Memory Lane: Café Balaban

A fond look back at the original Balaban's

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I started at Balaban's the first week end it was open. Actually it was St. Patrick's day, March 17, 1972. I was a 19 year old budding sophisticate just starting my second job out of high school, this time as a dish washer washing all the dishes and pots and pans by hand. There was no dish washing machine. Later a machine was finally acquired when a kitchen was built upstairs in the rear addition. It was better than a new fur coat for Adelaide. With a thrill in her voice, she liked to repeatedly refer to it as "LA MACHINA." For a sophisticate in the making this fantastic establishment offered many new tastes and pleasures. Crepes, lamb kidneys, quiche lorraine, hollandaise sauce, bern a is sauce and the very delightful and very singular figure of Lady Charles PerrinePerrine. Charles was the chef who wreaked terror on the poor defenseless waiters who just wanted to their orders to the tables in a timely and efficient manner. It was a magical time and all of us who had the great good luck to work owe Herbert and Adelaide a great debt of gratitude for it was their collective genius and vision that made the place the complete original that it was.

James Howe 47 days ago

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