513: Food Court

Molly 0:04

I'm Molly. And

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:04

I'm Matthew.

Molly 0:05

And this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all,

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:09

and you can't have any and this week we're taking you to food court, because I know the way

Molly 0:14

you listed this on here, like, shouldn't you have written food courts?

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:18

Did you ever go through a phase of watching court shows? No,

Molly 0:21

I always have turned them off when they come on,

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:25

because I loved Judge wappinger at some point, like in when I was in like elementary or middle

Molly 0:30

school, or wasn't the name of the show. It was the the People's Court, the People's Court. There we go. Because there was Judge Judy. And then there was the People's Court. You

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:38

know, it always came on worst court.

Molly 0:40

It always came on at that time of day when like, the whole world seemed very still. And there was nothing else going on. Like if you were watching it, you were probably home sick from school. Yeah. Do you remember that feeling like life has never felt like that as an adult?

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:55

Yeah, no, I totally agree. The one specific case that I remember from from the People's Court is very boring. So I share it, which is that some kid finger like graffiti, their name into freshly poured concrete and their neighbor's driveway. So guess what? They lost?

Molly 1:17

This is really shocking. No, but Matthew, I'm really hung up on that feeling of being a kid like flipping through channels in the middle of the day.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:26

Yeah, like, oh.

Molly 1:30

And for me, there was like a real soundtrack outside to this. And it was the sound of cicadas

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:35

Oh, we didn't get those in the Northwest.

Molly 1:37

deafening cicadas because it would mean it was hot. Like if I was inside watching stuff like that during the day. I was either homesick during the school year, or it was in the summer, and I was bored and it was watching hot outside.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:50

DJ, do you ever watch like after school specials? No. Did you? Yeah, definitely. I learned a lot of lessons. Awesome. Alright, so

Molly 1:58

here we are. We're going to food court today. No. When? When this episode, which was suggested by listener Dana.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:05

Yeah. As usual.

Molly 2:07

Yep. Thank you. listener Dana, again. When when we first started talking about doing an episode on food courts, I really felt like we needed to go eat in one together. And this felt really challenging, obviously, because we are still still in the age of COVID. Yeah. And then you rightly pointed out like, why do we need to go eat in one. And you were so right. We don't need to eat in a food court to talk

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:31

like, I don't need to bring us a lawsuit against you to talk about the People's Court. Right. Right. I bring a lawsuit against you because you've wronged Yeah, completely separate. Okay.

Molly 2:43

So I want to clarify that what we're talking about today, food courts are also called food halls. And especially in Asia, they're sometimes called Hawker centers. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:54

Sometimes in Japan, they're called food museums.

Molly 2:56

Are you serious? Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:57

Well, we'll get like it's a refers to like slightly different, but really only slightly.

Molly 3:02

Okay. So anyway, what we're talking about today is typically an indoor dining area, although it could be outdoors.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:09

Yeah, that's, that's interesting that you mentioned that though, because like, I think of a food court as really being indoor.

Molly 3:15

Yeah. So an indoor dining area with multiple food vendors in their own stalls, or kind of with their own counters and then a common area for eating on site.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:28

Yeah, like if it's outdoor and there's like a bunch of stalls. I think of that as a festival.

Molly 3:32

Yes. Or a food or a market

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:35

or a market. Yeah, market. But I

Molly 3:37

love the idea that every farmers market

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:39

is is a festival. Every farmers market is a food court is a festival it's nature's food court.

Molly 3:46

Yes. Anyway, so Matthew, let's go down memory lane here.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:50

Okay. I feel like memory lane is gonna be the whole show. Okay, pretty much.

Molly 3:54

I think so. Because we're not actually enough because we're actually not gonna actually eat one today.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:59

Not actually gonna eat food court today. No, if I weren't Godzilla or a similar kind. I would eat food food court every day. Oh, why not? I would I would eat for example, pioneer place like the food court where I spent the most time when I was a teenager

Molly 4:14

Okay, this is important downtown Portland.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:16

Yeah, they built like a fancy ish wall that I think last time i was i was there it seemed like it had fallen on hard times. Like many malls but when I was in high school, it was thriving. It was pretty new. So why is this her Lord? I would both hang out there. We did not know each other at the time, but we tended to frequent opposite sides of the food court so she would go to like the California crisp, which is like the salad salad bar. Okay, and the paradise bakery that like cookies. I would go to mama larios the pizza place Okay, my main memory mama Allardyce. I don't remember the pizza at all. I'm sure it was like totally average was that they had really good fountain sodas and it was my first the first time I ever realized that sodas could could like vary in quality. Yeah, like I would get a coke and Mama Lars like this is like really good coke. I don't know why wow okay, maybe it still had cocaine in it.

Molly 5:10

Wait my fountain sodas Do you mean like it had like a little like a little soda gun?

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:15

No like like a dispenser that you push the cop against

Molly 5:19

that's not a fountain

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:20

that's a fountain so

Unknown Speaker 5:22

that's just a soda dispenser

Molly 5:23

and like a fast food establish

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:25

Wow, wow. Okay listeners

Molly 5:29

a fountain is straight up something where you go to like get your egg cream or your milkshake or your like old school cherry coat?

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:35

Yeah, it's where you go to get your egg I didn't add cream recently at home it was really good for the show. Laurie made me want it was like being at a soda fountain. I'm not talking about a soda fountain. I'm talking about fountain soda. It's not the same No. Okay, now listeners I'm so excited about this because I'm gonna say listeners please get in touch contact at spill dog podcast calm and let us know if the machine where you put your cup against the little metal that is a soda dispenser. Is that called? like is that called a fountain soda? Yes or no? So I'm really excited because like we're recording this episode in August and it's gonna air like on Halloween and I'm suddenly getting all these messages with people who are very excited to tell me what they think of fountain soda is and be like why what's happening? Yeah. Anyway, you know very delicious soda from the dispenser. Okay, there was the steak escape like the not very good Philly cheesesteak place Okay, which I know I've told the show that story on the show before my friend Brian they had a contest at steak escape name our new chicken sandwich Okay, like you know fill out a little paper slip and put it in this box and my friend Brian was absolutely sure that he was going to win with the suggestion that he put in many times the 12 inch Packer and ended up giving it they did not choose that name. They called it the grandest chicken there was a teriyaki place and there was cool temptations frozen yogurt and I went to all these places many many times

Molly 7:05

hold on at before you move on to the next thing I'm going to talk about the shopping mall food court if my

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:09

oh yeah no let's let's go back to all my memory lane like I'm gonna be talking for 18 minutes

Molly 7:15

but so one thing I want to comment on as I think about my own shopping mall food court as a child is that you're seem to not have chain establish.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:24

That is a good point. And like I definitely went to other malls and portal I think this one like specifically cool temptations was a local chain. Escape was also I think maybe they were they were like trying to like avoid big national chains because it was supposed to be a little more upscale.

Molly 7:40

Yeah. Okay. So when I was a kid, this mall, on May Avenue now, Pennsylvania Avenue. There we go. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:49

let's get the national ball. You did that.

Molly 7:56

Now, I'm from Oklahoma. I don't have a national mall.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:59

But you do you have a oil well on the on the state capitol, sadly

Molly 8:03

not functioning. But yes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:04

it is sad that they're that they're not pumping oil

Molly 8:08

at the state capitol. Anyway, okay. Matthew, so when I was a kid, there was this mall on Pennsylvania Avenue. It's still there. And it was called Penn Square Mall. And it was a big deal because they renovated it

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:21

Okay, and brought

Molly 8:22

in like new exciting stores like Foley's our department stores were JC Penney and Foley.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:30

Okay. Never heard of Foley's. Yeah, we're super excited. Mervyn's.

Molly 8:35

Mervyn's was also in California, right? Yeah, it feels like a West Coast thing. Anyway, so I remember when Penn Square Mall reopened after the renovation and their food court that like the color scheme at Penn Square Mall, was this kind of like pinkish beige, and charcoal gray. So all the tile throughout the mall was that color. And I think that there were a lot of skylights near the which also seems to me emblematic of a food court.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:03

Yes, there.

Molly 9:04

There were a lot of skylights through the food court. But there's always

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:06

on the third floor of the mall,

Molly 9:08

or like the highest Yeah, yeah. So ours was filled with chain restaurants.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:14

Yeah, no, Joey like when I went to Lloyd center in Portland like that one was filled with chain restaurants. I love that too.

Molly 9:19

Yeah. So Penn Square Mall had Spyro for pizza, which I really enjoyed. But that was the first time that I ever saw someone like pressing napkins against the top of their slice of pizza to absorb some of the grease. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:33

do that all the time.

Molly 9:34

It was eating at the Penn Square Mall. So yeah, the response out there was hot dog on a stick

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:39

hot dog on a stick

Molly 9:40

where they made their staff were those costs.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:43

Yes, I knew your costumes

Molly 9:46

and make them sexy. They had hand churned. churned was that adjective or the verb surely was not like

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:55

churn with hand turned hotdogs. Oh oh,

Molly 9:58

ice cream. I'm not ice cream. What am I saying? lemonade.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:05

stripping out they were churning lemonade and lemon butter.

Molly 10:09

I distinctly remember the people behind the counter working at hot dog on a stick wearing their sad little like, primary colored outfits having to pump something like up and down repeatedly. And I think it was like the lemonade thing. This doesn't make any sense.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:27

No, I think probably there was a lemonade pump. This makes no sense, was it? It was a fountain. So anyway,

Molly 10:35

hot dog sick. I think that was the first time I ever encountered a corndog.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:39

Yeah. And then did they have hand dipped corn dogs?

Molly 10:41

for dogs? Yeah. And then there was

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:45

the corn dog with one hand and pumped the lemonade with the other hand.

Molly 10:48

There was also some sort of frozen yogurt place. I'm not sure which one it was. But it seems to me that in a food court, the frozen yogurt place is always on a corner, like an outer corner. Yeah, I mean, like, the main hallway, right?

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:05

Yeah, I think I assume it's because they want you to like go past it after you have your meal. And now I I just realized I need dessert.

Molly 11:13

Or maybe they like the frozen yogurt places paid extra for that prime real estate. And everybody's walking by Yeah. But anyway, so yeah, that was Penn Square Mall. And that, like there was no visit to the mall that was not accompanied by a visit to the food court. Oh, that was like, obvious. You would just you wish you had to go to the food court?

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:33

Yeah, no, like, I remember like the feeling as as a kid of like going to the food court and be like, I can choose like any of these places like yeah,

Molly 11:40

and there was always a certain sound to the food court. Like it had a

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:44

certain acoustics like, like lots of people talking loudly with hard surfaces. Yes.

Molly 11:49

Yeah. And I learned so I did the research for this episode. As you as you may know, Matthew, and and I learned that in you know, in the design of food courts, they tend to design them around those kinds of hard surfaces that are easy to clean. Oh, that makes so you know, typically like tile.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:07

Present market.

Molly 12:09

Exactly. So tile, linoleum for my guest, stainless steel, glass, all these things are they create the acoustics and the cleanliness of the food court.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:20

Alright, that makes a lot of sense. What else is on your memory lane? Oh, God, a lot of stuff. So, I there was this place in downtown Portland that I haven't thought about in years, and I assume is not still there called Metro on Broadway. And I don't even know how to describe it, or whether like other cities had places like this, but it was a food court. But all of the places were just like this, this one restaurants own brand. So like they had the different stations had names, but they weren't like separate businesses. It was like this is our burger location. It was like, you know,

Molly 12:55

like a college

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:57

area. Yeah, but was not associated with a college. It was just like a place for like business people downtown to get lunch.

Molly 13:04

That kind of thing that would be run by like, you know, the like, Bon appetit.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:08

But it was good. Okay. I mean, like, as a kid was good. Let's see, like one thing that I that I hadn't thought about in a long time. But I think they used to have this at Westlake center. Like in many malls. There'd be like a place called like, Cajun cafe that was always like Chinese American owned, and they would give you free samples of the bourbon chicken. Does this sound familiar at all?

Molly 13:28

Oh, but I don't think I've ever actually stopped at Westlake center in Seattle.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:33

Yeah, no, I mean, it's completely different now. Okay. But I used to I used to go to the food court there fairly often. Like when I was working downtown, or like, I think working downtown that long.

Molly 13:43

I don't think I even knew there was a food court at Westlake center. And I used to work downtown too.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:47

Yeah, like there was I mean, it mostly wasn't very good. There was like a McDonald's there was a Spyro. But there was there was this one doodle place that like had taken over, like a bad like, like, past like overcooked pasta counter, and had kept part of their menu, but also added a bunch of Asian noodle dishes that were actually good. So you can get like, like pod chiemgau that would that would be like made to order and it was really good, like at the Westlake? Wow,

Molly 14:14

I'm really sad that I never experienced

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:15

that. But it's gone long gone now.

Molly 14:16

You know, I'm thinking about speaking of like college campus stuff. I'm thinking about how excited I was when I headed off to college. And Jamba Juice was the thing. This is like 1997

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:29

Oh, I was very excited when Jamba Juice became a thing.

Molly 14:31

So at the Stanford campus, there was a Jamba Juice. It was as I recall, the only like major national chain that I was aware of that was on campus.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:43

It's like how u dub cafeteria like the hub cafeteria, had a subway for a very long time. And like I think Yeah, like no longer does but only as of like two years ago or something.

Molly 14:53

Yeah, so Stanford had like, I mean, there was like a student union there, but I don't ever remember

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:00

No Wang,

Molly 15:01

nor have I ever been to the U dub one and I was a grad student.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:05

I love eating on campus.

Molly 15:06

Oh my god, I never went to the hub. But what I was gonna say is, so there was a frozen yogurt place at Stanford, but I don't remember what it was. Everybody just called it fro Yo, there was el poyo. loco, yeah, the chicken place. And then there was Jamba Juice. And I just like as a young kid from the like, food. Hell that was Oklahoma at that time. I was so excited to be like living the dream, living the dream literally going to college where they had a Jamba Juice.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:41

Yeah, yeah, I used to go to the Jamba Juice, like in the in the, like food area at the whole foods on 65th.

Molly 15:48

Yes, me too. Yeah. Is it still even there?

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:51

I don't know.

Molly 15:52

If Wow. Okay. How did that whole foods in yours? I used to live. When was the last time

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:56

you had like a smoothie from a smoothie place?

Molly 15:59

Oh, probably in an airport. Yeah. Probably in an airport. Maybe like two or three years before? COVID.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:06

I think, you know, it was like morning, and I needed something and didn't want like a Starbucks pastry. Like, it seems funny. Like, like, I was never like super into smoothies. But like, if you had told me like in like, 2002, or whatever, that there would be a time when I would really just never think about going to a smoothie place anymore. I feel like now smoothies are here to stay.

Molly 16:27

Yeah, yeah, no, I get it. I get it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:31

Oh, man. What else? Okay, so, uh, you you mentioned, you mentioned Hawker centers. And I said that there's something in Japan called a food museum. And a food Museum in Japan refers to when there is a food court have multiple restaurants all serving the same kind of food and maybe also like, there could be like some, you know, like, a little like Tableau of like information on the history of this kind of food or something. But people go there to eat the food. So like the first one that ever went to was the Odaiba takoyaki museum and it had like eight different takoyaki restaurants like selected from around Japan.

Molly 17:04

I just have to clarify again. But this was not like a like there was no actual museum aspect to this. This there was a gift shop. But this was just like a place that had been set up where like a whole bunch of takoyaki vendors set up Yeah, shop. Interesting.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:19

Yeah, go on. And like there's there's like the Yokohama ramen museum okonomi Buddha in in Hiroshima that has like 30 okonomiyaki restaurants on three floors have never been I really want to go. ramen is the most common one. But and they're in those are like all over Japan. Okay, it's a really cool thing. But also, like, more so than a regular food court. He really like gives you like that Paradox of Choice feeling like, you know, that's so I have to pick one because I can't eat six bowls of ramen like eating can

Molly 17:50

especially when you're thinking about something like ramen, I mean, with takoyaki octopus balls, like in theory, you could get them from a few shots and kind of sample them. Whereas with ramen. Yeah. I mean, you are committed to a bowl.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:01

Yeah, sometimes they'll be like, like, you can order like a mini or half bowl. But not that often. It seems like

Molly 18:08

a you know, I'm thinking to have I know that you and I have both gone to flushing. Yeah, Queens, New York. And you mentioned the New World mall. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:19

courts in Flushing, I think the one we happen to go to is the new world mall, just like the food courts in Flushing, like like are like on par I think with with like big malls like in Bangkok or other other cities in Asia, just like, like, I was completely overwhelmed. Like there, there are a huge number of places all of them look really good.

Molly 18:38

I went gosh, it was easily a decade ago now. friend of the show, Francis lamb host of the splendid table, gave me a little tour of flushing back when he used to live in Queens. And he took me to the now defunct underground golden mall. Wow. And I think that this is where the Cheyenne famous foods like original location was. But either way, there was a Cheyenne famous foods there. And I remember having cumin lamb is so good. It is incredible. And it was like the whole place. I looked at pictures of a riding mower type thing. That's right, mirror stuff is about to get really loud.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:23

You know, let's just go with it. Great. It seems you know, this is definitely

Molly 19:26

the sound effect. This is the kind of ambience you would get in a food court.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:31

Yeah, bowing,

Molly 19:31

knowing, obviously. Anyway, what I was going to say is that, you know, I looked at pictures of the New World Food mall, which is or the New World mall, which is the one that you mentioned in Flushing. Well, the golden mall definitely did not would never have the word new associated with it. It was more of like a fluorescent lit rabbit Warren of food and it was incredible. And I'm so sad to know I think it closed in 2019

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:59

Yeah, the New World well I feel like is the kind of place like like if you were looking for like a food a food court to go to in Flushing you, like look on Yelp and see like, which is the one that that like white people are complaining about like, yeah, like that's the one you want to go to.

Molly 20:22

I think that we should also mention like the kind of restaurants that only ever show up in shopping malls. Yes. Like I think if pF changs is the epitome of this. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:31


Molly 20:32

But it's not in a food court.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:35

No, it's like, it'll be like in a dude like a Jason part of the mall.

Molly 20:40

There's like, we're like ill for nio does, too. It's like the restaurant that is at the mall. And like if you want to have a sit down meal, that's where you go. And it feels very special. Oh, yeah. Because who has a sit down meal at the mall? I mean, that is special stuff.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:57

No, it really like I mean, I don't think I would really enjoy. I'm sure I would enjoy going to pF changs now like, I'm sure I'm sure we'll be fine. If I like as a kid, like I would have thought that was like an incredible treat.

Molly 21:08

There was a Italian restaurant at Penn Square Mall. I think it was called like, pepperonis or something like that. Yes. And we used to, like straight up, go to the mall to go to pepperonis but only if we were with our parents because that's not a place you'd go eat by yourself. No,

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:23

no. Who would throw down Sit down restaurant money that pepperonis I mean, I would because it sounds great.

Molly 21:29

Okay. You know, I think that airports are the place where most of us today Come

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:34

food court like like the like the terminal a dining area at sea TAC? Yeah, like the ivers and the and the Wendy's and the pasta Reno's or whatever it's called. Yeah,

Molly 21:47

yeah, I think that, you know, there's definitely kind of a variety of you know, there's some kind of stand alone food places in airports, but there still is that like, common seating vibe, this sort of like stall. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:01

five time note, like, doesn't feel food court to be like a place of joy. And like me, when I'm at the airport, there's, there's always like, an over like, an underlying feeling of Yes, like, you know, like, there's Okay, okay, but I'm not disagreeing that it's a food court. But but it just like, I don't want like, like the good feelings that I associate with the food court to be polluted by the bad feelings I associate with the airport. That means that I've ever even had like a terrible experience at the airport, just like, Oh, I get it. Yeah, I

Molly 22:30

get it. Let's hold on. I want to talk about the history of the food court. Yes. Because I think I think that will help to like maybe elucidate some. Let's elucidate. Yeah. So the police that is usually credited as the first successful food court in the US like the one that really like nailed the formula.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:49

Okay. Was it really put the hot dog on the stick?

Molly 22:52

Yes. Was the second floor food court at the Paramus Park shopping mall in New Jersey?

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:57

Okay, the first floor food court was in fucking nightmare disaster. listeria junction was,

Molly 23:07

I don't know if there's a first floor food court. It's just Wikipedia, a second floor. Anyway, this Paramus Park shopping mall food court was a big success. It opened in March 1974. And there had been I think, smaller ones before that, that didn't quite nail the formula. Okay. And this was the first one that really like this was the first food court

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:29

I want to know what they got wrong. Yeah, I didn't. Like it would be entertaining to know like how they screwed up the food court.

Molly 23:40

Yeah. You know, Canada, our beloved neighbor to the north Canada familiar. Yes. So Toronto, BC hothouse Toronto, actually. Okay, that was a call back to the Pico. Toronto actually had a successful food court before the the New Jersey one. So I think in North America, maybe Canada pioneered the Okay, the shopping mall food court, and that was at sherway Gardens in Toronto. So that's

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:11

why when I went to Toronto to Toronto, people kept saying Sukkot New Jersey. Exactly. Make sense.

Molly 24:16

Anyway, food courts. So this was in the 70s the one in Toronto opened in 1971, New Jersey 1974. food courts then became a shopping mall staple in the 90s. So the era of Penn square malls renovation, frankly,

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:31

that makes sense. When I was a kid like Lloyd Center, which is a mall in like central like, you know, Eastside Portland. It was it was open air, and then they renovated it to put a roof on and turn it into a normal wall. But I vaguely remember like the open air Lloyd center when I was a kid and like thinking it was kind of sucked compared to other malls.

Molly 24:53

Oh God, I always thought that the open air mall was like a higher class. Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:58

I might. I might prefer it now. Like as a snooty grown up but as you know but

Molly 25:02

even as a kid because when we would go visit my cousins in Northern California there was an open air shopping mall near them and I just remember being like this is so much fancier. Yeah. And Penn Square Mall even renovated Penn Square Mall Matthew. Okay. Hi me here. Yeah. Anyway, okay, so yeah, in the 90s food courts as we know them became a shopping mall staple and they became such a part of culture that this was around the time that colleges then started to incorporate food court like settings. I think the 90s was the best time to grow up. We

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:31

had like Pearl Jam and food courts. It's true. I spit on my mind. Nothing and nothing bad happened.

Molly 25:37

Nothing bad ever happened in the 1990s? Nope. Okay, so this was around the time when you know, college campuses started bringing in like KFC Taco

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:46

Bell subway, maybe Jamba Juice, for sure. Then Yeah, my college campus did not have any of these things. We was all catered by Marriott. And it was not good.

Molly 25:56

Ours was catered, I think by Bon appetit catering. Because I initially confused it with the Mac.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:02

Oh, me too soon, as I heard

Molly 26:05

anyway, and then airports came along after that. So shop came along. Yeah, shopping mall, food courts came before airport food court. Okay, that makes sense. Yeah. And then some office building food courts came around that time as well. So according to Wikipedia, in the US and Europe, food courts mostly contained fast food chains. So you know, we're thinking not only Spyro but also Panda Express is a big one. Donald's Orange Julius, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:34

think possibly the last time I ate at it like a American mall food court, like western style ball. I got Panda Express. Chicken.

Molly 26:42

Yeah. In Asia and Africa. Again, this is according to Wikipedia. This may be incorrect. In Asia and Africa. Apparently food courts are more often private vendors offering like actual like local or regional cuisine.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:55

Yeah, I think that is that is more likely to happen in those places. Like I can definitely think of like chain filled food courts in Japan.

Molly 27:03

Yeah. Okay. So, interestingly enough, in recent years, as you know, North Americans have become like more health obsessed and fast food has been villainized food courts have like gone through a lot of changes in fact, a god I should have looked up what's it in the Penn Square Mall food court now? Because, you know, there's more like salad stuff coming in? Of course the will there's been sushi and food courts for a long time. But according to Wikipedia, a lot of food courts are becoming a bit more like European food halls where maybe there's more like fresh foods, or I don't know if I die in my different out of

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:45

the mall anymore, so I don't really know.

Molly 27:48

I mean, plus when you go to the mall, what are you gonna buy your tomato and your serrano pepper and like make your pico de guy Oh, nobody

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:54

who bought me you're gonna you're gonna slice and eat tomato.

Molly 27:59

But I am wondering if there's

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:01

this place called cook praises just serve cuprates they sell

Molly 28:06

Anyway, you know, I'm also thinking of places like Market Hall in Oakland, which is like ultra high end in a very like Northern California where have you been to Market Hall? So it is Do you remember the chef Paul Bertolli restaurant Olive eddo so the this building is kind of anchored by Olive addo which is still kickin, okay. And then there is kind of like a high end little food market called Market Hall right behind it. That sells amazing an amazing selection of cheeses, Acme breads, kind of a lot of pantry staples, but they also have an extensive prepared food section. But then not only that, but adjacent to it within the same building is Marin sun farms where you can get chicken and eggs. There's another butcher shop maybe that's the butcher shop and then there's like, there's a like, produce stand. And it's all under the same roof. Kind of

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:06

like, like, Granville Island in Vancouver cork kinda like that.

Molly 29:12

Yes, I would call that maybe more of like the European food now. Total style.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:16

Oh, and I love going to Granville Island. It's like so touristy, but it's so nice.

Molly 29:20

That sausage place. So good. So Matthew, like what what would be in your dream food court these

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:28

days? That's a really good question. Like I almost want to say that that like what's already out new world wall and flushing might be my dream food court just because like I only tried like one thing from one place when we went there. And they have like 27 restaurants and like, including like, things like representing like types of dishes and like areas of China that I've like, never even tried before. And I feel like I could spend months there and still be kind of scratching the surface.

Molly 29:55

I think that I mean, I'm glad that you brought that up because I do think that we What comes to the fore for me is that I don't really want what we have always thought of as like the American mall or American airport food court but

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:07

at the same time like when you put that when you get this list of like fast food chains like McDonald's bar Oh Panda Express Dairy Queen and Orange Julius, like when I imagine going to that here right like I don't want it that's not the one I want to go back to day after you and I went there like that. Well. I would for sure get an original Orange Julius.

Molly 30:29

I've never had one.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:30

Oh, they're they're really good question marks. creamsicle cake tastes like a creamsicle Yeah, like I think it's not malt powder. Maybe. I would definitely get some Panda Express. like orange chicken and fried rice. McDonald's i would i would get somewhere else out like, okay, freestanding location. And like a peanut Buster parfait or a blizzard?

Molly 30:53

Yes, I immediately started thinking that I would get a Spyro like a slice of pepperoni. Yeah. But then I then I thought of the orange chicken at Panda Express, which I've never had. But I know a couple of people who like have really discerning palates who really enjoy the chicken a Panda Express. So now I kind of feel like I should the next time I get on a plane

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:18

to total p FP is what it is.

Molly 31:20

Oh, it's a perfectly engineering. Yeah, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:22

think so. Like it's not you know, is it is it like it's not really comparable to Chinese food. It's like its own thing that you like that you enjoy for being its own thing that you could never recreate. We

Molly 31:32

should go to a panda. At some point. If we can find one that's not in an airport. You can't just go into an airport.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:39

Now. We could buy like tickets for a flight. Like it really and then just and then just leave just to get that one chicken.

Molly 31:47

Okay. Let's see, you know, it occurs to me. So here in Seattle, we have a number of Din Tai Fung locations, which are all in malls.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:56

Yeah. And it only

Molly 31:58

is true to me while writing the agenda for this episode that they're all

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:01

in malls. Yeah. So

Molly 32:04

it's like the the new version of a mall restaurant.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:08

Yes. Like it's Yeah, cuz there's one like in Westlake center and University Village and Bellevue Square Square. That's interesting. But like, it's like many many times better than then the Oh, yes. Casual. Oh, yeah. Oh, yes.

Molly 32:22

So but what I'm saying is like, I'm just interested in the fact that they wound up going into mall.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:28

Yeah, well, I noticed when I was at like, I walked through Pacific place like a couple months ago, and there was like a new like, like Chinese hotpot place that looked like totally legit.

Molly 32:40

Wow, it seems like you and I are maybe due for a food court visit? Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:45

but like that need that wasn't really a food court either, because like it was it was a sit down restaurant. Okay. But we should go to a food court.

Molly 32:53

Yes. And I'm going to think hard about maybe I'll try the orange chicken at Panda Express in my hypothetical food court. But yeah, I don't know if I want an Orange Julius. I think that I will try the orange chicken. I think I might have a small like Coke. Yeah, out of whatever we're going to call the machine. And then I think I'm going to have probably a blizzard for dessert. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:22

What what kind of Blizzard

Molly 33:24

or Oreo? Yeah, yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:26

Blizzard is such a work of genius. It

Molly 33:28

is except I wish that they would just I wish they would blend them like a little more fully. Because the top part is always so wonderfully Oreo, right? And then you get to the bottom and you're like, Ah, now I've just got like plain stuff.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:43

Nope, you're right. Okay, well, well, Blizzard technology is constantly improving. No, it's

Molly 33:49

okay. All right. Anything else we should discuss?

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:53

I courts I enjoyed this episode just as much as I was hoping like, food courts like they're not even as good in real life as they are in my mind.

Molly 34:02

Yeah, but so many things are that

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:04

Yeah. Okay. But

Molly 34:06

the sound of a food court like like the sound of people all in one place. And I'm not worried about dying.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:13

Yeah, that that is a big part of like, why or think about Yeah, yeah. All right. Shall we move on to segments let's move on to

Molly 34:28

how about I read the mail you read the mail last? Ow. Fine.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:32

No, it's fine. Go ahead. I have a while you read the mail

Molly 34:34

All right. listener Well, I last week, I had both Haha, here I go. Listen, before you get started I'm going to keep going. listener Elijah says My mother is also attempting to make every cake in the snacking cakes book. Wow. His Elijah's mother and and your wife should hang out.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:51

Okay. Wait, what if they're the same person? What if What if wife is oh Laurie has a secret life.

Molly 34:58

So far all but one of the turned out well, the one that did not was the minty chocolate malt cake also known as the mint toothpaste, chocolate malt cake. This is why for both the glaze and the cake My mother used mint oil instead of mint extract. Mint oil is much stronger than mint extract so when used in place of mint extract the amount of mint oil must be reduced hot tip there my mother did not do that. Hence the name mint toothpaste chocolate malt cake has wotso made this cake if so how did it taste? What are your comments on this story? Presumably a bad listener lashes mother and of course have you ever had an oil extract mix up

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:38

okay these are all great questions. Why is this your Laurie made a snacking cake this very morning it was not the mint chocolate toothpaste cake. Okay, it was plum cake I can't remember what it's called but it has fresh plums yeah plum upside down cake kinda okay really good. Okay Hello almond it had Ahmed yes has not tried the the mid chocolate cake but I'm looking forward to trying that one when when it's time comes

Molly 36:03

Do you have any mint extractor we do have

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:05

mint extract. The main thing that we use mid extract for in our house is making a mint icebox cake where you flavor the whipped cream with the extract so good. We don't have any essential oils. Yeah, I

Molly 36:16

don't either. I don't either. I have peppermint extract as well, which I've used in peppermint bark.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:21

I think I think probably wife is sure Lori keeps all of her essential oils at her other secret families. Yeah,

Molly 36:26

yeah. Listen, her life isn't right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:29

My comments on this story is that would like I feel like I would feel really sad like like when I like when when a food doesn't come out right like Did I tell you that it really bombed

Molly 36:40

I made a strawberry rhubarb cobbler like earlier this summer. I mean you brought one too over when we did the

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:47

cobbler episode. Oh

Molly 36:48

no. But I made a strawberry rhubarb cobbler earlier than that in which for some reason, like I was having a conversation with ash or June or somebody while I was making it, which is not usually a problem. But instead of reaching for the baking powder for the biscuit topping I reached for the corn start Oh, and like this never happens to me. I don't know what I was thinking. But anyway as it baked. Like, really weird stuff started to Oh, no. Wait a minute. I know what I did. Actually, Matthew. I was supposed to put corn starch in with the fruit and I reached for the baking powder. cornstarch very weird. So the fruit started to black in like a chemical reaction. Oh, I was gonna say from the baking powder.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:34

I feel like yeah, you know, science fair project. was like a no,

Molly 37:39

it was like the black ooze or black oil for X

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:43

Files. Yes,

Molly 37:44

it was coming out of high. Anyway, it was so gross. So anyway, I was so disappointed. I mean, I had like it was a nine by 13 pan.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:55

Yeah, when we did the cornbread episode, I accidentally put baking powder instead of baking soda in and had to remake the cornbread. It was really bad. It was just bad. Okay, I got over it. Okay, but it wasn't it wasn't like something that we were like, you know, expecting to be like coming out for dinner or like a much anticipated dessert.

Molly 38:16

Yeah, yeah. listener alijah. We can really make

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:21

the cake. Yeah. extracting it sounds good. Yeah. And now it's time for now but wow.

Okay, by now, but Well, actually, I have two songs. Okay, I'm picking. One of them is a song that you very much heard of. And one of them is a song that you have not heard of. Okay. The song you have heard of, and we are kind of gotten ahead of ourselves, like banking episodes, because Molly's gonna be taking a little time off. And so you have you heard of this new song rumors by Liz Oh, featuring cardi B. If If you haven't look above you because you will see a rock it's I love this. It's one of the best music videos I've ever seen. The song is very catchy. It's it's like Disney's Hercules only already. It's great.

Molly 39:13

I love that description. Matthew.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:15

It's a beautiful thing. Okay, the song you haven't heard of but should is my voice teacher. Doug has a band called no Eden and they have a new song called winter air and it is on Spotify and all of your favorite streaming service or services under the big top with all of the elephants and stuff, and it is a super super catchy pop punk song Doug is a great singer and songwriter. winter air by no Eden check it out. Great.

Molly 39:45

Okay, everybody. Well, our producer is Abby Cerquitella and you can rate and review us wherever you're listening to this podcast.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:53

Yeah, you can also check us out talk to people who love the show on reddit. reddit.com slash are slash everything spelled And until next time Thank you for listening to spilled milk we've we've been found guilty in food court of being hungry

Molly 40:10

crunching into the microphone

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:12

yes yeah we got like and said what are what are we What did we get sentenced to we got sentenced to I guess we got since deed only soft foods. That's right here. Yeah, I did I did do I do the liquid diet? I'm just gonna keep talking about colon. Okay. All right. I'm Molly wizened bird I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.

Molly 40:41

These people like they don't understand how exceptional their cats are are weird.