Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Sunday, May 26, 2013 12:32 AM
Who hasn't had a corn dog at the state fair? Yet did you ever wonder who had the brilliant idea of cornbread-wrapped tube steaks? And what about the ice cream cone? Seems like they've always been around but someone had to invent history's first cone. When was that, and who did it? Learn about the origins of these foods, and ten others, in Jane and Michael Stern's latest piece for Parade Magazine, very likely on your doorstep this morning inside the Sunday paper. Along with these birth stories you'll get suggestions on where to find these foods, and links to recipes if you'd like to take a stab at making them yourself. If you don't get Parade, you can access the story online at Parade's website.
Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Sunday, May 26, 2013 12:30 AM
We were excited when we heard the news about Morning Call opening shop in New Orleans' French Quarter, but the latest news has Morning Call's vice president backpedaling a bit (see the Roadfood.com review of Morning Call). First of all, the store was supposed to be a franchise, which removes a little of the luster, for us, from the whole plan. And that deal with the potential franchisee fell through. Now they're considering finding another franchisee or possibly running the coffee and beignet shop themselves. If the deal gets done at all. We'll keep an eye on it. Another note from the Advocate story: the Morning Call folks are apparently interested in opening Morning Calls all around the world.
Posted by Dave O'Ball
on Sunday, May 26, 2013 12:27 AM
In my pantheon of great burgers, Krazy Jim's is right there at the top. I'm torn between this place and one in my hometown. They're simply that good. Small meat balls are smashed on a flat top. You order however many you want on your bun (one to five) and then your modifiers like bacon, cheese, or salami. There are bun options as well. In the fryolated arts department, the onion rings are breaded right in front of you before hitting the oil.
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Blimpy Burger is a tiny place. Seating is very limited and grabbing a table before getting in line is not permitted. They encourage people to eat and leave. With a line that often snakes out the door they have a pretty regimented ordering system that, while rather "Soup Nazi"-ish, really helps keep the line moving. You can find the info you need on their website, on the wall, or just answer the questions asked and don't jump ahead, lest you be scolded. One last thing: no electronic devices in line. Lest you be scolded.
Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2013
The enchiladas are big enough that a single shrimp enchilada makes a meal.
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Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Saturday, May 25, 2013 1:08 AM
Edgar Schmidt purchased Kreuz Market of Lockhart, TX in 1948 and turned it into one of Texas's legendary barbecue restaurants (see the Roadfood.com review). Edgar died in 1990. A daughter of Edgar's ended up with the building housing Kreuz while two sons owned the business. In 1999, a disagreement resulted in a split of Kreuz: the sons moved Kreuz to another spot in town while the former Kreuz Market, under the daughter's ownership, became Smitty's, earning a stellar reputation of its own (see the Roadfood.com review). Now, their descendents are joining forces in a new barbecue venture. Schmidt Family Barbecue will be opening in Bee Cave in the fall, in the Hill Country Galleria. Can't say we like the upscale shopping mall location but the Schmidt family pedigree should make this a barbecue spot to keep an eye on.
Posted by Mike Stroud
on Saturday, May 25, 2013 1:02 AM
Just a couple of miles off the bustling I-565 interchange between I-65 and Huntsville, Alabama sits a reminder of simpler times. There, deep in acres upon acres of fields devoted to cotton, is a place that specializes in delights worthy of any plantation table. For over 50 years now, Greenbrier Restaurant has been packing them in serving up deep-fried catfish and hickory-smoked barbecued pork and chicken.
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Within moments of taking your seat, you get nearly a dozen of the most unique hush puppies you will likely ever see. Not round as if formed by an ice-cream scoop, they resemble the spoon-drop technique your grandfather probably used to fry them in a bubbling cauldron (a special machine does the trick here). The taste is miles better than anything you will find at a fish-and-chips fast food place.
I ordered the combination dinner with catfish and pork shoulder. Greenbrier breads their fish somewhat differently from their competitors, with a larger percentage of it wheat flour, instead of pure cornmeal, as some diehards insist on. Personally, I think this complements the tender, flaky fish, which has just enough “fishiness” to convince you that it is the real article. As for the pork, “inside” meat is the rule here, shredded, but not to death. Its character, like much barbecue in the Tennessee Valley, is more salty than smoky; this closed-pit product may take some getting used to by people accustomed to, say, Memphis-style meat, but give it a try.
Further, Greenbrier is a splendid place to get out of the vehicle, stretch your legs, and enjoy the fresh air and unparalleled scenery of one of the places where cotton never got dethroned as king, whether by the boll weevil, polyester, or anything else!
NOTES: Beware confusing this place with "Greenbrier Bar-B-Que," which is located on the access road off the Greenbrier Road exit on I-565; it has a similar menu but nowhere near the charm or spaciousness. Also, the owners of Greenbrier operate another restaurant on U.S. Highway 72 west of Athens, Alabama, the Catfish Inn, whose menu is identical to Greenbrier. Contact them at 256-729-8479 or www.catfish-inn.com.
Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2013
The Filet Mignon comes wrapped in bacon. It is rich as butter.
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Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Friday, May 24, 2013 1:18 AM
How have we gone this long in our decades of Roadfooding without a visit to Atlanta? We finally took our first ATL trip and made a beeline for The Varsity (see the Roadfood.com review). Oddly, it was late dinnertime on a Thursday and the huge place was nearly empty. We had our choice of order-takers and went with the one with the most enthusiastic "What'll ya have?". We ordered a pair of slaw dogs, a chili dog, a heavy weight all the way (which came sideways), strings, ring one, and two F.O.s. And a fried peach pie. Translation on next page.
Posted by Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle on Friday, May 24, 2013 1:04 AM
75 years ago the original Beverly Hills Lawry's the Prime Rib began serving prime rib dinners with all the fixin's for a buck-twenty-five (see the Roadfood.com review of Lawry's in Chicago). And that's what you'll pay if you're one of the first thousand people to show up at the Beverly Hill Lawry's on June 11th as they celebrate their 75th anniversary. You'll get the whole spread: prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, and the famous Spinning Salad Bowl. How early will you have to arrive to nab one of these dinners? Don't know, but we're guessing you'd better pack a breakfast before you head out.
Posted by Mike Stroud
on Friday, May 24, 2013 1:00 AM
One of the hidden delights of America's "Rocket City" lies just south of Huntsville Hospital and the so-called "medical district." The reason many people are apt to pass it by is because it is located in a nearly 100-year-old house. One has to look carefully for a rectangular, Pepsi-sponsored sign on the west side of Whitesburg Drive in the midst of boutiques, professional offices, and the like. But inside Duffy's Deli, the hungry customer will find a selection of sandwiches and soups that will make him or her feel like he or she has found an oyster in the rough.
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White chili is the specialty of the house. The owners claim to sell gallons upon gallons of it on cold days. Full of beans, chicken, and a clear broth, and covered with white cheese, it cannot be beat as a lunch-time pick-me-up. The tortilla soup is somewhat spicier. About 30 different sandwiches are offered, along with "baskets" of chicken, catfish, or shrimp. Of course, for the light eaters, there are the customary salads.
But the best thing to do is make it simple and order a cup or bowl of white chili and pair it with a sandwich. In the wintertime especially, this is a clearly winning combination. This reviewer chose corned beef, after being told that pastrami was not being served anymore because the owners could not get the best quality available on a consistent basis.
The decor is wooden, pub-like, with a full array of Alabama and Auburn football memorabilia and a sports-bar-like arrangement of two big-screen TV sets, usually tuned to ESPN. This makes it ideal for Saturday afternoons in the fall. Come in, spoon down a bowl of white chili, munch on a sandwich, and knock down some cold ones while rooting for the home team.