I was watching a show on TV’s Food Network a few days ago. A young chef was explaining his style of cooking and what had inspired him to become a chef. He spoke about his family, his village in Mexico, his culture, and about the food that was native to his land. He described in detail, the specific meals and foods that he loved as a child. He recalled them with such passion, you would almost swear that he had just eaten them hours before!
I began to think about a few of my “favorite things” that I always enjoyed as a child of Duquesne. Certainly, many of the items I thought of are still available, but somehow I always remember them tasting better as a kid. Nonetheless, when I think about them, I still get a smile on my face and a longing to chow down on any one of them in the company of my famility, friends and neighbors by long ago.
- Pizza from Irene’s Pizza on Grant Avenue
- Jim’s Hot Dogs
- Hucksterburgers from Huckster’s Bar on Crawford
- Sugar donuts from Dawn Donuts in West Homestead
- Chipped Ham from Isaly’s piled high on white bread with mayo
- Ice cream cones from Dairy Queen (Remember the commercial? – “With a B and a BI and a BO and a BOP, its Dairy Queen with a curl on top!”
- A&W root beer from the A&W Drive-in on Rt. 30 across from the Great Valley Shopping Center in North Versailles
- Mission Orange and Mission Grape Pop from Green Valley Beer Distributors in East McKeesport
- Freshly baked bread from Vienna Bakery on Bowman Blvd in East McKeesport
- My mom’s city-chicken, creamed corn and mashed potato dinner.
A writer from the Post Gazette wrote an article and offered area recipes for city chicken recently. Click the following link to reminise along with them – http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sectionfront/life/pittsburgh-sticks-with-loving-city-chicken-305208/
- An Isaly’s skyscraper cone with vanilla ice cream with chocolate jimmies mixed into it
- A giant fish sandwich from the Croatian Club on Wilmont Street
- My Uncle Lou’s hot sausage with tons of onions and peppers
- The smell of the macadam that covered most of the walking surfaces in Kennywood Park
- Fresh Kennywood popcorn
- Ice cold water from the green Fiesta® pitchers in the old Kennywood Restaurant and how they would sweat with condensation from the warmth of the restaurant
- Kennywood French fries served in a cone with lots of ketchup and salt
- Jelly donuts from Bud and Jerry’s Donut Shoppe on First Street
- Eating at the lunch counter in ANY of the 5 & 10 Cent Stores in McKeesport, Eastland or Duquesne Village
- Buying cookies by the pound from the cookie counters at Murphy’s or H.L.Green’s 5& 10
- Lick ‘em Ade, Pixie Stix and those little wax soda bottles with the ultra- sweet fruit juices insude
- My dad’s “combination sandwiches” made with chipped ham and eggs on white toast with ketchup
- Maple rolls and the little glass bottles of milk that were served to the students of Holy Name School on First Fridays
Do you have some other favorites that you’d like to share? Please add yours to the comment section…….