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Stop at the Red Apple
The Restaurant on Route 17
Stop at the Red Apple
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Elaine Freed Lindenblatt - Author
Excelsior Editions
Price: $22.95 
Paperback - 278 pages
Release Date: December 2014
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-5368-2


Summary Read First Chapter image missing

An entertaining inside story of how Reuben Freed’s roadside eatery became the famous Red Apple Rest.

The Red Apple Rest was a legendary restaurant open from the 1930s through the 1980s on New York’s Route 17. Located midway between New York City and the resorts of the Catskill Mountains, the restaurant served as a who’s who of entertainment luminaries. Elaine Freed Lindenblatt was born into restaurant royalty as the youngest child of the establishment’s founder, Reuben Freed. For her, the Red Apple was the “family room” across the road—one she shared with over a million customers every year. In this book fifty-plus years unfold in a series of lively vignettes—enhanced with photos, memorabilia, and even a closely guarded recipe—as she recreates what it was like to be raised in the fishbowl of a round-the-clock family operation. Stop at the Red Apple is at once an account of growing up in 1950s small-town America, a glimpse into the workings of a successful food operation, and a swan song to a glorious slice of bygone popular culture.

“...cements the legacy of an establishment that served the needs of millions of travelers for more than half a century.” — Hudson River Valley Review

“[Lindenblatt] is at once accomplished in her prose and then poetic because she releases the emotions of the family and a business that was so thoroughly enjoyed by so many for so long.” — Journal News

“…charming, insightful and well-written … [Lindenblatt’s] writing is lyrical at times, or like a Catskill stand-up comedian’s routine at other times.” — Kaatskill Life

“Before the advent of the New York State Thruway, New Yorkers headed to the Catskills had to spend several hours on New York Route 17 to reach their resort, summer camp or stand-up gig. The Red Apple Rest, located midway between New York City and those destinations, filled many hungry bellies and provided many fond memories.” — Washington Post

“Stuffed with vignettes, photos (including some of celebrity autographs), interviews, and personal recollections, this charming memoir describes the beloved restaurant during its heyday—and should offer many readers a pleasant trip down memory lane.” — Hudson Valley Magazine

“Reading Stop at the Red Apple is like going down memory lane—I was instantly transported to happy memories of driving up to camp. Bravo, Elaine, and bravo to her family for the Red Apple.” — Joan Nathan

Stop at the Red Apple is a true story of an important Catskill vacation tradition—from its embryonic stage until its ‘terminal demise’ as told by the founder’s daughter. If you have been fortunate enough to enjoy the delicious food and warm hospitality, you will have many special memories rekindled. Should you not have had the chance to do so, the planning, hard work, and personal sacrifices the family made to create and maintain this ‘landmark hospitality restaurant’ will fascinate you. I truly enjoyed my ‘stop’ at the Red Apple, I know you will too.” — Elaine Grossinger Etess, Executive Vice President and Co-owner of Grossinger’s

“The life of Red Apple Rest founder Reuben Freed is the quintessential immigrant success story. His restaurant is an icon of the golden age of American motor travel and the heyday of the Catskill resorts and borscht belt entertainers. Lindenblatt’s book is entertaining, atmospheric, and poignant. To readers who didn’t personally experience the Red Apple Rest, they will dearly wish that they had.” — Deborah Harmon, Executive Director, Tuxedo Historical Society

“In 1991, I had a hit Broadway show called Catskills on Broadway. At the opening of the show, we produced a seven-minute film about the Catskills, and the audiences would react to everything they saw on the screen … but by far the biggest reaction came when, as part of the film, I drove up to the Red Apple Rest and took photographs of all the roadside signs … 4 miles to Red Apple Rest, 2 miles to Red Apple Rest, and the Red Apple Rest. The audience was incredible when they saw those signs… it brought them back to their youth.” — Freddie Roman, actor and producer

Elaine Freed Lindenblatt is a former publishing professional and currently a writer and editor who lives with her husband in Rockland County, New York.

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Table of Contents

Part One: Beginnings

Prologue: Sold into Demise

1. A Seed Is Planted

2. In the Middle

3. The Restaurant Man

4. A Good Man

5. Checks and Balances

6. Dropping In

7. The Foster Child

8. From Depression to War

9. The War Ends

Part Two: Our Heyday

10. The Core of the Apple

11. The Habit of Eating

12. On a Bus

13. Doing My Job

14. The Calendar Turns

15. Comings and Goings

16. What We Leave Behind
By Alan Goodman

17. Away for the Summer

18. Hacking It

19. Tangents of Trade

20. Show Me the Food

21. One of a Kind

22. The Party Line

23. A Dream of a Specialty

24. Hot Dog!

25. To Be Frank

26. Stand—and Be Counted

27. A Sure Bet
By Morton L. Janklow

28. The Country Bumpkin

Part Three: Challenges Met

29. A New Generation

30. When Ruthie Met Joe

31. Scouting the Apple

32. The Road Not Taken

33. Sign Language

34. The Price Is Right

35. Fitting In

36. Wipe the Counter

37. Laundering the Crooked Money

38. Police Blotter

39. A Date in the Life

40. Driving Myself Crazy

41. Weather—or Not

Part Four: The Renovation

42. Can the Checks

43. Giving Thanks

44. A Day Off

45. Dinner at Grossinger’s

46. With Reservations

47. Where’s My Pig?

48. Cast of Characters

49. College Courses

50. Destination New York

51. The Danish Are Coming

52. Growing Pains

53. Tea at The Plaza

54. Two Weddings and a Robbery

55. Unrequited Recognition

56. Piano Man

57. The More It Changes

58. A Princess in Queens

Part Five: Constancy Amid Change

59. Feisty at Forty

60. The Dilemma of Uniqueness

61. Sal Versus Sol

62. Our Just Desserts

63. A Year to Remember

64. The Cast, Revisited

65. A Moving Experience

66. There’s No Business…

67. Wishful Memory

68. It Takes a Family

69. Hickory, Dickory, Dock

Part Six: It Ends

70. Forgiveness

71. Aftermath

72. The American Dream

73. A Guide to Ms. Pac-Man
By Suzanne Lindenblatt

74. Holding On

75. Letter to Elie Wiesel

76. Nothing Gold Can Stay

77. The Last Hot Dog
By Bob Barlow

78. Crossing the Road

79. Hindsight

80. The Bridge of Silence

81. Touch the Living

Epilogue: That Place Called Home


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