Right when the bill comes I guess. Sounds like this ghost belongs on the "Ten Tightwads" thread![:D]
IMPROVISER: Regarding Charleston, it’s a beautiful city. We loved it! Isn’t "Poogan’s Porch" haunted by an old woman who used own the place before it was a restaurant? I guess she’s very shy and appears sitting at a table in the dining room. When somebody notices her, she disappears in front of them.
Tommy Condon’s in Charleston, SC is haunted supposedly. Apparently the ghost only frequents a closed-off back room. If I owned the restaurant, I’d put customers in the back room. A ghostly figure wafting through the dining room can only add to the ambiance.
M&M: Thanks for your input. We usually go to St. Louis once a year. I’ll check out the Lemp Mansion the next time we’re in town. As far as your feelings about eating in the "Suicide Room" there…I’ve seen a couple of documentaries featuring the Lemp Mansion. It’s not uncommon for diners to see an occasional apparition in that room. Others experience an eerie sort of feeling, something "not quite right" that’s hard to describe.
First off, I agree with M&M about St. Louis’ Sidney Street Cafe (not familiar with Frazer’s), and have always found Lemp Mansion and its history most fascinating, tho have never eaten there.
This topic of haunted houses reminded me of a most interesting house, though not haunted, which formerly housed a fine restaurant in Fort Smith, AR. And before I begin I apologize to anyone who finds this post offensive; that is not my purpose but it’s rather to pass on a little bit of Americana. Some 15 or more years ago Miss Laura’s, the last standing and formerly grandest (tho no longer used for that purpose) of Fort Smith’s "wild west, jumping off point to Indian Territory days" whorehouses was restored from a most deteriorated condition to its former grandeur and turned into a really neat restaurant with great food. Reason it remained was that when all the other houses in the "row" burned years ago, Miss Laura and her girls got out there and fought the fire to the point of successfully saving their home and business. Anyway, this restoration was done in Victorian fashion of its day with the "main parlor" downstairs turned into the bar, second parlor a gift shop, and most of remainder of downstairs being office, and kitchen. May have been one dining room downstairs, but the majority of the dining rooms (several of them) were upstairs, each with a girl’s name painted on the transom to that room. They left one room upstairs furnished as it was for its original purpose in its heydey, which one could view as sort of a "museum". The food there was varied and excellent and I always enjoyed eating there when through Fort Smith, which unfortunately was not frequent enough. Was really disappointed when Miss Laura’s closed as a restaurant. Building was vacant for a while, then believe it was used as office by some business, and in more recent years it has become home to Fort Smith Visitors’ Center (and think Chamber of Commerce). Fort Smith now uses Miss Laura’s in a lot of its promotions and advertisements. Wish it was still a restaurant but glad to see it used as a Visitors’ Center where the public can see this bit of our past, rather than its being used as a business office or even worse just closed and again deteriorating. If anyone is ever in Fort Smith, it also has interesting historical museum in addition to the old Fort Smith national park/national monument area with a recently renovated "Hanging Judge Parker’s" courtroom. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the current Fort Smith restaurant scene.
I’ve eaten at the Lemp Mansion twice but its been some years ago. As I recall the food was good but nothing stands out at this remove. We ate in the Suicide Room, i.e., the room in which a one or more of the Lemps committed the deadly deed, which added a touch of something to the meal though I’m not sure what. From the highway (it sits right on I-55)it appears there has been some renovation going on at the Mansion.
Of course, if you don’t want to eat at Lemp the Sidney Street Cafe and Frazer’s are both within a a few blocks. Two of the best restaurants in the city for my money (though not what I think of as road food type places).
LONE STAR: My tastebuds just woke up![:)] Just curious though about the "pig sandwich" served at the Pigstand. Is it a pulled pork sandwich? If so, do they top it with coleslaw down there? I always top my pulled pork sandwiches with a side order of vinegar-based coleslaw, but I have been known to use the creamy variety when that’s the only slaw available. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but it tastes so good that way.
M&M: Thanks for the link to the Lemp Mansion. Have you ever eaten there? If so, was the food any good?
Kim, your trip sounds great! If you enjoy ghost stories, there are several tours you can take of "Haunted San Antonio".
I know you will want to enjoy some of the great Tex-Mex along the riverwalk while you are serenaded by strolling Mariachi singers, but you will not want to miss a meal at the Pigstand for a chicken fried steak or a famous "Pig sandwich".
The Robinson-Hill house is still there on Kirby drive, and we still gawk at it when driving by!
I for one, never go to that bathroom up at the top of the stairs alone. But their filet mignons are so good, Rosa could sit down beside me and I’d keep eating!
LONE STAR: Just checked out the website you recommended! I agree with you regarding the circular lobby–it’s gorgeous. And the ghost stories are really interesting, too. By the way, one of the ghosts mentioned was that of Captain Richard King, founder of the King Ranch. Call me naive, but what’s the King Ranch? Does it have anything to do with the recipe for King Ranch Casserole? Just wondering.
I’m still looking forward to a trip to San Antonio some time soon and a stay at the Menger. It’ll be my second trip ever to Texas…was last in your state in 1978, when I visited a classmate in Houston during July. Hotter than hell, but I loved Houston. We shopped at the Galleria, visited Astroworld, drove past the famous mansion featured in the book (a bestseller around that time) called "Blood and Money". Wasn’t a "foodie" back then, though, so it’ll be a treat for me to finally try some of the regional cuisine on my next visit.
I didn’t know that the Hideaway was haunted either, until I read about its ghost(s) in a book a while ago. The owners were interviewed by the author. From what I remember, a woman wearing clothing from the 20’s-30’s era can sometimes be seen in an upstairs window–the one above the main entrance to the place. Also, a pair of swinging doors in the restaurant have been known to flap inexplicably.
Yes, there are signs that guide you to the restaurant now, but some of the signs are small. I think that one of them is nailed to a tree. You have to really be on the lookout for the signs if you’re a first timer. In our case, we got a little lost the first couple of times we went there. In the old days, there weren’t any signs. You had to call a certain phone number to get directions. The phone number was listed in their newspaper ads. They used to have live 20’s era jazz in the upper room (now the smoking area, I believe) on the weekends.
LONE STAR: We’ve been wanting to visit San Antonio for a long time. Thanks for the info! I think it would be great to stay at the Menger based on what I’ve just read in your post.
A few years ago, my husband and I were lucky enough to be treated to a weekend at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio for our anniversary by my husbands best friend who works for Southwest Airlines.
He had won this wonderful trip as a door prize at the Southwest Christmas party and gave it to us.
The Menger Hotel is supposed to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest still in operation West of the Mississipi. It is directly adjacent to the Alamo, in fact the courtyard balcony of our room overlooked the walls.
It is supposed to be haunted by numerous ghosts, especially in the bar which was built as an exact replica of the bar at the House of Lords in London. It is a huge hotel, and so much fun to just walk around and see as many of the furnishings are original.
The main dining room was the site of most of the San Antonio high society functions from the 1800’s to the present. The walls are painted a soft green with lots of white trim, and there are palms everywhere. We had a loveley dinner there one night, and while we saw no ghosts, it was fun to imagine the place in it’s glory days.
Here is a link to the history and the hauntings that occur there. I highly recommend staying there instead of the tourista riverwalk area if you ever visit San Antonio.
I’ve eaten at The Hideaway many many times and don’t remember anything about it being haunted unless it was by someone who fell out of favor with Al Capone! Or….maybe it’s haunted by the people who cannot find it! [:)] BTW, it’s not an adventure anymore since they put the signs up. Seriously, the place has very good food, a huge selection mostly centering on steaks.
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