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Apr 21, 2009 09:24 AM

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

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

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. 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.


    1 Reply
    1. re: cayjohan

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

    2. 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. 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

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

        2. 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

            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

              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

                authentic synthetic food court flavor. love!

              2. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

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

                2 Replies
                1. re: billieboy

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