It was the early ’60s and I was 13 — and had just earned the right to go downtown shopping on my own. What an adventure. I could take the bus from where I lived near Seven Mile and Woodward and be dropped off right in front of J.L. Hudson’s for 35 cents! Feeling proud of myself, I invited my younger sister Sherry to go with me on a Saturday, and I would treat her to lunch at our favorite place, the Flaming Embers (just one block from Hudson’s). At the “Embers,” you could get a steak luncheon for $2.99 — a small strip steak cooked over the flaming grill while you watched, a salad, a baked potato, and a hot piece of bread rounded out this affordable feast. I had $10 and I felt rich.
We window-shopped, rode Hudson’s elevator to use their luxurious bathrooms, and promptly at noon arrived at the Flaming Embers. I recall remembering to thank the hostess for seating us next to the window. My sister and I both left with a “doggie bag” for later and I generously left a 50-cent tip (and we had a dollar or so left). I don’t think a steak has ever tasted that good. — Pam Coultis, Redford
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