As a child, my mother would grab my chubby digits and taught me the “Little Piggy Poem”, with each finger represnting a different Piggy.
The Little Piggy Poem
This little piggy went to market, (thumb)
This little piggy stayed home, (index finger)
This little piggy had roast beef, (middle finger)
This little piggy had none, (ring finger)
And this little piggy went “Wee wee wee” all the way home. (pinky finger)
I’m all about the little piggy who had roast beef.
I know there are those who will proclaim either Roll’n’Roaster or Brennan and Carr‘s as the best roast beef on the planet, but I didn’t grow up in Brooklyn with those two iconic independent restaurants. I grew up in Queens where if you wanted a hot roast beef sandwhich, you went to Roy Rogers.
There was just something about that little restaurant, with it’s barrel bar stools and the fixins’ bar, that just appealed to me from an early age. Maybe it was because I could look at the photos on the wall of Trigger, Roy’s loyal steed, and daydream of one day having my own loyal steed… that once dead I could stuff and sit in the living room to watch tv upon. Maybe it was because Roy Rogers embodied the cowboy lifestyle… a lifestyle I metaphorically adopted in the 90’s in EMS. Maybe… just maybe… it was because it meant that I was having a meal with both my mother AND father, because that was the only real fast food restaurant he enjoyed.
This is probably why anytime I head down the New Jersey Turnpike I need to stop at a rest area that includes a Roy Rogers. The restaurant chain left New York awhile ago. My local Roy Rogers on the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and Metropolitan Avenue became a Wendys. While I have nothing against Dave Thomas and his cute red-headed daughter, he just doesn’t do roast beef. When the site of Niederstein‘s was desecrated with a fast food restaurant, I salved my bitterness by the fact it was an Arbys… but their roast beef doesn’t even seem to come from the same kind of cow.
So when I’m southbound on the ‘Pike, its the only time I can get my fix. I prefer the Walt Witman rest area because it also gives me an opportunity to get Nathan‘s fries… but that would be another entirely different post.