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Posted by Michael Stern on Monday, April 21, 2014 5:38 AM

Of course, one expects to eat excellent fried chicken in Virginia. In and around Charlottesville, some of the best of it is served in the most unexpected places: national brand gas stations that, from the outside, appear to have no distinct personality whatever. Even when you step inside Brownsville Market, located in a Shell station, a quick look around suggests that the inventory of edibles is nothing other than typical convenience-mart fare. However, inhaling provides hope. The air is perfumed by the luxurious smell of frying chicken.

Straight ahead as you enter, beyond the cash register, is a small food service area where customers get takeaway sandwiches, pork chops, burgers, and moist-meat chicken sheathed in a crisp, butter-rich crust. There is nothing wild about this chicken; the seasoning is just-right salty with perhaps a hint of herbs, the oil in which it's fried (peanut oil?) is fresh enough to make its flavor verge on health food.

There are all sorts of typical southern side dishes to accompany the chicken and an alternative entry that we'd never suggest getting instead of fried chicken, but which should be sampled by aficionados of mid-20th century home-ec cuisine: chicken broccoli casserole, gooped with plenty of cheese and soft noodles. It really is more old-style home cooking than modern-day restaurant cooking. Maybe you'd call it classic school cafeteria cooking.

Breakfast also is served.
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Posted on Monday, April 21, 2014


The onions and hard roll make the burger.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Sunday, April 20, 2014 3:56 PM

It was a sad day back in August, 2013, when Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger, an Ann Arbor cheap-eats Mecca since 1953, had to close because the University of Michigan bought the land it was on. Those of us who treasure the great, greasy burgers and the 2,147,483,648 possible ways to order one have been on tenterhooks ever since. Breathe easy, Blimpy lovers: Krazy Jim's has found a new location, 304 S. Ashley St., and it is scheduled to open in June. Here are the reviews.

Source: Michigan Live
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2014

Double Dog

That's not one long hot dog traversing the pizza bread, but two dogs stuck in either end. The bread is not quite like Italian bread, not like pizza crust, not much like pita, and not a hamburger bun. What is it? A little of each.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Saturday, April 19, 2014 1:15 PM

Highway 40 was once The National Road, a way to cross the country east to west before the interstate highway system. It is now a side road parallel to I-70, so that millions of vehicles zoom past, utterly oblivious to the existence of Henry’s. Even if you are on the two-lane and you do see Henry’s on the south side of 40, chances are good you will drive on by. It looks defunct. It needs paint. The gas pumps that used to be outside are long gone and what remains of the refueling islands is rusty. But a sign in the window says OPEN. And for those who persevere, walking in the door of this place is walking in the gates of Roadfood heaven.

The meals are just fine, very good country-style fare: baked ham, hot roast pork sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed chipped beef on cornbread. But it’s not the hot meals that put this unlikely knotty-pine-paneled roadside café on the map. It is pie. Here are some of the best pies in Ohio, in the Midwest, anywhere. Every day, baker Shelley Kelley has a list of six or eight she has made: peach, banana, chocolate, peanut butter, cherry, coconut, etc. We tried three kinds our last visit. The butterscotch pie was thick and dense, full flavored the way only real (not from a mix) butterscotch can be; and it was topped with a creamy meringue. Custard pie was modestly thin, a sunny yellow wedge dusted with nutmeg. It was balmy, lightweight, melt-in-the-mouth tender. The flavor of the rhubarb pie was as brilliant as bright summer sun, intensely fruity, sweet but not cloying, and balanced by a crust that flaked into luscious shards.

On the way out, for the road, we took a small oval zucchini loaf Shelly Kelly had pulled from the oven just hours before. It was glorious. No doubt about it: she is a baker with a magic touch.
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Roadfood of the Day: Jimmy's Hot Dogs - Easton, PA
Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jimmy's Dogs

Here are two with everything, which at Jimmy's means mustard, onion and pickle.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Friday, April 18, 2014 6:40 AM

Raisin Toast

Ann Arborites, University of Michigan students in particular, and those affiliated with the neighboring U. of M. Medical School most especially have had a long-standing love affair with Angelo's for more than 50 years. The family-run corner diner has expanded some over time and now sports an "Angelo's on the Side" annex featuring coffee drinks and pastries, but it remains a straightforward breakfast-and-lunch cafe where prices are reasonable, portions are large, and toast is rightfully famous.

Baked here daily, Angelo's bread loaves -- either white or raisin -- are dense and yeasty and make for toast that is, in and of itself, significant. It dunks beautifully into the yolks of fried egg, coming out sopped with yellow and yet still good and chewy. You can have French toast made from this bread cooked either normally in a skillet or deep-fried, the latter method resulting in hefty slices with a crisp edge and custard-soft insides.

Angelo's corned beef hash is a little too much about the potatoes and not quite corned beefy enough for my taste, but the beef did have a good spicy flavor and the chunky potatoes into which it was laced were diner classics.

The pancakes were disappointing -- too thick and absorbent -- and the apple fritter I got next door to accompany some excellent espresso tasted like it had been made the day before.
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Roadfood of the Day: Danny's Diner - Binghamton, NY
Posted on Friday, April 18, 2014


A diner breakfast; a glorious morning!
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Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Comments (3)
Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014

Two Texas Hots

Onions, mustard, chili.
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