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A Eulogy for the Shopping Mall: What are/were your favorite food court foods?

d
durianbreath Apr 21, 2009 09:24 AM

The shopping mall is dead. General Growth Properties, one of the biggest and most powerful mall-owners, has filed for bankruptcy.

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/200...

It's been a long time since I've strolled past a Wet Seal or Sharper Image, but there's one thing I'll definitely miss: the food court and all of the utterly bad-for-you but viciously tempting goodies peddled within.

I'm curious: What food court foods do you consider to be the most classic examples? I can immediately recall Sbarro, Hot Dog On a Stick, Panda Express, Orange Julius, Cinnabon, Mrs. Field's and Auntie Anne's Pretzels (or some other pretzel joint). What else can you think of?

And of all these places, which nibbles did you love the most?

My favorites:

a frothy Orange Julius in a styrofoam cup

a gooey Cinnabon with that slimy cinnamon goo and runny icing

a burns-your-tongue hot Hot Dog On A Stick (eg a corndog) with accompanying pulpy lemonade

 
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  1. cayjohan Apr 21, 2009 11:44 AM

    Ah! You took mine - the Orange Julius! But a close second would be the overly-soy-sauced fried rice at the *Asian* entry into every food court in every mall in every city in the country. It's bad, but sooooo good. Coupled with an egg roll fried in too-old grease and some food service packets of "duck sauce." Gives you enough energy to brave the White Sale at JCPenney.

    Cay

    1 Reply
    1. re: cayjohan
      invinotheresverde Aug 3, 2009 03:35 PM

      I think I only went to the mall for those egg rolls (and the cute boys!).

    2. j
      Janet from Richmond Apr 21, 2009 12:03 PM

      Auntie Anne's Pretzels, specifically for their Honey Mustard which was crack addictive.

      Always had a soft spot for a Sbarro slice, especially when a bit dried out from being under the heat lamp.

      My late Mom loved Cinnabon and when she was dianosed with terminal cancer, it was her most requested food.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Janet from Richmond
        p
        paulagould Apr 21, 2009 01:41 PM

        Awww, I love that cinnabon story.

      2. t
        torty Apr 21, 2009 12:08 PM

        In my area the Food Court seems to be the cash cow of the mall. Maybe the dollars are not being spent in retail stores, but families don;t packa a picnic for a day at the mall. A teen I know working there (Chick Fila) reports mega heavy traffic and sales on the weekends. Of course his owners have cut back staff latching onto "the failing economy" train...

        My faves are the "egg rolls" (I used to bring my own tabasco) , the baked potato place and the pulpy lemonade stand.

        1 Reply
        1. re: torty
          cayjohan Apr 21, 2009 12:23 PM

          Oh yes, baked potatoes - what was that? "One Potato Two? Maybe we'll see a resurgence of potatoes in a down economy! Cay

        2. b
          Big Bad Voodoo Lou Apr 21, 2009 01:14 PM

          I'm a sucker for the bourbon chicken from Cajun Grill (and occasionally the Chinese places). I've tried duplicating that sweet brown sauce at home, to no avail. I am reasonably sure it doesn't have bourbon in it, though.

          I also love Auntie Anne's pretzels.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
            b
            beachmouse Apr 22, 2009 07:59 AM

            I remember seeing bottles of something like that at Publix a while back. Don't remember the brand name, but I was fascinated that the label described the product as 'authentic food court flavor'

            1. re: beachmouse
              Bob W Apr 22, 2009 11:04 AM

              LOL that reminds me of the menus that trumpet something like "We proudly feature KRAFT products." Bob Evans does this and I know other mediocre at best chains do too.

              Might as well just say, "We proudly tell the SYSCO driver to back that bad boy up to the loading dock every morning."

              Does that bottle of sauce come with a free army of screaming kids?

              1. re: beachmouse
                d
                durianbreath Apr 30, 2009 11:23 AM

                authentic synthetic food court flavor. love!

              2. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou
                r
                RGC1982 Aug 3, 2009 01:51 PM

                I think DH and I once compared his Asian chicken (sweet and sour, or terriyaki maybe) with my bourbon chicken from the Cajun place, and I think they were identical!

              3. billieboy Apr 21, 2009 01:18 PM

                What I miss most is the Kirgilnix at Malko's. :)

                2 Replies
                1. re: billieboy
                  k
                  kb8240 Apr 21, 2009 01:22 PM

                  I love Original Pizza. I prefer Pretzel Time, if only for the garlic pretzel, and good mustard.

                  1. re: billieboy
                    s
                    smartie Jul 3, 2009 07:41 PM

                    ha

                  2. viperlush Apr 21, 2009 01:49 PM

                    I still love mall food court food. There is something about walking around gathering samples, discussing with the BF before committing to one that I enjoy.

                    Back in the day it was Roli Boli (sp?) stromboli. Hot, greasy and full of meat and cheese.

                    For dessert Cinnabon. I hate cinnamon buns, but loved the extra frosting that came with Cinnabon buns.

                    On a "healthy day" it was a fruit smoothie and one of those huge baked potatoes.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: viperlush
                      kattyeyes Apr 21, 2009 05:27 PM

                      You just mentioned one I was gonna throw in--Roli Boli! I used to love those! I used to fool myself into thinking I made a healthy choice as I'd order one with spinach in it. ;)

                      Right there with the rest of you, I love an Orange Julius (the drink) and an Auntie Anne's *almond* pretzel--don't even need the dip with that one. And, of course, Mrs. Fields cookies and a carton of milk. Mmmmmmmmmmm! Oh, and depending on the mall, I love to get a roast beef at Arby's with some curly fries!

                      1. re: kattyeyes
                        Das Ubergeek Apr 24, 2009 08:30 PM

                        Oh God, I miss Roli Boli. Even though I lived in a place where real stromboli was available, I still loved Roli Boli.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                          kattyeyes Apr 24, 2009 08:33 PM

                          I still live in a place where real stromboli is available and still loved Roli Boli--it was kind of its own thing. If we could revive a food court fave, that would get my vote.

                          1. re: kattyeyes
                            d
                            durianbreath Apr 30, 2009 11:24 AM

                            this one i missed out on entirely. did they have roli bolis in california?

                            1. re: durianbreath
                              r
                              RCTRIPLEFRESH5 Dec 11, 2009 09:27 PM

                              no it was just in new jersey. it wasnt a chain it just had two stores in two malls. i miss them so muchs.

                              1. re: RCTRIPLEFRESH5
                                kattyeyes Dec 12, 2009 04:57 AM

                                Nope, not just in New Jersey. "Our" Roli Boli was in Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, CT. :) And I still miss 'em, too.

                    2. im_nomad Apr 21, 2009 06:06 PM

                      for the chains Kernels popcorn , New York Fries. I love Orange Julius but can't remember the last time I had one, or a DQ Blizzard.

                      I've had plenty of really great food court food from Jamaican to middle eastern to thai etc etc.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: im_nomad
                        John Manzo Jul 4, 2009 05:51 PM

                        Very Canadian post :)

                        1. re: im_nomad
                          Das Ubergeek Jul 12, 2009 09:20 PM

                          New York Fries is alive and kicking... (not sure if your post was an "are" or a "were") -- I had poutine at the Coquitlam Centre last month. Au Pied de Cochon it wasn't, but then again... Coquitlam Centre. :)

                        2. Luvfriedokra Apr 21, 2009 06:21 PM

                          Oh boy, what a fun topic!! I worked at the mall all through high school and if memory serves...

                          Great Steak& Fry Co- a total grease bomb!
                          Manchu Wok
                          of course Orange Julius and Cinnabon
                          A cookie joint (I can't remember the name) that had gigantic cookies and brownies

                          1. Wahooty Apr 21, 2009 07:59 PM

                            Ahh...I remember the Saturday in middle school when I first learned that fries could be an entree. Mark Moseley's Famous Fries, to be exact. Fries and a home perm, what more does a girl need?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Wahooty
                              s
                              Sean Apr 22, 2009 07:45 AM

                              Oronge Julius chili dogs...

                            2. k
                              ktb615 Apr 22, 2009 07:51 AM

                              How about Cupim Hamburgers. Loved their potato bread buns.

                              1. Bob W Apr 22, 2009 11:09 AM

                                My strongest mall food memories predate the food court.

                                Back in the day we loved going to York Steak House at the Warwick (RI) Mall. We actually waited in line for a half hour or more to shuffle through a cafeteria-style line for a tray full of slop. Butter was three cents a pat; of course we hid a couple under our plates to put one over on the man. And there was always a girl asking if you wanted "hot delicious mushroom sauce on that?" Of course we did, we were living large.

                                Good times, good times.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Bob W
                                  l
                                  lucyis Apr 22, 2009 02:41 PM

                                  I haven't seen these in the New York area, but when visiting in Delaware we frequented Bull on the Beach at the Dover Mall. They had great fresh beefy sandwiches.

                                  1. re: Bob W
                                    GretchenS Apr 30, 2009 11:33 AM

                                    Ya know, I had completely forgotten York Steak House but that used to be a Very Big Deal to go there. You evoked the experience beautifully, right down to the purloined butter pats and "hot delicious mushroom sauce"....

                                  2. c
                                    contessa15 Apr 22, 2009 02:52 PM

                                    I have the fondest memories of Auntie Anne's cinnamon-sugar pretzels and licking all the sugary goodness from my hands! Im sure it was a nightmare for my parents, but those mall food memories will be with me forever!

                                    1. mcsheridan Apr 22, 2009 07:01 PM

                                      Before there was a Cinnabon, there was T.J. Cinnamons. Not much left of them now, and those are part of the Arby's chain. They did it first, they did it best, but they fell down in executing expansion and lost ground to Cinnabon's better business management.

                                      T.J. Cinnamon's - a true food court classic

                                      1. free sample addict aka Tracy L Apr 22, 2009 08:30 PM

                                        Jalepeno cheese on a stick at the hot dog on a stick places.

                                        1. Emmmily Apr 22, 2009 08:47 PM

                                          Maybe this is heresy - especially coming from a New Yorker - but IMHO the upstate NY chain Sicilian Delight has some of the best (non-brick-oven, non-fancy) pizza around. I still stop by the food court for a slice of pepperoni whenever I go visit my folks in Ithaca.

                                          1. CoryKatherine Apr 22, 2009 09:04 PM

                                            I was always up for the challenge of a huge plate of food from Manchu Wok. Yummy breaded smothered chicken "teriyaki" or something like that plus rice and egg rolls and the whole nine yards. I remember a high school boyfriend being AMAZED as I ate the entire plate.

                                            1. a
                                              Avalondaughter Apr 23, 2009 01:08 PM

                                              Flamers. They were only in a few malls that I've been to, but when I saw one, I always went there. They cooked the burgers to order.

                                              Auntie Anne's Pretzels with honey mustard dip. Don't forget the salt and butter.

                                              1. rockandroller1 Apr 23, 2009 01:12 PM

                                                We used to have a place called Hot Sam. It was a pretzel place like Auntie Anne's but MUCH better and man, did I love getting one of those with pizza sauce or what have you, those were great. They weren't as squishy and sweet as auntie anne's pretzels.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: rockandroller1
                                                  lulubelle Jul 14, 2009 11:25 AM

                                                  a Hot Sam's Pretzel with the fudge sauce on it, and a diet coke was my standard dinner when I worked at the mall as a teenager.

                                                  1. re: rockandroller1
                                                    a
                                                    at24 Jul 14, 2009 04:29 PM

                                                    Man I miss Hot Sam's, I would get a pretzel w/mustard and a cherry slush puppy. Remember how the pretzels use to be on a little rack that spun around slowly?

                                                    I also miss York Steak House- the salad w/ the red salad dressing (red wine?) and their chicken.

                                                  2. a
                                                    Agent 510 Apr 24, 2009 06:48 PM

                                                    To clarify, malls aren't dead. The industry is hurting (as are all retail sectors in this bad economy) but it's too big to just up and disappear. Even the malls run by now-bankrupt GGP will keep operating.

                                                    But you're right that the types of food-court staples you describe, are kind of on the way out. You'll still find 'em in lower-end malls (like Sunvalley, Hilltop, and Southland in the SF Bay Area, where I live), but in nicer malls, they've increasingly taken a back seat to Starbucks and more upscale, less outdated options.

                                                    That said, this thread has me craving a Cinnabon something fierce.

                                                    1. s
                                                      schrutefarms Jul 3, 2009 01:56 PM

                                                      Aww, I love food court food! I still hit up Sbarro when I'm at the mall. I get pasta salad with extra dressing, and a garlic roll with marinara to dip. I sure did like Hot Dog On A Stick, though. I'd get a cheese on a stick, and dip it in mustard. And a cherry lemonade. And I would be so thankful that I didn't work there and have to wear that stupid hat! The pretzel places are always good, I like to get the buttered, salted pretzel nuggets, and dip them in cream cheese.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: schrutefarms
                                                        r
                                                        rudysmom Jul 15, 2009 07:27 PM

                                                        i'm with you on Sbarro. my guilty pleasure is the baked ziti (what is the opposite of "al dente" anyway?).

                                                        1. re: rudysmom
                                                          s
                                                          schrutefarms Jul 16, 2009 02:25 AM

                                                          I think in Italy they call that "Sbarro" :)

                                                          1. re: rudysmom
                                                            Das Ubergeek Jul 16, 2009 08:36 AM

                                                            "Schuisci". Pronounced "squishy". :-P

                                                        2. k
                                                          KevinB Jul 3, 2009 09:11 PM

                                                          In Canada, we had a chain called "Jimmy the Greek". Their souvlaki special was always a fave of mine. "Greek salad" that was chopped lettuce with a few olives, some onions, and feta with dressing (the dressing wasn't all that bad). Choice of roast potatoes or rice from the steam table. Then they'd fish out a chicken or pork souvlaki skewer from these trays where they were partially cooked and sitting in some kind of broth, and throw it on the grill for a couple of minutes. But they had this absolutely wonderful "garlic sauce" that they threw on the meat, and somehow, it all tasted pretty good, especially for $4.

                                                          There's still a few around, but their prices have gone up, and portions gone down. Haven't visited one in quite a while.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: KevinB
                                                            l
                                                            lovessushi Jul 4, 2009 07:42 PM

                                                            This is great! And funny because I just had a big birthday and am remembering childhood things.

                                                            We had a place called "hot dogs and more" in the mall - I'd go there with my late mom and we'd each get a hot dog and sit at a table. I felt like a very cool 8 year old :-)
                                                            If we wanted to splurge we'd go to the steakhouse in the mall, which actually may have been York steak house but I can't remember (in NJ) -
                                                            There was a frozen yogurt place that was super popular but I hated it...what was it called? I can't remember...they were everywhere in the late 80's early 90's...and everyone worked there too...
                                                            Ooh and Roy Rogers (do they still exist?) where I'd get my plain burger in it's foil wrap and then go to the "fixings" bar for ketchup out of a pump and pickles...
                                                            So cool...so cool... :-)

                                                            1. re: lovessushi
                                                              s
                                                              schrutefarms Jul 4, 2009 09:09 PM

                                                              Was it Penguins or Heidi's Frogen Yozurt?

                                                              1. re: lovessushi
                                                                s
                                                                schrutefarms Jul 4, 2009 09:09 PM

                                                                OR....TCBY?

                                                                1. re: schrutefarms
                                                                  l
                                                                  lovessushi Jul 12, 2009 08:11 PM

                                                                  ooh it was TCBY!! Thanks :-)

                                                            2. LeahBaila Jul 13, 2009 05:42 AM

                                                              Chick-fil-A: Love their lemonade, soft serve (I think it's called "ice dream"), fried chx sandwich
                                                              The Original Cookie: Damn, everything was literally hot out of the oven...And the samples were always generous

                                                              www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: LeahBaila
                                                                HungryRubia Aug 3, 2009 12:28 PM

                                                                oooh! I loved Chick-fil-A at the Woodbridge Mall in NJ. Their waffle fries were the best!

                                                                1. re: HungryRubia
                                                                  Das Ubergeek Aug 5, 2009 08:54 AM

                                                                  I remember that place! Across from where the old Roy Rogers was (now a McDonalds, I think? It's been years since I was "home" to the mall). Closed Sundays so on Sunday there'd be this dark spot over by Fortunoff.

                                                                  Chick-Fil-A is still around though -- here in SoCal they're expanding like kudzu.

                                                              2. l
                                                                laliz Jul 13, 2009 11:39 AM

                                                                What I remember marveling at is the number of people who chose to go to Burger King at the local food court. I mean, why would you with all the food court exclusive options?

                                                                There was a baked potato place I liked; can't remember the exact name

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: laliz
                                                                  s
                                                                  schrutefarms Jul 13, 2009 09:45 PM

                                                                  1 Potato 2?

                                                                  1. re: schrutefarms
                                                                    s
                                                                    schrutefarms Jul 14, 2009 11:31 AM

                                                                    Or....Great Steak and Potato?

                                                                    1. re: schrutefarms
                                                                      pikiliz Jul 14, 2009 01:41 PM

                                                                      Down here in south Florida in the 70's we had four restaurants one potato two potato,three potato four well you know what i mean . does anybody know if these were part on that chain??

                                                                  2. s
                                                                    swissgirl Jul 13, 2009 01:36 PM

                                                                    I already miss Hot Dog on a Stick because I relocated to the Midwest without any outlets nearby. The Cherry Lemonade is great. I miss the veggie hot dog on a stick option from a mall in Santa Cruz/Capitola.

                                                                    I also used to hit up Mrs. Fields cookies during every mall visit; at the end of the day, the store would often give away extra cookies.

                                                                    And for awhile when I was a mallrat, I lived on Gloria Jeans Ice Cap drinks, sugary cold goodness with a little bit of coffee included. Yum.

                                                                    When I was little, my mom took us to Eastridge Mall in San Jose ( crazy big mall with 3 or 4 levels and sloping hanging walkways I used to run down, driving mom crazy). Anyway, we'd hit the donut store at the food court. I seem to remember crazy pink and blue circle 1970s decor and really good glazed donuts. Don't see many donut places anymore in malls.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: swissgirl
                                                                      BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jul 13, 2009 06:10 PM

                                                                      I miss Hot Dog On A Stick. I'm surely not the only one who thought the Hot Dog On A Stick uniform was inexplicably hot.

                                                                    2. v
                                                                      VickiL Jul 16, 2009 08:45 PM

                                                                      Our mall opened a Gelato spot in the 70's and it seemed so cool and modern. Of course we also had Magic Pan, with the fancy crepe wheel, and the spinach souffle crepe, and mandarin oranges in the salad! And what was the deal with Morrison's cafeteria? It was a huge deal in Florida but I don't remember why.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: VickiL
                                                                        kattyeyes Jul 17, 2009 05:52 PM

                                                                        I *loved* Magic Pan. Gotta love the 70s!

                                                                        1. re: VickiL
                                                                          s
                                                                          swissgirl Aug 3, 2009 08:42 AM

                                                                          Oh my goodness VickiL, are you my twin on the Eastern Coast? When I was a kid, we'd eat at Magic Pan in one of the San Jose, Ca malls quite often and the only dish I'd order was the spinach crepe with the mandarin orange salad. I never deviated because I loved that spinach crepe so much.

                                                                          1. re: swissgirl
                                                                            j
                                                                            Janet from Richmond Aug 3, 2009 08:56 AM

                                                                            I always got one ham crepe and a cheese crepe. The ham was finely chopped and served with this great mustard sauce. My Mom worked at the mall next to Magic Pan, so it was a pay-day treat for us.

                                                                            1. re: swissgirl
                                                                              coney with everything Aug 14, 2009 06:04 AM

                                                                              God, I remember that spinach/mandarin orange salad as being "exotic" at the time--Fruit! Raw Spinach!

                                                                              Magic Pan was a bit of a splurge, as I recall....my part time job in college was at the mall (I spent most of my LIFE...at SEARS!) so every once in a while we ate at the MP.

                                                                          2. thedeputy Jul 17, 2009 02:56 PM

                                                                            Hot Dog On a Stick. Corn dogs with mustard always hit the spot but the must-have for me is the fresh lemonade with lots of ice.

                                                                            1. HungryRubia Aug 3, 2009 12:31 PM

                                                                              I remember when the old Menlo Park Mall in Edison, NJ got redone and it had a food court...we had never seen a true food court in our area until then. There was a place called South Philly Cheesesteaks that my friends and I (and our 15 year old metabolisms) loved! They had the best fries.
                                                                              I was also a big fan Auntie Annies's pretzels and also of Cinnabon.
                                                                              However, I ended working in retail for 7 years so my love of mall food courts has greatly diminished.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: HungryRubia
                                                                                l
                                                                                lovessushi Aug 5, 2009 04:45 AM

                                                                                HungryRubia I remember the Menlo Park Mall - I'm thinking of maybe 14, 15 years ago...oh my! My mom use to like the gyro place in the corner of the food court...and the Nathan's hot dogs! I use to love their french fries. It must have changed a lot since then! Now I live in a completely different part of NJ - the stuff I enjoyed there as a teen would probably never make it nowadays...funny.

                                                                                1. re: lovessushi
                                                                                  Das Ubergeek Aug 5, 2009 08:56 AM

                                                                                  The Japanese place in the "new" Menlo Park Mall was the first time I ever ate "Japanese" food. I thought I was being so exotic!

                                                                                  On the other hand, I still greatly lament the soda fountain at Alexander's in the "old" Menlo Park Mall. ("I'm strolling through Saks, meandering through Macy's, but I buy at Alexander's! I buy at Alexander's!")

                                                                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                                    l
                                                                                    lovessushi Aug 5, 2009 08:49 PM

                                                                                    That's funny - my mom bought my childhood comforters at alexander's...that was SO the place to shop for her...

                                                                              2. Missy2U Aug 4, 2009 12:40 PM

                                                                                I used to hang out at Orland Square Mall back in the day - and there wasn't a whole lot of stuff I WOULD eat (very picky) but I remember the hamburger joint in the food court - they had the best cheeseburgers! I can't remember the name, but it had a model train that would run around the perimeter of the store...

                                                                                And Winchell's donuts. Those were the BEST.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Missy2U
                                                                                  a
                                                                                  Agent 510 Aug 4, 2009 07:33 PM

                                                                                  Honorable mention to any Chinese food place that serves "crab rangoon". Seems like you can only find that in mall-food-court Chinese places (probably because it's not even remotely Chinese). But, mmmmmmm.

                                                                                  1. re: Agent 510
                                                                                    lulubelle Aug 14, 2009 05:01 AM

                                                                                    You can get Crab Rangoon at just about any Chinese restaurant in the Midwest. At least any of the type of Chinese restaurant that serves egg foo yong and that sort of thing, a higher end restaurant probably wouldn't have it

                                                                                  2. re: Missy2U
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    shujun Aug 5, 2009 10:06 PM

                                                                                    Was that Swensen's maybe? My mall had one ages ago and I seem to remember a model train running around that place. We'd go there to get "raspberry sorbet" and watch the train go round. They had an ice cream counter in addition to all the burgers and stuff. Side note on that: I hadn't seen a Swensen's anywhere in years, and here I am in Beijing this summer and there's one around the corner from Sanlitun - thought I was hallucinating when I saw it.

                                                                                  3. Veggietales Aug 5, 2009 08:56 PM

                                                                                    Boardwalk Fries!!! I had a $3 budget to feed myself when I worked at Walden Books (who remembers?) I would order the medium fries and a side of hot cheese sauce, yes the bright orange plastic cheese sauce. They had a condiment bar that had spices, salts, ketchup, etc, and I would use the seasoning salt and malt vinegar very liberally over my medium fries and then dip in the cheese sauce. I would get a free ice water cause my budget allow to actually get a drink.

                                                                                    When I was a child, I definitely remember begging my mom for one of those big baked potatoes, bacon and the bright orange plastic cheese every time we went to the mall. It was so decadent to my 10 year old taste buds.

                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                      Blush Aug 14, 2009 12:13 PM

                                                                                      Here in Southwestern Ontario there used to be a chain called mmmmmmuffins. When we'd stop at the mall we'd beg our mom to go there because, besides muffins, they had gigantic chocolate chip cookies which seemed to have more chocolate than cookie. If they were fresh out of the oven and still gooey, even better. It didn't take much persuading to get mom to open her wallet.

                                                                                      1. g
                                                                                        givemecarbs Dec 12, 2009 12:16 AM

                                                                                        I really liked the mochalotta chill at Cinnabon. Course I would get a cinnabon too. Once my friend found a twenty dollar bill on the floor of a department store. He took me straight to Cinnabon.

                                                                                        1. k
                                                                                          KristieB Dec 12, 2009 06:19 PM

                                                                                          When I was a kid I thought my hometown mall was big. Little did I know that it is merely a spit in the ocean of Mall-dom. But I loved to get one of those huge pretzels with the gianormous flakes of salt. That freaky "cheese" out of the squirt bottle and mustard. I was in heaven.

                                                                                          When I worked at the Rushmore Mall in Rapid City, SD I love the huge baked potatoes from Spuds 'n' Stuff. Broccoli, cauliflower, cheese sauce and bacon was my favorite lunch to fuel up during the Christmas season I worked at Swiss Colony.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: KristieB
                                                                                            k
                                                                                            KristieB Dec 12, 2009 06:26 PM

                                                                                            Every Black Friday from around the time I was in 7th or 8th grade until I married and moved away at 20, my mother, grandmother, auntie, cousin and sister would all go shopping the day after Thanksgiving in the Olean Mall in Olean NY. At the Hill's department store I would get a soft pretzel and a frozen Coke. At lunch time we would eat at Ponderosa and as a snack after our Black Friday shopping was completed we would stop at Baskin and Robbins and I would get a sugar cone with one scoop of Daquiri Ice and one scoop of Pralines and Cream. In all those years of shopping on that day in that place, I don't believe I ever deviated from those two flavors. I would accept tastes of new icecream flavors on those tiny plastic spoons. Girls, you know the ones that look like the spoons for Baby Alive back in the 70's. But I always remained faithful to my holiday combo.

                                                                                          2. t
                                                                                            TexSquared Dec 13, 2009 06:41 PM

                                                                                            I know most of my answers have been used already, but anyway:

                                                                                            Cinnabon, actually make that 2 Pecanbons with extra frosting (one for now, one to take home and have later)
                                                                                            Broccoli and spinach calzone at Sbarro (one of the few "vegetarian" options I actually go for), with extra marinara sauce poured over it
                                                                                            Ben and Jerry's ice cream
                                                                                            Cappuccino Blast at Baskin Robbins

                                                                                            1. Perilagu Khan Dec 14, 2009 07:19 AM

                                                                                              Hot Dog on a Stick is still alive and kicking at the South Plains Mall in Lubbock, Texas. Roughly once a month I'll grab a big cheese on a stick with a little cup of mustard, a Chick Fil-A sandwich and some waffle fries, sit on a bench and relive the good ol' days of the 1970s.

                                                                                              And speaking of the good ol' days, a couple of Swiss things have gone missing and I miss them very much. Specifically, there was a little place called Swiss Pretzels (or somesuch) whose pretzels were much better than Auntie Anne's, IMO. And I also miss Swiss Colony. Man what a bonanza for the cheese and sausage-lover!

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                h
                                                                                                Humbucker Dec 14, 2009 08:26 AM

                                                                                                I have really fond memories of Hot Dog on a Stick. Great corndogs, cheese on a stick and pink lemonade. I almost want to give then another try, but I haven't eaten anything from them in about 15 years.

                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                  BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 14, 2009 11:12 AM

                                                                                                  Although, alas, there wasn't a Hot Dog On A Stick in South Plains Mall in the 1970s! This was the mall of my youth (Monterey High '87) and I certainly would have remembered that.

                                                                                                  The main fast-food place I remember at South Plains Mall -- which when I was a kid was about one-quarter this size it is now -- was a place that I swear sold only two foods, both of them emblematic of the 1980s: loaded baked potatoes and blueberry muffins.

                                                                                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan Dec 14, 2009 11:21 AM

                                                                                                    Well, now, that's quite a coincidence; Lubbock High class of '85 here. The Internet's a small world.

                                                                                                    And of course you're absolutely right--there was no Hot Dog on a Stick in the SPM in the 70s; it only opened ca. 3 years ago. But it's great mall food and great mall food always puts me in the mind of my mall rat days in the 70s. And, BTW, do you remember that Swiss pretzel place I mentioned? It was a little corner spot directly across from the Smokers' Haven.

                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                      BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 14, 2009 11:40 AM

                                                                                                      Yes, I do, although I'm not certain I ever got anything there. I did frequent the Smokers Haven, because I was a pretentious teenager who only smoked imported ciggies or Nat Shermans.

                                                                                                      So naturally you remember the glory that was The Brittany?

                                                                                                      The Brittany was the only sit-down restaurant in South Plains Mall when I was a kid, with enormous red-upholstered booths, and it was one of those places where you ordered by picking up a phone at your table and calling your order into the kitchen. When I was a teenager that was just, like, the coolest thing ever. Great burgers too. I still remember their TV ads as well: they didn't have a jingle so much as they had a tune they sung the name of the restaurant to, with a little contrapuntal harmony at the end.

                                                                                                      Was there a Taco Villa in the mall? I seem to remember there was.

                                                                                                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan Dec 14, 2009 12:26 PM

                                                                                                        I remember The Brittany very well. Truly a unique place. There was also a Chelsea Street Pub and something called the Silver Dollar Saloon. Don't recall too much about them, but they were mainstays at the SPM, which have long since gone by the boards.

                                                                                                        And I think you are correct about the Taco Villa; there was also, of course, an Orange Julius.

                                                                                                        And I regret to say that I made an error about Hot Dog on a Stick at the SPM. No such place exists. Rather, there is something called The Corndog Place, which, I suspect, is much of a muchness. Either way, it's damned good.

                                                                                                  2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                    Das Ubergeek Dec 16, 2009 07:59 AM

                                                                                                    Hot Dog on a Stick lives on in Southern California... there's one in the Burbank mall, and one in Santa Ana MainPlace, for sure.

                                                                                                  3. c
                                                                                                    Cookiephage Dec 14, 2009 07:14 PM

                                                                                                    Food court "Japanese" food: teriyaki chicken on the metal griddle, chopped up and sauteed with those big metal spatulas. Served with sauce over white rice with steamed veggies. My parents and I used to go to the mall just for that. It was amusing for my parentsto talk to the servers and realize they all spoke Chinese.

                                                                                                    1. jnk Dec 15, 2009 12:37 AM

                                                                                                      Let's start with Panda Express, love that place though to be honest I would only eat the foods I would never order from a local Chinese restaurant. Then there's Nathan's. I'm not sure how many malls it was in, but when we lived in Jersey City NJ there was one iin the mall and when we'd go to the movies that's what we'd have for dinner. When I was dating my future wife, I took her to Nathan's for her first time. I kept raving to her how good the french fries were and how sh'e never had anything like them. Well, sh got her "cup" of fries, had a few and under the top three was a whole potato that had gone through the fryer (still hard as a rock). We took it back to the counter and they gave her the largest portion of fries I'd ever seen. Now, when it comes to Orange Julius, the first time I had that was back in the late 50's early 60's when I would go visit my father at work in the jewelry district in Manahattan. Wonderful memories.

                                                                                                      1. tcamp Dec 15, 2009 05:04 AM

                                                                                                        I'm not ready to put a nail in the coffin yet. Although I avoid shopping malls when at home, we always stop at Magnolia Mall in Florence, SC, on our trips up and down I-95. One kid loves the pizza, another the fried rice and lo mein, spouse the steak and cheese sub, and me a surprisingly decent falafel. 30 minutes and everyone is happy.

                                                                                                        As a kid, I spent way too many hours at the food court at Del Amo mall in Torrance, CA. Don't remember actually eating anything except orange julius and french fries.

                                                                                                        1. NellyNel Dec 15, 2009 06:43 AM

                                                                                                          Cookies Steak Pub~
                                                                                                          Kings Plaza Mall - Brooklyn NY circa 1070's
                                                                                                          OMG what I wouldnt do to go back in time!
                                                                                                          They were similar to I guess a Beefsteak Charlies - but WAY better!
                                                                                                          Oh the salad bar was the first and by FAR the BEST I have ever seen! With big fresh plump all you can peel and eat shrimp, the greatest herb butter for the breads, and thier specialty was their homemade banana bread! It was a feast even before the entree came!
                                                                                                          And all the beer, wine or sangria you could drink! (though I was too young to partake!)

                                                                                                          Also have to give a shout out to Orange Julius -
                                                                                                          Orange was great - but it was the strawberry Julius that I would kill for - nothing like it ever!
                                                                                                          I guess they are still around - but I havent seen one in YEARS!
                                                                                                          Mall shopping is akin to hell for me!!

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: NellyNel
                                                                                                            kattyeyes Dec 15, 2009 04:25 PM

                                                                                                            For you and all the other Orange Julius lovers on this thread, here's a store locator:
                                                                                                            http://www.dairyqueen.com/us-en/store...

                                                                                                            Happy slurping!

                                                                                                          2. krisrishere Dec 16, 2009 11:07 AM

                                                                                                            Most have already been mentioned:
                                                                                                            Roy Rogers
                                                                                                            Regino's Pizza
                                                                                                            D'Angelos and Steve's Ice Cream -- Mmmm
                                                                                                            Panda Express

                                                                                                            1. a
                                                                                                              Avalondaughter Dec 16, 2009 11:26 AM

                                                                                                              I can still get Auntie Anne's pretzels at the mall, and I love them. I love that unique buttery flavor that tastes nothing like the common street pretzel. Honey mustard is good, but so is that fake orange cheese.

                                                                                                              I remember a short-lived mall chain called Flamers. They would actually cook the burgers to your liking. Best mall burgers ever. I miss them!

                                                                                                              That mall Chinese food is totally addictve.

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