I Miss My Old Friends

By Frank Sheftel

I was driving down Riverside Drive the other day in the mood for some lemon meringue pie. I instinctively headed for Marie Callender’s only to be jolted into the reality that Marie was gone. She took her pies and packed up and headed off into the sunset leaving an empty lot in her wake.

It seems like only yesterday that we had my mom’s 80th birthday party there. Seventy of our friends and family came together to celebrate over pies and omelettes, and now it was only a memory.

It reminded me of our other old friends that are no longer with us. Remember the Steak Joynt on Cahuenga? Oh how I miss that garlic bread and those great filets. Another friend lost in the name of development. Who can forget Sorrentino’s Seafood House further down Riverside? I had my Bar Mitzvah there. My sister’s wedding was at the Colonial House, now Val Surf.

Oh, how I miss my old friends. I call them old friends because of the comforting welcome feeling I would get when I would go in for a meal and leave feeling filled with love and caring and, of course, a full belly of some great food.

Thank goodness for the oldies with goodies that still provide us with that comfort food we so badly crave. The SmokeHouse is still an icon in our community providing great food and cozy comfort. And of course who hasn’t been to Bob’s Big Boy on a Friday night and enjoyed the classic car show while wolfing down a delicious big boy burger?

These places remind us of our youth and bring back memories of a different era. An era when talking was what we did over dinner, not texting. Where sharing stories of our day replaced sharing what we Googled or saw on YouTube. Where face-to-face meant you communicated in person, not by way of an app on your iPhone. I’m starting to sound like my father now, so I’ll stop.

But don’t think I’m only living in the past. I have made new friends too. Sweetsalt is my new BFF. Their macaroons are deeeelicious and they make a fabulous lobster roll. And the Habit could become just that, a habit.

So while I lament old friends that have gone away, I have moved on and made new ones. Marie is gone; it’s time to go check out the new pie place on Magnolia. I hear they make a mean lemon meringue.

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