MMmm those Wedgies!

Seems a lot of my posts talk about food, but its really an integral part of rural Newfoundland life.  A meal was more than an opportunity to fill your belly, it was a social family event.  And no visit was complete till you had a “cup of tea” which meant, tea, cake, cookies, jam, crackers, etc, etc.

When we were younger, take out food was both rare and a treat, and there weren’t a whole lot of restaurants nearby.  We’d go to Greening’s down across the neck sometimes, but that was quite the jaunt, and of course the Irving as well, but there weren’t a lot of take out type places, and fried chicken was really a little unusual.  That was remedied somewhat by Reddi Chef.  I can’t remember if it came to town in my early childhood, or was there before, but I think the former.  I guess it was a franchise, because I remember visiting another in Burin, and they had a fish burger called the Big Eric.  But to me Reddi Chef will always be about wedgies and will always be down the road from Mercer’s, on the corner of Bourne Place (I think).

All I remember was the little hole in the wall take out selling chicken and, and this is the big AND, and wedgies.  Oh my god! Nowadays you can get wedgies and taters everywhere, but back then, well these were unusual, and while their batter was I think mainly pepper, I will never forget how good they tasted!  Reddi Chef came and went a couple times over the years I think, and other take outs in the same building made it seem like it was always Reddi Chef.  I believe Carpenters had a store there in the same building, and perhaps had the takeout too, before they moved up to the new store on Memorial Drive.

Lots of memories there for sure, and another part of growing up back home.


Nikki’s Nook

One of the treats of going to Clarenville when I was a boy was a trip to Nikki’s Nook.  Its possible my early memories have combined several places into one, but if memory serves. Nikki’s Nook started out down by the old railway station, not far from Duffett’s, Stanley’s and an old favorite for another post, Western Tire.  I don’t remember much about it, other than we could get that old Newfoundland take-out staple, french fries (or as we all called them then, chips) in a grey cardboard package, and eaten with a toothpick.  Of course we had to drench them in malt vinegar too, and not the weak stuff you get now, but the dark stuff that could take your breath away at 10 paces.

The other main treat there, and my first memory of ever having it, was a custard cone, or as it’s been named nowadays, soft serve.  It was soooo good, and soooo new to us back then, I remember people would be lining up for them. And then later you could get them chocolate dipped, and as a kid I was in heaven.  Kinda reminds me, back then you could also buy ice milk at the grocery store, which tasted similar, but haven’t seen in years.

Nikki’s Nook moved at least once, and I think maybe more.  I seem to remember it moving down Marine Drive to a little building near where the Lethbridges lived.  This may be a memory of another take out though, I’m not sure.  Later on they moved up near the stadium on the shopping center parking lot in another small building, and that became probably the most popular spot.  We’d come out from events at the stadium and get a custard cone.  I can remember it most especially on Clarenville Day (another topic for another day).

Eventually the owners built a new modern building closer to the old Scotiabank, but still within the shopping center parking lot, and opened a full scale sit down restaurant.  I’m not sure if the overhead was too much, or what happened, but eventually this closed down, and if memory serves, George’s Pub opened in the same building.

I’m not sure what, or if, anything remains there now, but god I’d love some chips in cardboard box and a custard cone!