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Childhood memories

Being a child of the 80's(35 now) and growing up in Arbutus, I remember eating out at a lot of great places growing up. We would travel all over Maryland for a good meal and sometimes meet up with family.
Earlier today my parents and I were talking about some of these great places(some still around, some closed) and it brought back memories. Now that I have a child, I would like to start a whole new bunch of memories for her. Even take her to places I once ate. So here's a list of places that I remember. I know I'll leave some great places off the list but here goes nothing.

Buelles- ellicot city
Cozy inn-Frederick
mountaingate- Frederick
Bowmans- Parkville
baughers- Westminster
bullocks- Westminster
Candlelight inn- Catonsville
sorrentos- arbutus
The loop- Baltimore city
Our place- Baltimore city
Some place that some orioles Legends(brooks, palmer,cal) used to frequent
Little tavern burgers- highlandtown
Any place in little Italy
Mrs. K's tollhouse
Mr.G's- westview
Ginos- the old version
Bob's big boys
Haussners(sp)-highlandtown area
Atmans deli(Jewtown)- Baltimore city
The dogpound(best meatloaf sandwiches)-Baltimore city
Manny's deli-Parkville

So please chime in with your childhood favorites, even your family's favorites. From pizza to burgers to casual or high end restaurants no matter how old or how dumpy it is, it meant something to you and maybe someone else. Newer fast-food and Chain restaurants obviously didn't make my list. I'm looking for the nostalgic places. Places that will spark a conversation amongst family and friends.


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  1. update on candle light inn. in case you didn't know, it's now candle light funeral home. who said "you can never go back"? ;)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Vidute

      Vidute - well go back one last time I suppose...

    2. Pappy's Pizza and Delaney's Irish Pizza Pub, both in my hometown of Laurel, MD.

      I know you said not to include fast food or chains, but I sure miss having Roy Rogers close to home. Now I have to drive to Burtonsville or Gaithersburg to eat at one.

      Also, I think Farrell's ice cream parlors were a chain, but my family often went to one (maybe in Wheaton) for birthdays when I was a kid.

      1 Reply
      1. re: 4X4

        I'm fortunate to have THREE Roy Rogers near me. I take my kids a couple times a month.

        Growing up in Bowie, we had Rosa's Pizzeria and Happy Italian Delight. There's still Cetrones. For that style of '60s American Italian, I go to either Italian Inn, Pizza Oven, or Astoria Pizza.

        Rip's is still in business. Still solidly mediocre, which is comforting in a way.

        Looking forward to what Marriot does with the updated Hot Shoppes menu at the Convention Center Hotel.

        Mangialardo's & Litteri's for subs.

        Billy Martin's Tavern hasn't changed much, except for the prices.

        Quarterdeck in Arlington for crabs. Cantlers, too. And Jerry's in Seabrook for the crab bomb.

        Weenie Beenie is still peddling halfsmokes and bbq. Burger Delite as well. Jiffy Shoppes in Suitland still serves artisanal piles of greasy grease.

        Lincoln House Waffle Shop for greasy breakfasts. Not as retro as the original, but still good. Bob & Ediths and the Tastee Diner in Laurel fit the bill as well, along with Florida Avenue Grill.

        I don't think Old Europe has dusted their bric a brac since the Johnson administration.

        The sliders at Laurel Tavern Donuts are actually quite good. Not as thin and steamy as the original Little Tavern sliders, but good enough for me.


      2. I love these nostalgia threads...we certainly didn't eat out back then as much as we do now, but still over the years a number of restaurants left nice memories.

        I grew up in the 60's (Four Corners) and 70's (Potomac) and remember going to:

        Roy Rogers (the roast beef sandwich was yummy)
        Hot Shoppes (mom's favorite was the Mighty Mo)
        Gusti's in D.C. (special occasion)
        L'Auberge Chez Francois (really special occasion)
        Little Tavern (a treat after a doctor's office visit)
        Shanghai in Silver Spring for great American Chinese
        Crisfield's - the great tasting bisque that holds a spoon vertically. Shoe string potatoes (a rarity back then)
        Armands for deep dish pizza
        Hamburger Hamlet for their hot fudge brownie sundae
        University of Maryland Dairy Sales Room for fresh ice cream after Dad would take us to fly kites on the lawn in front of the admin building
        Ledo's for their wonderful pizza

        I too remember Farrells - we would go after duck pin bowling. I saw someone get the huge 50(?) scoop sundae once for a party.

        1. I enjoyed reading your list. This is, indeed, a fun thread. So, here goes my list:

          Danny's - downtown Balto.--great popovers
          Original Chesapeake on Charles Street--fabulous primerib
          Brentwood Inn-east Balto.--the "mixologist" was a hoot--tossing the drinks in the air and then pouring into the diner's open mouth.
          Cy Bloom's Brass Rail-downtown Balto--the first time I ever ate Tater Tots
          Burkes--downtown Balto.--best onion rings
          Peter Pan Inn-Urbana, MD--celebrated my 18th birthday there and, surprisingly, was served Planter's Punch--I wasn't carded!
          Mealey's-New Market, MD--great fried chicken livers and the best hush puppies--family style for sharing.
          Peerce's Plantation--succulent rack of lamb--beautiful location.
          Meushaw's and Emerson Steakhouse--two of the restaurants that initiated the Salad Bar. Meushaw's had the must indulgent seafood au gratin.
          Orchard Inn- loved their cuisine. It was there that I first sampled Florida Stone Crab Claws. Have been addicted ever since.
          Velleggia's supper club in Towson--food good, but it was the music and dancing that inspired.
          The Brager Gutman's in store tea room---cherry Cokes and lemon phosphate--grilled cheese sandwiches.
          The lunch rooms in the Hutzler's and Stewart's downtown Balto. department stores.

          Well, that is my culinary trip down memory lane. FoiGras

          2 Replies
          1. re: FoiGras

            That reminds me of shopping with my mom at the Woodies in DC and having lunch in the Tea Room. I don't remember what we ate, but I distinctly recall everyone wore ties and did not dress like a hobo.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              What a great photograph of Woodie's tea room.

              You are so right--when my Mom took me to downtown Baltimore--usually at Christmas time and Easter--we wore hats and gloves and we dressed very formally. It was part of the intrigue of feeling like a grownup in a "fancy" restaurant. Sadly, the dress codes have all but disappeared.

              I mostly remember eating grilled cheese and tuna fish salad sandwiches along with Maryland crab soup. Then my Mom would let me select a dessert--lemon meringue pie or strawberry shortcake were two favorites. FoiGras

          2. Hot Shoppes - loved that "Teen Twist"

            Little Tavern - "Buy 'Em By The Bag" and I did.

            Polar Bear (?) Frozen Custard, up (Georgia Avenue?), with its white building covered with mirror shards, and big polar bear statues out front.

            Weenie Beenie in Arlington

            1. Also in Baltimore,
              The Pimlico Hotel
              The Women's Industrial Exchange tearoom

              2 Replies
              1. re: masha

                OMG--how could I have forgotten The Pimlico Hotel and Marconi's.

                Can you believe that I've never been in the Women's Industrial Exchange and I've lived my entire life in Baltimore--even the 11 years that I worked in downtown Baltimore, I just never took the opportunity.

                Another favorite that I left out (but it wasn't a restaurant)--Silber's butter cookies. They were fabulous.

                Then there is the debate with regards to Berger's cookies--years ago at Lexington Market, in addition to the chocolate tops--the bakery provided the same cookie but with strawberry, lemon and butter rum frostings. I have to admit that I am one of those people who likes Berger's cookies. FoiGras

                1. re: FoiGras

                  Silber's everything was delicious! I've never found another bakery that made "salt sticks" like theirs.

                  Used to go to the WIE for lunch occasionally as a teenager, walking over from the Dept. stores on Howard St.

              2. Does anyone recall Father's Gay Nineties that used to be in Catonsville on Frederick Road?

                The restaurant specialized in ice cream concoctions.
                After going to the roller rink on a Saturday night, my friends and I would stand in line waiting for a table and then ordering the specialty 10 scoop ice cream bowl with whipped cream-marachino (spelling?) cherries, chocolate sauce, etc.

                I also recall that my Dad loved to go to Howard Johnson's on Fridays--"all you can eat" fried clams. FoiGras

                2 Replies
                1. re: FoiGras

                  We had a Fathers Gay Nineties in Bowie in the 1970s. Never went, though.

                  A friend of mine used to work in the College Park HoJos and would give us piles of free clam strips. After the third plate, we pretty much lost interest. We used to take the grandad to the Seven Corners HoJos before it closed for Pappy Parker's fried chicken. I also recall going to the one in Crystal City. It was usually packed at lunch.

                  1. re: FoiGras

                    The place I remember for ice cream concoctions was Wylie's in, I think, Hyattsville (University Blvd & New Hampshire Ave). They had The Washington Monument which was about 30 scoops, and sundaes in these huge goblets that must have held a gallon, with "I bet you can't" printed the glass. There was a shorter-lived and lesser remembered branch in Arlington, Mr. W's, near Arlington Blvd & Glebe Rd.

                    Back before air conditioning, sometimes our family would take a drive after dinner to cool off, and one of the destinations was the Howard Johnson's at Fairfax Circle for ice cream cones. What's been Pistone's Italian Inn at 7 Corners for well over 30 years used to be a HoJo's, but that one was too close for a family drive so we went out to Fairfax.

                  2. As a child in the 60's my parents very seldom took us out to eat. On the rare occasion they did, I recall a short list.
                    Expensive/extravagent to cheap:

                    The Buffet at The Washingtonian just north of Shady Grove Rd, where Rio center is now. I loved it, mostly for the huge dessert table.

                    Rio Grande (?) , a home style Mexican place located in a big house near the Southeast corner of Rockville Pike and Montrose Rd. It went out of business around 1970, i think. As a kid I hated it, but if it existed in original form today I'd probably love it. Family style with a limited menu offering as I recall.

                    Continental Caterers on Conn Ave in Kensington. Place still looks about the same today as it did in 1965. The lifeguards at Garrett Park Pool got carryout almost every day in summer, and frequently shared some with me. I loved it!

                    Burger Chef on the Pike. This was the only fast food spot my family went to. I think I used to always have the Big Chef with fries.

                    1. Is Mrs. K's Tollhouse currently in operation? Went there about 30 years ago. It was charming.

                      Does anyone remember Mo's and Jo's in D.C.? They had those wonderful cucumbers/onions in sour cream and the best glazed baby carrots. I recall dining there somewhere about 1983 or so--Sam Donaldson was seated adjacent to the table where I was seated.

                      Though, I never went to Martick's, I believe it should be included on this thread/list.

                      In downtown Balto--years ago--Gampy's on North Charles Street and the Eager House.

                      Lest we not forget--Angelina's on Harford Road(?)--always voted best crabcakes. Then there is Kibby's--still having the claim to fame with the best shrimp salad. Also, wonderful sour beef and dumplings, which I have always found better then the version provided by Hausner's--which was a Baltimore tradition. My first Drambuie Freeze
                      sent me swooning--I believe it was made with, of course, Drambuie, and icecream--not a Drambuie Mist. It was almost like a milkshake.

                      It appears as though I've spent my life focusing on food and restaurants--YOU CAN BET ON IT. Guess I'm not the lone wolf according to all of the Chowhounds and their postings and responses.

                      One more thought--whatever happened to those small square Sara Lee frozen cheesecakes? When I was a youngster I could devour an entire one--shamelessly. Another fave--the square Hungry Man Frozen Pizza. And Red L Hot mini pastry squares--all have disappeared.

                      BTW--where in Baltimore City/County can I purchase OTC Oyster Crackers. According to their website, WalMart carries them. Haven't ventured our to find out one way or the other. Thanks to all. FoiGras

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: FoiGras

                        I lived on Eager circa1988. My last memory of Gampy's was ordering "nachos" and being given a small plate with some stale Doritos and a ramekin of hot Cheez Wiz. I don't know what we did to deserve that.

                      2. Ah ha. Herchs Orchard Inn was the famous that served Hollywood celebrities and famous athletes. Great place, shame it closed.

                        It's awesome to read everyone responses and they have definitely helped remind me of places I forgot.

                        Few more

                        Anne's hotdogs- Glen Burnie
                        Friendly farms

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: k140db

                          Anne's Dairy Bar is going strong. Now that the weather is improving, It might be time to head over for a double footlong w/chili, cheese and onions eaten at a picnic table under the pines. You can't eat one of those things in the car.

                        2. Anyone interested in these restaurants (as well as those well before our time) should check out Historic Restaurants of Washington DC. Excellent read with quite a few color pics of long gone eateries. Really puts the lie to those who think fine dining in DC is a recent invention.


                          1. Random THoughts
                            Brentwood Inn
                            Country Fare
                            Harley's (w/ Sunday Night Jazz Radio Show)
                            The Athenian (Eastern Ave)
                            Café de Paris (Charles Street0
                            Original Captain Harvey's (WHO'S NEXT!!)
                            Brass Elephant
                            Peabody Beer Stube and Book Store (The Great...)
                            Marconi's (Thanks Peter A)
                            Madrid (33rd Street)
                            Spanish Maison
                            Leons Pig Pens
                            Mee Jun Lew
                            Homewood Deli
                            STones Bakery(Lombard Street)
                            Green Earth Café (Charles Street)
                            Horn and Horn
                            White Coffee Pots
                            Gordon's Of Orleans St.

                            1. We didn't eat out at a wide range of places as a child, but the one restaurant from the past that I do remember very well is the old Morgan Millards in Roland Park. Friday night dinner there was routine for years. I was sad when they closed although the replacement, Petit Louis Bistro, is hardly a bad replacement.

                              My mother, by the way, still remembers the original Morgan Millards lunch counter.

                              We also had lunches at the Cross Keys deli.

                              Swallow at the Hollow on York Road and Northern Parkway is another old north Baltimore staple. It's still there but I haven't been there in ages. I also remember the original Alonzos.

                              I do remember going to the old Chesapeake Restaurant with my grandparents. And Marconi's. Those two places really belonged to a different generation that appreciated the formality of dining out.

                              There was a well known crab house by the Inner Harbor. I vaguely remember eating there a few times. It was pretty much a white shanty and was torn down for the construction of, I think, a hotel. Anyone remember what it might have been?

                              1. Beefsteak Charlie's. My family used to go to the one in Greenbelt in the 80s. I was too young to enjoy their all you can drink beer, wine and sangria, but I remember the all you can eat shrimp and salada bar.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: 4X4

                                  Does anyone remember those AYCE Chesapeake Bay Seafood Houses? There were a few in the DC area. Damn, they were awesome!

                                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                                    I remember Beefsteak Charlie's too. There was another local chain that had cheap steaks and all you could drink beer and wine, and shrimp on the salad but I can't recall the name now. This is a really fuzzy memory, but as I recall there was one in Rosslyn on Wilson Boulevard (there's still a restaurant there), one in Bethesda on Old Georgetown Road, and one near Georgia Avenue and Military Road. The first one to go was the Bethesda one, which morphed into the fancy grocery store that eventually became Balducci's. Same owner, deciding, smartly, that there was more money in fancy food that they didn't have to cook than giving away cheap beer and wine.

                                    We used to spend hours at Chesapeake Seafood House eating crab legs and shrimp. Maybe that's why I'm allergic to shrimp now. ;(

                                    1. re: MikeR

                                      Emerson's on Wilson Blvd. We used to punish that place for unlimited beer and steak. They hated us.

                                    2. re: flavrmeistr

                                      i still remember the jingle:

                                      "chesapeake bay seafood house, get all the seafood you can eat!"

                                      first place i had crab legs

                                  2. My mom bringing home paper bags full of crabs. Sometimes, I really miss the crab trucks along the side of Rt. 5. And High's sour cream dip.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Mer_Made

                                      Speaking of High's--back about 1972 they used to have peanut butter and grape jelly ice cream. It was absolutely divine--big gooey chunks of peanut butter and that sweet jelly--I was a teen and could easily wolf down a pint without giving the calorie count a second thought. FoiGras

                                      1. re: FoiGras

                                        I would have loved to try that. Sadly my family was firmly in the Breyers and Carvel camp when it came to ice cream.

                                          1. re: Mer_Made

                                            Mer_Made--it was the most scrumptious ice cream. I just viewed High's website and they now seem to offer a peanut butter/chocolate version ice cream. Sounds quite yummy, but I guess it won't over ride the memories of the PBJ teenage years of that wonderful concoction I devoured on Saturday nights watching "All in The Family," with my hunky boyfriend--who could eat a ton of food and not gain a pound. "Those were the days...."FoiGras

                                      2. Henkel's in Annapolis Junction for big giant sandwiches. Unfortunately, I only ate there once before it shut down.

                                        1. Terrapin Taco, but I don't think I ever ate there as a child - it was more of a college and post-college place for me.

                                          A good friend of mine lives pretty close to Toucan Taco in Laurel (very similar menu, love their queso!) and we occasionally meet there for dinner.

                                          My favorite childhood Mexican place was Gringada in Laurel. It's still there but it's not as good as it was back in the day.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: 4X4

                                            I remember Terrapin Taco very well. College Park circa 1988. Also the original Ledo's and the HoJo's on Route 1 near Knox Road. There was a Little Tavern around the corner from the MD Book Exchange that eventually became a bad bbq place among other mediocre things. Sir Walter Raleigh Inn was the special date night place for surf & turf, or when the parents were buying dinner.

                                            In the early 1980s, there was Shrimp Boat and Yums on Florida Avenue for the post 930 Club wings & mambo sauce fix.

                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                              I wrote a freshman English paper at UMD about the College Park Little Tavern. It was either open 24 hours or very late and I wrote my "observe and describe a place" paper on the drunks who hung out there.

                                              I loved Sir Walter Raleigh's when I was a kid. Last time I went (around 2005) it was pretty lousy. The prime rib and lobster tail were both bland. Still had the cool salad bar though.

                                              Some others you might remember: Hungry Herman's sub shop (good subs and video games). Roy Rogers in the student union. Famished Fanny's subs (I had a British gf who thought the name was hilarious and intentionally offensive). Ratsie's - still there, but gone way downhill. The first time I ever tried Buffalo wings was at Ratsie's and they really did them right in the 80s.

                                              1. re: 4X4

                                                There was also Santa Fe Cafe, which was pretty horrible, but their nachos were obscene. A foot high of chips smothered in cheese, jalapenos, olives, and god knows what else. The trick was to lift the entire sheet of cheese in one piece so it was like a nacho roofing shingle.

                                                I don't recall The 'Vous serving food. Just a lot of spilled beer that morphed into "Vous Goo."

                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                  I don't think I ever ate at Santa Fe, just drank there.

                                                  I remember watching the Super Bowl at the Vous (last time the Redskins won!) It was something like a $5 cover and fifty cent pitchers of beer. I'm pretty sure they served cheap or free slices of pizza and hot dogs that night.

                                                  Town Hall has tried a couple of times to have a small cafe type place in the bar but it never really took off. But they allow outside food. You can get a cheap pizza nearby, bring in and enjoy it with your beer.

                                                  Another one is the bar at the Best Western on Route 1 and Berwyn Road. Can't remember the name, but it had a nautical theme and really good half price burgers on Mondays. I used to live in walking distance and had dinner there on many Mondays.

                                                  Lasick's was very dive bar, but the food there was decent. Good place for live music too.

                                                2. re: 4X4

                                                  Sir Walter used to have a nice filet, though. We would go to the one at 50 and Gallows Road. I'm talking 35 years ago.

                                            2. S&W Cafeteria at 7 Corners - When I was a kid, my family rarely ate out. Every once in a while, my mom would take us to the S&W Cafeteria after shopping for clothes. We always thought it was a real treat to get to choose what we wanted from the cafeteria line.

                                              Giffords in Arlington - had ice cream cakes from Giffords at many birthday parties

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: stockholm28

                                                The Swiss Chocolate sundae with the little pitcher of hot fudge. Stoner's delight.

                                              2. Tom Sarris' Orleans House. Loved that steamship salad bar with the crocks of dressing and the guy with a slab of prime rib under the orange heat lamp carving Regular/Large/Mammoth cuts.

                                                Blackie's House of Beef. Miss that old wrought iron grillwork. Can't remember a thing about the food. It was probably beef.

                                                What was that old seafood place in Southwest DC at 2nd and E, next to the 395 tunnel? Dark wood paneling and booths and pictures of politicians everywhere. The food was just okay, but that seemed to be where all the pols met for stiff drinks.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                  Market Inn?

                                                  They had good bisque ...

                                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                      My friend's brother tended bar there for a time. That was a neat place.