The Best Burgers of the Upper Midwest

I went on a great trip to Wisconsin to eat the famous butter burgers of the region.  I also took side trips to Minneapolis and Ohio.  Here are the best burgers of the Trip.

The Best Burgers on my Giant Upper Midwest Trip

 

 

Birmingham Vintage Roadside

Some pretty cool roadside stuff from Birmingham, including a Wigwam motel menu
http://www.birminghamrewound.com/roadside.htm

Lost Amusment Park and Airport of Flushing, Queens

A friend of mine posted an article about the closing and razing of a Nathans in Yonkers.  Its the second largest Nathans in the US and I assume the last one that had an arcade inside.  We had such a location at 170th and Collins in Sunny Isles Beach Florida growing up but closed sometime in the 70s.

A little research led me to the fact that this Nathans was originally a restaurant called Adventurers Inn, and that there were at least a couple of them, including one that was a Amusement Park in Flushing, Queens.  

Turns out the amusement park was across the street from an airport.  Eventually both were abandoned and took years before they were finally razed.

Adventurers Inn park from PLACES NO MORE.

Adventurers Inn before it was bulldozed.  I have no idea why they didnt sell the rides.

Flushing Airport on Wikipedia

Flushing Airport from Queens Tribune.

Amazing article on Nathans on Long Island

 

I also found out about a park called Nunleys on Long Island.  The park closed but the carousel was moved.

Another small park not far from Coney Island, Nellie Bly, now its called Adventurers park.

Another Adventurers in on Long Island is now an Adventureland.

Some old photos from Flushing park in the 70s and other cool things.

An article on Fairyland In Queens, now a mall.  

Memories of the Jersey Shore

 

 

 

Keansburg which was heavily hit

Last chance, Bills Country Kitchen

One of the many places I have yet to get is Portland.  Just found out I am going to be missing out on an old school joint that is about to close, Country Bills

 

What if someone gave you Bills?

 

The San Diego Chicken Pie Shop

While this building isn't old, the restaurant itself is.  The original locations closed and moved, yet this masterpiece of Hearty food lives on, with prices from another decade.  The menu is starch, starch and starch with only delicious fresh cole slaw to break it up.  I had the meatloaf, while my friend had the specialty chicken pot pie.  Definately worth a trip.

The North Shore

One of the great roads is US-1, also known as Route 1 in Mass.  While there are certainly strip malls and other boring normal things,  Saugus is loaded with amazing Roadside attractions.  Theres also the fantastic but now closed Weylus site, which was a giant Chinese restaurant that went under, leaving an amazing Pagoda that is just ripe for the ambitious entrepenuer.

The Vacant Weylus Above

Kowloon

 

One of many famous Roast Beef places in New England

 

Prince Pizza has its "Leaning Tower of Pizza"  Prince Pizzeria is 517 Broadway (Route 1), Saugus.   (781) 233-9950.

 

Meat Mecca Hilltop Steakhouse, with its 60 foot neon cactus and herd of plastic cows.  You also get treated like cattle.

Drove too fast to catch the name of this trashy bar.

 

Nearby but not on Route One is Kanes Donuts.  They Make a donut the size of your head.  Click thru for a post from New England Bites.

From New England Bites

Science!

The importance of calling Ahead.

I went up to visit a friend in Boston this week.  When I go there I usually make it a point to visit my favorite Chinese Restaurant in Cambridge, Mary Chungs.  Mary Chungs is home to my favorite dish in the whole wide world, Suan La Chow Show.  Here it is in its lovely splendor:

Beautiful, isn't it?  Lovely pillow like wontons, in a spicy, savory sauce, resting on delicate marinated beansprouts.  Delicious.  Some people also like their Dun Dun Noodles, though I am not a fan because I don't like peanuts in my food (though I love peanuts alone, go figure).  

Anyway, after dreaming of how my tasty Suan would dance on my tongue, we get there and find this:

 

We were very sad and wound up eating at an inferior place for lunch, but during lunch I saw on my phone that a place also in Central Square Cambridge also had on their menu Suan La Chow Show called Pu Pu Hot Pot, right across the street.  While I was eating I actually used my phone to order two of their Suans..  

 

So we get there and wait and get my order, which weighs a ton.   Turns out their version of the dish is coated in a brown gloppy sauce and covered in my hated aforementioned peanuts.  As you can see, theres no way around them.

 

The wontons underneath were okay, and there was actually one or two bites of some pickled vegetables they put under there that were faintly reminiscent of Mary Chungs dish, but it was really nothing like it and extremely disappointing.  

Even before I ate it, given the brick like quality of the bag, I was already disappointed and we were walking back by Mary Chungs.  Some guy rushes by us and tries the door and is shocked by the vacation notice as were were.  We said "yeah, the same thing happened to us."  He Said, "YEAH, BUT DID YOU DRIVE ALL THE WAY HERE FROM NEW YORK???!?!".  We were like, "No!  We took the Train here all the way from New York!".  Then I offered him a tin of the inferior Suan if he wanted it and he looked at us like we were Weirdos and walked away.

Make sure you call ahead to avoid disappoinment.  Mary Chungs will be reopened on August 15, 2012.

Oddly enough, This was not the first time this has happened to me!

 

 

Fjords Smorg-ette and Sweden House

Vintage Postcard for Fjords Smorgette

Before all of America was fat, and perhaps influenced by Abba, but probably not, there was a Swedish explosion in America.  In South Florida, where I grew up, we had Sweden House.  Everyone was going overboard for Smörgåsbord.  I cannot recall if I actually ever ate at one, but I definately passed them.   

Recently I ran across the top postcard for Fjords Smorg-ette.  Clearly on the West coast they knew those blurpin Californians would not get on bord with such a long name.  

If I recall correctly, Sweden House restaurants ran all the way up the East Coast.  A quick search of Fjords yielded only a sole vacant location with a facebook page.  If you have time, you should search youtube for Sweden House commercials.  They are 70s perfection.  I wonder what caused the Smorgas-armageddon?  Though we still have places like Golden Corral, they just don't seem to have the same charm.

Sweden House at Ultraswank.

Sweden House at My Florida History

Fjords Facebook Page.