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Posted by Michael Stern on Monday, November 30, 2015 3:33 AM

Sure, you know sweet potato pie, but have you tasted sweet potato cake? You will if you join us at the first Dinner With Roadfood: Eat Your Way Across the USA on December 3 in Washington, DC. We originally came across this moist, spicy, generously frosted layer cake in Washington at the estimable Ben's Chili Bowl … where we definitely intend to have a Chili Smoke and fries when we are in town to host dinner. ( review) For a full menu, further information, and tickets, visit this website. And do let us know where you would like to see Dinner With Roadfood events in 2016.

Roadfood of the Day: Wanda's - Nehalem, OR
Posted on Monday, November 30, 2015

Huevos rancheros is the dish that has earned Wanda's acolytes throughout western Oregon.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Sunday, November 29, 2015 3:57 AM

One of the joys of traveling in search of Roadfood is the discovery of excellent food in unlikely places. We've eaten well in bait shops, upholsterers, and a pistol range. I'm not sure what Sawasdee used to be -- convenience store? laundromat? gas station? -- and, by definition, it's not really Roadfood (Thai cuisine in Warrenville, South Carolina!); but I ate extremely well there and plan to return for more. The meal started with sensational coconut soup: creamy and coconut-sweet, vibrant with the fragrance of lemongrass.

Roadfood of the Day: Saffron Salmon - Newport, OR
Posted on Sunday, November 29, 2015

We're generally wary of ordering seafood stews in restaurants, unless we pick up lots of positive vibes from the place (freshness concerns). Saffron Salmon's stew is based on a rich seafood stock and contains fresh mussels, prawns, fish, and crab. Highly recommended!
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Posted by Michael Stern on Saturday, November 28, 2015 4:23 AM

Originally a mobile truck selling hot dogs by the side of the road, Super Duper Weenie is now a stationary restaurant with indoor seating (plus mobile truck for catering). As you might suspect from its name, the house specialty is a hot dog. It is a firm-fleshed, locally-made weenie that is split and cooked on the grill until its outside gets a little crusty but the inside stays succulent. It is sandwiched in a lovely fresh-baked roll and adorned with utterly amazing condiments -- homemade condiments, including relish made from pickles that Chef Gary Zemora has himself made from cucumbers. The sauerkraut, the hot relish, the meat chili, the onion sauce are ALL made from scratch.

Non-dog lovers who find themselves at this jolly joint can get out-of-this world hamburgers made from grass-fed local beef, a sausage and pepper sandwich on a Portuguese roll, a cheese steak, or a grilled chicken sandwich. S-D-W even accommodates vegetarians with a tuna salad sandwich or a veggie burger.

Whatever else you get, you must get French fries. These are beautiful, crunchy twigs of potato that are fresh from the fry-basket and made extra-delicious by a perfect sprinkle of salt and pepper. Dine indoors at the always-crowded counter, where you cannot help but feel part of the counter-culture kibitzing that never ends; or choose a picnic table by the side of the eatery, which is also always crowded.
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Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fresh out of the smoker and ready to be carved for your order. Ask for samples!
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Posted by Michael Stern on Friday, November 27, 2015 4:02 AM

Not to slight the fried chicken, which is excellent, but the fun of visiting a Wife Saver restaurant is, for me, everything else. In this legacy eatery from the mid 20th century, choosing a meal is delectable torment: so many tough decisions to make! First, there's the basic choice of white or dark meat and how many pieces (not to mention gizzards or livers). Of course, it's only right to begin with dense, salty pimento cheese that is so good schmeared on buttery biscuits, but even if you do eat biscuits, it would be wrong not to also have some of the crunch-coated hushpuppies. If you get the hushpuppies, which are deep-fried, does that preclude fried okra, fried onion rings, and French fries? I love what's billed as broccoli-rice casserole but is, in fact, cheese casserole with just enough broccoli and rice. Likewise, the mac 'n' cheese not only includes an abundance of orange cheese clinging to the macaroni; it comes topped with grated cheese that is melting from the noodles' heat. Turnip greens are smoky and intense; cinnamon apples are supersweet. And when it's time to choose dessert, banana pudding is a must. But, then, so is lemon meringue pie.

Wife Saver is not really Roadfood. It is an efficient, franchised fast food operation and there currently are six of them in the Augusta area. But I don't hold those things against it. When I find myself with a hankering for crisp-crusted fried chicken and a plethora of classic southern side dishes served with alacrity at a fair price, a meal here makes me happy.

Note: These observations are based on recent visits to the Washington Road location. There is some variation on the menus at the other stores. For further information and addresses, visit
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Roadfood of the Day: Los Temos - Salem, OR
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2015

These are delicious birria tacos on freshly made corn tortillas, with a cup of the consome.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Thursday, November 26, 2015 6:18 AM

Opened in downtown Portland over a century ago as a men’s bar, Huber’s found itself when the original owner hired a Chinese chef and the two of them got the idea that if they served turkey sandwiches, customers would drink more beer. To this day, turkey is the heart of Huber’s menu; and while many customers come to drink beer in the boisterous back room bar or to munch jalapeno olive poppers and drink the restaurant’s notorious 151-proof flaming Spanish coffees while listening to live jazz, it is still possible to sit in a quiet booth and have a bird-and-potatoes meal your great-great grandfather would recognize … and likely enjoy.

Here is one supermodel of a turkey dinner: moist, flavorful slices of white meat evenly arrayed on the plate between a mound of sage dressing and a great drift of mashed potatoes from which flow rivers of melting butter. There’s gravy, too, of course, and a small cup of cranberry relish. Preceding this classic meal is a plate with a slice of “beer bread” cut in two. It’s nearly as sweet as cake and so yeasty as to be virtually intoxicating: wonderful to push through puddles of gravy on a plate.

If you need an alternative to turkey, how about ham? This also is a classic: tender pink slices topped with chunky pineapple sauce, also accompanied by mashed potatoes and cranberry relish. Beyond these two square-meals paradigms the menu offers such other examples of what it calls Turkey Cuisine as turkey piccata, turkey stir-fry with prawns, and a turkey drumstick. Plus there are all manner of steaks and chops and cioppino, a Cobb salad, and shrimp Louis.

That back room bar is a merry place indeed; but you’ll likely find us up front, surrounded by vintage mahogany paneling, preferably seated in a booth opposite the open kitchen, where the only commotion consists of flames licking up and the sizzle of meats on the grill.
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Roadfood of the Day: The Chowder Bowl - Newport, OR
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Chowder Bowl's clam chowder has more bits of clam per spoonful than any other Oregon chowder we tried.
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