PAGE THREE The MetropoList

PAGE THREE The MetropoList

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A while back, we published a Page Three feature on familiar places -- stores, restaurants and the like -- that had disappeared from the local landscape. That prompted many e-mails that began, "What about . . . " or "You forgot to mention . . . " We invited readers to send in recollections. We begin printing them in alphabetical order, and will continue until we reach "Z." (Yes, there was a place that began with "Z.")

The National Shirt Company

The photo of Landsburgh's in the Oct. 23 issue reminded me of shopping for my father at the National Shirt Shop on the corner of 10th and F streets when I was a little girl in the 1950s. There was one salesman who always greeted me as though I were the most important customer he would see that day. My mother would stand back and I would tell him what we were looking for and he never rushed me or deferred to my mother. I suspect there was some eye contact between them but I felt certain that I alone made the selections with his guidance. Although there were other National Shirt Shop stores, that was the one I always wanted to go to, and we always waited for that one salesman, even if others came to us first.

-- Michelle Lewis, Vienna

Naylor's Seafood Restaurant

Grover Cleveland Naylor, my grandfather, owned Naylor's Seafood Restaurant at 951 Main Ave. on the Southwest waterfront in Washington.

He first ran a raw bar on the old Municipal Fish Pier, and started a restaurant when men on the wharf asked why he didn't cook his seafood. I remember the waiters, dressed in black tuxedos with crisp white linen napkins over their arms. I love fried onion rings but have never tasted any that come close to the thin, crispy onion rings my grandfather served.

The seafood was unforgettable, especially the fried crab cakes, crab meat au gratin, crab Norfolk or Newburg style, and imperial crab. Others may remember some of Naylor's special platters. One was the Shad Plank, consisting of broiled boneless shad, broiled shad roe, served with duchess potatoes, a hot vegetable and a mixed green salad for $2.50. Another unforgettable special was the Naylor's Shore Platter consisting of filet of fish, fried scallops, fried oysters, fried shrimp, crab cake, fish cake, sliced beets, french fried potatoes and cole slaw for $1.50.

All the grandchildren loved to gather in the third dining room that had high-backed wooden booths with green leather seats and a huge sailfish mounted on the wall. We would eat the most wonderful salted crescent rolls slathered with pats of real butter and drink ginger ale in tall, thin Tom Collins glasses with swizzle sticks. It was a great time and place to grow up.

-- Donna S. Lewis, Ashburn


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