Author Topic: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”  (Read 54666 times)

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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #420 on: August 30, 2013, 08:44:18 AM »
I listened to this video with Nick Azzaro of Papa's Pizza again and enjoyed how he doesn't even know why a tomato pie is called a Tomato Pie, and tries to explain what the differences and similarities are in a tomato pie and I guess he really says Tomato Pies aren't really different except the way they are dressed.  Nick says in the interview that he really can't tell why they are called a tomato pie because he would have to either marry it or kill you to the interviewee. 
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdm3Bp7vKZQ" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdm3Bp7vKZQ</a>
   The over 100 years in the pizza business is something interesting to me too, but I already knew that about Papa's.

I wish I could learn more about the tomato pie businesses that have closed in the Trenton area and what they were like.  I wonder if there are any articles archived from the Trentonian about the tomato pies of years ago.  http://www.trentonian.com/ 

From listening to the video again above I had not picked this up before, but Nick Azzaro mentions Schusters Tomato Pies on Whittaker Avenue.  I then looked for Schusters Tomato Pies on the web and found this article by a blogger.  http://mackstruckofwisdom.blogspot.com/2009/11/461-463-whittaker-avenue-burg.html  Schusters Tomato Pies was Pica's Tomato Pies before it was Schusters Tomato Pies.  Schuster was also German, so maybe I have a chance since I am German (or mostly German) at making a decent Tomato Pie.  :-D

There also is another Tomato Pie pizza business mentioned in a comment on the above link.  The name of that tomato pie establishment is Dominick’s Pizza and they served Tomato Pies too.  I would like to know more about those pizzerias if I can find out more.  It made me wonder more about what Tomato Pies were like years ago since my last visit to Trenton Bill's.  Bill told me around the Trenton area there were many different Tomato Pie businesses and they used those old kind of coal ovens that were all over Trenton, and he recalls when the pizzas were just wrapped in a newspaper/butcher paper or a paper bag.  It says in the above link that tomato pies were only .40-.50 cents.  Papa's Tomato Pies were also mentioned as only costing .25 cents.

Since I really like history and old things, learning more about how Trenton was years ago and Tomato Pies is fascinating to me.

More articles can be found from that article including many pizzerias that sold Tomato Pies.  I wonder what happened to all of them.

http://mackstruckofwisdom.blogspot.com/search/label/Tomato%20Pies

Trenton Bill told me about Jimmy's Camera Store that was right near De Lorenzo's on Hudson.

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=134787803372524987&postID=1052302382770363814 

If the comments are looked at under the one article about the Trenton area Tomato Pies some of those comments are interesting.

I guess in this article it explain how Nick of Papa's Pizza began making Mustard Pies.  http://djeat.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/mustard-pie/ 

If anyone else finds some tidbits about Tomato Pies from years ago that are now closed let me know.  Probably most members wouldn't appreciate all this jibbler jabber/gibber-gabber about Tomato Pies, but in my opinion it is part of the history of pizza.  I believe the Trenton area is very rich in the history of pizzas of long ago.

Norma
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Offline BenLee

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #421 on: August 30, 2013, 11:16:37 AM »
One day last year when I was at Delorenzo's, we were the last pie of the night.  Then, I guess Sammy made a bunch of pies for him and the staff.  They used all the left over fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes for their salads.  It looked phenomenal and really showcased how he could make some great pies out of the traditional Delorenzo's style.

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #422 on: August 30, 2013, 11:51:59 AM »
This is a photo of a 5 lb. bag of Sorrento LMPS mozzarella on the Costco Business Delivery page. 

Well this link below did not work when I posted it, but the bag for the Sorrento PSLM mozzarellas looks the same as the whole milk mozzarella & provolone on Sam's Clubs website.

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/sorrento-wm-mozzarella-provolone-shred-5-lb-bag/162941.ip  Sorry for the confusion.

If this was the cheese De Lorenzo's/Robbinsville was using the day I was there, it sure doesn't look like the bag I saw.  I think the name might have changed over to the Galbani name.

I tried to look at the specs for the Sorrento Part Skim Shredded Mozzarella at the spec page athttp://www.specpage.com/ProductDetail/?productid=133552  but I guess someone needs to be logged in to look at any of the specs.

Edit:  The link for the spec doesn't even work.
 
At the cheese reporter it lists at the last entry that the Sorrento PSLM is Galbani. http://npaper-wehaa.com/cheese-reporter/2013/04/#?page=13&article=1863824

Norma
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 12:04:19 PM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #423 on: August 30, 2013, 12:17:46 PM »
I did another hydration bake test on part of the De Lorenzo's/Sloan dough this morning.  This time I took more photos to show if I might be doing something wrong. 

I tried to take the inner most part of the dough ball so there might not be any semolina or cornmeal in the part I measured in weigh.  The piece of dough was 10 grams.  I had thought to try to press it out between wax paper, but that didn't work.  I then used Cling Wrap and that did work for the sticking issue.  I also used a smaller jar lid this time.  The skin wasn't elastic at all after it was pressed.  The first bake was at 475 degrees F in my toaster oven and after it expanded I did slit it in different places.  The temperature on my toaster oven was then turned down to about 212 degrees F or a little higher, because my toaster oven doesn't stay at exactly the same temperature it is set at.  I did place the metal lid in my toaster oven on the bare rack when the temperature came down.     

When the weight finally stablized during the second bake the hydration/bake test flattened dough ball weighed 7.61 grams.  A piece of baked dough wanted to stick a little and I am not sure if I got to weigh all of the crumbs, so it might have weighed a little more. 

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #424 on: August 30, 2013, 12:19:41 PM »
Norma
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Offline Cettastomatopies

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #425 on: August 30, 2013, 12:41:22 PM »
Hey Norma,
             I did some research as well. Seems the old Italian immigrants used to sell them out of horse and buggy before opening there establishments, early 1900's and on. Also, I found that they started as square pies as L&B spumoni gardens has been since 1917. If you haven't made it over to Brooklyn, its a must and there famous "Spumoni" rocks! Pronto pizza in sayreville, NJ recreated it and has done a nice job, but the original Brooklyn hotspot can't be touched.
Would LOVEEEE those dough recipes, "Gold"!!!!
What flour are you mostly using to create the "Tomatoe Pie"?
talk soon!
Chuck

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #426 on: August 30, 2013, 12:55:53 PM »
When the weight finally stablized during the second bake the hydration/bake test flattened dough ball weighed 7.61 grams.  A piece of baked dough wanted to stick a little and I am not sure if I got to weigh all of the crumbs, so it might have weighed a little more. 
Norma,

Can you tell me roughly how long it took the weight of the sample to stabilize? Your data suggests a water content of (10 - 7.61)/10 = 23.9%. Obviously, that can't be correct. My recollection is that the color of my MM samples was brown after the long bake, although some of the coloration may have been from the molasses.

Peter
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 01:13:47 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #427 on: August 30, 2013, 01:20:34 PM »
Hey Norma,
             I did some research as well. Seems the old Italian immigrants used to sell them out of horse and buggy before opening there establishments, early 1900's and on. Also, I found that they started as square pies as L&B spumoni gardens has been since 1917. If you haven't made it over to Brooklyn, its a must and there famous "Spumoni" rocks! Pronto pizza in sayreville, NJ recreated it and has done a nice job, but the original Brooklyn hotspot can't be touched.
Would LOVEEEE those dough recipes, "Gold"!!!!
What flour are you mostly using to create the "Tomatoe Pie"?
talk soon!
Chuck

Cettastomatopies,

Glad you to hear you did some research too on Tomato Pies.  That is interesting that the old Italian immigrants used to sell them out of a horse and buggy before opening their establishments in the early 1900's.  8) I didn't know they started as square pies like L&B Spumoni gardens.  I have been to L&B Spumoni with other members here on the forum. 

Right now I am using All Trumps for my present pizzas, but will try the Pillsbury Best Baker Patent Flour when Peter sets-forth a formulation to try.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #428 on: August 30, 2013, 01:37:24 PM »
Norma,

Can you tell me roughly how long it took the weight of the sample to stabilize? Your data suggests a water content of (10 - 7.61)/10 = 23.9%. Obviously, that can't be correct. My recollection is that the color of my MM samples was brown after the long bake, although some of the coloration may have been from the molasses.

Peter


Peter,

I started the hydration bake test at 9:05 AM this morning and put the test dough into my toaster oven a few minutes after that. The test dough expanded at 9:14 AM.  At 9:15 AM the expanded dough was sliced after the first bake.  At 10:45 the bake test was finished.  I sure don't know about the color or if I baked enough but if you look what I posted to Stuart at Reply 394   http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25401.msg276003.html#msg276003 you can see I posted my crust was still white after most of that bake and that is why I brushed olive oil on the rim to help it get more color.

I can tell by clicking on my photos on the computer at what time I took those photos so the time frame should be fairly accurate.  I was checking every 10 minutes to see if it lost more weight and only took it out after it didn't lose anymore in 20 minutes.  Do I need to do the hydration bake test again and don't you think I baked enough?

Norma 
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #429 on: August 30, 2013, 01:44:55 PM »
I was checking every 10 minutes to see if it lost more weight and only took it out after it didn't lose anymore in 20 minutes.  Do I need to do the hydration bake test again and don't you think I baked enough?
Norma,

If I had to guess, maybe the sample wasn't baked long enough. If you kept the sample, you might bake it longer if your schedule permits it. It might take several hours, especially if the loss of moisture is very gradual.

Peter


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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #430 on: August 30, 2013, 01:48:20 PM »
Norma,

If I had to guess, maybe the sample wasn't baked long enough. If you kept the sample, you might bake it longer if your schedule permits it. It might take several hours, especially if the loss of moisture is very gradual.

Peter

Peter,

I can bake it longer, but I have to go to market shortly.  Should I put the test hydration dough in a plastic bag and then bake it again when I get home, or should I just start over again?

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #431 on: August 30, 2013, 02:11:15 PM »
I can bake it longer, but I have to go to market shortly.  Should I put the test hydration dough in a plastic bag and then bake it again when I get home, or should I just start over again?
Norma,

I think for now I would set the sample aside and restart the bake at your convenience.

Peter

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #432 on: August 30, 2013, 04:11:48 PM »
Norma:

I know you are a student of pizza and wondered if you have heard of the Resevoir Pizzeria in South Orange, NJ? I grew up on it and they claimed to be a tomato pie but am not sure if they are still making the pies I ate in the 60-70's.  Walter

http://soreservoir.com/history.html

http://soreservoir.com/
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 05:17:03 PM by Pete-zza »

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #433 on: August 30, 2013, 05:24:50 PM »
Norma:

I know you are a student of pizza and wondered if you have heard of the Resevoir Pizzeria in South Orange, NJ? I grew up on it and they claimed to be a tomato pie but am not sure if they are still making the pies I ate in the 60-70's.  Walter

http://soreservoir.com/history.html

http://soreservoir.com/


Walter,

I never heard of Resevoir Pizzeria in South Orange, NJ.  I watched the video and it sure looks like they serve good foods.  The tomato pie pizza looks good too.  I think NJ has many places that offer what they call tomato pies.  Did you think the tomato pies were more special than the pizzas you are making now?

Norma
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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #434 on: August 30, 2013, 05:38:23 PM »
Walter,

I never heard of Resevoir Pizzeria in South Orange, NJ.  I watched the video and it sure looks like they serve good foods.  The tomato pie pizza looks good too.  I think NJ has many places that offer what they call tomato pies.  Did you think the tomato pies were more special than the pizzas you are making now?

Norma

Norma:  I am ignorant to the Trenton style tomato pie.  I have never been to that area and the pictures you post of yours and places you visit are all I have seen.  I do remember the resevoir boxes use to say tomato pie on them.   My uncle was a policeman in town and would often come by on duty, leave his car running in the driveway, and bring a few pies in our house to share at diner time.  I remember they offered mushrooms and sausage toppings, were thin crust and very tasty.   The neighbors use to get all upset with him wasting taxpayers money.......  The good old days!  He was a real tightwad so I think the place gave them to him for free for looking the other way on certain things.   He was involved with a lot of that stuff.  He took me to illegal gambling houses down in Newark when I was teen.  He was well known and everything we ate and drank was on the house.   He was a real swinger and if it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't have had a store bought meal as a kid.

 I can't remember back 40 years and compare it to what I make today.  We lived in near poverty with food due to 8-11 people living in our 3 bedroom home.  The food was great but very frugal in design.  No waste.  Everything was made at home by mother from scratch like she learned from her mother.  As a family we never went to a restraunt.   My first time to one was when I was 13 and my uncle took me to Beef and Ale in South Orange.  So, when a restraunt made pizza, or any food came in our house, it was a special treat.  I often asked why we didn't go out for food and my mother would always say- because we make much better stuff here at home.  I realize now that is true but as a kid I longed to go to mcdonalds, a dinner, and such.  The good news is I learned from her, her sisters, and her father (a butcher) a lot about scratch made food and luckily they were Italian :)  I think of my pies as the best of what I remember from places like the resevior.  I really don't concern myself with what others think of them.  I make them for me and if others like them then that is great.  I don't mean that as a snobish thing but why would I make any kind of pie that I didn't like?  Walter
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 06:06:29 PM by waltertore »

Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #435 on: August 30, 2013, 10:10:32 PM »
Norma:  I am ignorant to the Trenton style tomato pie.  I have never been to that area and the pictures you post of yours and places you visit are all I have seen.  I do remember the resevoir boxes use to say tomato pie on them.   My uncle was a policeman in town and would often come by on duty, leave his car running in the driveway, and bring a few pies in our house to share at diner time.  I remember they offered mushrooms and sausage toppings, were thin crust and very tasty.   The neighbors use to get all upset with him wasting taxpayers money.......  The good old days!  He was a real tightwad so I think the place gave them to him for free for looking the other way on certain things.   He was involved with a lot of that stuff.  He took me to illegal gambling houses down in Newark when I was teen.  He was well known and everything we ate and drank was on the house.   He was a real swinger and if it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't have had a store bought meal as a kid.

 I can't remember back 40 years and compare it to what I make today.  We lived in near poverty with food due to 8-11 people living in our 3 bedroom home.  The food was great but very frugal in design.  No waste.  Everything was made at home by mother from scratch like she learned from her mother.  As a family we never went to a restraunt.   My first time to one was when I was 13 and my uncle took me to Beef and Ale in South Orange.  So, when a restraunt made pizza, or any food came in our house, it was a special treat.  I often asked why we didn't go out for food and my mother would always say- because we make much better stuff here at home.  I realize now that is true but as a kid I longed to go to mcdonalds, a dinner, and such.  The good news is I learned from her, her sisters, and her father (a butcher) a lot about scratch made food and luckily they were Italian :)  I think of my pies as the best of what I remember from places like the resevior.  I really don't concern myself with what others think of them.  I make them for me and if others like them then that is great.  I don't mean that as a snobish thing but why would I make any kind of pie that I didn't like?  Walter

Walter,

I think the Trenton style tomato pie is somewhat confusing for some people.  That even is somewhat true for me.  I started on this search about Tomato Pies over at the NJ Boardwalk thread probably about 3 years ago.  I had eaten Mack's pizza in Wildwood since I was a child and that was was my favorite pizza for many years up until recently when I thought their pizzas had declined some. The owners of Mack's Pizza and the owners of Manco & Manco were from the Trenton area and although they both really didn't call their pies Tomato Pies by that name the cheese was always put on first, then sauced in a spiral pattern and then more cheese.  I am not sure who Mack's Pizza and Manco & Manco learned to make their pizzas from, but it probably it was someone in the Trenton area, because they lived there and had a pizza business in Trenton before taking their pizza business to the Jersey shore.  Both of those pizza businesses are still in business and both families are related. 

Thanks for telling me about your uncle that was a policeman and what all his did.  He sounded like a character even though he was a policeman.  He was kind though to take you places and get food for you and your family 

I can understand why you can't remember back 40 years ago and compare that tomato pie to what you make today.  I can also understand why when a restaurant made pizza for you, or food came into your home it was a special treat for you and anyone else that lived there.  Great to hear you learn a lot about food from your mother and other relatives.  I can understand that you think your pies are the best of what you can remember from places like Reservoir.  I think you make great pizzas.

That is a wonderful photo of your Uncle Joe. 

Norma
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 10:12:48 PM by norma427 »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #436 on: August 30, 2013, 10:16:52 PM »
Probably this hydration bake test number is not accurate either.  I did put the piece of hard dough back into the toaster oven at a little over 212 degrees F and restarted the bake again for an hour and a half after I returned from market.  I then got a call to go somewhere, so the bake had to stop again.  When I got home I baked for another hour.  The number now is 6.18 grams.  The baked dough only changed color a little. 

I can do the whole hydration bake test again tomorrow.

Norma
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #437 on: August 31, 2013, 12:05:45 AM »
Norma,

Since you have gotten similar baked weights for two hydration bake tests (6.30 and 6.18), maybe your numbers are correct after all. It would help to know all of the ingredients of a De Lorenzo/Sloan dough but maybe the combination of a hydration in the 40+% range and a thickness factor of around 0.073- 0.083 and a bake time that is less than what De Lorenzo/Robbinsville is using will produce the version of tomato pie/pizza that De Lorenzo/Sloan is selling.

I will await your repeat test results but I don't think that the results will alter the De Lorenzo/Robbinsville clone dough formulation that I have in mind at this time.

Peter
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 12:08:11 AM by Pete-zza »

Offline waltertore

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #438 on: August 31, 2013, 09:47:49 AM »
Norma:  Thanks for the compliment on my pies.  Hopefully they taste as good/better than they look  :)Being a special education teacher makes me quite interested in human behaviors/brain functions.  In this case it makes me wonder if our younger memories of food are accurate or not today.  They sure were as kids and we remember that but as the years go on so does our circumstances.  As kids we did not have the independence to go out on our own and buy the meals we wanted.  What was put in front of most of us was not our choice.  It also kept us alive and without our parents/adults giving us food we would have perished.   The primal drive to survive is strong and children get lifelong imprints from these experiences-food, emotional, social, socio-economic.  So did your boardwalk pie decline?  Did my Town Hall Deli sloppy joes go downhill (I think their meat quality has declined)?   Interesting stuff and I am sure there is a ton of research on this subject.   I hope I get to try one of your pies someday.  Here is a place in Santa Rosa CA that was a few blocks from our house.  I was all excited to try when we lived there because it boasted thin crust, hand tossed, deck oven, pies.  On the tomato pie angle, they put the cheese on first and then used one of those red plastic re-usable ketchup bottles to squirt sauce on top.  It was mainly teenagers making the pies and I was not at all impressed with them at the time (about 10 years ago).  Walter

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Offline beaunehead

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Re: Trying to learn more about “Tomato Pies”
« Reply #439 on: August 31, 2013, 10:10:41 AM »
I think one "problem" with this whole "tomato pie" issue is that though Trenton's "tomatoes on top" style has evolved into that style...and is focused on a couple of survivors and imitators in the Trenton bloc, "tomato pie" used to be what most old time New Jersey places that sold pizza called them.

Many of these places, like Hudson St. Delorenzo's and many others in my childhood area closer to the Asbury Park shore, were started by Italian-Americans returning from WWII or the demand from those who returned, and had experienced "pizza" in Italy. (Many of the places that sold them were already Italian taverns.) Rather than call them "pizzas", a name which was only to catch on much later, in the '70s and beyond, they called their products "tomato pies", as did the Trenton industry. It meant nothing one way or another about the order of the dressings, however.

One photo I saw recently from my hometown (Freehold, NJ, that also of the more famous BRUCE, the poet/sonwriter) showed the still-thriving Federici's in the '60s. The sign is loud and clear "tomato pies". Then and now the sauce was on the bottom of the cracker style crust.


And, walter, though I don't know Resevoir, my college roommate grew up in S. Orange and brought back Town Hall sandwiches, which I really liked. The place went out of business for a long time. Then, about 5 -6 years ago, it re-opened under new ownership. The target audience (mostly ethnic) had long moved onto new pastures, and the place recently closed, never really catching on. So, Grunnings and Town Hall are but memories now.

Stuart