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Old 02-13-2011, 12:30 AM   #1
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Diners, Dives, and the Woolworth's Lunch Counter

I've said before that I'm nostalgic for things that are no longer around. Today, I was thinking of the old diners that are long gone, a few drive-in places, and the Woolworth Lunch Counter.

In doing a search for recipes from a few places from my younger years, I happened across a lot of history that had not been on my radar when I was very small: They ranged from food trends to social-injustice. For me, I have very fond memories of several drive-ins, a couple of diners, and lunch with my grandmother at Woolworths!

In my search, I found the recipe for Woolworth's ham salad and had to make it. I remember the ham salad having small diced mini-cubes of ham, so I made sure that mine did as well. (Mother said the cubes were larger, so I suppose she will be recreating her own memory, but my cubes were small. ) It came out nostalgia-worthy. I will say that I added less salt than memory recalls, but Frank does not like a lot of salt.

What was missing was potato chips on the side and a banana split that I popped a balloon to determine what I would pay. The site has other Woolworth recipes, so I may have to re-live the Frito pie.

What recipes have you found or recreated from your memory?

~Kathleen


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Old 02-13-2011, 12:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathleenA View Post
I've said before that I'm nostalgic for things that are no longer around. Today, I was thinking of the old diners that are long gone, a few drive-in places, and the Woolworth Lunch Counter.

In doing a search for recipes from a few places from my younger years, I happened across a lot of history that had not been on my radar when I was very small: They ranged from food trends to social-injustice. For me, I have very fond memories of several drive-ins, a couple of diners, and lunch with my grandmother at Woolworths!

In my search, I found the recipe for Woolworth's ham salad and had to make it. I remember the ham salad having small diced mini-cubes of ham, so I made sure that mine did as well. (Mother said the cubes were larger, so I suppose she will be recreating her own memory, but my cubes were small. ) It came out nostalgia-worthy. I will say that I added less salt than memory recalls, but Frank does not like a lot of salt.

What was missing was potato chips on the side and a banana split that I popped a balloon to determine what I would pay. The site has other Woolworth recipes, so I may have to re-live the Frito pie.

What recipes have you found or recreated from your memory?

~Kathleen

Mine is the Woolworth's Patty Melt on Caraway Rye. I've tried recreating and I've ordered from other places, but it's just not the same.

Tuna Salad in a tomato half...need the right tuna salad.

And the old A&W root beer in the frosty mug, with onion rings.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:04 AM   #3
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I wish I had some of those little silver metal bowls they served sundaes in...that really made it!!
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:04 AM   #4
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Pop's Root Beer Stand's Spanish Sauce

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Mine is the Woolworth's Patty Melt on Caraway Rye. I've tried recreating and I've ordered from other places, but it's just not the same.

Tuna Salad in a tomato half...need the right tuna salad.

And the old A&W root beer in the frosty mug, with onion rings.
Those are all good! I like Waffle House's Patty Melt. I do not think I ever had a patty melt at Woolworths.

My favorite root beer stand was a place called Pops. You could get the frosty mug there and they had terrific onion rings. Breaded onion rings, not battered. They used a similar breading on their fried mushrooms. The BEST thing at Pops was something called a Spanish dog.

In the last year, I happened across a recipe from a guy who said he worked at Pops. It was pretty much as I remembered it and brought back good memories. Pops has been gone for more than 30 years...including Pop himself, so I will pass on the recipe exactly as it was shared with me.

Spanish Sauce from Pop's Root Beer Stand

2 pounds of lean ground beef
3/4 cup of water
2 cups of Hunt's ketchup
4.5 teaspoons of chili powder
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
1/4 cup of onion that has been diced finely
1 teaspoon of salt

Do not cook hamburger meat first. Mix the raw hamburger and everything else in a pot and stir well. Simmer for 1 hour. Spoon over steamed hot dogs or just eat it on a bun by itself.

Kathleen's Note: Root beer required as paired drink.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathleenA View Post
Those are all good! I like Waffle House's Patty Melt. I do not think I ever had a patty melt at Woolworths.

My favorite root beer stand was a place called Pops. You could get the frosty mug there and they had terrific onion rings. Breaded onion rings, not battered. They used a similar breading on their fried mushrooms. The BEST thing at Pops was something called a Spanish dog.

In the last year, I happened across a recipe from a guy who said he worked at Pops. It was pretty much as I remembered it and brought back good memories. Pops has been gone for more than 30 years...including Pop himself, so I will pass on the recipe exactly as it was shared with me.

Spanish Sauce from Pop's Root Beer Stand

2 pounds of lean ground beef
3/4 cup of water
2 cups of Hunt's ketchup
4.5 teaspoons of chili powder
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
1/4 cup of onion that has been diced finely
1 teaspoon of salt

Do not cook hamburger meat first. Mix the raw hamburger and everything else in a pot and stir well. Simmer for 1 hour. Spoon over steamed hot dogs or just eat it on a bun by itself.

Kathleen's Note: Root beer required as paired drink.
Wonder of wonders, I've been looking for this sauce. Had it in Illinios when I was in first grade at Harvey's. Harvey's was a soda fountain...it's in the bare edges of my memories, but I remember having hotdogs with this on it or something very like it. Thanks! I copied and pasted it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:17 AM   #6
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Sponge toffee.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Wonder of wonders, I've been looking for this sauce. Had it in Illinios when I was in first grade at Harvey's. Harvey's was a soda fountain...it's in the bare edges of my memories, but I remember having hotdogs with this on it or something very like it. Thanks! I copied and pasted it.
If not quite right, I have the Dogs and Suds recipe for their Coney sauce too!

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Sponge toffee.
What is it? Where did you get it? And most importantly, how do we make it???
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:26 AM   #8
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My questions exactly!
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:29 AM   #9
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I used to get it at a local corner store. You could get it anywhere in the area. It cwould come in clear cellophane whith no label or writing on it at all. It would cost about a nickle for a fairly large square. Sponge toffee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/De...ml?dishid=7257
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:06 AM   #10
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Oh, Kathleen, I worked at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Regina when I was in University. making the ham salad was one of my jobs and I was a vegetarian. But it smelled so good that I snuck a spoonful and was surprised that I liked it! Thanks for bringing that memory back.

I mostly worked the sandwich station, but sometimes filled in on grill making burgers, etc. It was a great job. The only down part was our uniforms were orange and brown and I lived in the dorm. I had to dress at "home" as there were no lockers. I had to cut through the TV room and the guys would wait for me and then follow me out swaggering and whistling the A&W Root Bear music!

As for food, the Kmart cafe had the best grilled cheese sandwiches and crinkle cut fries.
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