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I found it.

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When I was a kid spending summers on the beach we were lucky to get ice cream pretty much every day when the ice cream man (or, just as often, woman) would ring their bell every 30-45 minutes or so.  Sometimes it was a full lunch truck with hot dogs and snacks and ice cream, snow cones, etc.

But the rest of the time it was a bicycle with a freezer custom fashioned to the frame similar to this: d59d06295da32f47186d498423a90f6e.jpg

I remember a rotation of treats I’d get:  WWF Superstars Ice Cream Bars, Choco Tacos, Chipwich, and the rainbow Sno Cones.  But the thing I got more than all those was a Superstar Fudge.   These banana-chocolate fudgsicles were unique to the ice cream man.  They weren’t sold in stores and I could only get them during the summer from an ice cream bike or truck.

As beach visits ended for me so did my Superstar Fudge indulgences.  Over the last 15 or so years I’d look for them and occasionally an ice cream truck would have a cheap knockoff, but I could find no record of the Superstar Fudge or it’s red, white and blue ice pop partner the Superstar Ice.  I began to think I’d imagined the name.

So I was delighted when one of my periodic searches turned up an ice cream truck sticker – the same sticker that adorned those trucks and bicycles that sold me my childhood treat.  So, because the internet was lacking in proof the Superstar Fudge existed – here it is.

I have no idea when they went away.  A knockoff about half the size is sold by Blue Bunny today under the “Bomb Pop” line of popsicles.  It tastes similar but of course it’s a “frozen confection”, not ice cream, as ice cream makers cheapen up the products wherever they can get away with it (have you tasted how awful Breyer’s is anymore?  It’s a shell of it’s former all natural self).

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Have a great summer.

 

We lost Elvis 38 years ago today.

From the Presley Family Cookbook, the only one authored by a Graceland cook while still working for the family at Graceland (in 1980), we honor him with the 12-Flavor Ice Cream Dessert.

Take particular note that “some days this is all Elvis would have during the day”.  Also the cookies seem a little excessive.

Remember the King.

Elvis 12-Flavor Ice Cream Dessert

Elvis 12-Flavor Ice Cream Dessert

Well we just passed a two year hiatus since we’ve added anything to this blog so the time seems about right to let you know:

a) We’re not dead

b) We still like to eat things.

Today was opening day at Fat Boy’s Mongolian Grill in Lower Providence/Trooper.  I’ve been excited since I saw the “coming soon” signs a few months back at this former Hong Kong Buffet.  They redid most of the interior.  I first visited a Mongolian grill in Washington, D.C. over 10 years ago and longed for the day when one would open close to home.  This one is a hop, skip and jump from my office.

A Mongolian Grill is a buffet where the meat, seafood, veggies and noodles are frozen.  You fill your plate w/ the frozen items, pick from the variety of sauces and spices (salt, pepper, garlic, etc.) and then take them up to the large, round grill with multiple chefs working.  They assign you a place, take your plate from you and put it on the grill – cooking all you’ve selected in front of you.

This location let’s you go back as many times as you like.  So if you just want, say, shrimp and an egg on one trip with a sauce, then take that up.  Finished the shrimp and want chicken and broccoli?  Well go make a new plate and they’ll cook that for you.

Salad options were limited but fresh, dessert fare was typical low-grade buffet food.  Passable.

They are located in the Park Ridge Shopping Center at Park and Ridge (hence the name). and open every day for lunch and dinner.  It’s cheap too.  $8.95 for lunch, $14.95 for weekday dinner, $15.95 for weekend dinner.  Soda is $2.00.Fat boy 2fat Boy 1

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Steak 38 has been on my list to check out since it reopened under its original ownership back in 2011.  The restaurant is noted for classic table side service and a vintage steakhouse menu.  I was particularly excited because one of my favorite dishes, Steak Diane, was a welcome find on the menu.

Finding the restaurant, attached to a motel advertising weekly rates, in Cherry Hill on Route 38 highway was a challenge – mostly because if you don’t know the entrance is coming up you zoom past it with 60 mph vehicles zooming around you.

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Once we parked I was greeted first, in the lobby, with a photo of two of my favorite people ever – Former Philadelphia Mayor Frank L. Rizzo and the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra – at Steak 38 or a former incarnation of its owner some time in the 1970’s.  This is a good sign for me.

Continue Reading »

Over the years the Double TT diner been a half dozen different eateries (always a diner), and sometimes it’s been good and others not so good or clean.  It changed names around the holidays to the 202 Family Diner.

I was an infrequent visitor during it’s decades+ run as the Double TT because the food was always average at best and the service could be spotty.

On a quiet Friday evening I stopped in to try out the new place.  After perusing the gigantic menu i settled on the crab cakes and was told “excellent choice” by my pleasant waitress. After choosing applesauce and a baked potato as my vegetables, I was offered salad or soup.  I selected the vegetable soup and was again told “excellent choice”.

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The soup came first.   I’m going out on a limb here:  it was the best vegetable soup I have ever had.  It was homemade and full of freshly chopped oversized vegetables:  carrot, celery, corn, okra, tomato to name a few.  It was full of flavor and light and the veggies were tender and delicious.

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The crab cakes came out not long after I finished my soup.  I am a realist.  A $13.95 plate of crab cakes in a diner should be better than Mrs. Paul’s but not as good as Red Lobster or a higher end restaurant.   These were right on target.

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They were home made, but an approximate equal amount of filler and crab.  Tasty and well fried without being greasy.  They were served with both cocktail and tarter sauce and both sauces were flavorful as well.

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The baked potato was very well prepared and served with ample sides of butter and sour cream.   The applesauce was canned, but fresh (I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve ordered applesauce in a restaurant and gotten spoiling applesauce served to me).

I would return and try something else next time, if only to get more vegetable soup and to try something else on the giant menu.

I was prepared to be disappointed and was pleasantly surprised to be satisfied and a little impressed.

I won’t write about your dining options at The Spring House Tavern in Lower Gwynedd, PA.  It’s one of the surviving restaurants serving continental American cuisine in the traditional manner (entree, two veggies, soup or salad).  It survives, in part, because it is centrally located within a mile of three gigantic retirement communities.  4:00 is prime dinner time here.  7:00 the place is half deserted.

But the Spring House is famous for its crab cakes and that’s why you should go.  They are made of jumbo lump blue swimming crab (really the best kind) and while I’m not sure what they add to the filling to bind it together, it adds a creaminess to the crab cake that is really unmatched.  I suspect it may be a bit of sour cream or even a very light cream cheese, but these are consistently delicious for the 15 or so years I’ve been enjoying them.

454loopThey are fried but not greasy.  I honestly don’t know if they offer them broiled.  I don’t think so.   In all my years I”ve never seen one served broiled.

If you like a good crab cake, I will say without reservation, this is my favorite crab cake in all the land.

And for dessert, get the chocolate pecan pie.

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We covered this ground a few years ago, around the time Tastykake was selling out to Flowers Foods.  Since that purchase Flowers has added a few generic products that it sold in its other lines and slapped the Tastykake brand on it, but otherwise it has kept producing the baked goods it inherited.

The brand and its products hold a special place in the hearts of many Philadelphians, myself included.  But the slow changes to the products prior to the sale were cause for consternation. When Flowers bought the line, we hoped it wouldn’t change things further.

Now Tastykake and those with taste buds less attuned to such matters will tell you we’re nuts.  That they haven’t changed anything.  But we know better. Continue Reading »