Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Food for thought

I cannot imagine why the question and answers came to me as I woke up at various times in the middle of the night, but for some reason one of the things I was mulling over while I slept (and when it was interrupted) was fast food restaurant franchises that no longer exist. Seriously, I don't know what brought it on.

I'm not exactly sure what thoughts came during waking life and sleeping life, but I came up with three while dismissing a fourth for a nitpicky reason. Here are my answers to a question no one was asking:

1. Burger Chef

In terms of logos it seems fitting that the Burger Chef which used to be in Englewood, Ohio when I was a kid was replaced by an Arby's. Just trade the chef's hat for a cowboy hat on the sign outside the restaurant. Burger Chef has been long gone--the Wikipedia page suggests that the local change may have happened around 1982--but it's a perfect example of whatever mystery my brain was trying to solve in the early a.m. hours. I haven't thought of this place in forever, so I'm a little curious to poke around The Burger Chef Reliquary to see if I recognize anything.

2. Rax

Until Rax started going downhill, I preferred it over Arby's. Their roast beef sandwiches were better. The salad bar was ahead of its time for a fast food place, and I loved their mint chocolate chip shakes. The food was memorable, and so was the atmosphere. It always seemed like a classier fast food place than most. The lighting was not as harsh and set more of a fine dining mood. Assuming my memory isn't failing me, the floors were carpeted, and the front seating area was a solarium.

I can remember many Sundays after church with the Rax line snaking to the entrance. On the way back from Washington, D.C. I stopped at one off of I-70 several years ago, in part because I couldn't believe it was still in operation. Apparently Rax is still alive and kicking, barely. Perhaps a road trip is in order one of these days. Lancaster isn't that far. And to bring things full circle, Rax emerged from a corporation that began with a Burger Chef.

3. Roy Rogers Restaurants

Again, I haven't seen one of these in ages, and it's not like I remember them very well in my past either. I can envision one that I think was in the Dayton area--maybe it was Cincinnati, as there's some hazy memory of eating at one of these before some farm trade show down there--but unlike the other two, I can't say that it was a place ate which we ate with any regularity. To my surprise, Roy Rogers Restaurants are not defunct.

So here I was thinking that Rax and Roy Rogers weren't around any longer--with as few locations as both have, neither are exactly booming--but they didn't qualify while Sisters Chicken & Biscuits, my slumber-addled disqualified answer, most certainly does. I don't know if I ever ate at one, so the lack of a personal tie probably eliminated it in my mind. Sisters definitely isn't around now. It doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry.

Other bygone fast food places are starting to come back to me as I poke around for information, but these were the ones that came to me in the haze between sleeping and waking. I guess I can be grateful for coming up with a blogging idea during my off hours.

Labels: , , ,


At 9:01 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Oh, I remember all of those! What about Wiener King?

At 11:54 AM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Can't say I've heard of that one.

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Donna B. said...

The Rax on Brainerd Road in Chattanooga was our preferred after-Sunday-night-services meeting place during my early adolescence. The salad bar was absolutely the draw -- I don't know if I ever actually ate a roast beef sandwich there. Thanks for the memories.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home