Only in York County

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Ask Joan: Settling in edition

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d soon be moving, and as I write this, I’m on my first full day in the new house. (AND we have internet to publish by, so we’re really getting somewhere!)

It’s a good time to take a break from unpacking my junk and instead unpack some reader questions and follow-ups!

What’s inside

1. Remembering Wizard Theatre and more
2. The Howdy Pal bar and many eateries
3. Following up on puddin’ recipes


Reader Sis James wrote to me with a question and a neat story. She says, “I was at an auction and a postcard with the Wizard Theatre was auctioned off. Two people were bidding on it. So I asked about it and was told it was owned by a family member. The postcard was the only one in existence.” She said the Wizard was across the street from the Yorktowne Hotel, where the parking garage is now, in the 1920s. She also said there was a bar downtown called, as she remembered, Beerman’s, though if it’s what I”m thinking of, I’ve always seen it spelled Bierman’s and it might have also had a restaurant component?

Sis is wondering who else remembers these places, especially the Wizard, about which she said, “You probably will not get any feedback on this due to the time it was in York.” Would love to prove that wrong!


Speaking of downtown bars, I heard from Jane Kerchner Dennis, who wrote, “What about the Howdy Pal bar at South West and West Princess streets?”

Jane also noted, “There was a small corner eatery at South West and West King streets. I think it was called Maria’s. The York Catholic students would go out to lunch and eat there. Bennie’s restaurant was on West Market just past Belvidere. Dotty’s Diner was in that area. They sponsored my brother’s race car at Lincoln Speedway – Bill Kerchner.”

Would love to hear more about the Howdy Pal, Maria’s, Bennie’s and Dotty’s, so if you remember those, please let us know!


About a year and a half ago, reader Bill Lezzer asked a question about how to cook puddin’ to spread over waffles or pancakes.

If you’re not familiar with puddin’, it’s a pork meat similar to scrapple – in fact, some people say they’re almost indistinguishable – but almost always made specifically or primarily from liver.

Reader Kathy Merkert wrote in answer to Bill’s question that “spreading puddin’ over waffles or pancakes… was a staple dinner as I was growing up. Mom liked her puddin’ cooked and dad liked his fried so she always made both. She would place the puddin’ in a small pan with some water. Then she would ‘spread’ it over the pancakes and add syrup. Dad’s was fried in a skillet until heated through and browned. He then placed the puddin’ on top of the pancakes and added syrup. Thanks for bring back childhood memories. I haven’t had puddin’ and pancakes since I was a child.”

Another unnamed reader shared much the same idea, writing, “Pudding can be made spreadable by cutting into small pieces, placing in a skillet and adding a SMALL amount of water. As water heats, break up pudding with a fork. You can adjust amount of water needed depending on the amount of pudding. It will become very spreadable. It is also good on buckwheat pancakes.”

And finally, reader Sharon Ebaugh disagrees with earlier readers about the similarities between scrapple and puddin’ and said, in fact, that what Mr. Lezzer described was more like scrapple, since the puddin’ she eats does not generally have cornmeal in it. “To buy puddin’ your best bet is a country butcher shop such as Godfrey Bros. in Loganville,” she wrote, adding that Giant sells at least one brand.

“Puddin’ falls apart when heated,” Sharon added. “All this makes me hungry for puddin’ and hominy. You can buy Manning hominy in can or, to be extra special, buy cracked white corn and slow cook in Crockpot. Please note, none of this is included in a heart-healthy diet but is certainly delicious.”

Indeed, Sharon! I’m starting to think about breakfast now and it sounds pretty amazing to me!

Have questions or memories to share? Email me at or write to Ask Joan, York Daily Record/Sunday News, 1891 Loucks Road, York PA 17408. We cannot accept any phone calls with questions or information.