Elaine Freed Lindenblatt was born into restaurant royalty as the youngest child of the legendary Red Apple Rest’s founder, Reuben Freed. For Elaine, the Red Apple was the “family room” across the road—one she shared with over a million customers a year. Located midway between New York City and the Catskill mountains, the restaurant served the high and the humble with equal care. From her snug vantage point, Elaine dispels the myths and gives us the inside story of this iconic business in Stop at the Red Apple.
Fifty-plus years unfold in a series of lively vignettes, enhanced with photos, memorabilia, and even a closely guarded recipe, as Elaine re-creates what it was like to grow up in the fishbowl of a 24-7 family business. Along the way we hit a few sometimes-irreverent detours that supply bumps—as does Route 17 itself—on the Red Apple’s journey.
With a B.A. from Syracuse University and an M.A. from Columbia, Elaine’s early teaching career segued into editorial work, including in-house production editor for a psychotherapy book publisher, freelance editor and proofreader, and ongoing editor of a synagogue bulletin. She has written in many genres including fiction, poetry, and greeting cards. Her next project is a collected volume of her journalistic articles and essays, over sixty of which have appeared in The Times Herald-Record (Middletown, NY), The Rockland Journal-News (Gannett), and The Rockland Jewish Reporter (West Nyack, NY).
Elaine has always been a storyteller—but with the sensibilities of a daughter and the craft of a seasoned writer, Stop at the Red Apple is the story she had to tell. At its mention, the excitement has been palpable and vibrant. Elaine has been deluged with inquiries about the restaurant as well as letters and e-mails from people coast to coast sharing their cherished memories of the place and overjoyed at the prospect of revisiting in print their own histories. At a level deeper than words she knows what she is writing about, and she conveys it with honesty and with emotion. Stop at the Red Apple is a compelling tale, and Elaine tells it as no one else can.
Red Apple Rest founder Reuben Freed and his youngest daughter, the author