Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sweets - 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #13

Week 13. Sweets. What was your favorite childhood candy or dessert? Have your tastes changed since then? What satisfies your sweet tooth today?

My favorite sweets have always involved chocolate and nothing was more decadent than a slice of chocolate layer cake from Ronnie's Restaurant in Orlando, FL. Ronnie's was a local Jewish delicatessen/diner style of restaurant, but it was the bakery attached to it that we loved when I was growing up. We all had our favorites-- my Mom and Aunt Doris loved the chocolate eclairs, my sister loved the big gingerbread man cookies, but for me, it was the chocolate layer cake. This was no ordinary piece of cake. It was several inches high with layer after layer of of dark chocolate cake with rich fudgy icing and a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Sadly, when the old Colonial Mall in Orlando was torn down, the owner of Ronnie's declined a spot in the new shopping center and retired. He also refused to sell the name to anyone, so that was the end of Ronnie's. It was a bit of a strange place. If you've seen the Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld, he had nothing on Ronnie's. When you walked in, there were velvet rope separators for the lines like you'd see at the movies. One line was for parties of 1-2 and another for 3 or more. People that got in the wrong line were scolded and sent to the back of the line. They had a strict no substitution rule and there was a charge for sharing an order. Sweet breakfast rolls were served until 11am sharp and snatched off the tables after that. If you were in line and didn't get a table until after 11, no rolls for you! Still, nobody cared about the rules since the food was great and it was one of the local favorites in Orlando. Oh, for one more piece of that chocolate layer cake!

I'm still a chocoholic today and one of my favorites now is a good piece of chocolate from Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory in Daytona Beach, FL. They've made homemade candies for over 50 years and are still going strong with their local store and an online business.

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