Jules tagged me for a restaurant meme. As I discussed this with my family last night, we had fun talking about all our favorite restaurants in all the many places we have lived over the years. It was really a walk down memory lane. So, instead of listing my current favorite local restaurants, I will share with you my favorite restaurants of my hometown, Ashland, Ohio.
1. A & W Hot Dog Stand Extraordinaire and Hometown Icon
The A & W is truly a snapshot of small town Ohio. You'll see people of all ages and incomes sitting in their cars, eating hot dogs and popcorn and drinking ice cold rootbeer from heavy, sweating mugs. Farmer's trucks, hot rods, BMW's, motor cycles--they're all there. I don't know if it's still the case, but when we were growing up in Ashland, after a wedding, the bridal party would drive through the A & W parking lot, honking horns and waving. (Sister in law, Sally, will have to let us know if this still happens. . .)
The A & W closes for the winter (too cold for the car hops, I suppose) but every single time it's open when we're home for a visit, we stop in for a bag of conies and root beer. Here's a recipe that gets pretty close to the famous coney sauce. It makes a huge amount, but it freezes well and it's fun to pop it out on a cold winter day and enjoy conies and remember what it was like in a simpler time.
A & W Coney Sauce
2 small onions, finely chopped
5 lbs. hamburger
64 ounces Hunt's tomato Paste
64 ounces Hunt's Tomato Puree
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cider vinegar
2 T. chili powder
1 T. pepper 1
T. celery seed 3 T. plus 1 t. salt
Brown hamburger and onions in a very large skillet, drain. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 3 1/2 hours. Stir frequently as it will tend to stick. (I put it all in my roaster so I don't have to stir it) This freezes very well. Serve over hot dogs in steamed buns and top with diced onion.
2. The Lynway Restaurant
The Lynway is another hometown icon. It's famous for homestyle cooking and homemade pies. I always order liver and onions (yes, I do! I love it and no one except my mother makes it better!) The Lynway is known as a hang out for the white haired set. Last time we were there we had to laugh because we no longer stand out like a sore thumb among all the older folks!
3. The Peking Restaurant on Main Street
I love Chinese food and our little town of Ashland has been blessed with a fantastic Chinese restaurant. It is owned and operated by the parents of a little girl I had in preschool so I got to know the owners a little bit. (she has now graduated from college and is likely in grad school or med school by now!) Whenever it was Sandi's "snack day" at preschool, her parents wouldbring in fresh, hot egg rolls for the kids' snack. The first time the egg rolls arrived for snacktime, a couple of the boys and girls took one bite or licked them, announced that they were "yukky" and threw them in the trash. From then on, whenever there were egg rolls, we warned them NOT to lick them and throw them away--the teachers had another, special snack for them! Then we'd whisk the unwanted eggrolls away (yea, right--unwanted by kids who didn't know any better!) and saved them for our own snack! (Yes, even teachers at a Christian school can be conniving when it comes to egg rolls!)
4. The Surrey Inn (sadly, out of business for years now)
My first place of employment. I got a job at the Surrey Inn as a waitress as soon as I was old enough to get an employment permit and worked there all through High School, earning money for college and a trip to France. Tom actually picked me up there for our first date after a Friday night shift, smelling of "all you can eat" Lake Perch and copious amounts of "Charlie" perfume to cover up the smell. I still remember the movie we saw (Executive Action) and sitting there in the dark theater worrying about how badly I must smell of fish and french fries.
5. Casa Fiesta
Ashland, Ohio is also blessed with a wonderful Mexican Restaurant. This is my own boys' favorite Mexican Restaurant of all times. When John graduated from college a few years ago, we had his graduation supper there. Nothing fancy, but who doesn't like great Mexican food?
Tag time! This is the fun part. I'm tagging Andrew from A.Stark Place, mostly to see if I can coax him out into the open and get him to post something funny for me, and also because I'll bet he has some fun favorite places to eat in the Alaskan wilderness. Next is my friend, Shanna, who is not only a foodie, but a thrifty foodie, so I'm thinking she can be our "Rachel Ray" and tell us where to get a great meal for less. Next is Beck, because I want to know where the Baby "demands" to eat when they go out! Miss M, won't you share some of your favorite places "down under?" And, last but not least, my friend, Allyson. I think I know at least one of her favorite restaurants and I am hoping that she will share some of her fabulous photography with us! Allyson is definitely a foodie, and a hostess with the mostess!
OK, so here are the rules:
1. Link to name of person that tagged you.
2. Include state and country you live in.
3. List top 5 favorite local restaurants.
4. Tag 5 other people and let them know they’ve been tagged.