Monday, May 3, 2010

The Object of My Desire: A Smorgasbord of Memories

When I was in elementary school, I remember a smorgasbord buffet that we occasioned as a special treat. I don't know if it was more of a treat for my mom, who prepared nearly every meal we ever ate, or for us being allowed to pick what we wanted from steam tables heaped with fried chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, sliced ham and all the trimmings.

Either way, it was a special occasion, and we left stuffed to the gills. The restaurant was dangerous for a kid like me who liked to eat, because temptation was only a fork or a spoon away. Before you slid your melamine tray along the counter to collect your entrées and the side dishes of spinach, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese, right there, laid out right at the beginning of the line were the mouth-watering desserts: huge slices of gooey cherry pie, seven-inch tall portions of coconut cream pie, gigantic wedges of German chocolate cake and enormous parfait cups heaped with butterscotch pudding, finished off with a frilly squirt of whipped cream. It was a kid's fantasy -- dessert before the meal!

I was reminded of the old smorgasbord this past weekend when I visited a stoop sale in Brooklyn and paid $1 for this blue tray from the Sweden House restaurant chain that was popular throughout South Florida, and in Napersville, Illinois! I can't recall the name of the eating establishment we had back in Missouri, but the interior was pretty close to this postcard I found on -- minus the blonde Swiss miss. (I only remember seeing round ladies in white aprons and hair nets working there.)

The caption on the reverse of the card makes me hungry right now with it's delicious description: "Every day -- Hot dishes -- Cool sparkling salads -- World's fines smorgasbord service. Finest food and gracious dining without extravagance."

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!

The Elegant Thrifter


  1. I love this. We noshed at a similar spot in Nebraska and I remember loving the jello w/whipped cream dollops. And the homemade mac-n-chz. Mmmm. Thanks for the carb-rich memories!

  2. Great post! My in-laws dig these establishments to this day! The food was much better back then, wasn't it?

    Nice tray. So many possibilities.

  3. We had one in Willmar Minnesota called Frida's Bord, or Freda's Bord. Can't remember which. My Swedish grandparents loved it. Good food. Love the tray!

  4. The tray is wonderful! We had a family fave called David's Buffet locally, when I was growing up. My grandma's favorite place to go on her birthday. There was also a favorite when mom, grandma and I went downtown. The name has completely escaped me, but they had a special dining room for gentlemen. I suppose it was so they didn't have to be bothered by all the ladies and their shopping bags. Back in the days when heels, hats and gloves were worn anytime there was a shopping trip. Memory lane.



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