The Born In The 80s Cafe Retro Menu!

Hello Retro Junkies. I have returned with something new and something fun. I was sitting at work the other day looking back upon some of my favorite foods as a kid. I searched desperately online to see how many of them still exist, and I came to the sad conclusion that all but a few of them are gone. Then I got to thinking, how cool would it be to have a Retro Restaurant and to see these products make a come back? I bet I could make millions! So after a few days of pondering and researching, I bring to you, The Born In The 80s Cafe Retro Menu!



BREAKFAST:

Hidden Treasures, 1993:



God I loved this cereal. It reminded me of Pop Tarts Crunch in a delicious sweet in the center kind of way. You never knew what you would find inside! Perhaps some cherry to put an early morning smile on your face. Maybe grape, to give you that purple-blue mouth thing that every kid loved. Perhaps a nice orange compliment to your OJ or Ecto Cooler.
Goes well with:
Rugrats, Weinerville, and Nirvana.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal, Late 80s- Early 90s:



Definitely my favorite of all time. Why? Because it carried the Ninja Turtle Brand. I can look past the fact that the Purina company that made dog food also made this cereal. I remember the sweet taste of the Chex-eque crunchies, add some marshmallow weapons and you are golden! OK, so it really was a rip off of Chex and Lucky Charms, but who cares? I can still taste the sweet milk after it was all said and done. It cleansed the palate nicely.
Goes well with:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoons/Movies, and Playmate Toy Collections.

Pop Tarts Crunch, 1994:



Pop Tarts are awesome. Tacky cereal is awesome. The thought process behind one of the most underrated and forgotten about cereals of all time. Pop Tarts Crunch had it all. It tasted great, looked like a Pop Tart, and had the sweet filling in the center, which for some reason or the next we all drool over. It came in Strawberry and Brown Sugar Cinnamon flavors. I prefer the Strawberry one personally.
Goes well with:
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and The Sandlot on VHS.

Oatmeal Swirlers, 1988:



Another classic from the people at General Mills. I really enjoyed this stuff as a kid. I was definitely a big fan of the Strawberry and Milk Chocolate flavors the most. I look at this and instantly think Toaster Strudel. You get a little packet with a flavored syrup and whamo, instant love from the kids. We all loved the idea of squeezing some added flavor out of a bag and writing our names or drawing pictures, just like the Toaster Strudel. I dont want to take away from the awesome flavor or anything, but it definitely played a HUGE role in our love for this breakfast.
Goes well with:
The Super Mario Brothers Super Show and Hawaiian Punch.

Batman Cereal, 1989:



Another great period piece. Yes, I call it that because it came to cross promote the movie when it hit theaters, but didnt stick around long enough to become a tradition for years to come. It was quite a shame too, because this cereal was pretty tasty. It has the sweet honey nut batman symbols as the cereal, and it came with a souvenir bank. Those are quite a collectors item now! So are Batmans that are comprehendible when they get angry.
Goes well with:
The Michael Keaton Batman films and Looney Tunes (remember the Bugs and Daffy short on the VHS?)

LUNCH/DINNER:

Im not going to lie, this was a very difficult category for me. Most of the stuff that we ate as kids at dinner and lunch are still around today. Lunchables, Trix Yogurt, Kid Cuisine etc. Chef Boyardee and Kraft are still around as well, but some of their variations/characters have changed. For the most part however, almost everything in this department remains in tact, which isnt a bad thing (unless your trying to create a menu full of discontinued, lost treasures). But hey, if this restaurant existed, I would still serve up chicken fingers and Kid Cuisines. As far as discontinued items go, here are my two memorable ones:

Super Mario Brothers Mac and Cheese, Mid-90s:



My brother and I used to inhale this stuff. It was mostly a dinner meal, but every now and then it would surprise us at lunchtime after swimming in the pool or riding our bikes. This was one of the very memorable Mac and Cheese products that came out of the Kraft factory. There were tons of different Mac and Cheeses, in regards to the various characters that were used, but this was our favorite. I really wish they would bring it back!
Goes well with:
Anything Mario Brothers and Legends of The Hidden Temple.

Dannons Sprinklins, 1992:



I was a huge yogurt fan as a kid. Trix yogurt was definitely my favorite, but this was a very close second. What wasnt there to love about this stuff? Delicious yogurt? Check. Sprinkles? Check. Awesome TV commercials that made you want to tour the Spinklins factory then buy more Sprinklins? Check. I was always excited to get this one in my lunchbox. You always knew grandma did the grocery shopping that week because my mother would have NEVER bought yogurt with sprinkles in it.
Goes well with:
Any type of Hi-C, Salute Your Shorts, and recess.

DESSERTS/SNACKS:

Keebler Cookie Stix, 1997:


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The best thing about these was the fact that you could easily dunk them in milk and snack on them. They were convenient to pack in a lunchbox or bring on a camping trip. It was like biscotti for kids!
Goes well with:
Milk and The Disney Afternoon.

Keebler Pizzarias, 1991:



Pizza. We loved it as kids, and we love it now. Anything pizza flavored is certified gold, and these chips were probably the best ones to date. They tasted pretty much like a slice of pizza, whereas some pizza flavored items taste too much like the sauce. This gave you a nice cheese flavor to compliment the tomato sauce. This was definitely a favorite in our house.
Goes well with:
Nick Arcade and Milli Vanilli.

Hot Bites, Late 90s:


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This one was from the Ore Ida folks who gave us Bagel Bites. Actually this was a spin off of the Bagel Bite. Foods like this were great for kids because all we had to do was toss them in the microwave and a few minutes later they would come out. I guess that is why the Bagel Bites have lasted so long. But these were pretty good too. You had Nacho Dippers, Deep Dish Minis (the Chicago Bagel Bite), Tater Dogs (my favorite), Blasts (basically a stuffed Bagel Bite), and Lil Calzones. I remember Tony Hawk doing some commercials for them.
Goes well with:
The X Games and Tony Hawk on the Playstation.

Flintstones Push Ups, Late 80s/Early 90s:



This was a BBQ favorite of ours. We loved these Flintstone Push Ups. I didnt go to any house that didnt have these things stock piled for the kids. Remember the defeated feeling when the little plastic cap emerged from the bottom? And you gave it every last like to get every last bit of flavor off of that thing.
Goes well with:
Wild and Crazy Kids and Cartoon Network.

Starburst Fruit Twists, 1996:



A knockoff of a Twizzler, but packed with more vibrant and exotic flavors. We would eat these after Little League practice. They were so good! Its a shame they didnt last.
Goes well with:
Doug and Fireworks.

P.B. Crisps, 1994:



To this day, I will never begin to understand why these incredible treats were discontinued. Every now and then, a food comes along that you really enjoy, but maybe the public doesnt take it the way you do, and it soon vanishes. You are disappointed, but you understand the ways of the business world. But for some reason or the next, everyone loved these things and yet they still vanished from us and no one can figure out why. Forget Nutter Butters, they couldnt hold a candle to P.B. Crisps. You cant say they werent profitable either. When did you ever open a bag of these babies and actually put the bad back with some left inside?
Goes well with:
A Loopin Louie Tournament and Sleepovers.

Amazin Fruit Gummy Snacks, 1993:



Gummy bears and fruit snacks on steroids, ladies and gentlemen. These were definitely the tops on those categories for me. They were so tasty and had more flavor varieties as opposed to their traditional counterparts. I remember this kid Travis in my elementary school has these in this lunchbox all of the time, and no matter what you offered him, he would never trade them. . .ever.
Goes well with:
What Would You Do and Lunchables.

Pop Qwiz, Early 90s:



I have one specific memory with Pop Qwiz. My dad was a part of a club at our local golf course. Each week, they would need to sign up for tee times and it was done on a first come first serve basis. The course would open at like 5 in the morning, so most of the time, the guys would all sleep in their cars and wake up in time to get in line and get their tee times for the following day. One day I asked my dad if I could come camp out with him and he said yes. I was thrilled. We had a TV in his van (one of the first I ever saw that had one) and we watched An American Tale in his van while eating blue Pop Qwiz Popcorn that my mom had made for us before we left. I remember eating this stuff in the house, but that memory was the one that jumped out the most.
Goes well with:
SNICK and Backyard Camping.

Crispy M&Ms, 1998:



These were a smash when they were released, and they stayed a hit until they were discontinued in 2005. There are still some countries that sell it, but you cant get them in North America anymore. These were another type of candy that I inhaled. I couldnt finish the package fast enough!
Goes well with:
Third Eye Blind and Surge.

Hershey Tastations, Mid 90s:



These were the only hard candy that you were glad your grandparents had. These were actually pretty good for a hard candy. They were rich and smooth, and good til the last drop.
Goes well with:
Any other after dinner mint/candy.

Lifesavers Holes, Mid-90s:



I remember these very well. We would carry them in our backpacks at school. It was an easy way to get your quick sugar fix and make new friends with a sweet bribe.
Goes well with:
Fruit By The Foot for an ultimate sugar high!

Brachs Rocks, 1992:



A definite use of the publics demand for Dinosaurs around the same time as the popular TGIF show and Jurassic Park. Dont get me wrong, kids have always had a fascination with dinosaurs, but this was the perfect time to bring these things to life. They were excellent. At first, I wasnt sure what to make of them. Were they some sort of rock candy? Were they a hard candy? No. In fact, they were chewy on the inside, which made them a lot of fun to eat. As fun as they were, the dinosaur craze came to an end, which also saw the extinction of these candies. Like I said before, sometimes you are shocked when things leave the shelves, and sometimes you understand why. This was the latter.
Goes well with:
Of course, Dinosaurs and Jurassic Park.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pies, 1991:



As you all know by now, they were my favorites. I couldnt Not mention that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pies! These were delicious. Yummy cake? You got it. Green Frosting? All you can eat. Awesome Vanilla Pudding? Hell yeah. All put into one irresistible snack, then slap a Ninja Turtle logo on it and you are baking gold. For some reason, it always reminded me of a Reptar Bar. This was another one that I remember eating while listening to the Coming Out Of Their Shells cassette tape, while playing with my toys.
Goes well with:
Anything, but better with anything Turtles.

Planters Cheez Balls/Curls, Late 90s:



Im a big Cheetos/ Cheese Doodle guy, and I really enjoyed these. I remember the blue tin and yellow plastic top. They were a staple in my house, usually while I watched WWF on TV. I also remember seeing them out on the table during a lot of birthday parties that I went to. I would love to see these back.
Goes well with:
Nintendo, any cartoon, WWF and Birthday Parties.

BEVERAGES:

Fruitopia, 1994:



A tasty fruit drink made by the people at Coca Cola. What I remember most about these things were the machines. Those machines could not be avoided. They were at every mall/grocery store. I remember drinking these at the baseball field where I played Little League. We had a snack bar over there, and most of the time, these would be warm when you got them because they never stayed in the fridge long enough to get cold. I was shocked to see this one disappear in 2001. I always thought, well, this was a 90s fad and now we are in the new millennium, so there you go. But I was interested to see that you can still get the Strawberry Passion Awareness flavor. As per wikipedia (which isnt always 100% correct), you can still find this flavor under the Minute Made label at various McDonalds locations.
Goes well with:
Hot bites and Cant Hardly Wait.

Surge, 1996:



One of my favorite sodas of all time. This one had an awesome citrus taste to it, comparable to Mello Yello and Mountain Dew. I remember when this was released. I was upstate during the summer, and my mom said that she would ride her bike with my brother and I, and we could bike into town to get some snacks. When we got to the General Store, I made a B-Line to the soda case and grabbed one of these. I loved it immediately. In fact, while we started riding back, I had taken a big lead over my mom and brother. A bunch of hooligans on their bikes stopped me and tried to steal the bottle off of me. Considering there were four of them and one of me (and I was half their size), they might have gotten it from me. Fortunately, my mother and bring caught up with me and saved me from getting my ass kicked and losing my surge. I still have a Surge hockey puck that the Coca Cola Company sent me as a promotional item.
Goes well with:
Pool Parties, the Arcade, and All Nighters.

Crystal Pepsi, 1992:



The most missed discontinued beverage of all time in my opinion. You often hear about a lot of people missing Surge and Fruitopia, but most people who I have spoken to miss Crystal Pepsi. Remember the commercial with the Van Halen song Right Now? Classic. It tasted like Pepsi and looked like Sprite, and this probably freaked most people out. Honestly though, I think it would be great to see this one make a return, and out of all of these products, this one might be the first to come back. I checked out a bunch of different websites to see if this soda could still be found in some form, and Pepsi did release Pepsi Clear in Mexico back in 2005. Two years ago, they trademarked Pepsi Clear and Diet Pepsi Clear. With people being so concerned with stains on their teeth and colaries, I wouldnt be surprised to see some low calory or sugar free Pepsi that comes in a clear form, free of the brown syrup.
Goes well with:
Chicken Fingers and Fries, Home Alone, and Monopoly
Jr.

Squeez Its, Early 90s:



A staple of the BIT80s lunchbox. I absolutely loved this stuff. Nothing beat kicking one of these back, and hitting the playground for some recess. It was much better than Mondo, which kinda just tasted like sugar water. By the way, do you know they still make Mondo? Then why dont they make this anymore? I preferred the original to the color changing one with that little tablet that looked like fish food.
Goes well with: PB&J and Rockos Modern Life

Ecto Cooler, 1987:



My favorite drink of all time, hands down. You already know my feelings on it. If you havent read my Ecto Cooler article, there is a link below. I have yet to try this Juicy Juice taste-a-like, but I will report on it in my next article.
Goes well with: Anything Ghostbusters!

Kool Aid, Various Flavors/ Various Years:



Finally, I would have some of our favorite discontinued Kool Aid flavors on my menu. Purplesaurus Rex, Sharkleberry Fin, Rock-A-Dile Red, and Tropical Punch would definitely be my selections. I remember drinking all of these at some point in time. My brother and I loved making Kool Aid with my grandmother. We would make a batch that lasted a week (or at least it was meant to). Each week, we would pick a different flavor. I remember these after a day of riding our bikes, playing outside, or swimming in the pool. Good times.
Goes well with:
Everything and anything!

Holy smokes, what a menu. By the time you have gotten to this point in the article, you have probably been reading for about 15 or 20 minutes, so I appreciate the patience. Its taken me over a week to get to this point. I really wanted to take my time and put something together that I thought you would all like. So there it is, The Born In The 80s Cafe Retro Menu. I hope you guys enjoyed it, and I hope you all would eat in this restaurant, where the California Raisins perform each night just before the Mortal Kombat Tournament in the Arcade.

Previous Articles:
Wrestlemania 10- I Was There: http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/6649/
Home Made Toys: http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/6717/

Remember When?
SNICK Premiered- http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/6707/
Ecto Cooler- http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/6749/