I had dinner last night at a marvelous Mexican restaurant and it reminded me of how available cuisine has changed since I was a youth.
Within a fifteen to twenty minutes from my home today there are excellent restaurants of numerous ethnic cuisines. French, Indian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Thai, Chinese and so on. It also helps that we are not too far from the Culinary Institute of the Hudson Valley.
I grew up in a very small city, population 12-thousand at the max. There were a few elegant eateries within twenty miles of that small city, but that was about it. Italian fare or what they called American cuisine was what one found in my small city.
Fast food? Nothing. No McDonalds, no Berger Kings, no Roy Rogers. There were a couple of diners for coffee, a coke and a burger, but that was about it.
The nearest big city had one fast food restaurant. White Castle. In my time WC was the home of the 5-cent burger. One bite and they were gone, but it was a burger with cheese if you wanted it and some tiny chopped onions. It hasn’t changed much today accept for the price.
White Castle is the oldest fast food restaurant in America. The franchise has been in business since 1921. I think I had my first one when I was fifteen and I still like them.