Unlock the Nostalgia of Southern Tier Restaurants
Last weekend as I stood in the kitchen emptying our dishwasher, my husband walked into the room and blurted out a question that I haven't been able to get out of my head for days. He asked, "What's the first restaurant you remember from when you were a kid?"
Without a second of hesitation, I said "Ponderosa." Then, after a little pause, I added "and Friendly's."
My family was anything but wealthy when I was a kid, so going to a restaurant or even a fast food place for that matter, was a massive deal and although I'm sure that there are other places we went to, the ones that bring back floods of childhood memories are Ponderosa and Friendly's.
My mom used to round up her hoard of kids each year the weekend before the first day of school and would take us to Ponderosa as a treat before the new year. I vividly remember my brothers eating and eating and eating. They would excuse themselves, go to the bathroom, and then eat some more. One year, my uncle came with us on our special Ponderosa feast day and his jaw just hung open as he watched in amazement at how much food my brothers managed to put away.
Friendly's is another restaurant that brings back special childhood memories I think I can only remember actually sitting down to eat a meal at Friendly's once in my whole life, but boy do I remember the ice cream. My grandparents would sometimes take me for ice cream at Friendly's following a dance recital or school play or after a particularly hot Sunday church service. The Friendly's Cone Head sundae will forever be my favorite.
I decided to ask listeners which restaurant was the first to pop into their head when they thought of their childhood and the responses were remarkable. Tammy said that she remembers going to the A&W Drive-In which was located in Wysox and the reason is that her parents could take the kids out for a meal but keep them contained to the car because they weren't the best behaved.