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A GUIDE TO ALL-STAR INDIGESTION
Gael Greene
October 12, 1970
The lady hiding behind that Coke at left is our author, a renowned restaurant critic at whose approach headwaiters would tremble—if they only knew what she looked like. But the secret of her success lies in anonymity; that way no chef can haute up the cuisine just for her. Still, a diet of all fancy food can tire a girl, so Gael set out recently to brave an uncharted area of our gastronomic civilization: the sports-oriented restaurant. Here is her candid critique, written right from the heart(burn), on how America eats.
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October 12, 1970

A Guide To All-star Indigestion

The lady hiding behind that Coke at left is our author, a renowned restaurant critic at whose approach headwaiters would tremble—if they only knew what she looked like. But the secret of her success lies in anonymity; that way no chef can haute up the cuisine just for her. Still, a diet of all fancy food can tire a girl, so Gael set out recently to brave an uncharted area of our gastronomic civilization: the sports-oriented restaurant. Here is her candid critique, written right from the heart(burn), on how America eats.

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This fast-mushrooming chain, owned and operated by ex-Baltimore Colts Gino Marchetti and Alan Ameche, has now reached to 270 units up and down the Eastern third of the country—all in less than a year. It is easy to see why: Gino's is as good as the best of the fast-food hamburger-fries-shakes self-serveries. Giant is the key. Gino's hard-sells giant: giant hamburger, giant shake, giant fries. Makes you want to weep rather than settle for the chintzy standard size. Prices are competitive with McDonald's, with this plus: Gino's also features Kentucky Colonel fried chicken, the Cadillac of computer-cooked chicken. You either love or loathe this pop-food underreach. The East Orange Gino's gets a feverish play from neighborhood prepubescents.

This is a three-trophy place.

BROADWAY JOE'S, 79TH STREET CAUSEWAY, MIAMI.

Joe Namath had better make it in the movies because, so far, his indulgence of our more basic appetites is pretty dismal. If the Miami unit is any sample, some unforgivable gastronomic sins are being committed in Joe's name. Even the counter girls in their clingy green and white "No. 12" jerseys are not up to Namath's supposed standards. And the girls are only slightly less stale than the hamburger rolls. Surely the "genuine Jewish rye" must arrive by steamer from New York via the Cape of Good Hope. The architecture is pleasant enough and the quarterback burger, 65¢, and football hero, 75¢, are not bad. But the fried chicken is a dry, bland outrage. The stuffed shrimp were not stuffed. The triple-decker burger boasted a rotten tomato. And what is this? Pink lemonade!

Outside there is a revolving sign picturing Broadway Joe. It was on the blink when last I looked. Do not underestimate the symbolism.

Strictly minus two trophies.

CASSIUS CLAY'S CHAMPBURGER, 6155 NORTHWEST 17TH AVENUE, LIBERTY CITY, MIAMI.

"We are the GREATEST," boasts the neon bull in boxing gloves just outside this self-service, fast-food eatery of the burger-fries-and-shakes school. The champburger, 53¢, is a fine contender in the pop-food category. The fries are crisp and fresh. There is a sweet-as-a-Popsicle grape-and-orange soda drink for the popheads, plus excellent fried chicken, nicely spiced, juicy and crisp, from 85¢ for a "quick feast," to $4.50 for 18 pieces of "delicious delight."

I give it two trophies.

JOHNNY UNITAS' GOLDEN ARM, YORK ROAD PLAZA, BALTIMORE.

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