Cinnabon is proof that God loves us and so do cardiologists.
I was pleasantly surprised to come home last evening and find that someone had been to a mall and procured a “cinnamon roll” (don’t call them buns at Cinnabon) for me.
A few minutes ago, along with coffee, it constituted breakfast.
I remember the very first time I had Cinnabon. The Montgomery Mall and King of Prussia Mall were two spots where you could get it. You’d get within, say, 25 feet of the place and the smells would waft. It was like spare change to a bum or pudgy interns to Bill Clinton. You could not resist.
The Plymouth Meeting Mall, closest to my home, had no Cinnabon. At the old, original mall (as pictured above before multiple renovations) they had a quasi-food court w/ the obligatory merry-go-round in the center (which was added in the mid 80’s).
Cinnabon? No. We had TJ Cinnamons. A chain that still operates, but not much in this area. The product was inferior to Cinnabon. First sin (pun intended) – no cream cheese icing. It was a standard white sugar icing. I hated it so much. I also ended up working there for a brief time. I think it was my first job, but I’m not certain. It was brief and mostly unmemorable except for the homosexual manager and me listening to Beatles tapes in the kitchen while I cleaned pans and such.
Anyway, the rest of the food court: McDonalds. I remember one of the guys I worked with used to get a Filet-o-Fish and Chicken McNuggets every day for lunch. He called it surf and turf. He rode the SEPTA bus from North Philly every day to work there. I hope he’s at least graduated to the McChicken sandwich now that it’s on the dollar menu.
The Food Court had Bassett’s Original Turkey. Some day I’ll do my own blog entry about this lost franchise which was sold in the 90’s and promptly run into the ground. I miss it (though it lives on at the Reading Terminal Market under the name “The Original Turkey”).
Bain’s Deli and the Mandarin Garden chinese restaurant rounded out the food court. The Mandarin Garden had a big restaurant behind the counter out front – I miss that place too. There was an independent Pizza joint too.
Chick-Fil-A eschewed the food court and stood mid-mall on its own. Back then the mall also had two other delicious standalones: By the entrance to Strawbridge & Clothier was a bakery. A full-fledged bakery in the mall. And the Bavarian Pretzel stand on the 2nd floor. Those pretzels were awesome.
Centering the mall was the Harvest House restaurant outside Woolworth’s. Owned by Woolworth’s, it was an old-style lunch counter. The food was insanely good – like going to grandmas. Tuna salad, grilled cheese, awesome burgers. It went the way of the dodo along with Woolworth’s itself.
There was a Friendly’s in the mall too. No longer. It is worth noting there was a Friendly’s about 2000 feet away along Germantown Pike as well. They all closed with the great Friendly’s purge of the late 90’s, when management closed anything that wasn’t producing huge profits (they closed scores of profitable stores – just not profitable enough). There is a Commerce Bank now where Friendly’s once stood.
Today it’s all been replaced by the chain restaurants and bland food. No independent pizza, it’s Sbarro now. No bakery. Now it’s Auntie Ann’s pretzels.
I miss the old mall.