Only in York County

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Even more memories of the Howard Johnson’s restaurants

Following this 2011 piece on Howard Johnson’s restaurants, I received several more memories of their food. They’re yummy – so read on!

From Scott C., I received this question: “I thought that the Howard Johnson’s restaurant was on Route 30 (Arsenal Road) in front of the Howard Johnson’s hotel. The hotel became York View Hotel last year after operating as a Days Inn since the early 1990s. The restaurant has operated as Round the Clock Diner since 1993 and is a popular place to eat in York.”

Responding to that, Elaine Corwin said, “There were actually two Howard Johnson restaurants, one on East Market Street and one on Arsenal Road. I worked at both of them when I was in high school. My personal favorite was the clam roll. The weekly fish fry was on Wednesday and it was an all you can eat.”

Bill Landes remembers that yummy food as well; he notes, “Tender sweet fried clams and the hot dog buns which were New England style – split from the top.”

And Jo Ott mentions, “I wasn’t around York when those H. J. restaurants were in business, but I remember eating the all-you-can-eat fish fries and those great fried clams at other H. J. restaurants. There was one on Route 15 in front of the Camp Hill Mall for many years and on our trips back to PA to visit relatives we often stopped at that one. One should not forget the ice cream also served in them. What was it – 21 flavors? As for great onion rings – unless things have changed – there are none better than at the Paddock, out East Market St. (My brother-in-law Mike Smith noted, “I also remember the Paddock as having good onion rings when my dad would get us carry-out in the sixties,” and as you’ll see later, Howard Johnson’s had a signature of 28 ice-cream flavors!)


Back to Howard Johnson’s, Byron N. Kinard said, “The fish fry was always the best around. It was always busy on that night.”

Fred Messerly adds, “I do remember Howard Johnson’and the good clam strips and onion rings. … Many times my dinner consisted of strips and rings. It probably started the clogging of my blood vessels at an early age.”

Bridget writes, “My parents loved going to Howard Johnson’s in the 1960s! My dad always got the clam strips dinner, and my mother loved the pulled pork BBQ sandwich – served with cole slaw on top! My fondest memories are of my birthday dinners there – a complimentary turkey dinner for ‘Little Ho-Jos’ of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and peas. Each part of the dinner was served in a separate part of a plate with compartments. When you finished each part, you were ‘rewarded’ by a nursery rhyme character at the bottom. (As a picky eater, it often took an incentive such as that for me to eat my dinner.) The best part of any meal, though, was choosing from the 28 flavors of ice cream. The scoops of ice cream were pointed, not round, because of the unusual scoop they used.”

Tom Foster says, “I worked at the HoJo on East Market Street shortly after it opened in either 1957 or 1958. As a counter man, my job included making sundaes for the waitresses to serve at booths and serving patrons at the counter. By the end of that summer I knew all 28 flavors of the ice cream. Company policy was that when serving a plate of food, the HJ logo (Simple Simon and the pie man) had to be facing the customer. We also got to eat one meal per shift on the house.”

One of our awesome customer-service team members here at the paper, Barb Sease, said, “I did not work in York but in Gettysburg in the ’60s at HoJo’s on Steinwehr Ave. I do remember the 28 flavors of Ice cream because so many people would ask what they were, and in the end would always want vanilla!”

I love it, Barb!

Thanks to all for sharing these fish-ful memories.

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