On the House (continued)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Thu Mar 8 16:53:17 UTC 2001

   The NYPL early "snow" closing prevented me from copying the whole thing a few days ago.
   The "Chicken Jerusalem" I cited should be recorded; that West Coast establishment probably created it.  It's "chicken" with "Jerusalem artichoke."  (It should not imply that the people of Jerusalem are "chicken.")

by Matty Simmons and Don Simmons

Pg. 42:
   _H. HICKS & SON_
30 West 57th Street; 16 East 49th Street; MU 8-5552
   In some unestablished year between 1825 and 1850, a Paris-born apothecary by the name of Elias Durand, already quite popular in Philadelphia for serving sparkling carbonated water drinks, accidentally dropped a scoop of ice cream in an about-to-be served glass ofthe bubbly beverage.  His natural French inquisitiveness brought him to taste the new combination.  The smack on his lips that followed resulted in the birth of an American institution.  In 1850, the Semi-Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia saw the ice cream soda introduced to visitors from all over the world.
   It was not, however, until thirteen years later that a New York storekeeper saw fit to introduce the ice cream soda to this city.  In 1863, Henry Hicks, who had opened his fruit store only a few months before, decided to put in an ice cream soda bar.

Pg. 55:
845 Second Avenue, MU 7-6636
   There's an item on the menu at the Peking House, a barbecued duck, that the chef works on for a while with a bicycle pump.  He puffs the bird up so that the skin parts readily from the meat.  After that he goes to work on it with his various manipulations, sauces and Oriental operations known only to an Oriental chef.  Whatever he does to it, it comes out as one of the most mouth-watering foods you've ever eaten and, furthermore, you can't taste a trace of the bicycle pump.
   A man we know says, "I love Chinese food but an hour after you've eaten, you're hungry again."  He, quite obviously, has never dined at the Peking.

Pg. 70:  They say that when two Greeks meet, they open a restaurant.

Pg. 76:  _THE MIRAMAR_...Beef Wellington...

pg. 96:
   In 1896, at the southern end of area called "Whiskey Row" a man named Mickey Finn opened the Lone Star Saloon and Palm Garden.  Here, aside from selling cheap alcohol and rolling many of his patrons himself, he established a school for young pickpockets and set up wide contacts to get rid of stolen merchandise.  In upstairs rooms over the Lone Star, Mrs. Mickey Finn conducted a school of somewhat older nature where a number of the local girls were employed.
   A few years after he opened his establishment, Finn met a Negro voodoo doctor named Hall who sold him a large brown bottle filled with a thin, white substance, a few drops of which could render a drinker senseless for hours.  Thus the "Mickey Finn" was born and its fame spread to barrooms all over the world.  Today, a Mickey Finn can apply to almost any kind of knockout drug but at first, in Chicago, it meant that witch doctor's concoction which was sold to Finn regularly and used until his license was revoked on December 16th, 1903.  The saloonkeeping "Fagin" was dismayed when the authorities closed his place.  "What!" he murmured as the police put a padlock on the door, "So close to Christmas?"
(John Mariani's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN FOOD & DRINK chooses not to mention this at all, but states: "The origins of the drink are usually associated with San Francisco's Barbary Coast in the 1870s..."  Certainly, there were drugged drinks there as elsewhere, but "Mickey Finn" was a popular character of novels in the 1890s.  San Francisco 1870s is completely wrong--ed.)

Pg. 117:  _IMPERIAL HOUSE_...beef Wellington.  (Chicago--ed.)

Pg. 120:  ...chicken portolla which is a curry of chicken cooked and served in a coconut.

Pg. 121:  ...chicken Catalan, which has a garlic-oregano aroma and a taste of green peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes that is delightful.

Pg. 126:  A fact that perhaps would constitute as much of an endorsement as saying of a Greek restaurant, "This is where the Greeks eat."

Pg. 142:
   Meanwhile, Pierre Maspero opened the CIty Exchange, a hotel which was to go into competition with his former establishment.  It was here that his restaurant manager, a Spaniard named Alvarez, introduced the gastronomical miracle Louisiana gumbo.  The dish was one part Creole imagination applied to about three parts of the famous French concoction, Marseille bouillabaisse.  It was also at Alvarez' instigation that the hotel placed upon its bars the first free lunch ever served in this country.  This, at first, consisted of a plate laden with food being handed to any customer who ordered a drink.  Later, a counter was set up which any customer could visit and help himself to as much food as he desired.  This innovation was to be copied by all saloons all over the country.  Alvarez was succeeded as director of the bar and restaurant at the City Exchange by Joseph Santini who had invented two drinks that became almost as closely aligned with New Orleans as gumbo.  They were the!
 Crusta and Pousse-Cafe.

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