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Roadfood of the Day: Pizza Perfect - Trucksville, PA
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A close up of the side shows the thick crust and the crispy edges.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Monday, November 23, 2015 3:29 AM

Every year in contests to find the best chowder on Atlantic shores, there is one that takes the blue ribbon: seafood chowder from the Maine Diner ( review). This is going to be the first course at the innaugural Dinner with Roadfood: Eat Your Way Across the USA to be held in Washington, DC on December 3. Please join us for an amazing meal at which every course is the Best of the Best from all across the country. Click here for tickets and further information.

Posted on Monday, November 23, 2015

Apple Hills grows apples, of course, and you can get your pancakes filled with them if you like, but they also grow blueberries. During blueberry season, a 75 cent surcharge will get your cakes chock-full of luscious, ripe berries.
Rate this place Reviews (1) Learn more about Apple Dumpling Cafe...
Posted on Sunday, November 22, 2015

They were out of the extra-wide zep rolls, so they built our large zep using regular long rolls. Since they also came from the Conshohocken Bakery, they had that distinctive soft/chewy texture.
Rate this place Reviews (2) Learn more about Lou's Sandwich Shop...
Posted on Saturday, November 21, 2015

There is no variety to the dessert menu, but that's OK, because the one dessert (other than house-made ice cream) is terrific: lemon shortcake smothered with local berries and cream.
Rate this place Reviews (2) Learn more about Local Ocean Seafoods...
Posted by Michael Stern on Friday, November 20, 2015 6:17 AM

On the banks of the Savannah River in the developer-planned neighborhood of Hammonds Ferry, lovely tree-shaded streets converge on a commercial crossroads that is home to Manuel's Bread Café. Like its synthetic community, which really is quite charming but has negligible cultural roots, the restaurant serves appealing food that seems strangely unconnected to culinary bedrock.

"In the tradition of a true French bistro," the café describes itself, and that pose is well-reflected in casual sidewalk seating and an insouciant bill of fare that ranges from crème brulée French toast in the morning to Reubens and French dips at lunch to steak au poivre for two at dinner. What with shrimp and grits for breakfast and pulled pork barbecue and burgers for lunch and veggies straight from Manuel's nearby garden, the menu is as much local and all-American as it is French (boeuf bourguignon) and even a bit French-Canadian (iconoclastic poutine topped with andouille sausage, gravy, and Gruyere cheese). French onion soup, a dish that was traditionally French until American gourmets made it ours back in the 1960s, is always on the menu: a slightly sweet broth with al dente strips of onion and croutons floating under an isle of melted cheese. Alas, it is discordant, lacking the harmony that oven time usually imparts to this cozy soup. The cook uses a blow-torch to melt the cheese at the last minute, meaning it remains a separate, unconnected entity atop the liquid.

There is no clear gastronomic pigeonhole for Manuel's salmon cake, but it is hard not to like. The fish is not really ground up; it is more pulled, so the patty includes good-size pieces of moist pink meat that taste like they just flaked off a salmon steak interspersed with bits of crisp vegetable. The cake is pan-seared enough to give it a crisp edge and served on a ciabatta roll with roasted red pepper aioli. The roll is unimpressive; on two separate occasions it seemed day-old. Likewise, the length of wheat hoagie roll enclosing blackened trout was forgettable enough that we simply ignored it and forked up yummy pieces of the brightly-seasoned fish.

One sure winner from the regular menu is Manuel's grilled vegetable sandwich. Slim stalks of asparagus, a disk or two of beet, onions, chevre, and olive tapenade sing a happy tune between two slices of crisp, multi-grain toast.

As you enter the restaurant a glass cake to the left holds many handsome desserts, among them cheesecake, crème brûlée, chocolate mousse, hummingbird cake, salty-sweet chocolate cake, white chocolate lemon cake, and carrot cake. I sampled two pound cakes, one a dense, sweet-potato pound cake topped with sticky pecan glaze, the other a 5-flavor pound cake in which orange, lemon, pineapple, coconut, and rum swirl together and make something at once complex, intriguing, and tremendously satisfying.
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Posted on Friday, November 20, 2015

Wild Prawns-N-Chips: they call most shrimp around here prawns, except for the tiny pink shrimp they catch locally. These were snapping fresh and full of flavor, some of the finest fried shrimp we've had anywhere. The house chips are called Gino's Fries and they are well-seasoned discs of potato. Don't ignore the very light and crisp homemade slaw.
Rate this place Reviews (2) Learn more about Ocean Bleu @ Gino's...
Posted by Ed Simon on Thursday, November 19, 2015 12:51 PM

There are two things that the state of Texas is known for in the food world. Of course, one is Texas barbeque, but the other is the country favorite, Chicken Fried Steak. On a recent trip across Texas on Texas 287, heading towards Amarillo and I-40, I knew I needed to find a good CFS. By the time I reached Childress, it was windy and hard to drive, so I stopped. The local place that was suggested to me was Maxey's Steakhouse, a relatively new location (2010) of a popular restaurant in Wheeler, TX. Walking in, it was easy to see by all the families that not only was it a popular place, but a place where the waitresses knew everybody.

Sure enough, there was Texas BBQ, but I was focuessed on just one thing, the Chicken Fried Steak. I ordered it with a side of mashed potatoes and the house salad. It also came with a nice roll. After the long drive, I was parched, so by the time the food came I'd already had three glasses of an excellent lemonade. Funny, I had been attracted by the full bar, but the lemonade sounded perfect!

When the plate came, the first thing I noticed was that there was no country gravy on top. What? Bazinga! The white, Texas cream gravy was instead underneath the steak, with the steak gently propped up on the steak knife. It was a perfect idea-----this way, the steak was not soggy but still crisp when I cut into it. The gravy was creamy and slightly peppery, perfect for the freshly made mashed potatoes on the side.

One of the ways that Maxey's makes an absolutely delicious Chicken Fried Steak is their cooking method. It is first hand battered, dipped and then cooked on the flattop griddle, yielding a perfectly cooked crust. `Part of the technique to achieving a perfect crust is that they only flip it once, finishing the first side completely before it is turned. The meat was tender and still juicy, cutting easily and not chewy like so many other CFS'.

For dessert, I had an excellent peach cobbler topped with ice cream. It was a great way to end the meal, with a walk right across Avenue F, better known as Texas State Highway 287. And one more thing----even though I was dining by myself at a table, I still felt like the waitress treated me as a regular. It was an excellent dinner and a nice place to enjoy one of the best Chicken Fried Steaks, Texas size and Texas style, that you will ever have.
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Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2015

Soft-shell crabs, a seasonal offering
Rate this place Reviews (1) Learn more about Modern Snack Bar...
Posted by Michael Stern on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 4:13 AM

We were tipped off to El Indio by Arizona food expert Randy Spalding, who recommended the green chili. It is magnificent – a swirl of flavor that is hot with a sour twist that teases taste buds, nothing like chili that is cloddish and hammering. We didn't know what exactly gave it such a distinctive flavor, but Randy wrote that he and his partner, Jim, "discussed the El Indio green chile mystery and decided to investigate. Jim nailed the 'sour' taste's source right away, but we later had it confirmed with our friendly waiter. Tomatillos are what gives the chile verde it's distinct taste. Tomatillos, green chile, some jalapeño, garlic, and onion, are combined in a liquadora (blender) and processed for the sauce. I'm imagining the pork is cooked separately and then mixed on the stove. Heaven!" Amen to that.

Randy also suggested we try the Aztec quesadilla, which is a broad flour tortilla sandwich that encases melted white cheese and shreds of carne asada, with tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Another wonderful dish.

Meals start with tortilla chips and a ramekin of purplish Botana bean dip that is porky and flowery-spiced. Rich as it is, it is easy to keep eating until the meal arrives. Cool horchata is thin and refreshing, generously spiked with cinnamon.

All sorts of topopos are available. They are not the more typical tower of food, but rather a meaty salad presented in a tortilla bowl. The main ingredient can be shredded beef, red chili beef, green chili pork, grilled steak, or chicken; it is accompanied by beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream. The tortilla bowl is thick but frail, freshly fried, and breaks easily into pieces for shoveling up all the goodies it holds.

For dessert, house-made flan is a good bet. Cheesecake and arroz con leche are less impressive.

El Indio is a big, airy place decorated in Incan kitsch: stormy, bodice-ripping pictures of Indian musclemen and maidens along with handsome crockery and green plants. At the door, a wooden Indian stands with a sign around its neck inviting customers to seat themselves.
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