Thursday, March 11, 2010

The End of an Era

If you're from the Merrimack Valley area and this half torn down building does not look familiar to you...go get your Grandmother. She would recognize it for sure. The Cedar Crest restaurant on Broadway Street, Lawrence, MA was the place to be back in the 60's and 70's. It had dark wood paneling, studded leather booths, Tiffany lamps, and the wait staff would all wear bow ties. It was where you and your family went if it was a special occasion. The food was old school: prime rib, open faced turkey sandwich, braised short ribs, baked stuffed jumbo shrimp, and homemade chicken soup. That's what I miss the most, the chicken soup. It was simple and salty, with tons of rice in it. When ever anyone got sick this was the go to meal. Somehow, after eating the soup, you just felt better. The first time that I ever tried veal was at the Cedar Crest. It was called veal on a heal. It was just veal parm, served on locally made Italian bread. Hand battered veal, nice crusty bread, homemade marinara sauce, and melted provolone. Just a damn good sandwich...but now it's gone. The building is being demolished to make way for a Burger King. Yep, 'Home of the Whopper.' No more hand battered, no more homemade, and no more locally sourced bread. Now people in that neighborhood can order processed, frozen fast food off a dollar menu. For over 70 years families have enjoyed quality time while dining on great food at the Cedar Crest. Now parents can keep their kids strapped in the car seat while they get dinner from a drive thru.

2 comments:

I QUE said...

That is old school. Insult to injury for a fast food restaurant to take its place.

eiodopet said...

I feel guilty that living a block away, in the last days of this location I did not get a pre-demolition photograph of this restaurant. I had always meant to try it, and didn't until they moved to North Andover (before they went completely out of business) and by then, the menu was abbreviated and the food prepared with less focus and heart than customers of their heydays describe - and I believe them - and the decor was modern. So even so, I missed out on the total experience. I ended up having an unmemorable meal. I believe that had I had a time machine, my experience would have been very different. How could I really know? But if even only for posterity, I should have at least had the presence of mind to have gotten a few snapshots to catalog this historic landmark. That, is my facepalm moment.