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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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Posted by Michael Stern on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 5:14 AM

A fixture on Route 138 since 1966, Chez Micheline is an exemplary Quebecoise casse-croûte (snack bar). There is no indoor dining. Customers place orders at the window and carry their own meals back to the car or to one of the picnic tables out back. The counter itself is intriguing – littered with coins so servers can quickly push the right amount of change out along with the food.

I was wowed by a house specialty billed as "nouilles Chinoises," a dish reminiscent of the vaguely Asian ya-ka-mein served in New Orleans and in low-end Chinese restaurants in the mid-Atlantic states: boiled then wok-finished elbow macaroni glazed with sweet soy gravy, laced with caramelized onions and shreds of pork under a mantle of chopped scallions. I don't know if it will cure hangovers as ya-ka-mein is supposed to do, but it is a hugely hearty and delicious under-$10 meal. Burgers are a big deal at most casse-croûtes, the top of the line at Chez Micheline being one known as the "Inter Burger," a cheeseburger dressed with sautéed onions, ketchup, mayonnaise, and trio of onion rings hot from the fry kettle.

During a road trip devoted to finding good casse-croûtes throughout Quebec, I was delighted to discover that nearly all of them serve their version of "le hot dog Michigan," the chili dog that first took shape in Plattsburgh, New York, in the 1940s. Most of the Canadian Michigans I encountered were topped with something that was more Bolognese sauce than chili, and they were served in crisp-grilled, split-top buns rather than the softies more typical of New York's North Country. Chez Micheline's Michigan is unique because it also includes a handful of cheese curds (fromage en grains).

The curds Chez Micheline uses are resilient and squeaky-fresh. Bed them atop superior French fries, at once crisp-edged and creamy-centered, and you understand that the much-maligned north-of-the-border dish, poutine, really can be good. Topping variations here beyond traditional gravy include chicken and peas (galvaude) and red tomato sauce (Italienne). Each is available in three sizes: regular, large, and "familiale."
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Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Turkey Dinner

Jane orders turkey dinner whenever possible. At the West Taghkanic diner, she was in heaven. The turkey was freshly cut from a kitchen-roasted bird, and the mashed potatoes, ladled with gravy, were superb.
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