In 1516, the crazed Arabian Al-Khufu of Mocha, Yemen 🇾🇪 bought coffee beans from the mad Ethiopian Ras-Sneferughu. The beans were delightful. Soon coffee houses grew all over the Ottoman (Pronounced Osman) Empire.
A young English Emissary named Lord Cockbaume brought the drink to Coventry. The drink made its way across the Atlantic to the Virginia Roanoake Colony, where a special variation of Arabic Coffee ☕️, 🐮 cow’s milk 🥛 and African Chocolate 🍫 was made. It was called Mocha Croatoan. The colony disappeared after the coffee beans ran out and ‘Croatoan’ was carved into a tree 🌲 by desperate Colonists.
The Indian (One guy representing all known Native American tribes) kept the secret of Mocha and it was passed to the Mohicans who were wiped out by the shitty Magua and the white devils.
Mocha was later passed on to a Scottish soldier named macTaggerty who joined the American Revolution and he shared the drink with Benjamin Franklin (Pronounced ‘wa-wa’) then Franklin shared it with the founding fathers.
Years later, the recipe (Pronounced ress-sip-pee) was found in Franklin’s journals by a student 👨🎓 at Penn known as Schmuely ‘Skimmer’ Bergboim Cohenheimer Boingboomtschak in 1966.
In 1970, Schmuely moved to LA where he opened a coffee shop on Hollywood Boulevard called the “We’re not too Jewish Mocha Hut”
Schmuely sold the shop and went into the movie business and the rest is history.
Friedberg is almost lost to history. She was a mid 20th Century New York City playwright and author.
’The Addicts’ is a story eerily familiar to today’s readers.
The cautionary tale is about a family who love to read at the dinner table.
The habit crept up on the Tuppersons, a husband and wife who then passed it on to their children.
They would hide their habit if the grandparents were coming to dinner, but otherwise they always obsessively read at the dinner table.
Mrs. Tupperson thought they could break the habit if they accepted a dinner invitation from a friend, a Mrs. Ravell.
The family practiced by devouring a book of Ettiquette, also read at the table.
Their attempts to make conversation fell flat.The Ravells, who did not read at the table, but rather kept a phone there so Mr. Ravell could respond to business calls fell into a terrible, ugly argument.
The Tupperson’s conclusion? Not only is reading at the table not rude, it avoids nasty interpersonal conflict brought about by conversation.
So don’t yell at friends or family for being on the cellphone at the dinner table, it leads nowhere good.
This is an excerpt of a Gwendolyn Brooks 1960 poem.
She became the poet Laureate of Illinois.
She is best known for “We Real Cool”.
I have gradually learned more about her, but the fly on the wall observation of old age is riveting.
The poem gives us a keyhole view of how our own essential humanity has us going through the motions of living for the sheer joy of life and the company of a close one, long after our most productive time has passed.
Peace be the Botendaddy
Gwendolyn Brooks, ‘The Bean Eaters’
from Man in the Poetic Mode, Vol. 1 at p. 58 McDougal, Littell publishers, Evanston, Illinois, 1971, Joy Zweigler, editor
It was in the City of New York, and the same-said County and State: “Excelsior!”, high above the teeming streets, that I was the only female attorney in the magnificent Law Offices of our hallowed, masculine, ancient, free and accepted Law firm of Carstairs, Synchon and Manderville. I found myself summoned to grovel low before the masculine, withered, gnarled and stately senior partners of said Firm to discuss serious matters of a private yet very important nature.
The Distinguished Firm
“It has been brought to our attention that the nubile free-spirited Mlle. C., daughter of one of our oldest and most prestigious and may I add wealthiest clients, a Monsieur C., known well to all of you, his daughter thus having been degraded and seduced by one not unknown to us. It is none other than one vile and depraved individual, I shudder at using the word gentleman, who is known by the name of ‘The Botendaddy’.
Unfortunately, scilicet scirelicet, it is due to his vast wealth and the macabre nature of his existence, that the local authorities are either unwilling, unable or otherwise ultra vires, to intervene. Ceteris paribus, I am called upon to ask that our senior female Solicitor, volunteer to undertake a perilous expedition by passenger train and then horse-drawn coach to his mysterious, mountaintop estate and in such manner of ruse, gather enough information to rescue the aforesaid maiden from his hideous clutches.
The senior barrister pointed to me and thus quoth he: “‘Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem!‘ May I remind you of his awesome and terrible powers. Should you fall prey to his seduction, I must warn you that your feminine ‘capacity’ must be beyond enormous to accommodate his massive masculine prodigiousness: homo giganticus enormarum.”
I felt it my turn to assure the firm that as a liberated, modern, strong, suffragettistical woman, being 87.3% of a human being under the State Constitution and 88.4% of a great ape, I was up to the task, both with my wit and my physiological capabilities. I stood in front of the hallowed council, as if I were speaking before the bar.
“Distinguished gentleman of the firm, I am five foot ten inches tall, most grand for a member of the fairer sex, may I also add that prior to my unfortunate divorce, I gave birth to three children. I assure you that the physical ‘capacities’ of which you speak can accommodate any manner of masculine endeavor no matter how titanically prodigious on behalf of said anguis in herba.You gentlemen, being of the superior, hirsute, masculine gender and thus superior to me in every way, are free to examine me, individually or en masse and sample my person more closely, in private, by any means to your satisfaction to determine my feminine worthiness for this task.”
The gentlemen being thus satisfied with my feminine prowess, I engaged a sleeping car on a train from Pennsylvania station. I traveled west for several days through strange deep sylvan woodlands and across the thick Allegheny Mountains and into the savage Laurel Highlands where the brutal, muscular and hirsute beast was known to dwell.
The journey was pleasant, but as we traveled westward, the towns became fewer, the habitation sparser and the woodland more dense.
By day, I observed many curious woodland creatures who appeared suspicious, yet unmoved by the approach of the giant machine. At night, through the drapes in my car, I could observe a lone wolf howling at the savage moon as if to announce our approach.
Arrival at Somerset
In the early morning hours, we arrived at the Somerset train station, where I disembarked. I was the only passenger to so alight and the station was deserted, yet perfectly clean and maintained in the highest order.
I summoned a coach to take me high atop the mountain to the abode of said wicked Botendaddy. I inquired of the coachman if he knew of said Gentleman.
“Ah, yes Mum. I know him quite well. He is a gentleman of the highest order and most generous to the good people of this county. We only see him rarely though, and I pay me no mind to the comings and goings at his estate, if ye catch my meaning. Ye might be wise to turn back now, Mum, as ye appear to be a Lady of good family and fine breeding, if I may speak out of turn, Mum.”
I inquired further, but he closed his eyes, bowed low and escorted me into the coach.
The Botendaddy Manor Estates
After a long, inexorably deliberate climb up the mountain over many dangerous turns and switchbacks, the kindly old coachmen took my leave me at the gate.
A few of the servants of The Botendaddy mingled quietly, and did not look up, whilst they were ‘rhoakeing‘ an odd form of Tobacco herb from a strange pipe.
They seemed so distracted by this herb, that they seemed utterly disinterested at my approach.
“Lowly, servile, groveling, boy-servants!”
I called out to them, in the most polite respectful vernacular of the day. My bags had been deposited on the stone walkway by the coachman.
“Where is your lord of the Manor?’
The first boy came over and groveled like a peasant, bowing and scraping.
“I shall escort you to the butler, Mum, he is more fit to properly introduce ye to M’lord, it so being, M’Lady.”
I was escorted through the garden to the waiting foyer where the aged, distinguished Butler would be in attendance.
Enroute, I heard the ethereal hooting of savage, carnivorous owls that I could not see and I perceived the intermittent screech of Red-Tailed Hawks high overhead.
The massive, hoary trees seemed almost alive and as such, appeared to point their gnarled branches to herald my approach.
Upon my arrival at the foyer, the Butler, being impeccably attired, rose, then bowed low.
“Mlle. Pym-Braithwaite-Smythe, I shall have the groveling, peasant-servants fetch your baggage and the Maids shall make you a comfortable stay. I shall bring you to the tea room, as it is almost four in the afternoon and the Master always has tea served precisely at the stroke of four on the ancient clock.”
I was escorted through several magnificent rooms, each decorated with paintings in the romantic style of Géricault, depicting the long past heraldic, glorious Botendaddy ancestors, each in full, colorful regalia of the late heroic epoch.
Every room was equally magnificent, with the finest silver and perfectly-preserved antiques, many from the 18th century.
At long last, we arrived at the tea room, where a most exquisitely beautiful young woman of about 18, greeted me warmly, holding both hands and peering into my eyes.
4:00 Tea with the The Boten-Daughter
“M’lle Pym-Braithwaite-Smythe, I am the Boten-daughter, the only child and devoted adopted daughter of my dear beloved Boten-daddy. I am, as fate may have it, the last of the noble and ancient, free and accepted House of Boten. Some day when I die, the House of Boten shall perish with me, I am afraid. But enough of this melancholy talk, it is a breach of courtesy go on so. It is my custom to meet guests more cheerfully after such a long passage. I am certain that as you are duly tired from your journey, you might care for a refreshing tasse of tea, my dear?”
The Boten-daughter waived off the lowly maids and she poured me a tea to my liking. It was of a rare East Indian vintage and utterly divine.
“You are very beautiful M’lle, your sepia-tinted-photo-gravure-daguerreotype does not do you justice. But beware, Mademoiselle, the Boten-daddy is quite taken with feminine beauty. He can be quite disarming… (Even though he is a savage beast!) she whispered.”
“You too are utterly charming, young Boten-Daughter. O’ Venus! Goddess of Beauty! Your spectacular loveliness is a marvel far surpassing any description of purest feminine charms that I received heretofore in the cable I received from this Estate.”
She closed her eyes and curtseyed low in response.
“So, your father, he is quite the musician?” I inquired, sipping my tea.
“Yes my dear, he loved to play for my mother. It is the first time in years that I have heard him play. I believe that news of your arrival has cheered him greatly.” The Boten-Daughter said wistfully. She pointed with a dainty, milky-white, lace-covered hand up at a portrait of the Boten-Mommy on the wall.
I stood up to examine the painting closely.
“She was a most exquisite creature, your mother. I pale before her beauty.”
The painting was indeed mysterious and the eyes, the eyes! Seemed to stare back at me as if ALIVE!
“Thank you M’lle. Mother was a lovely and unique woman. At times, late at night, I stand by the ancient altar at the cliff’s edge and when the wind blows gently on the mountain, I believe that I can still hear her voice whispering to me as if the house itself is in mourning of her passing. But alas, it is some trick or artifice of my spirit, I suppose. But I digress, you know, my dear Mademoiselle, that the Botendaddy, a known physical-culturist is accustomed to go running at 5:30 sharp in the afternoon. I understand that you too enjoy the pastime of running? There are many excellent trails on the grounds of this massive Estate. Often, I run with my father, but I have been slothful of late and abandoned him to run alone, I fear.”
“I brought my running gear, Miss Boten-Daughter, I anticipated that your dear father might like to run in the company of a lady, although I presume that he prefers your unsurpassed beauty above all others to accompany him on a long run.”
“While, I thank the Mademoiselle for her kind words, I must caution you my dear M’lle, that I have verified your 5k times, you are much faster than the Master. No matter what happens, do not ever run ahead of him. Not ever. If you should become separated from him on the mountain trails, it could become…perilous? And, it might be difficult to come to your assistance. I shall only advise you once, Mademoiselle, if you don’t think me appallingly rude for saying so.”
“No my dear, your cautious avertissement is nothing but the greatest kindness.”
I heeded her warning. I would pace the slow, hulking, muscular, hirsute, del.icio.us, fragrant Boten-daddy. At any rate, it would give me the chance to query him about the matter of Miss C. in the Socratic style, as was my wont.
We sipped the delicious tea and we consumed the sweet Scottish Biscuits in amiable silence.
After a fashion, I looked up with a start to see a magnificently frightening, green-glowing, muscular, hideous and terrifying, but nonetheless impeccably dressed in 19th century fashion, a hideous yet alluring Beast! It was the amazing, spectacular Botendaddy!
Some indescribable and most wicked delight came over me in a sudden feminine, estrogenic rush! the untoward and primitive quivering of my unspeakably aromatic and wicked, and ungodly, feminine parts, OH THE BOTENDADDY! OH MY HEAVENS THE BOTENDADDY, YES, YES, YES! I thought.
My mouth remained daintily closed, but my very soul erupted in feminine ecstasy! I could scarcely hide the rhythmic, hysterical, distaff contractions of my weak, utterly submissive, 19th-century fairer sex.
Could I do my duty to the firm? Or would I succumb to the vile, depraved, horrific magnificence of his effervescent masculinity and allow myself to be degraded and delectably defiled?
He kissed my hand in the old style of a proper gentleman, and the ecstatic sensation arose in me again with an explosive cascade of ecstasy.
My most intimate underclothes were now so be-sotted with the warm, liqueous effusion that it would appear to a casual observer, that I had lost all control of my urinary bladder in a most untoward fashion. I determined, to my horror, that I had in fact emptied my entire bladder in my uncontrolled dainty, feminine hysteria.
“Mademoiselle, you are truly a lovely creature. Welcome to my humble abode!” Said the Botendaddy, unaware of my disgraceful predicament.
“I thank you for your most courteous invitation, my dear sir.”
“I would be most pleased, if I am not imposing upon you my most beautiful Mademoiselle, if you would do me the kind service of joining this ancient, withered, yet turgid Botendaddy on my afternoon constitutional trail run.”
He bowed so low that his long, magnificent crop of hair almost scraped the marble floor. Ah the Botendaddy! The smell of him! I felt faint.
The butler noticed my horrifically embarrassing situation and he politely inquired of the Botendaddy if the lady might draw a bath before the run and be thus refreshed.
I was escorted by one of the maids to a delightful chamber, where a warm bath was awaiting. She took my soiled clothes to the wash chamber, making not a mention of their soaking wet, warm, humiliating aromatic condition.
During my bath at precisely 4:20, I smelled a strange odor emanating from the first floor along with strange laughter, low-toned philosophizing and the sound of ravenous beasts consuming some sort of crunchilious food-stuffs.
After my bath, during which I had so manupulated my person to relieve myself of much of the hysteria, I changed into my running clothes, along with my most exquisite incontinence underwear, so that I might join the terrifying Beast on the 5:30 run.
The Four Mile Run
We met at the gate. The Beast was in his 19th Century Under-Armour™ running gear. His pocket watch had an elaborately engraved ‘App’ called ‘MapMyRun’®, that would track our sylvan journey through the wooded mountaintop.
“I must advise you my dear, as I am certain my impetuous daughter has already thus apprised you, not to become separated, as there can be many dangerous ‘fauna’ afoot, and the trails can become treacherous in the gloaming.”
“Certainly, as your humble guest, I offer my self to you utterly in any imaginable way to your liking and I shall obey your every word with utter submissiveness.”
And with a wave of his hand we crossed the massive estate on a carefully sanded path that lead to an ancient gate into the dark woods.
According to my ancient time-piece, the Botendaddy was running at about a 9:45 pace per mile, just as I had suspected, from reading the ancient parchment race record of his recent past performances.
The trail was wider than I expected and very well maintained. Tree-roots had been meticulously removed, rocks removed or covered with dirt, holes filled in and drainage was perfect.
Yet the forest was dark. The Botendaddy did not speak as he ran until late in the second mile, when I assumed that the del.icio.us beast had finally caught his breath. We barely met 20:58 at the two mile mark.
Ancient Colonial stone mile markers designated each milepost with the surveyed perfection of none other than Monsieur General Washington, himself.
“Mademoiselle, would it most untoward of me to say that having your company at my estate brings me great joy? To have your intellectual conversation combined with your great beauty will make for a most enjoyable dinner this evening. You will of course join me in the parlor afterwards to listen to the Somerset String Quartet and sample some of our imported liqueur?”
How could I refuse? At any rate, I felt that it was my duty to submit to the Botendaddy and ensure that every desire, every vile lustful wish, every fantasy that I could pleasure him thusly was the very least I could do, both as a guest and as a Solicitor for the Firm.
All proper 19th Century ladies of good breeding were duty bound to so offer themselves up utterly in the most exquisitely degrading manner for the sake of their distinguished employers.
We ran deeper into the woods, it appeared that the Botendaddy wished to run a four-miler. His three mile time at 33:15 while not awful, it was nothing to cable New York about either.
The Ancient Stones
As we ran, I noticed that deep in the woods, were several macabre tombs, monuments of sorts, decorated with weeping angels and devout cherubs, peering skyward. Other, darker, more ominous monuments of earlier origin, were in the shape of strange altars, wicked pyramids and forgotten obelisks, so adorned with the most evil, shocking and unspeakable creatures.
Then an icy fear slowly gripped my mortal soul. Would the firm have delivered me as an unholy sacrifice just to satisfy a wealthy client? What if this sequence and strange arrangement of ancient and hoary stones stood to conjure the unspeakable old one! The shocking Yog Sothoth!
The last Mlle of the trail was close enough to the precipice that a long tumble would send an unsuspecting runner plummeting to their demise. As the trees opened, there was so revealed a breathtaking panorama of the valley below and the ancient village of Olde Uniontowne.
The Botendaddy picked up his pace as if to avoid the ignominious 47 minutes four miler, but in the end we arrived at a meadow where the fourth mile marker signified the end of our run. The Botendaddy appeared tired but invigorated as we checked our pocket-watches to reveal a time of 45:45.
The Botendaddy bowed low and took my hand. I curtsyed and blushed as his powerful, sweaty hand held my dainty virginal, petite hand. The moment that our hands touched caused me once again a burst of explosive hysteria, but this occasion I was prepared with the incontinence undergarment when I lost all physical control.
“I would be most pleased if you would join me for dinner tonight, promptly at 7:30. I thank you again for honoring me with this run. I so enjoyed your exquisite company, you are a ravishing beauty and sleek of form.”
“Oh Dear Sir Botendaddy, it was entirely my pleasure. I have not run in the company of a real man for quite some time. Just spindly weaklings with no backbone, pale and gaunt, lacking in manly, hirsute form and smelling of lavender. None reeked of hideous, delicious, masculine musk stench, like yourself, my dearest Sir.”
He held my hand as he led me back into the ancient vine-covered manse. Ah the smell of it! Like Horatio of heroic olden days, hideous and utterly repulsive of visage, but gentlemanly and muscular in his romantic, dominant maleness. Would I be ready for his full, masculine onslaught? I smiled smugly knowing that I could accommodate whatever lay ahead.
Dinner in the Great Hall
After my bath, my presence was requested in the great dining hall. It was decorated with trophies of the hunt and heraldic portraits of heroes long dead and their fair maidens. Old dueling swords and crossed matchlocks adorned the space above the exquisite fireplace.
I was seated in the middle of the table across from an aged gentleman known as Herr Doktor Karl Calegari Fontenot Feldjäger.
The young lady of the manor sat at the far end of the table across from her father. I feared her judgment of me as a once-high lady of society, now scandalized by divorce and brought low by endless debauchery, caused by my incurable, lustful, feminine hysteria, which had not abated despite having three sons of age and my being a mature woman of four and forty, yet possessing a feminine form of body that was the envy of all New York.
The dinner was exquisite. Small breads with different sweet local butters, fresh engraves and a main course of pheasant, smoked goose, elk pâté and cured wild boar. Desert was a tantalizing selection of small cakes, fresh pie and crème brûlée in a brandy glaze. We chatted mostly about running as I sought to avoid more painful subjects.
“It is a pleasure to have feminine company, my Dear Mademoiselle Pym. Since the loss of the great Lady of the manor, it is rare to have such divine company where I can discuss matters of concern to the fairer sex.” Said Lady Boten-Daughter, idly twirling her brûlée.
“What was she like?” I inquired. I felt if I could understand the Lady of the house, I could unravel the secrets of the great Botendaddy.
“I miss the moments. We would be outside together grooming the horses. Sometimes, we were short with one another as if we thought the three of us would be together forever. If not I had more time, but fate is cruel.” Said the Botendaddy, looking into the fireplace as if transfixed.
“As we ran, I noticed many magnificent stones. Are they from Indian times or something more ancient.” Said I, trying to change the melancholy topic.
“Young Lady”, said the aged Doktor. “This Estate was once owned by a strange Frenchman back before <>. What you Americans call the French and Indian War. He was clearly mad. He believed that the grounds up here were the site of an ancient Iroquois religious site where the savage, muscular natives sacrificed living victims to the unspeakable old ones, the name cannot be spoken, lest he be thus conjured. It is said that rites were performed at each of the stones before heading to the hideous altar by the cliff. But my observation from examining the stones is that they at clearly Gallic in origin and I believe they were transported by the madman Jean-Luc Sevigny Ste. DeBlois des Lauriers from ancient worship site in the high Vosges. But others claim they are just statues from the grounds of the old house.” The professor sipped his brandy.
“Fascinating history of these delectable, mysterious Laurel Highlands.” I said cheerily.
The Veranda at Cliff’s Edge
“Let us adjourn to the veranda for a rhoake of the local schmiee.” Offered the Botendaddy.
We proceeded to a massive dimly lit exterior portico that seemed to extend over a massive cool expanse of empty dark space.
The four of us, the good Herr Doktor, the delicate Boten-Daughter, myself and the deliciously, freakishly hideous Botendaddy.
We roaked the local Schmiee, we sipped brandy and we spoke of myriad lore of the ancient legends of the mysterious Laurel Highlands.
After a fashion, I noticed that the good Doktor had retired and the Boten-Daughter had take her leave, causing me to remain alone with the savage, sumptuously delectable beast.
“I know why you are here Mademoiselle Pym. We are not children, foolish ruses do not become us. You are here about the matter of Mademoiselle C. Whose recent utter, repeated, ravishment and self-imposed degradation has become a subject of interest to your firm. She is a woman of 20. Most women in our society are long since married with several children by that age. She demanded that I introduce her to the dark, carnal arts, leaving her groveling in an utter state of gooey, slimy, sticky sloppiness in which she reveled at no end. Her nubile pelvis survived the pelvic-bone-stretching onslaught no worse for the wear. Her family should be thanking me for helping her cross the threshold of womanhood in such a complete and humiliating manner.”
We leaned over the veranda wall peering into the misty gloaming.
“Perhaps, Dear Sir, if I am not being too forward, a demonstration would be in order this evening, so I may validate your words and alleviate the concerns of my illustrious client?”
The Botendaddy paused and put his hand on his chin as if in contemplation.
“Mademoiselle. Meet me in my chambers at 10:30 P.M. sharp and please ensure that you are physiologically… prepared?”
Upon the Botendaddy’s invitation, I lost all control of my bladderious capabilities and I soaked my incontinence undergarment fully.
The Encounter with the Beast
At 10:30 P.M. sharp, I met the Botendaddy in the second floor hall and I accompanied the him to his chamber. The maids and butler were nowhere to be found. I began to hear the large organ in the main hall, once again playing Bach. Could it be the Boten-Daughter? Was it a sinister ruse to drown out the frightful sounds that were soon to emanate from the Botendaddy’s chamber.
I was overwhelmed with fear, trepidation, yea terror! Once again I lost all control of my bladder. yet I was also curiously aroused in may I say, dear readers, a most decadent manner? What sinister delights could possibly await in the Botendaddy’s Chamber of horrors? Was I ready for the task?
I followed the Botendaddy into his chamber. I was overwhelmed with proper 19th century shame. Was I to succumb to the vile predations of the Botendaddy?
The rest is a whirlwind, but I shall describe the events which transpired to the degree that decorum allows. Before I knew it, both the Botendaddy and I were on the great bed in a state of undress.
After a fashion, it was my time to receive the Botendaddy. His masculine delight was so massive that I had to strain every feminine muscle and tendon, I had to focus entirely on receiving his enormity. I began to sweat on my forehead uncontrollably.
The massiveness passed slowly inside me as if I were giving birth to a baby Rhinoceros in reverse! When it became clear finally that the Botendaddy had fully entered my chamber of femininity, he was shocked that I was able to accomplish this massive feat. I was very proud that I had not let the firm down. I could actually feel the very bones in my pelvic region stretching and creaking.
All the while, the music from the giant organ played below, louder and louder. I realized that I had been screaming uncontrollably throughout the entire endeavor! Not a normal scream of terror, but an unholy scream as if I were being murdered from the inside out.
“O’ Venus! O’ Aphrodite! O’ ancient gods!”
I cried out as the Botendaddy had his way with me in every possible fashion. I continued to shriek and scream with utter disregard for decorum. The organ music was perfectly heightened to mask my primeval, carnal, hysterical sounds!
I dimly became aware of the passage of time throughout the night. By 3:00 A.M. I was completely exhausted. My body had been subjected to physical stresses that would have destroyed a lesser woman. Yet I persevered!
How proud was I of my accomplishment. I was fully saturated with the most vile of the Botendaddy’s reproductive fluids. Every crevice, my hair, my visage, my nostrils, my very bowels were sticky with the hideous, delicious, viscous matter. Ah the smell of it!
Eventually, the Botendaddy put me over his knee and began to spank me with his muscular, calloused hand. My fair, soft, milky-white cheeks absorbed ever more violent slaps with a thunderous crack!
“O’ virtue! O’ shame!”
I shouted. Ah the agony of my misconduct! The Botendaddy was forced to spank me until I cried, so that my horrific sins of feminine naughtiness could be expiated by pain and red welts. He then made me stand in the corner and apologize for being such a wicked girl and so violating the mores of our gilded age.
Ah how delectable the shame! O’ joy! I wallowed in the intensely tasty, sumptuous humiliation of my proper punishment. The Botendaddy then clapped his hands and I was escorted from the chamber by two of the maids. One of them carried my soiled clothing. The other wrapped my person in a monogrammed ladies bathrobe. Then I went back to my chamber and I fell into a deep sleep.
Alexander’s Italian Bistro, Bloomfield (R.I.P. April 2020)
Closing after 60 years.
Colony Cat Cafe, Lawrenceville (R.I.P. April 2020)
They had adoptable cats up in the loft.
The Blarney Stone, Etna (R.I.P. October 2004)
After a 30 year run, this classic Irish ☘️ Pub and venue closed its doors in 2004 after another Etna flood. I was actually there once for some St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
Full Pint Brewery, North Versailles (R.I.P. March 2020)
Nice local speciality brewery.
SHOCKER! Original Hot Dog Shop, Forbes Avenue Oakland (R.I.P. April 18, 2020)
This is the worst news ever. The soul of the University of Pittsburgh, the Original Hot Dog Shop, Home of the best hot dogs ever, and the massive French Fries with gravy, ketchup or cheese, originally one of the only places to get imported beer, is now gone. Opened in 1960 during the Pirates World Series season one block from Forbes Field is now dead. How many times was I there with my girl? Now never again. First they kill Forbes Field, then Pitt Stadium 🏟 then the O’.
Le vieil Pittsburgh n’est plus.
Cicero’s Restaurant and Bar, Forbes Avenue, Oakland ca. 1954 (R.I.P. 1978?)
I don’t know much about it. Frank Cicero was from Greenfield. His wife was from the Squirrel Hill Poli’s Restaurant family.
This could be the death knell for many restaurants in the region. We won’t know more until June really, but some places may never re-open. So stay tuned.
Bubbles and Sherman Kosher Restaurant, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. 1969?)
It used to be next to Squirrel Hill Hardware. I think a jewelry store is there now. For whatever reason it didn’t last long. Most of the Kosher places were on Murray to appeal to ‘The Settlement’. Forbes was more cosmopolitan to appeal to the ‘North of Forbes’ crowd.
Joseph Steak House, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. 1962)
No idea about this place. All I know is that it was replaced by Bubbles and Sherman.
The Rusty Dory, Avalon, PA (R.I.P. ?)
Weird green old Victorian building down by the Ohio River. Supposedly a friendly local dive bar.
Sushi Kim, Strip District (R.I.P. 2020)
I never went there. I hate sushi. Reopening in Oakland.
Legume Bistro, Oakland (R.I.P. 2020)
I never went there. It had a good reputation.
Coffee Buddha, Westview, PA (R.I.P. 2/28/2020)
This is a true disaster. We used to schedule off-site meetings there with our intrepid Krewe. Weird little rooms, some with tables others with floor pillows where you could take your coffee and hang out.
Artisan Cafe, Garfield, PA (R.I.P. 2020)
I don’t know much about it. It was in the neo-hipster gentrification zone.
The Death of the Jewish Squirrel Hill Delis
Bagel Factory is near where the hated Bagel Nosh once stood. Bagel Factory is pretty damn good. Bagelland on Murray was one of the greatest fresh bagel places in the universe. I don’t know when it shut down but it was a tragedy. Fresh hot crisp on the outside hot dough on the inside. I’m a New Yorker. I know a good bagel 🥯. Pigeon bagels 🥯 is new, I haven’t been there yet. Then many years ago in the days of the Kaufman settlement house at Murray and Douglas was Hebrew National which begat Polonsky’s which by 1968 begat Iz Cohen’s which begat Rhoda’s (Awesome Beef sticks, Kreplach Soup, Latkes and Pickles) which begat Kazansky’s, then died horribly about fifteen years ago. There was also Weinstein’s which I never was aware of in any real way and Bubbles and Sherman. The reality is that the Jewish Community is dwindling in Squirrel 🐿 Hill and across America. Synagogues are closing. One day we will be like the American Indian. Said I, Botendaddy, the last of the Squirrel Hillohicans.
Closed after a health inspection. Never reopened. I never ate there but the Flats seems to be barely hanging on.
Rita’s, Hempfield (R.I.P. September 2019)
Closed permanently. P.S. I hate Rita’s – always have.
Rita’s Fox Chapel (R.I.P. 2018?)
Replaced by Chik-Fil-A
Winghart’s Southside (Re-branding March 2020)
Will be known as Oddball’s. Downtown location caught fire three times.
Howler’s Bloomfield (R.I.P. March 31, 2020)
Alternative music scene for the past 18 years. Was supposed to move, now confirmed dead.
McDonald’s Penn Avenue, Strip District
The mere existence of a McDonald’s took away from the old-school ambience of the Strip. What an ugly eyesore amidst the wonderful old-world ethnic restaurants. Good riddance. Used to be a bocce court next to it.
Steak n, Shake, Route 30, Greensburg, PA
WTAF? We were just there! Another re-org. Almost every local one is closed. I love Steak n’ Shake.
Molinaro Ristorante and Bar Wolfies Pub and Pizzuvio, Market Square, Downtown (R.I.P. January 2020)
Never heard of these places.
Double-Wide Grill, Mars, PA (R.I.P. December 1, 2019)
I ate at the Southside location once with Annabel Lee. It was not great as I remember. I think the service was unpleasant.
Weinstein’s, Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. 1970?)
This was the most Jewish of the legendary Jewish Restaurants of Squirrel 🐿 Hill. It was near Beacon Street, above one of the now defunct movie theaters. There is a legend that they ran a card game up there. This guy gets back from WWII. His dad invites him to lunch and a card game at Weinstein’s. He remembers he has to feed the parking meter. So he and his dad run out for a smoke (Pronounced ‘Schmoak’) and as soon as they light up 🚬 there is a huge Police 👮 raid and they escaped unscathed. (Thanks Varda for reminding me about Weinstein’s) See the Post Gazette article: Weinstein’s Post Gazette
Houlihan’s Pittsburgh Mills (R.I.P. 2017?)
Went here a few times before the movies. Decent service and food. Part of the Mallocaust. By the way, I like Mills Mall. I’d like to see it recover.
Starbuck’s Pittsburgh Mills (R.I.P. 2016?)
Mini Starbucks inside the Mall. You could grab a mocha before the movie. I hope Mills Mall survives. I have a theory. One new type of business will save every Mall in North America. I just don’t know what it is yet.
By the way, if you remember any good regional restaurants near Pittsburgh, let me know.
Calico’s, Laga, The Sanctuary. No memory of any of these.
There was a Middle Eastern Restaurant on Atwood (Forgot Name), just past Philip S. Wiener Office Supply maybe right next to it. Does anyone remember the name? Closed around 1992?
The Sanctuary, Penn Avenue, The Strip District (R.I.P. 2006)
No memory other than the name. It was in an old church. Now it’s a church ⛪️ again.
The Salad Company, Oakland Avenue (R.I.P. 1986?)
I was in there once. It wasn’t that memorable, but a cool concept. My brother worked there. He got Schmieed.
Cornucopia, Atwood Street (R.I.P. 1989?)
One of my readers mentioned Cornucopia, which was on Atwood Street where the India Restaurant is now. It was near The Decade which was Pittsburgh’s CBGB’s. It was started by the late record store owner Ron Yoder. I vaguely remember it, but I was never in there.
Dunning’s Grill Regent Square (R.I.P. 2015)
Being replaced by Frick Park Tavern. Drove past Dunning’s many times. Never went in.
The Pittsburgh restaurantolocaust continues…
City Fresh Pasta, Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. 2019)
No clue. Lots of people liked it. High rent?
Curry on Murray, Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (R.I.P. 2019)
Good place to hang out and drink. I hadn’t been there for years. It wasn’t probably done in by all the choices just down the road in Regent Square.
Scotty’s Diner, Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh (R.I.P. 1983)
Was in an old railroad car. Had great breakfasts. Replaced by Peppi’s.
Tom’s Diner, West Liberty Avenue, Dormont (R.I.P. October 6, 2019)
I was never in there. Supposed to have excellent Greek fare.
Fuddruckers, Waterfront, Homestead (R.I.P. 2011?)
I am not sure when it closed. I wasn’t in there a couple of times. Sort of a bar burger joint. The name was disturbing, it was made fun of in the brilliant film ‘Idiocracy’.
Mitchell’s Fish Market, Waterfront, Homestead (R.I.P. 2019)
It may open elsewhere, but it is slated to be demolished FITB apartments. I may have been in there once, but I don’t remember it at all.
Now famous due to “This is us”. I was in there maybe once. I can’t remember it at all except it was dark and there were wooden booths. I think when Pittsburgh was a steel town it was a place for downtown businessmen and the 30-40 professional crowd to hang out.
Tbis was a weird apartment rental service that advertised rental listings that were like a decade old. Every college student knew of them. I’m not sure they were real. They were creepy as hell. Advertised in the classifieds in local rags.
Disaster on South Craig Street! Four stores 🏬 close!
Probably due to typical rent overreach or CMU/Pitt buying up buildings.
Pizza Prima, S. Craig Street, Oakland (R.I.P. 2019)
Been taking Boten-Daughter here and the Top Notch ArtSupply store next door since forever too. Now it’s closed too. Big slices. Always a good place to stop 🛑 after the Museum.
Razzy Fresh, S. Craig Street, Oakland (R.I.P. 2019)
Been taking Boten-Daughter here since she was a baby. Last day was today August 31, 2019. We had no idea they were closing. Genuinely nice people. Chinese proprietor. Big with Chinese students from Pitt and CMU. Cozy place to chill.
The Bagel 🥯 Factory, S. Craig Street (R.I.P. 2019)
Been going here since it replaced Kiva Han. Good to get an everything bagel 🥯 with salmon spread and fresh orange juice. Had an internal second floor balcony seating area. Windows were open to the streets in warm weather. I liked it but Kiva Han Coffee which it replaced about twenty years ago was a much better place to hang out.
China Palace, Walnut Street, Shadyside (R.I.P. August 2019)
I may have been in there once. I’m not sure how they survived on Walnut Street with the inflated rents. Apparently they had a wide vegetarian 🌱 selection and they delivered to the local student population.
J-Paul Sghetti’s, North Huntington, PA (RIP 1990?)
Funny concept. Real dollar bills under Lucite on the tables. Very pleasant service. Decent food. I don’t know what happened to them.
Weird underground Asian restaurant. I was in there once. It was mostly a low-level beer 🍺 distributor. You had to go down weird creepy stairs to get there.
Rumfish Grille, Bridgeville, PA (RIP 2019)
I am only stating my personal experience. Food was horrifically bad. If it was intended to be a seafood 🦞 restaurant, they failed, their seafood was atrocious. I can’t speak for all the staff, but the restaurant side were disinterested at best and abysmally slow, bar staff were better. If it died, it was a mercy killing.
The one at Mills Mall is dark and shuttered. No idea if they will re-open. I like their food.
King’s, Harmar Township, PA (RIP 2017)
Maybe too many more options in the Harmar commercial complex killed it. Harmarville is little Breezewood. Breezewood is an unnecessary slow-motion traveler’s trap at a disconnect between two American mega-highways, the PA Turnpike and Route 70. Harmar is the same concept connecting PA Route 28 and the PA Turnpike.
Lidia’s Restaurant – Strip District (R.I.P. September 2019)
I walked past it a thousand times. I had no knowledge of its existence. It was there a long time. Some friends dined there and said it was good. Neo-Italian fare.
Claddagh Irish Pub – SouthSide Works (RIP May 10, 2019)
I ate here a few times. Not bad for food and drink. It lasted almost 15 years. Decent atmosphere.
Georgetowne Inn – Grandview Avenue, Mt. Washington (RIP July 7, 2013)
According to a July 1, 2013 Article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, George S. Aiken, owner of George Aiken’s Markets (With Awesome Ham BBQ) opened Georgetowne Inn in 1974. It was one of the epic Grandview Avenue Restaurants. I may have been there once, but I just don’t remember.
NineonNine – PennAvenue, Downtown (RIPMarch2019)
An excellent downtown eatery. Everything was good. Cozy place to drink.
Sodinis was there forever. A fine Italian Restaurant from about 1932. I lived right behind it for a while. I think the Sodini family are still around somewhere.
Joe Mama’s Oakland/Pitt (RIP 2014)
I ate here once or twice. Sort of like an Italian Diner. I hated the name. It was stupid.
Uncle Sam’s Subs Oakland/Pitt (RIP Fall 2018)
A disaster. Greatest steak 🥩 subs ever. Ever. Lease not renewed. Lots of ketchup. Hot peppers 🌶. Mushrooms 🍄. Leave the research center. Go get special steak sub with ketchup and fries 🍟. Sit outside the horrific ugly, soulless, cheap brutalist architecture and eat your sub.
« Le vieil Pittsburgh n’est plus. » – Le Rochefaucaud 1876
TheBeehive (RIP Fall 2018)
Iconic Coffeeshop. One of the first post-Bob Dylan era coffee shops to resurface… in the 1980’s. Awesome place. Can get Bailey’s in your coffee ☕️. A tragedy of biblical proportions.
Evergreen Chinese Buffet, Turtle Creek (RIP 2017?)
Was one of the early long-standing Chinese buffets. Went here with family and friends for a long time. Then I just forgot about it. The owner and staff were wonderful, then the inevitable new management and collapse. Now it stands empty across from the long-dead Circuit City vacant lot.
Silky’s – Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (RIP July 2018)
Bar – Restaurant kind of joint. Privately owned local sports bar. It was decent. I wasn’t in there that often. There used to be a club française that used to meet there. I remember hanging out with some hot French broad and a pied noir dude. The food was decent. The upstairs balcony seating by the window gave a view of the street at night.
Cafe Sam – Baum Boulevard (RIP July 2018?)
I was never in there. But Annabel Lee was a few times. It was one of the first hip foodie places in the city.
Subway – Pittsburgh International Airport Airmall (RIP May 15, 2018)
I probably got a sandwich here once, but I don’t remember. The Airmall was pretty cool before September 11th ruined the ability to hang out there at random.
TGI Friday’s – Pittsburgh International Airport Airmall (RIP ???)
Seems to still be there. Rumors of it’s demise were untrue? This was a well-run, decent place to hide out before a flight, relax and eat.
Peter’s Place – Bridgeville (RIP May 31st 2018)
They used to cater lunch for some local businesses. I would have preferred a real cafeteria. I never ordered from it. Clientele was mostly quite elderly. Hard to tell when it was open.
Bloomfield Bridge Tavern (RIP 2018)
Polish food. Old Pittsburgh style. I was never in there, but it was highly regarded. Opened around 1985. Had a Polish flag 🇵🇱 painted on it.
Mitchell’s Ross Street (RIP 2018)
Big with the legal crowd and local pols for lunch. Food was pretty decent. Was always packed. I used to be in there a lot with an old friend who died years later under mysterious circumstances.
Old Town Buffet – Clairton Boulevard (RIP 2018)
This was a mega huge Asian buffet. Standard, but good. Had girls straight from China as servers. The building is being torn down. It was a little rough with an old mill-Town clientele. The whole area is in a state of collapse due to the impending doom of Century III Mall, which is becoming a legendary ghost mall.
Peter’s Pub – Oakland (RIP May 25, 2018)
Famous Pitt location. Rumor on Reddit was that it was bought out. Confirmed by the owners in the Pitt News. I wasn’t in there much. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. More a place to drink and meet people. Kind of legendary.
UPDATE! Khalil’s on Baum Boulevard has been brought back to life as of May 2018! One of the best Middle Eastern Restaurants ever! It’s a miracle!
Eddie’s Newsstand – Squirrel Hill (RIP May 2018)
The famous, epic cultural treasure, Eddie’s Newsstand on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill is closing. Opened by the ultimate literary character, Eddie Millstone. Eddie actually retired in 1981. He was a WWII vet. Eddie’s was an amazing place to hang out and chat. He had a collection of rare board games like Tactics II and wooden thick-handle Jackie Robinson baseball ⚾️ bats 🦇 and every odd candy you’ve never heard of, wide selection of cigarettes and comic books and God knows what else in the storeroom. The demise of print probably killed it.
Houlihan’s Station Square (RIP 2018)
Very 70’s Steelers-era venue mostly for the 35 and up crowd.
Donato’s – O’Hara (RIP April 2018)
Really a very good restaurant. Small venue. Good Italian Cuisine. Easy to miss if you didn’t know it was there.
Kiva Han Coffee Shop (RIP 2008?)
This was an awesome coffee shop with great atmosphere. It was very sort of Generation Y hip. I suppose it was destroyed by predatory Starbuques locations, but new independent coffee shops seem to be able to compete with St. Arbuques. I was at Kiva Han all the time in my early research days back in the late 90’s and then again in my next research phase. Then I was gone for just a little while before I returned to the University. First, the Kiva Han on Atwood died, then the one at Forbes and Craig. They used to put a chocolate 🍫 espresso bean on top of the whipped cream on the mocha. Rumor has it they still exist in Cranberry, PA but I’ll have to go look for it. Two locations on Forbes: Forbes and Craig and Forbes and Atwood, Oakland
The Elbow Room (RIP 2018)
Just announced. It closed once before I think. It was basically a bar. I don’t remember the food being remarkable. It was once a major hangout on Ellsworth. Then it faded away. I never cared for it. Basically a bar that served mediocre food. Ellsworth Avenue, Shadyside
La Cappella – Fox 🦊 Chapel (RIP November 2017)
Very good Italian food 🥘 all the way. A report on Yelp says readers claim that it has closed. I did a drive-by and it was posted that it is closed for remodeling but now the restaurant name is gone and there is a retail space available sign. It was family owned. Pizza was good, anti pasta was good. Pasta dishes were excellent. It is confirmed closed by unnamed sources. It is now replaced by Mad Mex. Waterworks Mall is in the weird Pittsburgh exclave of Lincoln.
Wheel Deliver (RIP 2017)
One of the first multi-restaurant delivery services. Almost legendary. Advertised in local alternative newspapers. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on October 27, 2017 that there is no sign of activity at their offices and some restaurants report being owed money. Update: the Wheel Deliver website reports that they also re re-opening on November 8, 2017. Update 2: A further report claims that there is some sort of dispute with another delivery 📦 service and it is not re-opened. Unnamed sources report that it is closed. Yes it has been defunct for three years now. Wilkins Avenue, Squirrel Hill
Hotlicks – (RIP 1998) Walnut Street Shadyside. Part of the Balcony. Rib joint. – see below. I remember excellent ribs and thick sliced potato 🥔 chips. I think it was also a jazz venue.
Buffalo Blues – (RIP 2015) Highland Avenue – Great ribs, great sauce. Real Sauce. Best takeout ribs in a long time. I used to go there a lot. Not a franchise. Nice atmosphere. Dark inside. You could hide out a bit.
Khalil’s – (ALIVE!!!) Baum Boulevard. One of the longest standing Middle Eastern Restaurants in Pittsburgh. Had that classic bogus middle eastern motif wall tapestries with camels 🐪 pyramids caravans etc. They even had a belly dancer 💃 in there once. Awesome medamas a walnut paste similar to hummus. Excellent spinach and meats pies. Awesome shish kebab . Everything was good. Another tragedy.
Spaghetti Warehouse – (RIP 2016) Smallman Street – Awesome rolls with Garlic chive butter. Thick noodles and thick meat sauce. Old trolley to sit in while you ate. Authentic old-timey decor. Lots of heavy old wooden beams. Another tragedy.
Benkovitz Seafood(RIP 2013) – Strip District – Best Fish Sandwich and Best Cocktail Sauce Ever, Best Savage Fish Soup. I was there about once a month. It was always steamy, especially on a winter’s day. You could always find parking. First you would buy your savage fish soup, then get your fried fish sandwich, It was tough to find shoulder space at the stand-up counters and people were always bogarting the cocktail sauce or hot sauce. The protocol was to leave the sauce up on top when you weren’t using it so others could use it to. But hogging it was an unpardonable crime.
Silk Pagoda(RIP 2013) – Greenfield Beechwood Boulevard – Best Gen Tso Chicken ever. It was crisp, well-spiced. Easy to get to at the edge of the Greenfield bridge, nice people. Lots of memories here. I went here a lot with family. They had that slow inevitable decline, when the immigrant generation that started the business bails as the next generation become professionals and business-Leute in their own right.
Gullifty’s(RIP 2013) – Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill – Good Desserts, the rest of their food was mediocre at best. At one time it was a hip place. It had two interior levels.
Sammy’s Famous Corned Beef County Office Garage and Smithfield’s Street Locations only(RIP Unknown) – Forbes Avenue, Smithfield Street and Bloomfield. Only one is still left. Best Pittsburgh Corned Beef Special Ever. They just closed the one across from the jail. The best one was down on Smithfield. You could go in get your corned beef special, cole slaw, no horrible sauerkraut. You needed a fork to eat the excess corned beef. Pickle slices were great too.
Minutello’s(RIP 2012)– Shady Avenue, East Liberty – Best Eggplant Parmesan, once the best antipasto, but then they substituted horrible pepper rings for delicious pepperoncini and took out the anchovies. It was that classic slow decline. They had a bar which was never too successful. We were there on the last night it was ever open.
Iz Cohen’s/Rhoda’s/Polonsky’s Hebrew/National (RIP 2010) – Murray and Douglas Squirrel Hill – Filthy – Best Kreplach Soup Ever, Best nasty Beef Sticks, Best Latkes, Solid Corned Beef, Pastrami and Pickled Tomatoes. It was Hebe central. They had those small halvah bars too. Tongue, herring all kinds of disgusting yet delicious Jewish food. The death of Iz Cohen’s signaled the inevitable slow death of Jewish Squirrel Hill.
Poli’s(RIP 2006) Murray and Forward Squirrel Hill – Cool Place, Food OK, Best Bronze Lobster Door Handles. Used to have a Sunday buffet. Once one of the greatest old Pittsburgh restaurants, was considered fine dining back in the Pittsburgh mill days.
Ung’s Chinese Restaurant (RIP 2000) Penn Circle South – East Liberty – Best Egg Roll and Duck Sauce ever. The secret recipe died with them. Made it about two generations, but in the end there was no-one to carry it on.
Bagel Land (RIP Unknown) – Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill- Best Fresh Bagels in the Entire United States – New York City Included. Bagels served hot with a thin, crisp exterior, hot soft dough on the inside.
Bagel Nosh(RIP 1996) – Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill – Wasn’t that good to begin with. I hated the owners.
Sir Loin(RIP 1990) – Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill – Also not that Good. Was fancy eating for standard high-end American fare back in the Mill Days.
The Balcony (RIP Unknown) – Walnut Street, Shadyside – Good Ribs, I think. Had good live Jazz music.
The Gazebo (RIP Unknown) – Walnut Street, Shadyside – I don’t remember it at all, but I know I was in there. See
Isaly’s (RIP Unknown) – Boulevard of the Allies and Halket – Oakland – Best barbecued Ham Sandwich Ever. Classic old Pittsburgh joint. Famous for Klondike ice cream bars which are now sold at grocery stores. Made iconic ‘chip-chopped’ ham. (Pronounced chip-chawwped) See Brian Butko’s awesome site: Isaly’s History
Chick-King Supreme (RIP Unknown) – Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill – Best Ribs ever. Had the original ‘Pong’ video game. Great Corn Dogs.
House of Sauce (RIP Unknown) – Center Avenue, Oakland – Hottest Sauce ever, terrifying clientele. Hot sauce was actually painful, caused lip and facial swelling. So I’m in there with the Boten-Daughter. I said to her in jest: ‘I think we’re the only white people in here.’ She replies very loudly: (She’s adopted and Asian) ‘ No you’re the only white person in here!’ Of course everyone cracked up in loud laughter at the racist white satanic devilish diablo.
Niko’s Gyro’s (RIP Unknown) – Semple Street, Oakland – Weirdest place ever, it was never open during normal business hours. Very strange. Like Brigadoon. Great Gyros. I think they re-opened somewhere else.
Taco Vista (RIP Unknown) – Forbes and Boquet, Old King’s Court Theatre (Home of the Rocky Horror Picture Show) Oakland – Best Mexican anywhere ever. Another place that was great in the winter. Nice thick sauce with the meat. Tiny fresh onion bits on the burritos. Lots of Chick Publications Jesus Tracts. I used to collect them, by the way.
Samreny’s (RIP Unknown) – Baum Boulevard, Oakland – Middle Eastern. Solid, fancy joint. Not fantastic, but OK. Had great classic Shish-kabob.
Penguini’s (RIP Unknown) – Baum Boulevard, Friendship – Upscale Dining for Young Hipsters. It was very gay. The Penguin, like the Owl is a gay symbol. They just are. Don’t question it, you sexy brute. I vaguely remember it. May have closed in the 1980’s.
Conflict Kitchen (May 31, 2017) Schenley Commons Good Riddance. Pompous, holier-than-thou hatred of America was its prime feature. Noted also for hypocrisy and extreme hatred of Israel. Made me feel about as comfortable as Kristallnacht.
Del’s (RIP 2015) – Bloomfield, Liberty Avenue, Generally agreed upon in most online comments as the worst restaurant. Worst service ever. I was actually served a veal Parmesan with a bone in the middle of it under the breading. WTF? I took a bite, found the bone, complained and was told it was supposed to be like that and I had to pay for it because I took a bite. Bye, bye now!
Rax’s Roast Beef (RIP? 1990’s?) – Cyprus Street between Baum Boulevard and Center Avenue, Shadyside – Rax was awesome. They had the first tasty salad bar at a Fast Food Restaurant. Proximity to colleges led to its downfall. Students sneaking in plates, bums pulling plates out of garbage cans probably did it in due to ‘lossage’. Now they barely exist.
Consolation Prizes for closed restaurants:
Rax Roast beef 🥩 still exists in Ohio, you have to drive to Lancaster, Ohio or further southwest in Ohio or Kentucky to find one. Spaghetti Warehouse can be found in Akron, Ohio. Carnegie Deli, from my New York list can be found at the Mirage in Las Vegas, at MSG or online shipping. The last Howard Johnson’s in the world 🌍 is in Lake George, NY as of late 2018. Is it still open? No idea. Seems to be.
Park Schenley (RIP 1985?) – North Dithridge Street, Oakland – I took a girl here once when I was in College. Overkill I think. It was once one of the great classy Pittsburgh restaurants. Time just passed it by.
George Aiken’s (RIP 1980?) – Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill – Great old-time deli. Had good Ham Barbecues I think. Also fried chicken.
Isaly’s (RIP 1978?) – Forbes Avenue Squirrel Hill – Chip-chopped ham, ham barbecues. Also a great Deli. The Klondike Chocolate Covered Ice Cream Bar is the sole survivor of this once mighty institution.
Mother John’s Pizza (RIP 1990?) Center Avenue, Oakland – Best Calzone ever. Probably overwhelmed by the chains.
Tambellini’s (RIP 1995?) – Saw Mill Run Boulevard, Beechview -Touted as a high-end Italian Restaurant with several restaurants in the area. I never liked their sauce. I found it low quality food yet it was a fine dining environment.
Red Bull Inn (RIP 1990?) – Shady Avenue, Shadyside – Also had a few locations in the area. Sort of a local chain. Was once a high-end family restaurant. Excellent dark interior décor, comfortable, a favorite of local National Guardsmen for lunch-time boozing.
Roy Rogers – Cathedral of Learning Basement Crossroads (RIP 1993?)
Great hangout. You could chill out in a quiet booth. Not busy like the new Pitt Cafeteria.
India Restaurant, Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill (RIP Unknown)
I don’t think it’s still open or it has the same name. Could have closed at any time in the past 40 years. No idea. It was one of the first Indian restaurants locally, Good Mataar Paneer.
Barnes & Noble, Murray Avenue and Monroeville Locations (R.I.P. 2005?)
Not a restaurant, but they served coffee. Each was a great place to hang out. Both destroyed by the apocalyptic Internet. Wouldn’t it be beautiful if the Internet and cellphone 📱infrastructures just suddenly collapsed and we could go back to normal?
In Pittsburgh newsweekly (RIP 2001)
This is only a restaurant site, but the wonderful “In Pittsburgh” Weird Free newspaper has long since disappeared from the streets. September 2001, you know the story. Mass chaos, I ended up going overseas with the Army and I never knew the fate of In Pittsburgh.
For anyone going to school at any of the local (Pronounced loacl) Universities, ‘In Pittsburgh’ was essential to the student experience. From the 10-cent GNC yogurt coupons to the music scene listings to the zany Matt Groening cartoons (replaced by the horrifically stupid ‘Zippy the Pinhead’.)
Sorry But if you preferred Zippy to Groening’s pre-corporatized ‘Life is Hell’ and ‘Work is Hell’ than I have no time for you, you are deliberately stupid. Back to In Pittsburgh, O’ the perverted classifieds (long before Craigslist) this free local paper was a must grab.
I don’t know why it died, but it was crushed by its corporate competitor, the City Paper and the advent of Craigslist didn’t help either. It deserved a better fate.
Ridiculous inaccurate corporate Google searches reveal no sign that ‘In Pittsburgh’ ever existed.
I really hated “On the bus with Kathy Jo”. I found it smarmy and true or not, inauthentic, but like the dotted travels of Jeffy on ‘Family Circus’ I read it anyway like watching a Russian car crash video.
“In Pittsburgh” died for the reasons above, mostly that the City had changed from a gritty post-Industrial rust-belt quasi-apocalyptic dreamscape ornamented with spooky abandoned steel mill skeletons to a sanitized corporatized neo-technical whatever.
The new generation didn’t need it anymore, like a loveable cute puppy that is adored by its child owners, then when the kids are older smoking weed, partying, fornicating driving hot rods, they ignored the sad old limping bony mangy aged dog 🐕.
The Electric Banana 🍌 (RIP 2000?) Bigelow Boulevard
Hip Music 🎶 venue on Bigelow.
Metropol (RIP 2000?) Strip District Smallman Street
Dance 💃 venue
Back in New York…
Mother Stahl’s Knishes(RIP Unknown) – Coney Island Avenue and Brighton Beach Boulevard- Brighton Beach – Brooklyn, NY. Botendaddy was a baker there once, Best Cabbage Knishes, Best Cherry Knishes, Best Potato Knishes ever – Sam-Mor, took the recipe to their graves. They were awful rude fucking people.
Red Thai on Lexington (RIP 2013?) – 39th and Lex? Awesome Thai for sit in or takeout. Nice people.
UPDATE! Carnegie Deli (DEAD AGAIN!)– Lesson here – it might be cool to sue your own restaurant for some calculation of back wages, but they may not remember the lawsuit fondly and then shut down the f&%king restaurant. Nice shooting yourself in the foot. Times Square area – Manhattan location is closed. Will continue to exist through merchandising and a few casino locations, like Bethlehem, PA. WTF? Come one New York! I will translate into New Yorkese: Who gives rat’s ass if they siphoned gas? I don’t give a flying fuck. Lose enough tourists yet? I want my fucking Cheesecake and Pastrami! Re-open the goddamned restaurant you fucking Con-Ed/NYC government douche-bags. I was here in June 2016 with one of my muses. I got the pastrami and one bite of chocolate cheesecake. AWESOME!!!
Update: Carnegie Deli Sands Casino Bethlehem, PA (2017)
Shutting down December 31st 2017. WTF? Over. Going all shipping? I went there on the last day! I bought two mega-cheesecakes. They are still in my freezer as of March 4, 2018.
In a chinese meal the following vegetables are disgusting gratuitous unnecessary cheap fillers:
Carrot, cabbage and green pepper.
Also cabbage does not belong in an egg roll-ever.
In Italian pasta sauce carrot goes in never, never, never, never.
In an Antipasto, sliced mild peppers go in never, green pepper goes in never. Pepperoncini are the only peppers tolerated in an antipasto. And don’t be a crappy cheapskate, put in provolone and capicolla, not just a little bit of stale salami.
Worst foods ever: Brussels sprouts, yams, sweet potatos, liver of any kind, cranberry gelatin or sauce.
Lima beans are inedible unless they are in some kind of a beef broth soup.
Peas: 1. canned sweet peas are good. 2. Canned regular peas are disgusting. 3. Fresh peas on salad are good.
Succotash is horrible.
Fruit salad is horrible, why mix delicious separate fruits into a hideous, congealed, sour mass?