"" Writer's Wanderings: Step Back in Time

Monday, August 23, 2010

Step Back in Time

On a quest for some good peaches, we drove about an hour to Vermilion, Ohio, this past weekend. We had an address for a roadside market that sold their own farm produce and we found it easily enough. If anyone is in that area, it's called the Aufdenkampe Farm. There were several other places we saw along the way and really, the area between Vermilion and just west of Port Clinton has tons of peach orchards and markets.

After we bought our bag of peaches and tomatoes and corn and I said, "Stop! We can't eat all this," we decided to head into downtown Vermilion to walk around a bit and maybe get some lunch.

Vermilion is a sweet little town that is right on the shore of Lake Erie between Cleveland and Sandusky. As the sign says, "A Small Town on a Great Lake." When we owned a sailboat, we made a few trips there and moored overnight at the Interlake Yacht Club. We'd walk into town for dinner at McGarvey's which is now a Quaker Steak and Lube or as we did on our anniversary, ate at the little french restaurant, Chez Francois. We've also eaten at the Old Prague Restaurant as well hoping to get a taste of the kind of food my aunt used to make. But this Saturday we walked down Liberty Avenue through the center of town and looked for a place for a light lunch. There were lots of choices but the one that caught our eye was Big Ed's Main Street Soda Grill.

The Soda Grill advertised hot dogs and an old fashioned soda fountain. The menu was delightful and included all sorts of burgers, dogs, and assorted sandwiches. The soda fountain was true to its advertising. Real shakes and malts came the old fashioned way--in the metal mixing container with a glass to pour it in. Other fountain items included Brown Cows, Black Cows, and Boston Coolers and something I'd not heard of before, Egg Creme. It's a mixture of chocolate, milk and soda water or seltzer.

Bob ordered a fried bologna sandwich and I ordered a Smokie, "a smoked sausage smothered in our homemade coney sauce, diced onions, and topped with shredded cheddar cheese." We split each sandwich when it came and sampled both. They were terrific!

And so was the atmosphere of the Soda Grill as we munched our sandwiches and sipped our Cokes. The place used to be an old pharmacy and along one wall still stands the display cabinet of the pharmicist of earlier years. It now holds lots of memorabilia from past eras including a collection of glass milk jugs from several different milk companies.

I wish I could have taken more pictures but I had left my camera at home and the cell phone only works so well especially in the rain which started shortly after our lunch. We dashed back to the car and headed home with our fresh produce which, by the way, was the tastiest we've had in a while. I see a peach pie in the future.

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