Sundays are often pretty laid back, lazy days for us. Aside from running a few errands, hitting a handful of open houses (as in viewing houses for sale) and visiting my in-laws, the highlight of our day is low-fat breakfast sandwiches and coffee at Starbucks. Up until recently, my husband never cared much for coffee. He's always been a beer and wings guy.
For the first six years of our relationship, I'd beg him to stop at Starbucks and sit with me for a few minutes. I know "cool" people hate Starbucks for being the big, ugly demon serving up overpriced, bitter coffee and putting the little guy out of biz. I won't deny you your opinions, but there's something about Starbucks I truly love despite the negs. The warm feel of cupping a toasty latte sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar in the raw on a chilly morning is heavenly to me. Sipping an ice brewed Starbucks passion tea on a hot summer's day - nothing beats it!
OK, back to the topic. I think every Sunday I'm going to make a list of several things that complete the sentence, "Remember when" ... Today's theme will be franchise eateries. As always, feel free to comment and include a bunch of things you remember! I love reading what you all have to say :-)
1. Taco Bell only had like three items on their menu? According to Wikipedia, the first Taco Bell franchise was opened in New Jersey in 1964??? Seems wrong. I remember in the early '80s in Lynbrook, New York, as little kids, we'd feast on hard beef tacos and those toasty sweet cinnamon crisps. This was way before the chicken soft taco or Nachos BellGrande.
2. Speaking of Taco Bell, we didn't have Qdoba or Chipotle. If we wanted Mexican, it was either a nice sit down independent Mexican restaurant or the hard tacos at Taco Bell.
3. Dunkin Donuts only had coffee and donuts. They didn't serve tuna on a bagel or flatbread sandwiches. As a kid, my favorite item from Dunkin Donuts was the fruit punch. It was stored in this big plastic, see-through dispenser and probably filled with bacteria, but it was deliciously icy old and sweet.
4. Most of McDonald's sandwiches were served in Styrofoam cartons. As we became more environmentally conscience, so did the fast food industry. In high school, I actually stared a petition and gathered over 200 students' signatures asking McDonald's to please package their burgers in paper similar to the burgers at Wendy's.
5. In the late '70s and '80s, there wasn't Macaroni Grill, Olive Garden, Applebee's or Ruby Tuesday's on Long Island. Though many of these chains existed in other parts of the country, the only big "sit-down" chain restaurants we were familiar with were Pizzeria Uno's, Houlihan's and Bennigan's.
6. In the '80s, movie theaters only had popcorn, candy and soda -- maybe hot dogs depending on where you went. Today's kid can chose from chicken fingers or nachos while taking in a movie at a Sony Theater or Clearview Cinema.
7. If you wanted ice cream back in my day, you had standard offerings at local creameries, Carvel, Baskin-Robbins and Friendly's. Now there's crafty confections from Cold Stone Creamery, Maggie Moo's and much more. We didn't have Cake Batter flavor back then!