Sent: Monday, October 30, 2017 1:52 AM
Subject: Laugh-In Restaurants
Hello again from the Philippines. I grew up in Michigan just outside of Detroit. I've never seen anywhere
anyone talk about the old Laugh-In Restaurants that were just like McDonalds,Wendys, or Burger Kings.
This one was located in Troy,Michigan in the mid to late 60's that I would go to with my older brother
because I didn't have a driver license's. I remember the hamburgers were called Bippy burger's and french
fries were called Frak's. They had the usually fish sandwich's, onion rings, chocolate milk shakes,real malt
shakes and Coke products. They all had strange name's but I can't remember them all. I don't remember if the
food was great tasting or if it was just the oddity of the place that had us coming back. I think it lasted
about 1 1/2 to 2 years then went out of business. (Just some information that you might not know about)
Thanks again for a great site!! Douglas
The “Laugh In” chain was owned by the same company that owned “Lum’s”. There’s a brief article here:
I looked unsuccessfully for a “Bippy Burger” recipe.
There’s also a short article on that site about the restaurant chain that was called “Here’s Johnny’s,”
of which Johnny Carson was chairman of the board.
Both of these restaurant chains were short-lived and were before the Internet.
Thanks for writing about this. I had never heard of either one of these restaurants.
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2017 11:34 AM
Subject: Lefleur's Stuffed Eggplant
Since you used to live in Mississippi, I was wondering if you had the recipe for stuffed
eggplant from Lefleur's Restaurant in Jackson, MS. They closed in the 1980s.
I have some old restaurant cookbooks that were published in the 50's, 60's and 70's, and
this recipe was in one of them. (See below). I also found their Grasshopper Pie recipe, which
I am including. Their "Lefleur's Crabmeat West Indies Cocktail", "Crabmeat En Skillet", and
"Pompano En Papillote A La Lefleur's" recipes are on this website:
The Free Library
LeFleur's Stuffed Eggplant
(From "Traveler's Choice: A Treasury of America's Regional Restaurants & Their Favorite Recipes"
by the Editors of Discovery Magazine)
1 large eggplant
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cups diced green pepper
4 Tbs butter
1/4 cup Chablis
1-1/2 Tbs butter
1-1/2 Tbs flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup cream
1 (6 oz)pkg frozen crabmeat, thawed
4 raw oysters
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and remove pulp to within one-half inch of skin. Chop pulp.
In saucepan, cook scallions and green pepper in 4 tablespoons butter until softened. Add
chopped eggplant and cook, stirring frequently, until eggplant softens. Add Chablis. Cover
and cook 10 minutes. Uncover and cook to evaporate liquid. Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt
remaining butter. Belnd in flour, salt, and pepper. Add cream. Cook, stirring constantly,
until mixture thickens and boils. Stir in eggplant mixture, crabmeat, and oysters. Spoon
mixture into eggplant shells;sprinkle with Romano cheese and paprika. Place in shallow
baking pan. Bake in 350° oven for 20 minutes. Makes 2 servings.
LeFleur's Grasshopper Pie
(From "The Ford Times Cookbook Volume 6" compiled by Nancy Kennedy)
Crust: Combine 1 1/4 cups crushed chocolate wafers (save 2 Tbsp. to sprinkle on top) with
4 Tbsp. melted butter. Press into 9-inch pie tin evenly. Put in freezer for 1 hour.
Filling: Combine 17 large marshmallows and 7 Tbsp. of cream in a heavy pan. Heat slowly, stir
until marshmallows are melted. When mixture is cool, whip 6 oz. whipping cream and fold into
mixture. Then add Tbsp. white creme de cacao and 2 Tbsp green creme de menthe.
Mix well and pour into pie shell. Sprinkle top with 2 Tbsp. crushed chocolate wafers. Return
to freezer for at least 2 hours. If frozen overnight, pie should be partially thawed before
The first fried chicken I ever ate, of course, was my Mom's. It was pretty close to Mary Randolph's
1824 recipe, although she changed later to a thick buttermilk batter.
My maternal grandmother had a chicken coop in her back yard in the 1950s, and I remember seeing
grandma grab a chicken by the head and wring its neck, then pluck it and cut it up for supper.
She'd fry it up in lard on her wood-burning pot-bellied stove. She later got rid of her chicken coop
and started buying chicken at the grocery store. She also got rid of the pot-bellied stove, had an
electric stove installed, and had her coal-burning fireplace sealed up and replaced by natural gas
There are chicken pieces that you never see at fried chicken restaurants, such as the "back," the
"pulley-bone,"(wishbone), the neck and the gizzard. When we had fried chicken years ago, those pieces
were always included. The "pulley-bone," or "wishbone," was a small, heart-shaped piece of white meat
on a "v" shaped bone. These days, chickens are cut up differently, and this piece is divided and the
meat is attached to the breasts. You still get the meat, but kids don't get to make a wish and snap
the "pulley-bone" or "wishbone" any more. I think that the kid having the long piece of the bone was
supposed to get their wish granted. There was not much meat on a chicken back, mostly just the four
little "oysters" of meat at each corner, but if you like fried chicken crust, as I do, there was a
lot of it on a fried chicken back. Besides, I didn't have to fight anyone for it.
I can't talk about fried chicken without mentioning chicken livers and gizzards. We often had meals in
which the meat was just fried chicken livers. Mom liked fried chicken livers, and so do I. When I get
a craving for them now, I go to Cracker Barrel and get fried chicken livers, turnip greens, potatoes,
and Southern cornbread muffins. Not exactly like my Mom's, but the closest that I can get now. My wife
doesn't care for them.
In my family, when we had a whole fried chicken, the gizzard, heart, and neck were pieces that no one
wanted. A fried gizzard looked like a fried chicken liver, but it was chewy, like a piece of batter-fried
rubber. One of my aunts liked fried gizzards, and she would always choose the gizzard and hearts and chew
and chew and chew and... Some folks consider gizzards a special treat(with hot sauce), and a few
restaurants serve them as specials. I think KFC, at least in the South, sometimes has gizzard specials.
Our Gulf Coast town had only one take-out chicken place in the early 1960s. It was a small white building
on one of the busier streets. Mom began occasionally stopping by there after church to get a box of chicken
instead of frying it herself. What I recall of it is that the crust was crunchy and good, but the chicken
pieces were very small, like they came from miniature chickens. I think they charged $1.50 for a whole fried
chicken. This was about 1960.
In the mid-sixties, a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise opened in town. At first, KFC only had "original recipe",
which I was not crazy about. The "herbs and spices" were something that I was not familiar with, so I was not
often a customer there. When KFC introduced "extra crispy" a few years later, it was more like traditional
fried chicken, but the crust seemed bland and tastless, as if there were no salt & pepper used in the batter.
The next commercial fried chicken that I had an opportunity to taste was Church's, which was pretty good, plus
they had corn on the cob and french fries instead of just the slaw, mashed potatoes and gravy that KFC served.
When I moved to Jackson, Mississippi in the seventies, there was a Church's chicken near my house, so I had it
often. I also gave KFC another try during this time, and I acquired a taste for the "original recipe," choosing
it over the bland "extra crispy." "Chick-Fil-a" also appeared on the scene, but what they sold was breast fillets,
not whole pieces of chicken.
When I moved back to North Mississippi, our town now had a "Popeye's" and a "New Orleans Fried Chicken." Both
of these were good, but my favorite was neither. The very best fried chicken in that town was sold at the Kroger
Supermarket deli. It was perfectly seasoned and with a delicious crust.
Fried chicken is near and dear to my heart and it's also a bit controversial. Here's what Twain said about it
in "Chapters from my Autobiography":
The North seldom tries to fry chicken, and this is well; the art cannot be learned north of the Mason-Dixon
Line, nor anywhere in Europe.
The Mason-Dixon line is, I think, on the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania. All of the fried chicken
that I have eaten was a product of the Deep South, except for what I've had in and around Portland, Maine, so
I can't comment on the fried chicken served in other places in the US. When I'm traveling, I never order fried
chicken. I try to order dishes particular to the region, or anything new (to me) that's on the menu, or steak.
After moving to Maine, I tried to find good takeout fried chicken to satisfy my craving. There was a Popeye's
in the area, but it was thirty miles away. There was a KFC nearby, but KFC's original recipe seemed to have lost
something between Mississippi and Maine. It didn't have as much crust and it didn't taste as good. Recently, a
new Popeye's franchise opened that's much closer to us. Determined to find some edible fried chicken other than
home-cooked, I gave all of the take-out fried chicken places in the area a try.
Two of the places are locally owned, one is a New York based chain, and the other three are chains based in the
Southern US. I won't critique each one, but I will say that, when I want take-out fried chicken, I will stick with
the Southern-based chains. The best fried chicken at the best price was at the Southern-based chains. There are
some "sit-down" restaurants in the area that may serve even better fried chicken, but I haven't tried their
chicken yet. I did try the fried chicken at a local diner once, but they didn't have a clue.
I didn't try the "hot and spicy" chicken at any of these places. I prefer the traditional kind when I have a choice.
If you want a particular fried chicken recipe, e-mail me.