Last week, while heating up my lunch in our kitchen here are the radio stations, I overheard one of my co-workers explaining that when he was a kid, once a month his family would go eat at certain restaurant when “the good paycheck" came in.  

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Some people would have one paycheck that would be more than another, or if they got a check after most of the bills were paid, they could take their family out to eat.  

That got me thinking about my childhood in Western North Carolina. We were a lower middle-class family that didn’t eat out much, but for special occasions we would go to the “Western Steer” Steak House.  Looking back on it now, it was not a “good” steak house, but it was fancy to me as a kid.  

I took to our Facebook page and Mobile App asking listeners when they were a kid, which restaurant did their family go to for special occasions or when the good “paycheck came in”.  

Here’s some of the answers as Central Minnesotans reflected on their childhood. 

Tracy, Lee and Nathan all responded with Bonanza. I remember seeing commercials for Bonanza as a kid, but we were never close to a location to enjoy one.  

Dave and Nathan said Ground Round. Nathan said he loved all the peanut shells on the floor.  

Tammy said that her family went to Country Hearthside in Swanville. Another location was the Persian Supper Club. Tammy says that both places are closed now but their food was amazing.  

Patti chimed in saying her family hardly ever went out to eat, but when they did it was Arthur Teachers Fish n’ Chips.  

Michelle says that the go to place for her family was Cicero’s Pizza in Brooklyn Center.  

Pizza was the big choice in other families as well.  

April says a trip to Pizza Hut came for her family when they would get a coupon in the mail. I remember feeling that when we ate at Pizza Hut, I felt like I was living like the rich kids.  

Mary also had a pizza place to contribute, Shakey’s Pizza. 

The Old Country Buffet got a few votes as well with listeners offering good memories of their trips to “The OCB” as a few called it.  

Margret told us she was one of seven kids, and eating out didn’t happen often, but Pirates Cove was their go to.  

Julie said that D.B. Searles was her family's favorite spot. Her regular dish was the stuffed popover. She also suggested that a sneak of wine may have been taken there, it was the 1980’s after all. Julie also commented on the Persian Supper Club, she said the liver pate on the little crunchy garlic toast was the best.  

There was a common theme, especially for those of us who grew up in the 1970’s and 80’s, eating out wasn’t as commonplace as it is these days.  

For some people this was a nice little trip down memory lane. Does it spark a memory of a certain restaurant for you?  

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