These recipes make no claims to be fat-free, sugar free, gluten-free, lactose free, vegetarian or vegan. They are unpologetic in their fat, sugar, and carb content. They are recipes for down home cooking generated out of Western Pennsylvania with Belgiun and Czechoslovakian underpinnings, perfected in the family and launched to the public at Hollywood Alley, an ultra chic hip dive bar (with Grandma's cooking) in Mesa, AZ. The Alley closed in July, 2013. Here are some of Grandma's secrets.
Rachel Hrutkay, 97 years old in May, 2014, owned and operated Hollywood Alley with her daughter, Lucy Wincek, for 25 years. Rachel, a first generation American, was born and raised in Charleroi, PA, a mill town of about 10,000 in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains in western Pennsylvania. Except for a few short years while her two daughters were in college, Rachel was a homemaker. She and Lucy launched Hollywood Alley when Rachel was 71 years old. Lucy ran the business and Rachel ran the kitchen. In addition to the regular menu fare, Grandma's lunch specials were highlighted every weekday. The Alley morphed from a neighborhood cafe and bar by day to a live alternative rock music club by night, resulting in the restaurant marquee claiming that the Alley was "the best ultra chic hip dive bar" in the Phoenix, AZ area. Rachel became "Grandma" to all of the Alley regulars. She closed the doors at the end of July, 2013 when she was 96 years old.