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Aug 2, 2008 02:45 PM

one-hit wonders primed for a comeback

Recently I posted about the fact that I'm thrilled to see the great 80s staple that were potato skins popping up on menus once again. Last night I was at a bar-and-grill whose staunch devotion to stuff like blackened chicken & fettuccine alfredo just touches me somehow.

I'm wondering which once-trendy, now-forgotten items your tastebuds would like a reunion with.

A few of mine:

Swedish meatballs
fried cheese w/ marinara
baked apples as garnish
daiquiris & their ilk

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  1. Potato skins - mmm - loved those! Good to see them making a comeback!
    More forgotten foods I'd love a reunion with:
    1 Green Goddess dressing
    2 Harvey Wallbangers
    3 old fashioned banana splits with pineapple topping (no one has the pineapple topping anymore! A real banana split needs 3 toppings and only 3 - chocolate, marshmallow, & pineapple!)
    4 malt powder for malteds
    5 egg creams (a NYC thing, but they'd go over well anywhere!)

    19 Replies
    1. re: Sra. Swanky

      Egg creams are definitely NOT a NYC thing. My dad who grew up in Chi talks about them all the time!.

      1. re: gordeaux

        Gordeaux -- they completely ARE a NYC thing. Egg creams are the quintessential New York treat and most people would agree with me on this one. They were invented in Brooklyn and the most authentic ones have U-Bet syrup in them. (Another NY-based company) Your pop from Chi-town must've enjoyed them from a NYC-style soda fountain in Chicago.

        A little something to back up my claim:

          1. re: Quine

            ^have some in my fridge

            if only i had some seltzer and some milk too...

            (quine? are you a coder?)

            1. re: DamnAvocado

              Now, to answer that would be totally un food related

        1. re: gordeaux

          In Chicago, we called them "chocolate phosphates".

          1. re: mnosyne

            We had phosphates in Rochester (if you asked for a Cherry Soda, you'd get an ice cream soda - what you wanted was a Cherry Phosphate) - but they had no milk in them, which is essential to an egg cream.

            1. re: Striver

              True, but a chocolate phoss is to Chicago what an egg cream is to NY.

        2. re: Sra. Swanky

          Stonewall Kitchen makes a great Green Goddess dressing!

          1. re: Sra. Swanky

            Penzey's makes a great Green Goddess mix, I make some up once or twice a week. Their Horseradish Dip is to die for also.

            I like strawberry topping also on my banana splits. I remember the corner drugstore soda fountain. They'd run a $.03 to $.33 sale on banana splits. They hid the price in a balloon and you picked a balloon and popped it and that was what you paid. Great when you were a kid on the walk home from school.

            1. re: Grillncook

              Trader Joe's has a dressing they just call "Goddess". It's my current favorite.

            2. re: Sra. Swanky

              EEeewwww...potato skins! I remember when those things first showed up at a fern bar in Nashville, I think maybe '81 or '82, a bunch of us passed a hilarious hour or so coming up with ideas for similar ways to sell other kinds of food residue to gullible Yuppies - eggshells, lobster shells, corn husks, fish scales, banana skins...

              Green Goddess never left, nor did malt powder - you just gotta look for them.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  Huh? Skins aren't residue. Throwing them away is the mistake, not eating them.

                  Especially not when they're smothered in cheese and bacon.

                  1. re: tatamagouche

                    and sour cream....

                    As my dad always says, the skin/crust/whatever a kid wouldn't eat is the best part!

                2. re: Sra. Swanky

                  We have been serving Green Goddess dressing as a crudite dip for years. Everyone always begs us for the recipe -- it's from an old NY Times cookbook edited by Craig Clairborn.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    Thanks for the tip. I used to love Green Goddess dressing and had no idea where to find a good recipe for it.

                    1. re: mayiomoula

                      search the boards. i know there are at least two threads on that topic, and recipes!

                    2. re: roxlet

                      Green Goddess may have lost its popular status on the plastic laminated menus of trendy chains, but it has never gone away. It's credited to a San Francisco chef in the 1020s, but it was probably developed by the 3rd or 4th good chef who had a penchant for herbs and anchovies and learned the secret of emulsion from that apocryphal French chef credited with inventing mayo.

                      The Kraft bottled dressing has kept it alive for the purchase, shake, unscrew, and pour generation, but now that anchovies and herbs are more mainstream, enthusiasts can consult this link for 7 classic printed versions:

                      (use Ctrl F for "A SURVEY OF GREEN GODDESS RECIPES")

                  2. Some of the eighties flavors for me were ... french dip, buffalo wings, mexican fried ice cream, potato skins, mozzarella sticks, and crab rangoons. I've removed most of these foods from my rotation because they're terrible for you, and I try to eat a lot healthier.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                      Oooo fried ice cream! But it's got to be the kind that has a granola like coating, none of this tempura/fish n chips batter nonsense.

                      1. re: Humbucker

                        I worked at a place years ago that coated the ice cream with corn flakes before frying. Delicious!

                        1. re: mojoeater

                          I'm pretty sure that's the standard recipe.

                    2. Pu-pu platters and rum drinks served in coconuts!

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: meatn3

                        YES!!! Pu-pu platters were the greatest! And the little umbrellas they served the rum drinks with!

                        1. re: Sra. Swanky

                          My parents would let us kids eat the coconuts the next day - we loved them. Now I suspect the after effects of the rum impregnated fruit on us kids let their Sunday be a little more leisurely!

                          1. re: Sra. Swanky

                            my vote goes for spicy curly fries, and as tatamagouche mentioned in her OP, fried mozzarella with marinara.

                            "YES!!! Pu-pu platters were the greatest! And the little umbrellas they served the rum drinks with!"
                            we used to just ask them to put umbrellas in our sodas because my parents weren't into the coconut drinks. there was a local chinese restaurant my friends & i used to go to in my early high school days where we could drink at the bar without ID. i finally tried one of those coconut drinks - probably a mai tai - and thought it was beyond vile. [it's funny, i can't stand rum, and i think it may have something to do with that drink, because i've always hated coconut. there may be a subconscious association...]

                            i've never actually had a pu-pu platter. my sister was obsessed with the idea of it because she loved to see the flames when other tables ordered it...but the one time she finally ordered it, when they lit the platter, a couple of roaches scampered out of the food & across the table. we're sort of anti pu-pu in my family now ;)

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              wait, they light pu pu platters on fire? i've never ordered one, but that may be about to change.

                              1. re: cimui

                                there's a small hibachi in the center of the platter...but when we were kids we didn't really know the details. every time we saw someone order one at a chinese restaurant, the server would put it on the table, hold a lighter to it...and suddenly flames were shooting out of the food [or so we thought].

                              2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                ghg, mai tai doesn't have coconut. or did you mean, served in a coconut? if so, try one served in a glass! yum.

                                hey, bring back planter's punch.

                                and i'm on board for stuffed tater skins, with lots of sour cream to dip them in. and let's get green goddess back everywhere.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  I think GG is inching back on the scene, BTW. I've been noticing it more lately.

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    i meant served in a coconut. it doesn't matter what it's served in, i can't stand rum.

                                    but thanks for the suggestion :)

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      Planter's punch? Singapore Slings? Mai Tais?

                                      Bartenders the world over are cursing you. I remember working at a restaurant in the late 70's, and got a table of the elementary school staff out for Christmas lunch. One scotch (the principal), one beer (the male gym teacher), and 7 Planter's and 6 Slings for the ladies. The bartender gave me the dirtiest look. I'd just backed up his bar for at least 10 minutes when the restaurant was packed.

                                      1. re: KevinB

                                        lol! i used to work at a very busy bar with a 2fer1 HH on any drink you ordered. people would wait until the last minute to order the froo-froo drinks so they could nurse 2 of them for an hour after HH was over. you'd be stuck at the service bar w/ lq drinks for 20 mins w/o moving your feet to pour a beer. was nuts :)

                              3. When I was a teenager in Lubbock in the 1980s, there was a fast food place in the South Plains Mall that served, as far as I could tell, only two items: loaded baked potatoes (I seem to recall that the choices were chili cheese, broccoli cheese or sour cream and chive with bacon) and blueberry muffins. To this day, thoughts of loaded baked potatoes and/or blueberry muffins put me in mind of stirrup pants, neon colors and slap bracelets.

                                10 Replies
                                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                  Don't forget the tall mall hair, BHP. Or the frosted lip gloss.
                                  I didn't know you went from that area of the country to Boston (like me, though I'm now back West).

                                  I wonder about you all who came of age earlier, as well...what food trends fell away you'd like to see return?

                                  Actually, how come no one really serves garlic bread any more? You used to be able to get that everywhere, replaced I supposed by bruschetta, which has also fallen away, more thankfully, since it drove me nuts to hear people pronounce it brooshetta.

                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                    Hey -- in some parts of Texas, tall mall hair has never gone out of style.

                                    1. re: tatamagouche

                                      "Actually, how come no one really serves garlic bread any more?"
                                      i remember thinking, as the years went on, that i just didn't like it anymore. then i realized that it wasn't me, it was the fact that the garlic bread restaurants were serving just wasn't good!

                                      i haven't been to a pizza place in years [damn gluten!], but i always loooved the greasy, buttery garlic knots you could dip in marinara.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                        Reading this: "i always loooved the greasy, buttery garlic knots you could dip in marinara" right above your handle was pretty funny.

                                        I remember seared tuna being really good the first few times before my eyes started glazing over anytime I saw it on a menu. I wonder if anyone still serves it...

                                        1. re: tmso

                                          during my college years i was on sabbatical from my fiendish health nut ways ;)

                                          i haven't had curly fries, garlic knots, or fried mozzarella since then.

                                          i know. ridiculous.

                                    2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                      There was a restaurant on campus when I was in college in the late '80's that served the same menu - loaded potatoes and muffins. What on earth is up with that combo? I think it was called Baker's Street, or something of that ilk.

                                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                        That brings back memories - when I was a teenager in 1982, my first "real" job was working at a stuffed baked potato stand in the White Plains Galleria. Man, they were good. Interesting fillings included broccoli/cheese and spinach/cheese souffles, chili/cheese, chicken a la king, beef stroganoff, and pepper steak. That's where I really became a chowhound, I think. I remember deep-frying potato skins at the chicken stand next door, then filling the crispy shells with chili, cheese, jalapenos and sour cream. Delicious.

                                        1. re: Lono37

                                          We had a restaurant in Seattle called Flaky Jakes. Their main menu item was huge plain burgers (1/2 pound?) and huge plain baked potatoes. You received your burger or potato and went to a condiment bar that had all sorts of toppings and put whatever you wanted on them. Cheeses and cheez sauce, chili, chilies, ect....I don't remember what all they offered but I do remember trying to get as much as possible on my potato! I think after the original e-coli outbreak they went the way of most salad bars.

                                        2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                          muffins to me are definitely '80's. toasted blueberry with butter or fat-free berry muffin that tasted like angelfood cake

                                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                            Oh yes, it was called The Potato Works. I loved to eat there. I was sad when it closed.

                                          2. The Magic Pan and The Proud Popover in Boston's Faneuil Hall were the height of sophistication for us 70's kids. I'd love to have MP's orange almond salad again, with a chicken divan crepe.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: PrincessBakesALot

                                              Yes to the Magic Pan, orange almond salad can be made, but those chicken divan crepes.

                                                1. re: Cookiefiend

                                                  Ohhhhhh, those spinach crepes at the Magic Pan!

                                                2. re: PrincessBakesALot

                                                  I loved the Magic Pan...loved going to Faneuil Hall as a teenager and eating there. We thought we were so grown up. The chicken divan crepe was my favorite.