These Long Gone Restaurants and Dishes Made Your Mouth Water
Take a look at that. Even a grainy, low deg screen grab can make your mouth water.
Can't say there were any real surprises when we asked you what long gone Kalamazoo or Battle Creek restaurant you missed the most.
(Well, there were one or two surprises, but I think someone may have forgotten where they were, because there was a comment for a place in Alpharetta, Georgia and another for Litchfield, Illinois.)
But back to Southwest Michigan. Six thousand folks took a look and many told us their long gone favorites. This wasn't a popularity contest by any means, but many people mentioned Pappy's on Westnedge (for the burritos, but maybe more for the atmosphere and the good times associated with it, Mountain Jack's on Westnedge by the mall brought memories of steaks and a big salad bar. There's a big empty place in people's mid-sections (heart and stomach) for Bill Knapp's, for family celebrations and the associated cake. Lots of mentions for Chi-Chi's,and across West Main, Carlos Murphy's. There were hunger pangs for Ryan's Steakhouse, Ponderosa, the recently closed Brann's at the Crossroads (though, if you're jonesing for Brann's, there are still multiple locations around Grand Rapids.)
Many mentions of Damon's -The Place for Ribs, and we were able to find a TV commercials for one of the company's more recent locations in the South, but several people also mentioned those onion loafs. More than a few were consumed at Damon's on Westnedge, while playing those early versions of big screen trivia games and downing a cold brew. I want to say this was pretty much before the craft beer explosion, but those onion loafs went well with domestics, too.
For Battle Creek, there was a longing for The Clock Restaurant, Don Pablo's, and Someplace Else on Columbia. Someplace Else had an annual night, by reservation, for crab legs at a very reasonable price.
One place not mentioned but certainly synonymous with great food was Malia's in Marshall, and then in downtown Battle Creek. Back when Food Network was just beginning to get popular, Malia's had these kind of gourmet dishes you'd see on that channel. Because the powers that be in Marshall wouldn't give Malia's a liquor license, the routine for some was to go to the chili dog and beer place across the street, have a beer or wine, and then come over for gourmet dining, which for many meant for starters, the mushroom soup. And speaking of fancy dinners, let's not forget Dimitri's, across from Olde Peninsula on Portage at Michigan.
Some long time area residents mentioned Shrank's Cafeteria in Battle Creek, and Schensul's Cafeteria, which was in downtown Kalamazoo, and eventually at West Main Mall on the west side.
There was the now torn down Cork and Cleaver on Cork off of Sprinkle Road. And across the street, the Brown Derby. (and if you want to go way back in that neighborhood, the Half Way House.) On Sprinkle, there was Hana East for Japanese food, and Peking Palace in Portage for Chinese.
How about T.E. Murch's (who just passed away in December). Schwartz' had a series of similar locations, and one of those became Scott's on Campus for a really good breakfast. And I guess it hasn't been gone long enough, but there's Bravo across from the airport, and the long gone Charron's on West lake on Portage Road (right about where The Cove Lakeside Bistro is) for another great Sunday brunch.
One thing you may have notcied, too, is how some foods are not as popular as they once were. There were more than a few Italian restaurants, but now, not so many, and rib joints aren't either. And there's two more missed eateries, La Fontanella on West Main near what was Cheeseburger in Paradise for a short time, and all the Sam's Joynts across West Michigan.
It's amazing how many memories food brings back. Whomever the chef was who said it, said it best, "we eat to remember."