A current thread about “Bob’s Big Boy,” on the L.A. Board, has made me realize I am not alone when I sometimes get a feeling, when traveling the U.S., as if I crossed over into a Chowhound Twilight Zone (CTZ). The particular episode is like a bad recurring dream of “Betrayal.” For example, years ago on a visit to Falls Church, VA, I was driving past a Roy Rodgers fast food. Upon seeing the sign I wondered if the name was related to my childhood hero. I went inside and found a large portrait of Roy. I wondered why there was no such place out west (Roy’s home) thinking, “The kids out west got screwed out of the deal.” Anyway, I had some really good fried chicken and I also liked the salad bar. Two years later my work took me back to Falls Church and I looked forward to returning to Roy’s. The building was still there but the name “Hardee’s” was on the sign along with a “Happy Star,” which seem to be a misplaced “Carl’s Jr.” logo. Same Happy Star with a different name. That was when I first got the CTZ feeling. I went inside to inquire if I was nuts but everything inside still looked just like Roy’s – same fried chicken also. I began to suspect that the Corporate Food Devil was having some fun with me. I was told the star is the same as Carl’s but the food is like Roy’s. I hoped that the fried chicken would find a way to Carl’s but it never did.
Another time I got the CTZ feeling was in a grocery store near Boston. I was looking to buy a few jars of red burger relish (not easily found in L.A.) and I recognized a blue label on a mayo jar with the words “Real Mayonnaise” written under the space where “Best Foods” should appear but instead the name “Hellmann’s” appeared there. Same label with a different name.
Bob’s Big Boy is yet another example. The famous “Big Boy,” an icon, has always served like a doorman at the entrance of “Bob’s.” Now, on the L.A. thread mentioned above, I learn that some “Shoney's” once had the Big Boy in front of their restaurants. To see that would have really freaked me out. However, I found on Wikipedia that Shoney's no longer displays the Big Boy “because it dropped its relationship with Big Boy in 1984 in order to expand to other states where others owned the trademark.” Funny, Shoney dropped the two-timing Big Boy.
I wonder whether other food logo’s, icons, labels, and such are out there two-timing in the CTZ?
Do two Happy Stars equal one Happy constellation?
Can there be two “Real Mayonnaise” or is one a fraud?
Best Food’s Real Mayonnaise
Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise