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What's the Most Iconic Shopping Mall Restaurant? (Part 1)

Categories: Polls
sbarro.JPG
Sbarro, the pizzeria chain, filed for bankruptcy yesterday. According to the New York Times, the 's restaurants will continue to operate during the reorganization, so area Sbarro fans -- both of you -- exhale.

For this food writer and, I suspect, many other children of the 1980s and 1990s, Sbarro is one of the iconic shopping mall restaurants, seemingly a fixture in every food court. Is Sbarro the most iconic shopping mall restaurant, though? What are some of the other contenders? Here's what came to my mind: Panda Express, Auntie Anne's, and Orange Julius.

Before I cobble together another in our series of highly scientific polls, I'd like to hear from you in the comments. What would you nominate as the most iconic shopping mall restaurant?

My Voice Nation Help
13 comments
cheryleluna
cheryleluna

I love collective buying!!! Want to get food at the lowest prices? Then the place is called "Printapons" find them online

Eric
Eric

Sbarro or Panda Express, definitely. Various malls have tried take their food courts upscale in the last decade, but the two of those have survived virtually every still-existent mall food court I've been to. Orange Juliuses had too long of an '80s/'90s gap in St. Louis (I don't know if they were at any malls in this area previous to that). Mrs. Field's, maybe.

Mike D.
Mike D.

"Wag's", Northwest Plaza, c. 1970. Patty melt, fries, and a Coke.

Mike N.
Mike N.

I have a soft spot in my heart for First Federal Frank & Crust, not just for the name, but the food was pretty tasty too. But, on a national level, I'd have to vote for Sbarro -- to my knowledge, there are no stand-alone Sbarros, whereas Panda Express and Orange Julius exist outside the mall world. (In fact, they just build a combination Dairy Queen/Orange Julius in Carlyle, IL...)

IanFroeb
IanFroeb

Votes for Cinnabon noted. Though to me Cinnabon = airport.

Baristaberry
Baristaberry

Definitely Cinnabon. The malls in every city I've lived in have had one. Then Chick-Fil-A. Then Auntie Anne's.

Jason
Jason

You used to only be able to get Chick Filet at the mall; I've gotta go with America's love for Chick Filet. Also, wasn't Baskin Robbins originally born at the mall too? Both should be included for conderstaion.

mike a
mike a

Sbarro has to be near the top, but don't forget that every mall must have at least one cookie bakery - usually a Mrs. Fields. (I think that's in the zoning regulations.)

Derek in St Louis
Derek in St Louis

Panda Express is a real icon I think - even thought I don't like them that much, I still find myself eating there from time to time. But places like Applebee's appeal more to me nowadays

your mom's mom
your mom's mom

I'm going to go a little more upscale and say Cheesecake Factory.

Margot
Margot

Cinnabon. But I still think Sbarro comes first.

Dan D.
Dan D.

Michael Scott would disagree with you. His favorite pizza in NYC is the Times Square Sbarro.

Little known fact: The great southern cookbook "The Gift of Southern Cooking" by Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis was largely written in that Sbarro.

IanFroeb
IanFroeb

Oooh. Mrs. Fields. Good call. Can't believe I didn't think of that.

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