Food memories

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 15:23.

As I get older, my passion for food and wine is catching up with me.  I no longer hear adjectives like lithe or lanky used to describe me, but so what?!


It was all worth it for the food memories I have after years of living and working in various locales. 
And it looks like I have good company in Cleveland Foodie.  Life is meant to be lived.  I just need to exercise more.

Here are some of my favorite food memories and some of the locales:

Budapest/Hungary—Kiflin, or what we called kiflin.  Lining up in the morning to pick up the hot crescent rolls, salty and buttery, my two favorite taste sensations.  Eating most of them, before I got back to the apartment.  Also, the swiss chocolate we had to hide from my great somewhat demented great grandmother.  Stopping in a village at a roadside tavern owned by friends of my grandmother, I learned the most important lesson in life.  NEVER, ever insult a host.  When I scrunched my face at the taste of a goulash, I received the one and only slap across the face that reverberates in my memory today.  My grandmother was beyond livid.  She was mortified by my behavior.  I was an embarrassment.  Later, in Hungary, suffering from withdrawal from American food, my sister and I pleaded for pizza and hamburgers.  Our prominent cousin running hotels throughout Hungary arranged for “pizza” and “hamburgers.”  The pizza arrived with a brown meat sauce, liver chunks, carrots and peas and the hamburger was raw in the traditional “Hamburg” style.


Oxford/OH--Muther's restaurant, greasy spoon late night meals, endless cups of coffee and kvetching.  Ozzie's Restaurant (still there) my first bottle of red wine shared with my cosmopolitan Dutch/Thai roomate.  Sturgeon caviar with lemon on toast and cold, cold Russian vodka shared with my German roomate.   Certain bad habits also enhance one's appreciation of food, but I won't go there.


London/England—Cadbury chocolate, tomato and cheese sandwiches, endless cups of watery tea from the refectory, meat pies, and toast.  The first excess ten pounds gained in my life from the toast and sausage served at breakfast in Camberwell Green.  Cider and ale--like the rest of the country, I was drunk most of the time.


St Cloud/Paris/France—I was forced to slum it by staying with various class mates from Miami University and King’s College London.  I was literally hungry and cold most of the time.  The bread and chocolate croissants and hot coffee from street cafes sustained me.

Manomet/MA--fresh scallops, fresh mussels, lobster dinners shared with my colleagues at a shore side bird Observatory.  Unbelievable blueberry pancakes scrapped together after a hurricane by a wonderful free spirit who also encouraged me to skinny dip in the bay, taught me how to dance and appreciate life.

Syracuse/NY--Juanita's Mexican Kitchen in Syracuse New York--there had to be some drug in the red sauce and mole...addictive. Angotti's on Burnet, my bike commute stop for the pasta fagioli served family style, after working long, long, long, long hours catering and waiting on tables.  The only place to satisfy my insatiable need for carbohydrates to fuel a dual life as a student/waitress.   Food snatched from plates delivered to Bar Mitzvah parties at Temple Beth El, and also afterwards shared with coworkers at Yankel Catering--a very kindhearted employer to me.  Ditto, the food aftermath at Phoebe's and catering with Renee's and Jim Parr.

Cleveland/OH--Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern foods are the stand out here.  I once had a wonderful picnic with friends in the Euclid Creek Metropark reservation.  Strawberries and fresh whipped cream mix well with the bouquet of grass and a creek.  I love Mama Santa’s and Mirabile’s homemade pasta, but sadly this art is dying in Cleveland.

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What's your favorite food memory?

  (And, no,  Hungarians don't have hidden stomaches.  The food catches up with us, when we hit forty).

Cleveland EATS

  Any one have experience with this REWARD service?

I recently had a delightful evening at fifty-six west in Lakewood.  I am not surprised to find a symbiotic relationship between the credit card company and restaurants.  Does it work?