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Seven chains that are on the verge of extinction

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  1. We had breakfast at Sambo's in Santa Barbara, probably 30 years ago. We'd never seen USDA Small eggs before. Never went back.

    1 Reply
    1. re: judybird

      We ate at that Sambo's about a year ago, and it was actually fairly good. Hash browns were nicely browned and crispy on the outside, potato-ey and practically creamy on the inside, and the basket of free mini-muffins was really nice (choco-chip and orange, IIRC). We would probably go back if we ever found ourselves in the area at breakfast time.

    2. We have a ground round near Asbury Park

      1. If Bennigans ever vanishes, part of Americana and the traditional Monte Cristo will die a little bit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          RIP Stage Deli in NYC. They had a great Monte Cristo.

        2. It is hard for me to work up much nostalgia for those chains. Chi-chi's, for instance, totally sucked and wasn't Bennigans pretty much like TGI Fridays? I do have a fond memory of going to a Ground Round in Rochester, MN, when my sister lived there. Fun post-sport venue with peanuts you could eat and toss shells on the ground.

          Sambos....my dad wouldn't let us get anywhere near that one.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tcamp

            Chi-Chi's was the kind of Mexican restaurant that would seem exotic and authentic in Minneapolis-- maybe because that's where that culinary chain atrocity started out....

            I have nightmares of cheese-and-sour-cream-and-"guacamole"-covered chimichangas and over-cheesed "nachos" at a Pittsburgh-area Chi-Chi's. Luckily NOT the one where that horrifying Hep-A outbreak occurred.

            Since I moved out to southern CA I have thankfully had much, MUCH better Mexican-American food and don't patronize places like that.

            Steak and Ale...? I remember that place. When you're middle-class and pre-teen, your folks took you there after games, concerts, and for birthdays. Hey, a sit-down joint with stainless-steel utensils! How special. But, as I recall, the steaks were not half-bad. However, my standards back then were damn low...!

          2. I waited tables at a Ground Round in the 80s. One of the worst jobs I ever had!

            2 Replies
            1. re: ttoommyy

              I was a hostess at the ground round in West Orange NJ for most of my college years. Lots of fun memories, worked with a great crew of people. I was in charge of making the popcorn, which I have to say was really good when I made it.

              1. re: michele cindy

                We had a great crew but the food was so bad that all I did was bring stuff back and deal with unhappy customers.