Saturday, August 30th, 2014
Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr / Podcast

1944 / St. Louis

Playlist

Tags:
,
,
,
,

I have special places marked for special dishes. In Taunton, Massachusetts, you can get the best chicken stew in the United States. For chow mein with pigeon’s blood, I go to Johnny Cann’s Cathay House in San Francisco. I get my crab cakes at Bolton’s—that’s in San Francisco, too. I know a place in Chicago where you get the best barbecued ribs west of Cleveland and the best shrimp Creole outside New Orleans. There’s a wonderful place in Memphis, too, for barbecued ribs. I get my Chinook salmon in Portland, Oregon. In Toronto I get duck orange, and the best fried chicken in the world is in Louisville, Kentucky. I get myself a half-dozen chickens and a gallon jar of potato salad, so I can feed the “seagulls.” You know, the guys who reach over your shoulder. There’s a place in Chicago, the Southway Hotel, that’s got the best cinnamon rolls and the best filet mignon in the world. Then there’s Ivy Anderson’s chicken shack in Los Angeles, where they have hot biscuits with honey and very fine chicken-liver omelets. In New Orleans there’s gumbo filé. I like it so well that I always take a pail of it out with me when I leave. In New York I send over to the Turf Restaurant at Forty-ninth and Broadway a couple of times a week to get their broiled lamb chops. I guess I’m a little freakish with lamb chops. I prefer to eat them in the dressing room, where I have plenty of room and can really let myself go. In Washington, at Harrison’s, they have deviled crab and Virginia ham. They’re terrific things. On the Ile-de-France, when we went to Europe, they had the best crêpes Suzette in the world, and it took a dozen at a time to satisfy me. The Café Royal, in the Hague, has the best hors d’oeuvres in the world—eighty-five different kinds, and it takes a long time to eat some of each. There’s a place in Paris that has the best octopus soup. And oh, my, the smorgasbord in Sweden! At Old Orchard Beach, Maine, I got the reputation of eating more hot dogs than any man in America. A Mrs. Wagner there makes a toasted bun that’s the best of its kind in America. She has a toasted bun, then a slice of onion, then a hamburger, then a tomato, then melted cheese, then another hamburger, then a slice of onion, more cheese, more tomato, and then the other side of the bun. Her hot dogs have two dogs to a bun. I ate thirty-two one night. She has very fine baked beans. When I eat with Mrs. Wagner, I begin with ham and eggs for an appetizer, then the baked beans, then fried chicken, then a steak—her steaks are two inches thick—and then a dessert of applesauce, ice cream, chocolate cake, and custard, mixed with rich, yellow country cream. I like veal with an egg on it. Monseigneur’s, in London, has very fine mutton. Durgin-Park’s, in Boston, has very fine roast beef. I get the best baked ham, cabbage, and cornbread at a little place near Biloxi. St. Petersburg, Florida, has the best fried fish. It’s just a little shack, but they can sure fry fish. I really hurt myself when I go there.

© 1993 by Mark Tucker. Used with permission of Oxford University Press.

Bookmark and Share
Love this? Subscribe to Lapham's Quarterly today.

Comments Post a Comment »

  • I'm shocked and amazed at the amount of food the man could consume. Probably needed that amount to fuel his genius..

    Posted by Bruce Thomas on Wed 22 Jun 2011

Post a Comment

Note: Several minutes will pass while the system is processing and posting your comment. Do not resubmit during this time or your comment will post multiple times.

Published In
Food
About the Author

Duke Ellington, from an interview. Among the most important jazz composers of all time, Ellington was born in 1899 and grew up in a middle-class family in Washington, DC. He began to play music professionally at the age of seventeen, moving in 1923 to New York City, where he honed his distinctive “jungle” and big-band style. During his career he made recordings with, among others, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, and Charles Mingus.

American table manners are, if anything, a more advanced form of civilized behavior than the Europeans, because they are more complicated and further removed from the practical result, always a sign of refinement.
Miss Manners, 1982
Visual Aids
Rites of Passage Coming-of-age rituals from around the world.
Art, Photography, & Illustrations View a selection of art from our latest issue.
Charts & Graphs All of our charts and graphs, pulled from the pages of Lapham’s Quarterly.
Events & News
June 2 / Tickets for the DECADES BALL are available now. Join us at our yearly gala to celebrate the 1870s with readings from the Quarterly with stars of stage and screen. More
Apropos

Vague Premonitions

The Great Beyond

Subscribe
Current Issue Youth Summer 2014
Blogs

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Audio & Video
LQ Podcast:
Robert Weide
Robert B. Weide talks about his decades-long production of a documentary on Kurt Vonnegut due to be released in 2015.
Eponym
Lewis H. Lapham is Editor of Lapham's Quarterly. He also serves as editor emeritus and national correspondent for Harper's magazine.
Recent Issues