Lois and Joe Sposita
By Danny Raskin


Why, you may ask, is so much time and energy spent on talking about neighborhood restaurants? … Because so many people may or may not realize it, but neighborhood restaurants have always held a special niche in the hearts of many.

Especially when talking about those eateries that can be depended upon to serve quality food at low prices, with a clean atmosphere, good service and all-around pleasant, relaxing comfort.

For so many reasons, these special qualities can be found all wrapped up into one lovable bundle at neighborhood restaurants that are the favorites of many … Countless are family-owned, mom-and-pop operations, and others are owned by semi-retired chefs who have finally found the restaurant they have always longed for to show off their special dining wares … Where so much pleasure is found in every tasty spoonful, not to mention the calming customer laughter of stress-free comfort.

So often I get nostalgic about the many neighborhood restaurants that throughout the years made impressions in many memories … Much too many to mention, of course … But oh-so wonderful, pleasant reminiscences, indeed.

I got to thinking of them recently while enjoying another visit to Sposita’s Italian Ristorante on 14 Mile, east of Farmington Road, Farmington Hills … So crowded on a weekday night with people laughingly enjoying what many diners swear is among the best in neighborhood Italian cuisine and togetherness … With prices that don’t cause double takes at the bill.

Sposita’s is so much like the many other good neighborhood restaurants that people dream about … One of those that are taken so much for granted.

Lois and Joe Sposita

And, yet, even a place like Sposita’s had its problems … Almost all usually do at the start … Thankfully, an important one was resolved at the beginning when Sposita’s began under another name … and was only open nine months before a major change needed to be made … The partners were splitting up and the original name could not be used … Co-owner Joe Sposita took over as the sole proprietor with wife, Lois, and renamed it Sposita’s Italian Ristorante.

After many hours of hard work and much perseverance, it became what one radio commentator would say, “The rest of the story” … Truly a successful one … With the name Sposita’s to become the enormous pride of its customers and staff.

Seeing people at Sposita’s having so much fun and returning often for the food and service and its many other magnificent attributes adds up to a whole lot of pride … And as numerous people like local boxing manager Jackie Kallen who have become regular patrons no doubt might say about Sposita’s Ristorante, “It’s one of my favorite restaurants!”

And how true as noted by cardiac physician Alan Silverman that good neighborhood restaurants serve a major purpose … “They provide wide choices of wholesome food at reasonable prices,” says Dr. Silverman. “They seldom go out of business and, if any do, it is felt immensely by the community and many others with whom they made friends.”

SUNDAY BRUNCH IS normally classified as an early meal that combines both breakfast and lunch … But there are other classifications, such as Las Vegas hotel-style with glamorous almost-everything-to-select-from varieties, or upscale restaurants that include items seldom heard of, or ethnic eateries with their own personalities, etc.

However, the one type that might stand out by itself are neighborhood restaurants that present standard, simple choices among its groupings.

One of those is Georges Family Dining on Northwestern Highway, just north of 14 Mile, West Bloomfield, with its dine-in items that number more than 50 from which to choose … Usual fresh picks with a good assortment that is included in the low-price standbys … eggs scrambled with sauteed onions, cheese blintzes, bagels and cream cheese, chicken piccata, cheese-encrusted potatoes, salmon Florentine, mac and cheese, crepes with 15 varieties of fillings, Greek salad, pancakes, waffles, etc.

Such Sunday brunch variety at Georges Family Dining is available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. … with adult prices, $12.99, children ages 5-12, $7.99, youngsters age 4 and under, free … Selections and prices may also be made from the regular menu.

FRESH WHITEFISH … And I do mean fresh … have lovers of the popular aquatic delicacy salivating in anticipation … They are now available the same day as caught at Andiamo Bloomfield, Telegraph, south of 15 Mile … Arrangements made by Executive Chef Bill Hall have the 12-14 pounders brought to the restaurant by fishermen after catching them … five days a week, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday … Any fresher and the whitefish would have to fly here themselves.

QUESTION & ANSWER DEPT. … “Where in the Birmingham area can I get a kosher hot dog with my Coney Island?” … Sid Malker

(Many folks tell of getting their coneys with kosher dogs at Village Coney Island on S. Adams, Adams Square Building, south of 15 Mile.)

60-YEAR REUNION OF 1956 grads from Mumford High will be Saturday, Aug. 13, at Knollwood Country Club, West Maple, West Bloomfield … For more info, call Sue (Klinger) Radner, (248) 669-0889.

NOTED HAIRDRESSER to the stars, Yiannis Karimalis, is even more than that … He’ll be exhibiting a collection of his original paintings at Art in the Garden benefit for Planet Lori Art Camp, at Yiannis’ Novi home, Saturday, Aug. 13, 4-7 p.m. … Lila Lazarus will emcee … For more info, email YiannisTheArtist@gmail.com.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … Sadie is at the shopping center and bumps into Becky who is looking after her two grandchildren. “Oh, Becky, what beautiful children, how old are they?” asks Sadie.

“Well,” says Becky with much pride, “the lawyer is six months and the doctor is two years.”

CONGRATS … To Lila Lazarus on her birthday … To Beverly Nusbaum on her birthday … To Rabbi Jason Miller on his birthday … To Ray Horenstein on his birthday … To Joe Horenstein on his birthday. *

Danny’s email address is dannyraskin@sbcglobal.net.