this restaurant definitely a diner by design. It’s actually a vintage Fodero diner, once called Dean’s Diner and built in 1952 (thanks Larry at Diner Hotline for the info.)

And here’s what the inside looks like today.

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It’s not a Howard Johnson’s Restaurant anymore, but who could not notice that classic orange roof, cupola (tho not aqua) and Simon and The Pieman? I notice it every time I drive past this location (which I will be keeping secret at the moment, lest anyone go try and take down the weathervane!)Simon and The Pieman - Howard Johnsons Weather Vane and American Flag and Orange Roof
I have been told that Hojo’s were more numerous and popular in the Northeast (they originated in Quincy, MA) and they were my favorite growing up. My grandmother would buy pints of Howard Johnson’s ice cream and keep them in the freezer at her house – I can picture a scoop of strawberry ice cream in one of the little striped glass Pyrex bowls she’d serve it to us in. Later as I got older the Hojo’s out on the Mass Pike would be a welcome stop on a long drive back from Girl Scout Camp, and even later than that the one just across the highway from where I grew up was a late night hang for high school kids just learning to drink coffee (or me, eating my favorite flavor of ice cream – Howard Johnson’s mocha chip.) Orange and aqua is still one of my favorite color combos, even if there are only 2? 3? Howard Johnsons restaurants still around.

Keep your eyes peeled, you never know what might be a clue to the past!

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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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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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Just found out my favorite chinese restaurant / tiki mecca up in Saugus MA -the Kowloon Restaurant, now has a free app for your iphone. Now you can place your order directly from your phone and have it waiting when you get there!
kowloon 2008

Now I haven’t used it – I don’t think they deliver to Pennsylvania, but I love it when old places think of new ways to get people in the doors!
No, not by tearing down your wonderfully kitschy interior that some may think out of date, but embracing it, and thinking outside the box as far as marketing goes.

kowloon-saugus-ma-iphone-app

This combination of classic vintage tiki cocktail mecca / chinese food palace and of-the-moment mobile technology make me happy for sure!

My happiness

Click here to go to the iTunes store and download the Kowloon App

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