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In Like The Pan American Limited, Out Like The Fort Deposit Local

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Post by hound dog Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:47 pm

Back in the 40s, my Granddad had this high muckydeMuck job with the Federal Land Bank in New Orleans but continued to live in a small South Alabama town that was your basic L&N flag stop. In order to get to New Orleans and assume his duties as He-The-Gods-Had-Appointed, he would take the L&N´s Pan American Limited Streamliner at 3:00AM to New Orleans and his chaffeured limo to the office in The Big Easy and he felt mighty important. I don´t remember even two of those many grand journeys on the Pan American but one trip I do remember specifically. Granddad was waiting for the Pan American with his fancy High MuckdeMuck luggage and coat and tie around 3:00AM that morning at the South Alabama flag stop, feeling really important and indispensible when the Pan American flew through town at 100 MPH without so much as a wink and a nod toward my altogether self-important granddad who, I suppose got to New Orleans later on the Crescent Limited and, lo and behold, the Federal Land Bank had opened for business without him. It seems the train station manager had failed to notify the Pan American´s engineer that there was a passenger awaiting pickup in Podunk requiring a flag stop or the flagman had dozed off temporarily.

For some reason, this story came to mind for me when the destined-to-be-famous My Sweet SugarDaddy´s BBQ opened recently in Ajijic only to close ignominiously a few weeks later leaving town with the tail between the legs. It´s a damn shame as the proprietors there had a really fine cheeseburger and foot long hot dog. Their BBQ pork sammiches and BBQ ribs were also good although their BBQ sauces were insipidly sweet and unworthy of one proprietor´s proclaimed South Carolina heritage where that sauce would have been a disgrace.

I have lived in the Ajijic area for 12 years and have seen many restaurants come and go but that is just about the fastest demise of any eatery I have seen open here in all that time. And the amazing thing is that the food was unique and quite good. There must have been some disputatious behavior among the proprietors and/or their staff as there seems to be no other earthly reason for this blindingly rapid failure to an otherwise very good idea.

Back to the previous well-known fact that one cannot find a good cheeseburger in this burg.
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Post by barbicheesecake Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:06 pm

What a shame. I ate there twice and loved it. Blackeye
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Post by viajero Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:11 pm

Dawg,the reason for their closing was explained on TOB,see "RIP I(heart) Sugar Daddy".


Last edited by viajero on Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by gringal Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:25 pm

It was explained at a good length on TOB in the Cocina section.

Many people innocently open a restaurant with some good ideas and then discover that it's a 24/7/365 kind of thing where you end up with an aching back and swollen, sore feet. It's the second worst kind of situation people get into with the notion that it would be interesting and fun before they learn better.......... with the worst being a B&B owner when the place is full and the maids don't show up. Shocked



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Post by hound dog Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:38 pm

viajero wrote:Dawg,the reason for their closing was explained on TOB.


OK, viajero; I scoped out the other board by which I presume you mean Chapala.Com, and found nothing enlightening. Whatever they may have used as an excuse, a business does not turn on a dime and close shortly after opening - especially with good and unique products well presented and becoming quite popular in short order - unless there is something amiss among the ownership. I understand that the female proprietor went to work with Number 4 (a 1950s style supper club a la Lawrence Welk melded with John Coltrain) that is a far different business endeavor than Sugardaddy´s so where is the fit?) but the fact is they are gone and will be sorely missed by The Dawg. What a shame these folks bombed of their own accord.
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Post by hound dog Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:10 pm

[quote="gringal"]It was explained at a good length on TOB in the Cocina section.

Many people innocently open a restaurant with some good ideas and then discover that it's a 24/7/365 kind of thing where you end up with an aching back and swollen, sore feet. It's the second worst kind of situation people get into with the notion that it would be interesting and fun before they learn better.......... with the worst being a B&B owner when the place is full and the maids don't show up. Shocked
[/quote]


Every restaurateur goes through the growing pains of running a new restaurant. These people were only in business for a few weeks before closing and the thing that is maddening to me is that they had unique and well done products they presented to the public. Of course there were some flaws as there always are in a new venture but that is the history of all human endeavor. Sore feet and aching backs and undependable help are the basic trademarks of restaurant ownership as must be known to anyone who ventures into that realm.

This was a BBQ joint, for God´s sake. BBQ pork sammiches, pork ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, mashed potatoes and fast food such as that - all take out. If you can´t handle that can you flush a toilet without a tutor?

I don´t know nor have I conversed with the male half of the proprietorsip of this misbegotten venture but I can tell you the femaie proprietor seemed to have done everything right. She practiced with her staff serving sample meals at least a week before opening in order to get the service and recipes right. She meticulously planned her opening and had an appropriate menu. She did everything right including coping with a lousy retail location.

Sorry; I don´t buy this. This restaurant did not fail for lack of a fantastic and unique product served up well. There´s more here than meets the eye.
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Post by CHILLIN Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:44 pm

Weren't those old trains something. The current regime in Mexico wants to revive them - what a wonderful idea.
http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-02-04/world/36744259_1_pe-a-nieto-passenger-rail-service-rail-line

Are the tracks still in place from Chapala to Guadalajara? It would be great for an old steamer. Even those ' handcars' would be fun - and good exercise
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Post by slainte39 Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:50 pm

No tracks...been gone for years.

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Post by hound dog Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:32 pm

[quote="CHILLIN"]Weren't those old trains something. The current regime in Mexico wants to revive them - what a wonderful idea.
http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-02-04/world/36744259_1_pe-a-nieto-passenger-rail-service-rail-line

Are the tracks still in place from Chapala to Guadalajara? It would be great for an old steamer. Even those ' handcars' would be fun - and good exercise[/quote]


The old Pan American Limited rode the main L&N (Louisville & Nashville) rails from Cincinnati to New Orleans via Birmingham along with the other storied streamliners of the day along with other famous streamliners coming down the east coast via Atlanta heading for New Orleans and then on to Los Angeles. Sadly; gone with the wind along with so many fabled passenger lines.

When in France, we still ride the TGV between Paris and the Loire Valley at 120 MPH plus but those trains are spartan in accomodations with lousy food although quite practical and man do those trains move like lightnin´. Those old U.S. streamliners had great accomodations and true dining cars where one was served by tuxedoed waiters in high style while rolling through the plains or over the mountains.

They still have the railway infrastructure in Mexico to run the passenger trains over lines from, say, Veracruz to Mexico City or Chiapas to the U.S. via Oaxaca and other points of interest but ain´t gonna happen. Peña Nieto´s dream is high speed spartan rail travel between places such as Guadalajara and DF. Forget the luxurious travel of those old days. Consign these things to memory.
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Post by CHILLIN Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:06 pm

hound dog wrote: Forget the luxurious travel of those old days. Consign these things to memory.

Or to the highest bidder =- I really think 'cruise" trains are a distinct possibility in the near future. After all - half the fun is getting there. and that is timeless.
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Post by Jerry00 Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:50 pm

I remember taking the overnight sleeper from Guadalajara to Mexico City. It hada nice dining car that served diner and breakfast which was included in the fare. I believe the train was discontinued around 1999.

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