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Bygone eateries or simply: where are we gonna spend Valentine's Day

September 10, 2009 - Taste Buds
The Buds received quite a blow last week.

We are SERIOUSLY upset about this - especially Bud Tricia.

If you haven’t heard the bad news, here goes: Bonanza is closed.

(Moment of silence)

That’s right. Closed. Gone. Another one bites the dust.

This recent closure presents quite a predicament. If you read our Valentines Day blog, you would know what we’re talking about.

Where is Bud Tricia going to eat on Valentine’s Day now? After all, the V-day Bonanza tradition, while not overly-romantic, has been going for nearly two decades!

“That’s easy,” some say, “Go to the Ponderosa ... or to Hoss’s.”

Certainly another buffet with a name related to the classic western television show would work.

No can do, says Bud Tricia, after all - she HATES that darn show. It’s the FOOD she loved.

And, of course, the ambience.

Point being - it will be sadly missed, like so many other valley eateries we have loved at some point in our lives.

Like Rax. You remember Rax. You LOVED Rax. And so did the Buds, especially Bud Em - Rax was her first employer. In our minds Arby’s doesn’t come close. We’d pretty much give anything for a BBC or a Mushroom Melt right now.

Elby’s was also a classic. Yummy Big Boy and cole slaw. The best breakfast buffet ever! Slim Jim, Brawny Lad ... what else can you say?

We loved Burger Chef!

Their kids’ meals were great and the toys spectacular. Bud Em remembers getting 45 rpm records in the meal and Bud Tricia and her brother made their dad take them there so they could collect the entire series of Star Wars posters.

Side note: Bud Em found a website were one can actually download those long ago records. Listen to the adventures of Burger Chef and Jeff and relive the old days!

And, if we’re not mistaken, they also boasted the Works Burger where you were given a plain burger and could go to the salad bar and load up on fixins!

How about Elmo’s at the mall? With the old tin ceiling and the belted fans? That place was a classic! The old-timey, casual atmosphere was the perfect place to grab a bite while out shopping.

Well, either there or at Der Dog Haus!

We bet you forgot all about that place didn’t ya? How could you forget the doggies in the tub wallpaper?

Speaking of the mall, remember the Popcorn Patch? Where you could get any color any flavor popcorn imaginable? What a novel idea!

And don’t even get us started on the ice creams. Would it kill somebody to open another Baskin Robbins? We are dying for some Daiquiri Ice over here! Or some Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

And we know there are ice cream lovers all over the valley (perhaps the world!) who mourn the loss of Walker’s Homemade Ice Cream. Summer just isn’t the same!

While we’re on the subject of sweets, what ever happened to Mr. Donut? Is Bud Em the only one who remembers that old Centre Market shop? They had awesome donut holes!

We also have many fond memories of other downtown joints such as the lunch counter at Murphy’s? Remember all the swivel stools and the mirror that made them look like they went on forever? That almost made up for having to pay a dime to get into the restroom! Thank God you don’t see too much of that anymore.

Oh! And the tea room at Stone & Thomas. We can still see the green booths and hear the clinking of coffee cups being stirred. Good times, good times.

What about the Keg Und Kraut? Who doesn’t miss those guys? You can’t get a good brat anywhere any more!

Martins Ferry residents still sport black armbands at the loss of Isaly’s. Those of us at the Times Leader routinely stopped in there for a sandwich and to get news tips from the locals!

We want Shakey’s Pizza!

We want our old restaurants back!

How about you? Write and let us know which old eateries you would kill to get a seat in once again!

So, since we can’t go back in time, here’s a recipe which you can make in the here and now from Connie Gdula of St. Clairsville.


1 box yellow cake mix

1 small can Mandarin oranges with juice

3 eggs

1/2 cup oil

Mix all ingredients together for four minutes. Pour into two-layer pans that have been greased and floured. Bake 20 to 25 minutes in 350 degree oven.


1 (12 ounce) container Cool Whip

1 regular size can drained crushed pineapple

1 box instant vanilla pudding

Fill layer cake and frost with mixture. Best if eaten fresh. Leftovers should be refrigerated.


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