Memories of Moser’s, Pudd’s and Fisher’s… yum!
I’m writing this column while letting my huge Thanksgiving dinner digest, so what better topic to turn to than food? Today, I’d like to share some memories of some former eateries in York County – Moser’s, Pudd’s (or Pud’s) and Fisher’s – from some reader letters.
We’d last talked about Moser’s (and Pudd’s, briefly), formerly in the West York area, in a column in June.
About that eatery, longtime reader Jim Fahringer wrote, “I have the fondest memories of Moser’s Restaurant. It was in the middle 1970s that I had my first real big date with the most important person in my life. I remember it like it was yesterday. We were both very nervous. We sat in the corner table where the hanging Tiffany-style lamp hung over the table. That night we ordered filet mignon, which was quite delicious, but we later found out that the very best meal in the house was their broiled scallops. They were so rich and succulent and were lightly browned to a bit of toastiness on the outside but so tender inside! I ate many broiled scallop dinners there. One of my greatest memories of Moser’s Restaurant was a surprise birthday party for me. That surprise party was held on the Friday evening of the Three Mile Island disaster. A lot of my friends braved the fear and media hype to attend my party and honor me, for which I was most grateful. I remember the old coin-operated scales and fortune telling machines in the basement of the restaurant. All the waitresses were great. I actually had a second cousin, Pauline Billet, who worked there for quite a number of years.”
A reader named Robert Anderson agreed, noting, “Moser’s was a wonderful place to eat and meet friends.”
Another Robert, this time Robert Stewart, wrote, “I was born in York in 1941, and grew up eating Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. I left in 1952 and began coming back to visit my aunt, Kathryn Stewart, in the 1980s. We always ate at Moser’s because it was the only restaurant still serving authentic Pennsylvania Dutch food. It brought back long-forgotten memories of meals my mother cooked in the 1940s.”
And one last fun note about Moser’s; reader Steven Kohler said, “I remember Moser’s had those cool aluminum chairs in their big dining room, that they are now reproducing. Of course their big neon sign was great too. We ate there many times on a Sunday after church.”
Pud’s or Pudd’s
Another place in West York we’d talked about was Pudd’s (in what is now the Overbook Cafe), which I later found might have actually been Pud’s. Back in 2014, reader John Albright had asked for the Pudd’s crabcake recipe.
In reply, Wayne Breighner noted, “In my day Pudd’s was a typical neighborhood bar with limited food selections, As my expertise in the kitchen area was limited, except as sampler/taster, I can’t give a crab cake recipe. However I can attest to the tastiness, their crabcakes were supplemented by ‘wimpys,’ cold crab cakes and usually smaller and with more non-crab fillers… Pudd’s was located in a neighborhood that had a workforce from Black Hosiery and a commercial laundry that provided uniform service and walk-off mat service. Within a block or so there were other local pubs, including Raffy’s on the corner of Dewey and West King streets and JR’s on West Market Street near the fairground entrance. Nearby was Moser’s restaurant.”
And reader Jim Knaub filled in some more details about Pud’s and clued me in to that potential spelling. He noted the connection to what is now the Overbrook, in the first block of South Overbrook Avenue in West York. Jim wrote, “It was originally in the middle of the block on the east side of the street before moving to the corner of Overbrook Avenue and King Street. It was owned and operated by a gentleman called Pud Redmond (I believe his first name was Charles) who lived at 104 N. Highland Ave. in West York. I remember him well because he had a nephew named Tom whom he and his wife, Edna, raised. He and I played and ran around together from the time we were small until we graduated from high school. I remember that in the early days of television he had a set in the bar where Tommy and I saw our first World Series game on TV. Unfortunately I have no idea of what his recipe for crab cakes was. I am also not sure when he sold the bar and retired.”
Finally for today, I want to talk about another place where people raved about the seafood, and that’s Fisher’s. Reader Jeannette Peery had asked a few times about information on the breading of Fisher’s oysters and is hoping someone might know. “I would dearly love to be able to enjoy trying to make them,” she wrote.
Then there were previous requests for information about the breading on the crab cakes at Fisher’s. I received a variety of ideas about that, including one reader who thought they were crushed pretzels and then later wrote back and said crushed corn flakes were the coating. But then I heard from Fran Fisher who was married to one of the three sons of Frank Fisher, who ran the restaurant with their father. Fran wrote, “My husband is Stew Fisher, middle son of Frank Fisher. Jim and Frankie Fisher are deceased.” She then said they used coarse cracker crumbs from Stauffer’s until they discontinued making them, then bought the crumbs from Arctic Locker on Jefferson Avenue, which was owned by Jack Fair Sr. His son runs Fair’s at Morningstar, where many people have said you can get a similar crab cake to the Fisher’s ones.
I’m wondering if a similar breading was used on the oysters, Jeannette; maybe consider giving that a try!
Wow… now I’m really hungry for some good seafood! Thank you all for these wonderful food memories.Have questions or memories to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.