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The Chilled Relish Tray...do they still exist?

Remember when you were a kid and they served the chilled relish tray with carrots, celery, radishes and maybe some olives at the restaurant?
This is way before 'Ranch' dressing..and there was no dip..maybe a little salt.
The 3 prong metal holder would sometimes have frost on the bottom...you could spell your name.
Durant's in Phoenix still does the tray..
We need to bring the relish tray back!

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  1. They do it in Vermont add cottage cheese with horseradish and carrots and crackers. It is wonderful! Fairhaven Inn.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nosey

      The Dog Team Tavern just outside of Middlebury VT was well known for its relish tray, which wasn't a tray but rather a spinning wheel (think captain's wheel of a ship, or a mini-windmill) that they'd roll over to the table. Made a mean sticky bun also.

      Alas, I think I heard that it burnt down a few years back.

    2. Restaurant at Mission Ranch Inn, Carmel CA

      1. Yes, I remember them well.
        IIRC, there were some issues with local health departments regarding relish trays, back in the late '70s, I believe the concern was that customers would handle the relish tray items or contaminate them in some manner and the restaurant would re-use the items, rather than tossing everything. Same with bread, butter and milk for coffee.
        I used to go to a "deli" style place in CT that served bowls of half sour pickles as a starter. We would pick them up from the bowl with our fingers. After the laws in CT were changed, the pickle bowls all came with small tongs perched on the top, like anyone would use the tongs, anyway.
        Anyway, that was CT and other states probably have different laws. I've never seen a relish tray-type setup in NYC, maybe just a few olives on a plate, some olive oil and roasted garlic for diping bread or butter, that's it. Too bad.

        7 Replies
        1. re: bushwickgirl

          I could practically make a meal of the pickle bowls at Rein's Deli in Vernon CT.

          My favorite deli ever.

          http://vernon.reinsdeli.com/ordereze/...

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            Ooh, that' the deli I was writing about! Actually, there was a Rein's in the MeadowBrook Mall, just a strip mall, outside Willimantic; that's where I used to go. Same owners. Don't know if it's still there. That was my introduction to deli food, nothing else like it in that part of CT. Now I live in NYC, and it's everywhere.
            I used to have the borscht, and those great pickles and rye bread, a good cheap meal. And an iced tea, the real thing, not from a mix. Those were the days...fond memories.

            Edit: From the web link, it looks like the Willimantic store is gone, I think the strip mall might be gone now, too.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              Do you men Eastbrook Mall, between Willi and Storrs? Yeah, the deli in there is gone. Good times. :)

              1. re: BabsW

                Yes, Eastbrook, I remembered later, after I couldn't edit. Used to go at least once a week.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  Do tell about this deli? My grandmother lives in storrs and i could easily make a side trip...

                  1. re: kubasd

                    The shop in the Storrs area is gone now. It was in the Eastbrook Mall, outside of Wilimantic, on Rt. 195. The sister deli is in Vernon CT, and is still open.
                    I haven't been to Storrs since 1985, how are things?

                    For you to get your deli fix on:
                    http://vernon.reinsdeli.com/ordereze/...

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      aw, sad to hear it's gone already! Storrs itself isn't changed a lot, UConn has expanded greatly and is all new and shiny! Well, hasn't changed since i can remember, and i was born in '84, so my memory of '85 is somewhat fuzzy ;-) thanks for the point to the vernon one, next time i'm at my aunt's house or in that area i'll stop by for sure.

          2. Well, I sure wish someone would come up with something different from bread and butter...sheesh! I would LOVE to snack on carrots & pickled veggies before a meal at a restaurant...but even new, independently owned places opening here offer the same old, same old.

            1. Feel certain that today in a restaurant if you see raw veg it will be called a crudo and not a relish.

              1 Reply
              1. re: scubadoo97

                We recently had the relish dish at Billy's Tap Room and Grill in Ormond Beach, FL. It was a nice touch. Went well with cocktails before dinner.
                CocoDan