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Moving across the country is fun and exciting! You get to see different regions of the country, make new friends, and just experience new things. We have moved twice in the past 15 years. First move was from Florida to Pennsylvania and the second was Pennsylvania to Texas. Each move was exciting and adventurous but leaving behind friends, family and favorite restaurants and stores can be tough. I’ve decided to share my favorite restaurants and stores from each place we’ve lived. Why I wish they were here where we live now and what makes them so amazing.

Florida

  • Publix oh yes! This, hands down, has been the best grocery store ever. My husband and I both grew up in Florida and with Publix. We both miss it greatly! Their bakery items always were amazing and my kids were always excited to get a free cookie from the bakery when we shopped. Their sub sandwiches are astounding, too. I remember walking in with my dad as a teenager and stopping to weigh ourselves on the huge scales in the front of the store. Just a fun, novelty. The last time we visited family, we made sure to stop in to a Publix. They had a promotion that day and were giving away reusable grocery bags. We got one. 🙂 What a nice keepsake. I hope some day they make their way farther west. As of now, their locations stop in Alabama. I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have said how we wish we had Publix here.
  • Pollo Tropical – amazing meals! The flavor of the chicken is something I just can’t describe. The sweet plantains and savory yuca….oh my goodness….SO good! We have not found another chicken place that comes close to this. When we lived in Florida we used to go there all the time. I miss that restaurant so much.
  • Jan-Bo Chinese – This restaurant was amazingly good and outrageously fast. When we would order, the food seemed to show up at our door within minutes hot and fresh as if it had just been walked out of the kitchen to the table. The portions were huge, too. I just looked up their menu and 17 years later their prices are still super reasonable. I’m happy to see they are still in business. Good food, fast service, and reasonable prices must be the secret.
  • Bob Evan’s – It’s such a great restaurant. Never a bad meal. I love their biscuits. Just a little butter and honey. Yum! I can’t imagine what makes one close. I really wish we had those here in Texas.
  • Perkins – the best! This restaurant holds a special place in my heart for a couple of reasons. I remember eating there with my family many times. My mom and I used to go shopping one night each week and we would stop there first for dinner. Wonderful memories! After I met my husband, he and I would go there and enjoy a nice meal. The food was always good and you could have breakfast any time of the day. I always chose breakfast for dinner. As you check out, they have a display full of pies, cookies, and muffins. Mammoth muffins, yes please. Pies of assorted varieties, yes again, please. Unfortunately, we have no Perkins anywhere near us now.
  • Steak n Shake – what a fun restaurant! You can’t go wrong here. It’s comfort food at a reasonable price. Some locations even have “kids eat free” on the weekends. I love their hamburgers and skinny fries. The garlic steak burger is the best. We used to have one here in Texas but it closed. Super sadness.

Pennsylvania

  • J.B. Dawson’s – This restaurant was so good! We lived within walking distance to it and ate there often. If we didn’t dine inside, we ordered pick up to take home. No matter what you ordered, there was never a bad dish. The atmosphere in the restaurant was cozy, warm, and inviting. If you ever pass through that area and stop to grab a bite, order the tortilla soup. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Friendly’s – This is one restaurant that if I had the money to buy a franchise and build one here, I would in a heartbeat. I just know this restaurant would do well where we live. When I think of Friendly’s, I think just that; friendliness, happy times, and good food. That’s what it’s all about. We would eat there regularly, too. Our kids especially loved it because they had food they liked and dessert was always included with their meals. They would choose from the Cone Head, Monster Mash, to building their own sundae. So much fun and SO good! Sadly, they seem to only reside in the NE of the country. If we ever travel up that way again, you can bet that we’ll be stopping for a fix.
  • Cheeburger Cheeburger – Our first experience at Cheeburger Cheeburger was actually in Ft Myers, Florida. At the time, we didn’t realize it was a franchise and more of just a local restaurant in that area. It was a family friendly restaurant and all of the kid’s meals came in a cardboard car that they could take home with them to play with. Ours loved that! The hamburgers were to die for. Be prepared to wait a bit for your food but it’s because they cook it as you order. It’s so worth the wait! The fries and onion rings are fantastic, too. They have dipping sauces for the fries and yes, we’ve tried them all. 😉 Our favorite was the sweet pepper jelly dipping sauce. It’s sweet but spicy. SOOOO good! It’s just a fun, family-friendly establishment with good food.
  • Brother’s Pizza – I think we ordered from this restaurant at least once a week. We discovered them on the first day we moved into our new house after moving from Florida. We were tired and decided to just order pizza for dinner. This pizza place was within walking distance to our house so we ordered. We ordered a meat lover’s and words cannot express how good that pizza was. Oh my goodness…..amazing!!! To this day, we talk about it. We haven’t found anything that comes close to comparing to that. Ironically, the day we were being packed to move to Texas, we ordered several pizzas for the movers. So, we started our journey with their pizza and ended with it, too.
  • Cancun Mexican restaurant – we found this restaurant by accident. We just happened to be driving around and saw it in a strip center. That was it. We were hooked. Once you step inside, it’s as if you have stepped into another country. Colorful decorations everywhere. Even the tables and chairs are full of colorful tiles. The food is authentic, too. One thing that we fell in love with was their cheesecake. It’s not advertised as anything special but we chose it one time after dinner to go. When we got home and ate it later in the evening, we were blown away. The soft, graham cracker crust was to die for. Who would ever think that cheesecake is the real star of the show at a Mexican restaurant. It is. This restaurant is a must try if you are in the area.

As you can see, we’ve eaten well over the years. (haha) So many restaurants/stores that I miss but yet we are adding more to that list where we live right now. Hopefully, one day we will be able to step foot in those establishments once again, fill our tummies, and walk away happy.

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