|Photo Courtesy of the Orange County Archives|
Brother, I was blown away by breakthroughs of bootleg Burger Chefs, brimming with beef bought at Bonanza, buzzed by Budweiser from Bennigan’s, but bummed by Big Boy’s buffet. Blimpie, by the by, baked bread while bums begged for beer at B-K. Ben Franklin bagged bountiful bric-a-brac, but blackberries from Backyard Burgers brought about bemusement. Barnrd’s bland beef, begat more bummers, but Big Cheese and Bakers Square were better than bad.
Down the road, I dined at Don Pablo’s days before its demise, downed dogs at the Daly Drive In, Drove down to Druthers and droned-on about my dad’s date at Darryl’s. Dog ‘n Suds distributed different dogs, and Dutch Pantry did the same with dinner and donuts. I then devoured a dozen additional at Dawn Donuts and Donut Connection before I watched Detroit lose to Dallas at the dearly departed Damon’s north of Dayton.
Eat ‘n Park evoked ethereal etchings of Elias Bros and Elby’s, and Empress Chili was the exemplar of all chili establishments from East Liverpool to Elizabethtown. Eating at Embers evoked the essence of Emily, Eunice, Ethel, Emma, Everett, Ensign, Evergreen, Englemein, and, Eskwagama, eight of eleven thousand lakes.
Graydon’s grand G.D. Ritzy’s galvanized my globe-trotting to grizzled grills and generating glyphs about greens, grits, and gravy. Garfield’s guided me to a still-going Sam Goody. (Goody got it!) Going to Ground Round granted a glimpse of generational gustation, and Grandy’s got me grousing about great green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts.
Heck, my homeboy from historic Houston haunted the hallowed halls of House of Pies, and the chili at Happy Chef made Hormel seem heavenly. Howard Johnson hotels proved historic, if hellish. Hot ‘n Now, Halo Burger, and Henry’s hucked and hawked hamburgers by the hundreds while Horne’s and Hen House hang on as hackneyed and haggard highway hosts.
Isaly’s intensity intimidated my initiative to imbibe ice cream despite being inviting and inversely inedible.
Jovially, I judged my journey to Jerry’s far from jinxed. It left me joyous as Joan Jett, not jeering like J. Jonah Jameson.
Morrison’s Cafeteria made me miss my monotonous family mall meals, while Maid Rite, Miner Dunn, Mister Kwik, and Max and Erma’s manufactured masterpieces made of meat. I masticated Maryland Fried Chicken in Michigan, home of Marshall Mathers, and made haste to the last Mister Donut west of Manilla. I met the mistress of Minute Man, and MCL’s manager made a merry mood for me and my mate, Matty-Mark Matlock, but the mediocre meal made for a mammoth meh.
Nickerson Farms, now not quite nonexistent; a neo-Nickerson’s nurtures nightly noshers and their Nissans, Nashes, and Novas just off ninety-six notwithstanding non-Nixonian nays from the nattering nabobs of negativism.
Pappy’s Family Pub produced pizza and poured pitchers of pilsner for the people of podunk Pennsylvania while Ponderosa proceeded to pillage my pockets and perturb my pancreas. Po’ Folks perniciously parodies pauperdom in Pensacola and Pinellas, sure as I plagiarized poetry from the pitter patter pals.
Quarantine quietly quashed my quite quixotic and quirky quest to Quincy’s Family Steakhouse quicker than Quetzalcoatl in a Qvale.
Rabidly, I reveled in the radiant and rampant roasts from Rax and Roy Rogers, and reviewed the rheostats and resistors at Radio Shack. Ritzee was as revolting as a rhombus is round, and my Roly Poly report is as ridiculous as Rita Rudner.
Sweet Sally Struthers! Sears is sorrowfully and slowly sinking while Sirloin Stockade serves up slop from a silo. Spageddie’s was too late to be saved by the screeching singer of “Subdivisions,” and the single surviving Sign of the Beefcarver serves Salisbury steak and sides to the septuagenarians and the senile alike. Spudnuts slings sweet spirals. Shoney’s survives in the South, and Stuckey’s sells pecan sandies, super-unleaded, and seashells down by the seashore.
True, I’ve traveled to two trios of Taco Ticos, but it took a trip toward Topeka to turn my tastes toward Taco Grande, who taught Taco Tico to turn out tasty, tangy tortillas topped with tomatoes and tallow. I totally took the time to try Tastee Freez too
Utter unacceptability at Uncle John’s Pancake House underscored my umbridge with unheated bacon despite unique unicycles, ungainly umbrellas, and undergrown ukuleles upright on the walls.
Verily, I’ve never ventured, in my Volvo, van, Volkswagen, nor any vehicle to visit the vestibule of a venture starting with V.
Xylophone Xavier’s Xiaolongbao Xanadu is a restaurant that never eXisted, but XXX Root Beer is eXtant.
Yo, I yammered about yams, yeast, and yak served ye olde York Steak House, yielding to the yeomen of yesteryear. Youngish Yodelers on Yelp yelled, “Yum!”