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Sep 10, 2000 05:28 PM

Endangered and Extinct Foods

  • j

Any additions? Sightings?

Hash browns
Wild rice
Poached eggs
Pizza burgers
Broiled shad roe
Lobster thermidor
Cube steak
Cinnamon toast
Pudding in general
Liver and bacon

Butterscotch walnut cookies
Butterscotch pudding (in fact, butterscotch in general)
Mock turtle soup
Pineapple upside down cake
Bismark Herring
Hasenpfeffer (what is it, anyway??)
Real egg creams (First test of a place that makes serious egg creams: they don't ask you "what flavor?")

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  1. Jim, I assume you're talking about restaurants (certainly, some of this stuff [wild rice, cinnamon toast, pudding, pineapple upside down cake--made with gingerbread] lives on in my kitchen).

    Pizza burger sightings: million-kindsa-burger places like Jackson Hole in NYC and Barney's in the SF Bay Area.

    True hash browns (i.e. crispy grated potatoes, no onions, peppers, etc.) live on at Lois the Pie Queen in Oakland, where egg orders come with choice of hash browns, grits, or rice and toast or biscuits. Breakfast, southern style.

    Haven't seen a non-Benedict poached egg since ???

    I believe Hasenpfeffer is a rabbit stew.

    My addition: REAL spaghetti carbonara, i.e., no cream, peas, mushrooms, prosciutto, etc., just pancetta/bacon, butter, egg, parmagiano, maybe parsley.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin

      ->My addition: REAL spaghetti carbonara, i.e., no ->cream, peas, mushrooms,prosciutto, etc., just ->pancetta/bacon, butter, egg, parmagiano, maybe ->parsley.

      This is interesting, I just spent a month in Italy, being fed constantly by 4 aunts (2 in Tuscany 2 in Sicily) Just the mention of wanting something, was met with a race to the kitchen. (It got scary after awhile)

      One day I mentioned spaghetti carbonara, I was so use to the cream/peas/mushroom thing, I was kind of surpised and pleased to see it prepared the way you just mentioned. I was so use to preparing it with all those extras, I had forgotten how much better it is this way.

      1. re: Phil Pace

        Sphagetti Carbonara in and of itself is not a genuine Italian dish. It was invented during World War II when the GI's used to get shipments of bacon from home and they would bring it to the local families and whatnot who didnt know what to do with all of it -- so they came up with carbonara. Honest.

        So yes, you can still get it in Italy, but as to what real sphagetti carbonara is quite debatable, it was a thrown together dish to begin with.

        No dissing it at all -- I happen to love the dish and all variants of it. Any pasta dish with bacon in it or prosciutto is way up my list!

        1. re: Jason Perlow

          I realize you were responding to phil's having spaghetti carbobara while in Italy, but: I couldn't care less if it's "really" Italian or if it's Ghanaian; I just don't think the original concept exists in restaurants anymore. Restaurant carbonara seems to be cream sauce, invariably w/peas and/or mushrooms, and often some non-bacon pork products thrown in. Nothing wrong with that per se, but why call it what it's not? On the one hand, why should I care--I haven't eaten bacon or other pork for at least 15 years. But on the other hand, it saddens me to see the exinction of the elemental spaghetti carbonara of my childhood, which was just bacon, butter, egg, parmagiano, and usuaslly some parsley and lots of pepper to cut the richness. I'd be thrilled to see that on a restaurant menu, even though I personally wouldn't be eating it!

          1. re: Caitlin

            Wow I am surprised to hear that. I even think there was something in this month's Saveur about Rome and how the dish was invented there or at least in Lazio.

            I had always heard the story that carbonara that the the dish is named for , is a charcoal maker and the black pepper (some put in) reperesents the charcoal flecks that had fallen in the disk.

            1. re: Phil Pace

              Check out this recipe with the accompanying explanation:


              Whatever the origin the recipe sounds pretty good.

              I believe I remember hearing the WWII/GI theory from David Rosengarten on his TV show... he's usually pretty informed about this stuff.


              1. re: Jason Perlow

                I think that the original carbonara (Caitlin's right: comes from "charcoal makers," really woodcutters) originated in the days when the woodsmen, who stayed out in the forests for weeks, brought only the relatively non-perishables: salted/smoked bacon (pancetta), eggs, cheese, pepper and salt. The "Carbonara Americana" came after WW2, when the GIs tasted the original and "improved" it in the mess halls by tossing in peas, shrooms, whathaveyou that the Army shipped over. As the old Italian expression goes, you're right, you're right, you're both right!

                BTW, for a *very* rich version, Calvin Trillin offers his recipe in Molly O'Neill's "New York Cookbook" (one of the few recipes that actually works, but that's another story. But **warning**: do *not* even attempt the "ceviche" (hah!) with . . . get this, sports fans . . . ketchup! Yucchhh!)

            2. re: Caitlin

              My boyfriend put this dish on his menu last winter, prepared as you remember it (no peas,no cream, definitely no mushrooms,and with pancetta as the pork product). He thought it would be great for people to enjoy carbonara as it was traditionally prepared, but wasn't sure that it would fly in Westport, CT. Much to his surprise, it was very popular. It's currently not on the menu (it's pretty rich for summer time), but will probably make a return this fall. So it's not extinct just yet!

              1. re: wendy

                Just about every Italian(-American) restaurant in the Dee Cee metro area -- the "Pines" chain (DC, Alex'ia, Bethesda, Arlington, etc etc) comes to mind -- serves Carbonara, and lots of other places too. Hardly extinct, not nearly endangered, more like thriving. Come on down!

                1. re: John

                  Ah, yes, but it is the elemental carbonara the extinction of which I mentioned--just speghetti with pancetta, butter, eggs, parmagiano, parsley, and pepper--or the typical restaurant concoctin of peas and/or mushrooms, etc. in a cream-based sauce? The original, unfussy, carbonara is the one that is AWOL from restaurant menus, as far as I can tell.

                  1. re: Caitlin

                    Perhaps the reason that the real article is so rarely seen in restaurants is that--along with spaghetti aglio e olio--it is something any halfway competent home cook can make herself or himself in about five minutes using ingredients that keep pretty well. It's as close to a failsafe recipe as there is in the canon.

                    I suspect a huge percentage of the people who really enjoy the intense porkiness of the ``authentic'' version never bother to order it out.

                    1. re: Caitlin

                      I've been told that a Roman purist would insist on guanciale and Pecorino Romano instead of pancetta and parmesan.

          2. re: Caitlin

            Every place in PA that serves either carbonara or vodka sauce adds ham (like shredded lunchmeat) and peas. Carbonara usually contains cream here. Makes me want to cry (and order something else.

          3. Cinnamon toast I eat at home. Ditto liver and bacon (don't forget the grilled onions). I also see this on several menus (no bacon) in both L.A. & S.F. Same holds true for puddings: bread pudding & creme brulee. Poached eggs used to be served on hash for brunch at a rest. in D.C. Didn't know that butterscotch pudding was gone. Sorry to hear it. Used to be one of my favorites as a child. The lobster you get in Calif. you wouldn't eat..thermidor or otherwise.

            45 Replies
            1. re: Kit

              Kit, hey, I wasn't saying that some cosmic force was keeping people from adding cinnamon and sugar to toast! I'm talking about restaurant versions of these things.

              Thanks, everyone, for all the replies. I'll be away from the boards for a day or two, but will respond later. I don't spend much time in Denny's or MN, but I want to go now (to MN, not Denny's!)

              Also, while subtractions from my list are welcome (both from an organizational and from a chowhound point of view), I'm wondering if more people have nominations of things they can't find anymore. I think it'd be cool to work up a master list, which I can cull into a special report. And it's great to have this cross-country feedback. I think if all our resident chowhounds sign off on the non-existence of a given food, it's a good bet it can't be found (note that "endangered" foods can still be found...but just much less prevalent and/or much less delicious than in the past)


              1. re: Jim Leff

                A few additions:

                Lobster Newburg
                Snowballs (ice cream ball covered in coconut)
                Euphraties crackers in bread baskets
                Pea soup served with sherry on the side
                crustless sandwiches (every bread has to have bite now)
                Scalloped potatoes
                Baked stuffed tomatoes (used to be a country club classic)
                Real chicken kiev (not the frz. kind)
                Duck a la orange
                And oh God, the one I miss the most, cho-cho at Trader Vics - marinated beef you broiled over coals yourself. They served it here in Chicago, if you asked nicely (it was off the menu for years), but now they won't do it anymore citing fire hazard. I'd gladly go up in flames for this little dish. Sigh.

                1. re: vryan

                  You can get tasty little sandwiches with the crusts removed at the Silver Tips tea shop in Tarrytown. I had one that involved an olive tapenade and cream cheese and was quite good in a 1950s ladies luncheon sort of way.

                  Silver Tips, by the way, has an amazing tea list and is worth visiting for the tea alone.

                  The woman who owns it is from India, so the samosas are worth eating too.

                  - VF

                  1. re: vryan

                    The chicken kiev at Firebird in NYC is probably the best example of it that I've ever seen. Its tender and utterly overflowing with the butter sauce.

                    1. re: vryan

                      Junket is available from the Vermont Country Store. I've never actually seen or tasted any, though, and never knew anyone under 50 who has.

                      1. re: Bilmo

                        I've always loved Junket. It is special at least in part because it requires continuous stirring, so I never got it that often as a kid. The combination of tart and sweet is unusual and special. It is excellent to use as a background for appreciating subtle variations between different recipes for delicately flavoured whipped cream.

                        BTW, I am not an exception to your rule, I'm 53.

                        1. re: Ed

                          I recall my grandmother making a pudding-like dessert, very, very delicate, which she called blanc mange. No gelatin was used; the thickening agent was made of some kind of seaweed found on the coast of Maine. I've tried to find recipes using seaweed, but everything I've seen uses sheets of gelatin. Is this an extinct dish?

                          1. re: pat hammond

                            That seaweed you're referring to is also known as carrageenan, which many have seen listed as an ingredient in all sorts of foods. I believe it is originally from the coast of Scotland.

                              1. re: Bilmo

                                Bilmo, Do you know if the type of seaweed is called Irish Moss? Somehow that sticks in my mind. p.

                                1. re: pat h.

                                  Yes, I believe that's the same thing. I'm not sure, but I think agar-agar is also the same. At least, it's also derived from seaweed.

                                  1. re: Bilmo

                                    Agar agar! I know that stuff. If you ever come across a recipe for the real thing, please post! I'd love to try making it. I'm sure I could still find Irish Moss. I remember exactly what it looks like. Thanks a lot. pat

                                  2. re: pat h.

                                    Pat - LOL - I grew Scotch moss in my yard!

                                2. re: pat hammond

                                  Blancmange was (is?) a popular dessert in the UK as well. It was available as a powdered dessert mix (like Jell-o pudding) made by the Birds company and imported here. My mother used to use it as a layer in a British trifle. It seemed to disappear from specialty stores in the early 80's. I have also occasionally seen a similar mix from the Oetker company.

                                  1. re: rjka

                                    I seem to remember a Monty Python skit about giant mutant blancmages attacking people. I'll have to crack open my python DVD's and see if I can find it.


                                    1. re: Jason Perlow

                                      There was a skit about a blancmange that won Wimbledon, which culminated with this enormous amorphic racket-wielding pudding jumping over the net. I remember my sisters, brother and I rolling around on the floor hysterical over this. My sister, who was about ten (this is early seventies) and a terrific mimic used to do all the voices and jump around imitating the pudding which cracked us up even further.

                                      1. re: Martha Gehan

                                        Right.. "THE BLANCMAGES ARE TAKING WIMBLEDON!!!!"

                                        Now I remember. Lemme see if I can drag up the script.

                                  2. re: pat hammond

                                    I believe this is also what is referred to as a "shape" (often with horror!) in numerous English novels!

                                    In searching for blancmange I found versions thickened with sea moss, gelatin, agar-agar and most commonly cornstarch. The definition linked below seems on target.


                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                      Thanks, Jen. Good resource site, too.

                                3. re: Bilmo

                                  What is junket please?
                                  Must be an East Coast thing.
                                  Also, I used to know what rumaki is. Can't remember.

                                  1. re: Vanessa

                                    Junket is a brand name for a dessert that is actually just rennet (like for making cheese) and flavoring. It makes a sort of quivery pudding from milk, I think.

                                    Rumaki are chicken livers wrapped with water chestnut slices in bacon, and broiled. A very popular homemade appetizer in the 50's and 60's. I remember reading that they were actually invented by an appliance manufacturer, but I don't know if that's true.

                                    1. re: Bilmo
                                      Junket and Ru

                                      Junket isn't a brand name -- it turns up in online dictionaries as the primary definition (even before "trip"!) for the word. Perhaps this pudding is so great that govt. officials fudge paid trips to go have some?

                                      Rumaki may or may not have been "invented" by said appliance manufacturer, but the word is just a misspelling [intentional?] of "harumaki" -- Japanese spring rolls.

                                      Was this manufacturer in the US or Japan? Japanese I asked were of no help on this term, because an unrelated "ru" means filler/sauce/stew base (French roux), so "rumaki" sounded like "wrapped STUFF" to them !!

                                      1. re: Junket and Ru

                                        The word "junket" is probably derived from the French "jonches", for rushes. Fresh milk cheeses were traditionally made by putting the curds into rush baskets or on rush pallets in order to let the whey drain away. What we know as junket (my grandma used to eat it, I confess it was so repulsive-looking I never tasted it)is made from the same curds(not drained so thoroughly, with some of the whey still incorporated) as the farmhouse fresh milk cheeses , which have basically the same ingredients as junket but are further drained and sometimes then salted and/or shaped.

                                        1. re: Martha Gehan

                                          I was curious, and checked the net. I see repeated references to Junket as a DANISH dessert. In fact, it says so right on the box. One website that sells it says: "Danish Dessert Mixes Unique and easy to prepare. Originates from an original recipe of the Danish favorite, Rød grød". Surprised me.

                                          1. re: Bilmo

                                            It is a wonderfully fruity dessert.

                                            1. re: Bilmo

                                              I agree! It is great! I got 2 packages from my mother in Florida before Easter. It refreshed my memory of how delicious it is. I found the company online and discovered Redco Foods, Inc. has a direct order line. I am going to try it and see if I can order a supply.
                                              Have you found any other places to get it?
                                              Happy Eating!

                                            2. re: Martha Gehan

                                              > The word "junket" is probably derived from the French "jonches", for rushes.

                                              More or less. From

                                              Etymology: Middle English ioncate, ultimately from (assumed) Vulgar Latin juncata, from Latin juncus rush
                                              Date: 15th century

                                              1 : a dessert of sweetened flavored milk set with rennet

                                              2 a : a festive social affair b : TRIP, JOURNEY; especially : a trip made by an official at public expense

                                              Actually, I've never even heard of the stuff. Who makes that packaged version, Bilmo? I couldn't find any such thing in the supermarkets [Seattle] this morning. Thought I'd give it a try.

                                              "Rennet" -- which I was also unfamiliar with -- sounds disgusting enough on its own!! Gelatine made from stomach linings?!?!?! UGH!!

                                              Pass the haggis....

                                              1. re: Jim Wong

                                                Well, if you don't like the animal source of rennet, there's a lot of cheese you better stay away from, too!

                                                1. re: Jim Wong

                                                  All together now... (in Homer Simpsons voice)
                                                  mmmmmmm haggis.

                                                  1. re: Jim Wong

                                                    How is eating something stuffed into a stomach any different from eating sausage (stuffed intestines)?
                                                    Actually, I've always rather wanted to taste haggis- and a friend who's coming to visit from Scotland has threatened to bring one-if he can get it past customs I'll report.

                                                    1. re: Martha Gehan
                                                      Martha Gandier

                                                      I am so glad I found you, oh junket-mavens! Having used several traditional as well as specialized search engines, and a few based in Britain and Europe, I was unable to find the information I’ve landed on in this newsgroup.

                                                      On the day my middle-aged body said, “Do not put that stuff into me…” in a serious tone, I decided to return to the foods I grew up with in beautiful little Meaford, Ontario, Can, on the south shore of Georgian Bay. The family operated a small farm and orchard, so for most of my childhood there was plenty of milk.
                                                      It wasn’t hard to find information about pearl tapioca, rice and other custard-type puddings, but apparently ‘junket’ was a short visit, or a product on the shelves of online grocery stores. In my memory, junket was something you ate when you were very, very ill and Mother was following the recommendations outlined in the ‘semi solid’ diet sheet. (Anybody remember the 'sippi (sp?) diet? Good heavens. Thick cream for a gastric ulcer!) I liked junket in those days, but the bit about the stomach linings and haggis caused a revisit to the junket idea.

                                                      Martha Gandier, Toronto

                                              2. re: Bilmo

                                                Rumaki: oops, I forgot the water chestnut.

                                                1. re: Bilmo

                                                  Thanks everyone for jumping in and giving me all the information I wanted to know about rumaki and junket, but have been afraid to ask.

                                                2. re: Vanessa

                                                  Rumaki was very popular at Trader Vic's in the 60's. It's chicken livers wrapped with a bacon strip (and sometimes a little soaking of teriyaki sauce) and broiled til done. Very tasty, even if it isn't very good for you..sigh..

                                                3. re: Bilmo

                                                  I am well under 50 and I remember junket quite well. My Mom used to give it to me when I was ill. Vanilla, raspberry and chocolate flavors. I only liked the first bite then the whole thing would separate into syrup and the firmer stuff floating around.

                                                  1. re: Heidi

                                                    Heidi- Well, unfortunately I'm NOT under 50, my mother used to feed me junket when I was ill, too. I'd forgotten about the separating. Another dish she made when I wasn't feeling well was a combination of mashed potatoes & mashed carrots with a big dollop of butter floating on top. Somehow it never tastes the same when I make it.

                                                    1. re: kit

                                                      Ooh, that sounds good. I'll have to try it out sometime.

                                                4. re: vryan

                                                  Hi Bryan,

                                                  Though it probably isn't worth the air fare, crustless sandwiches are alive and well here in Tokyo. Actually, trying to find a sandwich in a restaurant WITH the crust is actually an endangered species. And, for the convenience of the shopping public, it is now possible to buy bread in the supermarket sans crust.


                                                  BTW, my kitchen is now the best place in Tokyo to get a deep dish pizza. Thanks for the advice about learning to make my own.

                                                5. re: Jim Leff

                                                  Hey, how about Welsh Rarebit??? Does anyone remember the chain of restaurants in New England called the Red Coach Grill?? Dark wood,plaid carpets... they made great welsh rarebit on toast, moderately spiced and with a dash of sherry. That was my comfort food when
                                                  our whole family piled into a car on a family trip.

                                                  1. re: Casey

                                                    My Mom would, far too infrequently for my taste, make Welsh Rarebit for us. Howard Johnson's, where we went quite a bit as kids, and where I got my first "out of the family" and first restaurant job, served it. Like a lot of Howard Johnson stuff, it was in single serving boil-in-bags, just heat and eat.

                                                    There is a restaurant in Copperopolis, on Tulloch Lake, that puts a fondue pot of Welsh Rarebit and toast on the table automaticly when you come in for dinner.

                                                    About two months ago, I bought Rick Rodgers' cookbook "Fondue". We picked up a fondue pot for $10 at Stein Mart, and the first thing I made was Welsh Rarebit.

                                                    1. re: Ed

                                                      That Rick Rodgers FONDUE cookbook is the best fondue cookbook ever written (and I've got a dozen). The best recipe (he says so himself) is a gruyere/caramelized onion number, for which you basically start making onion soup, and suddenly it's fondue! It's like eating the top of onion soup gratinee for 45 minutes or so.

                                                      1. re: Tom Steele

                                                        Bilmo: One of my son's favorites was cheese fondue and I always served it on his birthday. I use imported Swiss, gruyere, and emanthaler..a recipe I got from a local cheese shop..sadly, no longer here.

                                                      2. re: Ed

                                                        Hi there: Would it be possible for you to e-mail me your recipe for Welsh Rarebit? Thanks, BOB

                                                        1. re: Ed
                                                          Rochelle McCune

                                                          yummm, Welsh Rarebit. I have a lovely welsh rarebit bread pudding that I make at the end of the holiday season that I really love.

                                                          It started out because I was trying to figure out what to do with all the bread bits leftover from making breadcup appetizers for holiday parties.

                                                          Then one day, I soaked the bread in beer, added in welsh rarebit and baked it. Sometimes beaten egg white to make it a Welsh Rarebit Souffle.

                                                          I haven't developed it into a formal recipe yet but its fabulous.

                                                        2. re: Casey

                                                          There was a very good English restaurant in Beverly Hills in the 60's that made fabulous Welch Rarebit. Does anyone remember the name? It was on Wilshire Blvd.

                                                    2. Jim,

                                                      I think many of these items on your endangered list are alive & well in huge hunks of the country:

                                                      Hash browns -- Aren't these available in any Denny's (or other chain coffee shop) in the country? Aren't they popular all over California, to name just one populous state)?

                                                      Wild rice -- I just saw these in buffets in Las Vegas. Definitely at the Paris.

                                                      Poached eggs -- I don't eat breakfast much, but it's rare to be refused poached eggs when offered eggs "any style." When I don't eat an omelette, this is usually how I order them.
                                                      Liver and bacon -- this is available all over the west and midwest as a dinner special (usually with a choice of onions or bacon). Almost always in places that offer full dinners. And I see it often in diners in Manhattan -- most recently at the place on 69th and Broadway.


                                                      Butterscotch pudding (in fact, butterscotch in general)
                                                      Offhand, I can't ever remember this being offered in
                                                      any restaurant, anywhere. I sure hope that Jello-O
                                                      hasn't stopped making this. Say it isn't so.

                                                      Bismark Herring -- Really? Have to admit I haven't seen this in a while, but can it really be extinct?

                                                      Real egg creams (First test of a place that makes serious egg creams: they don't ask you "what flavor?") -- Do you mean "real" or "good?"

                                                      1. g
                                                        Gregory White

                                                        Apparently, I'm living in a game reserve of sorts for endangered foods (MN). Vast herds of wild rice, hashbrowns, poached eggs and liver roaming free. Hasenpfeffer is braised hare, traditionally, although rabbit is a viable substitute. I'm the sous chef in a German restaurant; we're thinking about running it as a special this winter.

                                                        13 Replies
                                                        1. re: Gregory White
                                                          Frank Language

                                                          Gregory White writes: "Apparently, I'm living in a game reserve of sorts for endangered foods (MN). Vast herds of wild rice, hashbrowns, poached eggs and liver roaming free."

                                                          Well, being in Minnesota, you're at the heart of wild rice country. Wild rice is really wehani, amember of the grass family, and traditionally is harvested by Native Americans in canoes. As far as I know, you can still get wehani at Whole Foods, and Lundberg in California makes several wild-rice blends; I actually ordered it several years back from a reservation in Minnesota. Or are you specifically looking for these things in restaurants? (Sounds like you're looking for love in all the wrong places.)

                                                          I bet you have huge herds of butterscotch roaming there as well; am I incorrect, or doesn't Callard & Bowser still make their famous butterscotch candies? What exactly are you looking for, Jim? Butterscotch cream pie? Has Nestle discontinued their butterscotch morsels? (If so, I missed that one.) And as for butterscotch pudding, I haven't really looked lately for Kozy Shack buttescotch pudding, but I know Imagine Foods makes a vegan (dairy-free) pudding in several flavors including butterscotch.Little Snak-pak containers, perfect for a lunchbox treat.

                                                          "I'm the sous chef in a German restaurant..."

                                                          Tell me, do you play ABBA on the sound system? I went to a German restaurant (called Hallo Berlin) in Hell's Kitchen last spring, and they played nothing but back-to-back ABBA in all kinds of languages.

                                                          1. re: Frank Language
                                                            Gregory White

                                                            No ABBA, just oompah music and German classical. Even though it's better than ABBA, it still gets to our front staff after a while. And, yes, MN and WI are wild rice country. The traditional harvest method is to go out in a canoe, bend the grass over it and thresh the grain into the bottom of the canoe. It's kind of funny to see it referred to on a menu as "wehani wild rice". Sort of along the same lines as "mesclun mix" in it's redundancy.

                                                            1. re: Frank Language

                                                              Nestle's still makes butterscotch chips, with which I make MEAN banana/butterscotch chip muffins whenever I've got overripe bananas lying on the counter.

                                                              As for Beef Wellington, although Ruth Reichl declared it "always a mistake," I had it not terribly long ago at Chez Suzette (9th Ave. bet. 46th and 47th), and it was quite delicious. I've made it at home, spreading duxelles and foie gras mousse around a tenderloin, sealing that in puff pastry, and baking with a meat thermometer until just rare. After a 10 minute rest, I think it's pretty great. It was THE way to impress your friends in the Sixties, because it's a bit tricky to pull off every time. My mother was good at it, but even she reverted instead to marinating a tenderloin in good port overnight, which she does to this day, after one Wellington overcooked for no apparent reason.

                                                              I had pineapple upside-down cake about a year and a half ago, at Across the Street (across from Eli Zabar's Vinegar Factory), but that restaurant is long gone now. It's a wonderful dessert, and I'll bet it will make a comeback, especially given the sudden renewed popularity of the dish's great grandmother, Tarte Tatin, which employs more than a few of the same principles.

                                                              I've mentioned them before, months ago, but still stuffed jalapeno "poppers" are damned difficult to find. The best I've found are at Alamo (East 48th St., near Second Ave.), where they're stuffed with Muenster cheese and individually hand fried (they're held by the stem and lowered by hand into boiling oil). Everywhere else I've found them (about two places) uses the frozen store-bought kind, which means those lily-livered jalapenos with no heat, and flabby cream cheese or gluey cheddar. Any other sightings?

                                                              1. re: Tom Steele

                                                                Jalapeno poppers are easy to find at TGIF's. At least the one in Holmdel, New Jersey!

                                                                1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                                  Hey Dave,

                                                                  That is hilarious. Would you mind posting under your original string about what you actually DID end up having at TGIF? After the advice that you recieved from all of us, I'm sure that some are morbidly curious...kind of like watching a chowhound car accident, we don't want to know, but can't look away.


                                                                  1. re: Andy P.

                                                                    At the point when I put the first bite of food into my mouth at TGIF's, I had not eaten in almost 24 hours. I was very, very hungry.

                                                                    As expected, the menu was huge, with many "ethnic" foods featured. I decided to get the potstickers, a small salad, and a "turkey Reuben."

                                                                    The potstickers were almost credible; the skins, presumably thawed, had the right amount of chewiness. The filling was mystery meat, and inoffensive. The only problem was that the filling was outrageously salty.

                                                                    I ordered the sandwich out of sheer curiosity. What would it be like to have a Reuben without corned beef or pastrami, without Swiss cheese, and without sauerkraut?

                                                                    Instead it was turkey (turkey roll?) with jack cheese and cole slaw on (wonder of wonders) rye bread.

                                                                    That said, I was impressed with many elements of TGIF's, especially the service. I was at a table for 24, not in a private room, and our primary server was named Aja (yes, named after the Steely Dan song). She handled our table with grace and aplomb; everyone there tried their best, and allowed our party to shift around without any complaints.

                                                                    Why was I in Holmdel? To see Brian Wilson perform Pet Sounds (and other compositions of his) in its entirety, along with a symphony orchestra and a fantastic band. Some of our group came from as far away as South Africa and England to see this concert. On this particular night, it was more important to go to a restaurant that could serve 24 of us in stride at 4:30 p.m. (and let us linger for 2-1/2 hours) then it was to have great food.

                                                                    1. re: Dave Feldman


                                                                      It sounds like you had a fantastic evening...and that is great!


                                                                    2. re: Andy P.

                                                                      its terrible how ethic food gets marginalized when it hits the main stream. Bagels, for example, used to be all handmade and were 1/2 of size of most of the bagels available today which are some sort of bagel/cake/bread concoction. Same with cream cheese. American food manufacturers have been buying up small quality regional brands and making them cheaper. Its an evil thing.

                                                                  2. re: Tom Steele

                                                                    In Los Angeles, you can get jalapeno poppers at Jack in the Box. And eat way too many of them without even leaving your car.

                                                                  3. re: Frank Language

                                                                    Nu, so what kind of grouch could object to ABBA? It's like objecting to butterscotch pudding...............

                                                                    1. re: Ed

                                                                      Mama mia, here I go again...
                                                                      Ed, I totally agree. From a commercial standpoint, those Swedish gals/guys make the record retailer that I work for A LOT of money...year in and year out. And, heck, they can still get my toes a'tapping (yeah, ABBA is a one of my guilty pleasures)!

                                                                    2. re: Frank Language

                                                                      Well, I am hoping that this message will get posted to other search engines.

                                                                      Sad to say, Callard and Bowser does NOT make their butterscotch toffees anymore. I called today (1/13/04) and was informed by one of Kraft Foods Customer reps that the sales of the butterscotch and other toffee was not justified to keep in in the markets. If you would like to bring the old butterscotch squares back, call 800 678 4246, provide them with your first and last name, and tell then you WANT YOUR CALLARD AND BOWSERS BUTTERSCOTCH BARS BACK!

                                                                    3. re: Gregory White

                                                                      Liver running free. You kill me.

                                                                    4. Nothing on your endangered list strikes me as being any rarer now than it was, say, in the 70s. Except cube steak, perhaps.

                                                                      How about STRAWBERRY MILK? And Snak Paks...I guess they're still around, but they don't seem to market them like they used to. And Pecan Sandies. Carob Bean ice cream in a mainstream store (i.e. in the top five list with Vanilla and Chocolate like in its heyday). DynaMints (guess Tic Tacs won THAT battle). Moldable shapes on the McDonald's drink lids. King Vitamin cereal. COFFEE IN ENGLISH.

                                                                      By the way, what's the deal on "egg cream"? You've mentioned it so many times, that I've decided it is either a local (NYC) name for something else (eggnog? milkshake? malt?) or that I am simply too young (about 40). I 'm guessing it is something from one of those "soda jerk" shops of the 50s, but I've never actually seen the term outside of this board (and a quick search on the web for a definition). So if they're extinct, it musta happened before my time.

                                                                      I take that back -- I did get something in a can by that name a few years back. Seemed to be roughly root beer and milk. I doubt this is reflective of the "real" ones, but that particular incarnation was foul to say the least.


                                                                      PS: Butterscotch is alive and well in Vancouver!! I think it's due to the "maple syrup" influence.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Jim Wong

                                                                        I think it's a local thing.

                                                                        Man, I remember the egg creams I used to get at Louie's Candy store on Henry Street in Brooklyn, NY.

                                                                        They were heaven sent. Unfortunately, real egg creams are a bit hard to come by out in my area (Philly/Princeton). There's a semi-serious Jewish Deli
                                                                        on Route 1 in Princeton, but they charge an outrageous amount fro what is nothing more than milk, Seltzer and Foxe's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup. They do this to cater to the tragically hip yuppies in Princeton in search of ?ethnic Flavor? (which is why you can buy Foxe's at Restoration Hardware).

                                                                        Can you still get Manhattan Special Espresso Soda in NY?

                                                                        1. re: Pat i.

                                                                          You can get Manhattan Special at virtually any Italian deli in NY and NJ. I buy at least two large bottles a month.


                                                                          1. re: Jason Perlow

                                                                            I went to the Festival Of Lights in Trenton yesterday, and one vendor was selling Manhattan Special.

                                                                          2. re: Pat i.

                                                                            Manhattan Special can also be found at Thrifty Beverage on Court St in Brooklyn. As well as many excellent beers. 2 for 1 stop.

                                                                          3. re: Jim Wong

                                                                            King Vitamin cereal, hmmmm. The poor mans Captian Crunch. My mom would buy that because it had vitamin in the name. Oddly enough here in Maryland one of the chain grocery store named "Food Lion" sells it. I bought a box and I was dissapointed by the tast.