A meal at Miss Sheri’s Cafeteria (2 locations) is a trip down memory lane. I could’ve sworn I was in Doc Brown’s ol’ DeLorean, transported back in time to the S&W Cafeteria on 14th and F Street. Growing up in D.C., my mother and I ate there every Tuesday (her day off). From the streetcar stop at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, we’d shop our way up 7th Street to Kahn’s, Lansburgh’s, and Hecht’s department stores.
F Street Flashbacks
Then we’d head down F Street, stopping at Woodies or some of the quaint dress shops. My favorite place was Woolworth’s dime store, where the handicapped guy sat outside the door, summer and winter, with a little monkey who held a tin cup.
While my mother shopped the cosmetic counter, I’d head for the basement, where they had 45 rpm records, popular sheet music, and kitchenware hucksters, whose spiels were always entertaining.
The 40s Cafeteria
But by noon, we were in line at the S&W Cafeteria, waiting to pick from a wide assortment of little dishes within easy reach behind the long food counter.
Afterwards, we’d head to the Capitol or Palace theaters for a vaudeville stage show, a black and white film, and sometimes an organist playing sing along music. In a day before TV, this was eye-popping entertainment for a kid.
A Cafeteria Lives On
All this ran through my head as we drove out Manchester to one of the locations of Miss Sheri’s Cafeteria. The long corridors leading to the steam tables had a familiar feel to them. A menu board prominently displayed on the wall gave a preview and price of the daily specials. I felt strangely at home.
Hooray for The Stuffed Peppers!
I immediately selected the stuffed pepper—one of my favorites at the old S&W. Hmmm. . . but would it be the same? What happened next was a total surprise. When I took the first bite, I said, “Yessss! This is it!” The entree tasted just as I remembered it as a kid! I’m thinking Miss Sheri’s must use old recipes, the kind that remind you of your grandmother’s kitchen or a cafeteria of your childhood.
It’s nearly 2018 and here I was once again eating classic cafeteria food—the stuff of memories. It occurred to me: this is a food museum! Where can you find such things as jello salad these days? Or ambrosia, tuna casserole, chicken a la King, chop suey, stewed tomatoes, lima beans, liver and onions and creamed spinach? Or such a vast array of fresh baked pies and homemade breads? And all under one roof!
While the place has an age demographic towards the end of the spectrum, the variety and prices at the 40-year-old cafeteria also make it appealing to young families. The servers cater to their clientele, offering help with overflowing trays and making regular rounds with refills on coffee and iced tea.
Admittedly, vintage fare is not for everyone. But if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic or in need of some comfort food, you’ll find it at Miss Sheri’s. Like mom’s kitchen, it’s open seven days a week, 364 days a year.
Miss Sheri’s Cafeteria, (two locations) 9967 Manchester Rd. in Warson Woods and 5406 S. Lindbergh Blvd. in Southfield Center. Open 7 days a week, 11a-8p, 364 days a year. MANCHESTER RD. SITE NO LONGER IN BUSINESS