It seems as though I have a certain knack for choosing favorite things that get discontinued. My Mother has complained about having the same problem and now my daughter is showing signs of the same affliction as well. Could this odd predilection be hereditary? Could all three generations have such tastes apparently so far from the norm that we immediately and passionately gravitate towards things doomed for obsolescence?
I started pondering this personal phenomenon after one recent evening dining out with my little family. We had dinner in downtown Delray at one of my teenaged daughter’s favorite Italian chain restaurants. I perused the menu and noted immediately that the chicken dish that I usually order from this particular restaurant was now missing from the menu. I sighed resignedly and it was not without begrudging that I chose something else.
Later I started to make a list, flipping through my rolodex of memories for items, goods and places that were once dear to me and are no longer. Bear with me as I detail them – the list favors gastronomic delights and theme park memories…but perhaps you may see a forgotten old favorite or two of your own.
1. Revlon’s Line and Shine in Coffee – The concept was brilliant; a lip liner on one end and a richly colored, thick gloss on the other. The Coffee color was perfect for me, went well with my skin tone and dressed up my lips just enough. Until recently, I was able to find it on ebay. But now even if I can locate the product, it is not in my Coffee color.
2. California Pizza Kitchen’s Adobe Chicken Chowder – What a fabulous soup. Roasted corn, spices and chicken in a savory creamy base. Nothing not to love there. I used to treat myself to a cup of it, adorned with a few crunchy tortilla strips alongside of a large salad as a treat. That little combo was a big Friday afternoon lunchtime draw for me. Since its removal from the menu, I have only been back to CPK a handful of times. I find it is just too sad.
3. 6 Flags Atlantis Waterpark – Located in Hollywood, Florida, near Sterling Road, this waterpark (in my memories, at least) was massive and offered slides and water rides to rival anything that could be found in Orlando. I went several times during my Middle School years and even recall seeing Belinda Carlisle concert there in the early 90’s. 6 Flags opened around 1982 and closed after Hurricane Andrew caused irreparable damages in 1992. A Kmart now sits where the wave pool used to be.
4. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – Speaking of parks and Orlando…this ride was my Mother’s absolute favorite in Disney. Compared to Space Mountain, the penultimate thrill ride at the time in the Magic Kingdom, it was relatively tame. But, Mom found it irresistible. I have such strong memories of my Mom and me hand in hand, making a beeline for the queue. The ride had a lot of whipping around and a portion of it that appeared to have the rider headed straight for an oncoming train, which was certainly anxiety inducing enough for little girl me and was probably my non-thrill-ride-liking Mom’s limit. A Buzz Light Year ride now stands there.
5. The Filet Skewers at Stonewood Tavern and Grill – Stonewood’s has been my go-to restaurant in Lake Mary, FL for over 10 years. I travel to Lake Mary frequently for work and usually treat my travel / work companions to a lovely dinner at Stonewoods. They have delicious private house wines, their salad dressing are made on the premises and the menu is beautifully diverse. Chicken, seafood, and gourmet salads but… aged steaks are their specialty. The skewers were just the perfect semi lighter fare. The skewers consisted of a few chunks of filet mignon roasted with green peppers, onions and tomatoes, sprinkled with rosemary. I continued to ask for the dish every time I went even after it was removed from the menu. I was obliged a few times, but the wait staff and now chefs have changed often enough so that now I am rewarded with only a blank stare when I ask.
6. Red River Fries at Dave and Busters – Before D & B had their cutesy ads on TV, my family (Mom, Dad and 4 sisters) used to go down to the South Florida location off of Sterling Rd, not far from where Atlantis (number 3) used to be located. We usually traveled down for sister # 4’s (Lara) birthday. I think that it was either the first or second time we visited that we ordered the Red River Fries as an appetizer. Um, YUM! It was my introduction to having fries (already carb and fat laden) smothered with anything, and in this case, it was 5 types of cheese. The appetizer disappeared from the menu by our 3rd visit (likely due to the multiple myocardial infarctions on the premises.)
7. Veggie Melt at Denny’s – Once upon a time, I used to go to clubs, mostly in Fort Lauderdale and I danced for hours. As I was 30 minutes from home, I didn’t drink much (actually nothing at all, besides an unfettered, sugar-laden fountain Coke.) But, I always needed to get my late night grub on at Denny’s. Most times I would go with a wing (wo)man. Sometimes it was just me…braving the bright lights and judgmental stares at Dennys in my “Club-Wear” in order to get my Veggie Melt fix at 2 AM. Two pieces of toasted wheat bread sandwiched an inexplicable combination of melted cheese, soft pieces of avocado and cold slices of tomato and lettuce leaves. I still have no idea how they got the combo of hot and cool just right, but they did. I was able to pull off the “do you remember old menu items” gig with servers and chefs for at least a year.
8. Underwear / Pajama store next to Victoria’s Secret in Town Center– This is the one where I cannot remember the name of the store and can’t find any references via Google. In the early 2000’s, an underwear store sprung up right next to Victoria’s Secret in Boca Raton’s Town Center . Actually, I think that the Pink store stands there now. But, back when a Mom and Pop store had the cojones to set up shop next to the VS behemoth, I was impressed. I bought several nightgowns and matching PJs for myself and Taylor before they closed doors…about a year after they opened.
9. Circus World – My childhood is littered with memories that my parents made for us at the Mouse House. (See above Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride reference.) But, Circus World was a new up and coming park in the early 80’s. My parents took me there. I went there with classmates. I walked on a tightrope there . As an adolescent, I never imagined that Circus World might not be a lasting destination. I would have loved to have taken Taylor there. After several changing of hands and names, it was shut down in 1986.
10. Aura Science – Until I hit middle age, I had always been very lackadaisical in my approach to skin care, even despite the early skin cancer scare I had. During the Christmas holiday of 2003, my sister, Michelle (#3) introduced me to the beauty of skin care and bought me the full line of Aura Science’s Phase II. I loved the feeling of the products on my face and even more, I loved the compliments on my complexion and how my skin smelled. Oooooh, the products had such a yummy, warm and fresh smell. Just that olfactory incentive alone incented me to wash my face religiously. Aura Science was discontinued around late 2005. This is another product that I can find only occasionally on ebay.
11. Diet Vanilla Pepsi – I LOVE Pepsi, and favor it over Coke products. Just as I love Vanilla over Chocolate when given a choice. So, when Pepsi introduced diet Vanilla Pepsi, I assumed that that ours was to be a long love affair. Notsomuch. Apparently Vanilla flavored diet soda was not a winner within Pepsi’s test groups. I stalked grocery chains to find sleeves of Diet Pepsi Vanilla for a few months…then, it disappeared, apparently another casualty in the ongoing Cola wars.
12. Promise Activ Super Shots – The Cuban blood in me runs very strong. Much of it I am grateful for. A strong, loyal, opinionated personality, a steely work-ethic, expressive features, and…longevity. (My Grandfather, Papi passed last year at 103, his own Mother at 104, his wife, my “Nina” is still kicking it at 94) However, my blood is indeed ‘thicker’ than water. A predisposition for high cholesterol runs in this side of the family. My Nina had surgery to clear out her arteries around 14 years ago and her son, my Daddy, had a quintuple bypass in December of 2004. So, when my own numbers started to tick up a couple of years ago, I radically changed my eating habits and looked towards alternative solutions. The Promise Activ Super Shots were little shots of liquid yogurt that contained plant sterols. Combined with a diet heavy on fruits and veggies plus these little shots, I was able to knock down my bad cholesterol number by 100 points. Inexplicably and sadly the Super Shots were discontinued. My online research yielded articles that fuel my conspiracy-theory opinion as to the why. http://hbs.xomba.com/cholesterol_lowering_promise_activ_supershots_discontinued_unilever_consumers_who_swear_product_upse
I do mourn and talk about my no-longer-available favorites. My knack for picking things doomed for obsolescence is now a semi-funny known joke for loved ones and friends. (My daughter once pleaded with me NOT to like something, because she knew that if I did, it would disappear.)
I am curious to know if others have experienced this discontinuation phenomenon. Have there been goods, places or menu items that you loved that have disappeared? Or, am I just a freak of nature who gravitates towards things that will soon be eradicated?