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Apr 27, 2002 12:58 AM

Growing Up In D.C./Balt: Who Else Remembers....

  • j

I graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in '64 with Connie Chung and Goldie Hawn the year before.
(Belatedly, thank you Connie for not covering your paper in plane geometry. Where it not for you I wouldn't have graduated.) Ben Stein preceded me by two years. Blair then had 2,700 students in three grades with most of us having an incredible pride in the school and the city that we grew up in, Silver Spring, which was promoted as Maryland's second largest.
In a post below Trix asked me about rum buns and half smokes which were both native to D. C. in the '50's and 60's and before. I'm just wondering how many other people on this board remember:

The Varsity on 40 west
Queenstown Mo
Reindeer Frozen Custard in Silver Spring
Teen club
Martin's Dairy on Georgia Avenue
Weile's Ice Cream in Langley Park (Washington Monument)
Harold's Fat Boy
Beltsville Drive In/Elkridge Drive In
Phillip's Crab House in Ocean City when there was only one location and it was really a crab house!
75/80 Dragaway
Fouad Ramses ("Blood Feast")
Two O'Clock Club
Peter Pan Inn
McDonald's original fries
Hofberg's on Eastern Avenue
Ameche's Powerhouse (fast food restaurant)(Anyone??)
Maria's 300 in Little Italy
Harv Moore on PGC
The Old Stein
The Golden Point
Benny's Seafood at Maine Avenue
Stephenson's Bakery in Anacostia ("checkerboard box")
Original Jerry's Sub Shop on Kennedy St. N. W. (NOT
Wheaton which it moved to.)
Top's Drive In
A swiss sundae at Gifford's
Johnny Dark on CAO (not WEAM)
Barry Richards (Geater with the heater, boss with the
hot sauce on WDON, WUST, WHFC, etc.)
Hound Dog
YWCA chocolate chip cookies
Capitol Theatre
Milt Grant
Bowling For Dollars
Gwynn Oak Amusement Park
DeMatha beating Power Memorial and Lew Alcindor.
Wilson Line & Marshall Hall
The Gayety
North Beach
Suburban Trust Company
Charles County slots & Waldorf
Buddy Deane
Roy Buchanan/Jimmy Dean at the Crossroads
Jimi Hendrix at the Ambassador Theatre
Uline Arena
Submarine races at Haines Point/Friendship Airport
A cheerleader from Kenwood HS whose arm was in a cast and I sat next to in '64 when Blair played them. Did you ever marry the captain of your football team?

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  1. Wow. I graduated from Montgomery Blair in 1992 and don't have nearly so many memories. The only famous people -- well, so far that is -- that attended were Steve Francis (he was a frosh my senior year) and Dominique Dawes (she was a frosh when I was a junior), both of whom were only there for one year.

    Anyway, there are only three memorable food places for me:
    - Italia
    - Negril
    - York Castle Ice Cream

    Sadly, I was not a chowhound yet during high school but merely content to have Jerry's and McDonald's (the ones at Four Corners) instead.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Silent Bob

      York Castle IS the original Gifford's. It's owner made the ice cream for Gifford's in their Silver Spring plant and when Gifford's closed two or three months later he opened York Castle using exactly the same base. The Gifford's in Bethesda is from a company that bought the name and not the base. Try York Castle's Swiss sundae and see if it doesn't bring back a memory-for those who remember Gifford's Swiss sundae.

      1. re: Joe H.

        The Gifford's we went to was on Lee Hwy. in Arlington. They also had one at Bailey's Crossroadsthat outlasted the Lee Hwy. location by several years.I graduated from George Mason Jr.-Sr. H.S. in FallsChurch. My iconic memories are of the following:Anthony's PizzaMario's on Wilson BoulevardWeasel on WHFS (102.3)Root Boy SlimMac's Pipe and Drum at 34th & MJJ's Apple PieThe BayouMr. Henry's Tenley CircleThe BrickskellerThe Cellar DoorNRBQRosslyn Mountain BoysSir Lord BaltimoreRoy Buchanan & the Snake StretchersDanny Gatton & the Fat Boys (at the house on Haycock Road)The Original BirchmereThe original Seldom SceneBriggs Half-SmokesLum's on Broad St.The Dixie Freez before Lum'sTopp's Drive-inAttala's PizzaTaco-Tico on Hillwood Ave.Fairfax DeliThe Confederate Sandwich ShopTuthill's Pool HallWhitey's in ArlingtonThe Wilson TavernEddie Leonard's at Thomas CircleBob's Beef House at Fairfax CircleTyson's Corner as a farm

        1. re: flavrmeistr

          I remember seeing Roy Buchanan at the Crossroads. (I think I have one of his albums around here somewhere. Probably next to one from Elmore James who I can remember listening to on WOL on nights when Dupont Circle was closed by police.) I also vaguely remember getting in to see Roy Clarke when I wasn't carded. Today the Crossroads is still a nightclub but its a Jamaican one. Did I mention seeing Jimi Hendrix play the Star Spangled Banner on his guitar at the Ambassador at 18th and Columbia?
          Some memories aren't good ones. In '68 after Martin Luther King was murdered D. C. literally burned. I remember going up on the sunroof of a high rise in Silver Spring and watch fires burn in the distance on Georgia Avenue half way downtown as well as hearing stories of armored personnel carriers patrolling Georgia Ave, 14th Street and H Street northeast among others.

          1. re: Joe H.

            That was all part of it wasn't it, Joe? The mounted cops with their powder-blue helmets and four-footnightsticks. I remember riding the bus into town tochurch at 12th & Massachusetts and seeing them lineK street every 30 feet. After church, my Mom and sister and I walked down to lunch at The Nanking Restaurant in the basement of a brownstone at 10th& Mass. Still one of the finest Chinese places in memory. It didn't burn then, but it did a few years later.Then there were the Mayday riots of '71, very excitingand a lot more fun (for me, at least). Kids these daysjust don't know what fun is.

            1. re: flavrmeistr

              When I look back on the late '60's and early '70's I find that it puts the world today in sort of a perspective. While there was no incident like a World Trade Center or Pentagon most major cities had large areas that had burned to the ground and a war waged on the other side of the earth that threatened everyone under 30 regardless of their belief in its justice, whether they went or not. From friends who died in it and the fear for those that might be sent it was not one of America's better times. Then everything that MLK had fought for was being threatened-there was real anger, right here with real damage. I would suggest that in the U. S. then fear was perhaps even more widespread and economic concern actually far greater than it is today.

              1. re: Joe H.

                I hear ya, Joe. I'm still enjoying the economic gains
                made during the Clinton years. I never thought I'd live
                to see the outright theft of a Presidential election,
                though. I find that much scarier than all the burning and looting I witnessed as a kid.

                1. re: flavrmeistr

                  We've drifted off topic here, folks. Please, let's get back to chow talk on this board. Thanks.

                  1. re: The Chowhound Team

                    Beg your pardon, all.

            2. re: Joe H.

              There was also a club called the Cross Keys onBladensburg Road, a little dump where my brotherand his band could always get work because it wasso rough no other band would play there more than once. One night the bouncers jumped on a little guyand tossed him out. He came back with a chainsawand did a fair job of cutting the place into firewood.That is, until he ran out of gas. Then they jumped on him again, beat him up some more and threw him out.And, like always, the band played on and they didn'teven stop pouring drinks until he cut the bar in half.

              1. re: flavrmeistr

                I thought that club was called the Peacecross. I played in Wipeout on drums there and scored a 10 despite not playing perfectly, but was beaten by a girl who was an amazing fiddler.

                1. re: stxnpx

                  You're probably thinking of Crossroads, near the Bladensburg Peace Cross. I'm pretty sure Roy Buchanan had a regular gig there.

                  1. re: 4X4

                    I'm sure you're right; I was only there once and thought it was the Peacecross at the Crossroads, but must have it backwards.

          2. re: Joe H.

            Thank you. I remember the ice cream

            1. re: Joe H.

              I remember York Castle in the early 1970s as owned by an immigrant from a Caribbean country. He used to make tropical ice cream flavors like mango.

              There was a bakery called Danny's, off Eastern Avenue, that was possibly the best bakery I have ever been to in my whole life.

              The Tastee Diner in downtown Silver Spring, for bread pudding.

              A wonderful Chinese restaurant down Georgia just below Colesville road run by a family named Kang or Kiang, something like that. Their kids went to Northwood though, not Blair.

              Re the rum buns that always came to the table at seafood restaurants, I have a recipe if anybody wants it.

              Days of sanity. Everybody's dad worked for the Fed and bought his suits at Lewis & Thomas Saltz. Everybody's mom bought groceries at Snider's or Magruder's. There was talk that some day DC might even have a subway but nobody much believed this.

          3. Churchill class of '76 here, so I remember several things on your list, but not all.

            Peter Pan and the only Phillips were two highlights of each summer for me. On the last day of school, my grandparents would take us WAY out to the country to Peter Pan for a celebration dinner. I remember the peacocks on the grounds, the fried shrimp (I'm still partial to fried shrimp all these years later) but especially their hush puppies with cheese in them. We went to Phillips on our only night out during our one-week vacations in OC. I don't actually remember anything about the food, though, just the atmosphere. Haven't been since I was 12, I'd guess, because there were "better" restaurants by then that my parent's preferred.

            I definitely remember the rum buns, though. It pains me that O'Donnells has totally ruined them now!

            I'll add a few:

            The Hot Shoppes drive in (not drive through!) in Wheaton (Mighty Moe and an Orange Freeze, please!)

            Velati's caramels (my mother's favorites)

            Lombardi's pizza on the boardwalk in OC (it was the perfect, incredibly thin NY-style pizza - I still dream about finding one like this)

            Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Terrie H.

              How about Nicola's "Nicabolis" oin OC (maybe it's Rehobeth)...the original calzone??? Huge (literally a pizza folded in half), cheesy, greasy, yum! We never missed a stop as kids in the 70's.

            2. Thanks for the great memories, however, one of my favorites was the Hot Shoppe, Georgia Ave (before McDonals's and Roy Roger's). It was great fun sneaking out my dad's restaurant and having a Mighty Mo/Cheeseburger and a chocolate milk shake. Now, I would just kill to get a good corn beef sandwich without having to drive an hour.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Rita H

                Was your dad's restaurant Hofberg's on Eastern Avenue?

              2. I'm quite a bit younger, but I grew up in Shepard Park and remember quite a few of these places. A few of my long lost favorites are:

                Sakura Palace
                Danny's Bakery
                Angelo's Pizzaria
                Furama Chinese
                Jamaica Joe's
                Little Tavern

                5 Replies
                1. re: Moe Green

                  I remember Shepherd Park...the bar.

                  1. re: Joe H.

                    Do you mean the "Shepard Park Restaurant" (formerly the Shepard Park Go-Go)? It was the only restaurant I knew of with no windows and there always seemed to be a lot of bikers walking in there. Hmmmmmm....

                    No wonder, my dad never took the family there :)

                      1. re: Moe Green

                        The reason your dad never took the family to the Shephard Park Bar was that it was a sleazy ta-ta place not suitable for families other then the Osbournes!!

                        1. re: Moe Green

                          Shepherd Park Lounge was headquarters for PagansM.C. and the site of many nasty doings.

                    1. I remember some of those joints...and I also remember my parents complaining that when they moved to Bethesda in 1963, the only places to stop for a bite after the movies was Giffords or the Tastee. Maybe the Charcoal Harth or the Pines of Rome stayed open late on a weekend night, but nothing compared to what they were used to out west. What a difference four decades makes!

                      And what about:
                      the zebra room for pizza
                      Armands (only for subs, they didn't make pizza til the late 70s)
                      chasing the ducks at Evans Farm Inn or Normandie Farm (almost as much fun as the peacocks at the Peter Pan)
                      Trav's chili

                      Was it "Tops," or "Topps?" I seem to remember the one on Wisconin Ave in Bethesda morphing into a Ginos, unless I have my timeline backwards. At which did you place the drive-in orders on a phone, rather than an intercom?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: joanek

                        Armand's was next door to Maggie's which had thin crust pizza going back to the early '60's. Both places along with the Zebra Room on MaComb served my friends and I when we were seventeen. The Bethesda Charcoal House was in the 7200 block of Wisconsin Avenue and Tops eventually became a Gino's which was named after Gino Marchetti. The same time he opened Gino's his former teammate from the Colts, Alan Ameche, opened Ameche's Powerhouse in Baltimore but the several Ameche's were never as successful as Gino's which became a fairly large chain before selling out. The Pines of Rome opened in the early '70's on Montgomery Lane. Travs I never went to. When I was in Glen Echo I would go to the amusement park where on friday nights a friend of mine and I would try to "meet" girls and ride the roller coaster with them. Usually we didn't have much success but we rode it anyway. In fact this really led to what I do today which is, literally, sell roller coasters. (Yes!)
                        Hot Shoppes, Mighty Mo Drive In (there were five or six around D. C.), Fat Boy in Baltimore all had "teletrays." I think the Varsity also had them on 40 West.
                        Gifford's was the best ice cream in the D. C. area and for me personally there is still a sense of loss. When I'm in Cincinnati I sometimes stop at Graeter's which is VERY similar. You can still get a Swiss Sundae and the original ice cream (but not the ambience) at York Castle in the 9200 block of Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring. The Bethesda Gifford's only bought the name not the base or the recipes.
                        You must remember Mario's on River Road?

                        1. re: Joe H.

                          Actually, Mario's fell off my list, for some reason. I meant to have it there. It closed while I was in college or soon after, but it was part of my bethesda childhood. (I was in the "tot" category when my parents moved there in the early 60s)

                          I only entered Trav's once(much tougher than Georgetown for underagers and too scary for us good girls), and it was toward the very end of the run for the bar. The chili lives on though, you can find it at the bar of the Inn at Glen Echo. Same bar, too.

                          Pines of Rome had a bit of competition from the bethesda Roma for a while, but that didn't last long. I wandered into "the pines" about a year ago, same menu, same food, looked to be same people sitting at the tables.

                          1. re: Joe H.

                            Trav's was famous for three things; fights, cheap women and the nastiest chili-dog in christendom.My brother and the guys in his band lived in a housebehind there in the early seventies. Last I heard Trav's was still there, but I'm sure it's nothing like theold days. Modern morality and the advent of SWATteams would just not permit it.

                            1. re: flavrmeistr

                              Trav's is long gone---it's now the Inn at Glen Echo. The bar is still there, as is the chili. (Bikers are gone, for the most part. Now, it's the 2 wheeled kind)

                              I don't recall the Inn ever coming up here. I like it, especially for a birthday or family event, as it's fairly easy to get a private room. And, I've never had a bad meal. Kinda pricey, but nice ambience.

                              I grew up on the hill above it and we would always sneak a glance when driving by, hoping to see a fight!

                              1. re: joanek

                                I have a souvie from Trav's to this day--eight stitches on my forehead.

                                1. re: flavrmeistr

                                  OK, two more from me. How about Fred's Inn, home of the Pagans at CU and the Acropolie right off the MD in DC.