Week #16 – Restaurants – What was your favorite local restaurant as a child? Where was it located, and what was your favorite meal? Did you know the staff personally? What is your favorite restaurant now?
Growing up in Bridgeport, Michigan we didn’t eat out too often in my early years. I remember my parents would take us to Bob’s Big Boy once in a great while. Sometimes we went to the Chinese restaurant but my Mom never made me eat there. She would feed me something before we went and I would eat a fortune cookie and color on the placemats while the rest of the family ate dinner. We also used to go to a place up the street called Pompeii Pizza and they served incredible calzones. I was intrigued by the history of Pompeii and read about it a lot after I learned what it meant at the restaurant.
Most frequently, we ordered pizza from Little Caesar’s on Dixie Highway in Bridgeport. My favorite pizza was always ham and green olives – and it still is to this day, except now I like to add garlic to the mix. I went nuts for Little Caesar’s crazy bread, just like I do today. My Mom used to take me to McDonald’s a lot where I always ordered a Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal. I remember getting little toys inside the Happy Meals. My favorite was one year when they had a promotion with a little paper gingerbread house for Christmas that had scratch and sniff stickers with gingerbread men, gumdrops, peppermint sticks and more. I loved that thing!
Christopher, Jessica and Kathleen in the Firebird
I remember most fondly the trips we used to take in our 1967 Firebird Convertible a the local ice cream parlor. That Firebird was cherry red – it was a dream car! I didn’t know how lucky we were to have it at the time. It had a black cloth top and black vinyl seats that would get so hot, it burned the hair off your legs in the summer.
Aunt Colleen, Christopher and Diane in the Firebird
The ice cream parlor was a tiny shop with two little windows out front. You walked up two or three wooden stairs and ordered at the window on the left, then moved over to pick up your ice cream at the window on the right. It was in the parking lot in front of a dry cleaners on Dixie Highway, just north of the intersection with Williamson Road next to the railroad tracks.
1967 Firebird Convertible
I loved getting ice cream with my family. My favorite flavors were mint chip, rainbow sherbert and old fashioned vanilla. Kathleen and I would sit in the back of the convertible with the top down as we drove home, our hair whipping all over in the wind! It would flick me in the eyes and boy did that ever sting. I was never smart enough to remember a band to hold my hair back.
I was always covered in ice cream by the time we got home. One time, the top of my cone flung off and landed inside my sister’s flip flop. She was angry because I made a mess – I was angry because I lost half of my ice cream! It was a travesty for sure.
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