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Roadfood of the Day: Pancake Circus - Sacramento, CA
Posted on Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pancake Sandwich

This pancake sandwich, with scrambled eggs and sausage, provides a nice combination of sweet and savory.
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Roadfood of the Day: Lowell's - Seattle, WA
Posted on Friday, May 15, 2015

Classic American Breakfast

Bacon, eggs, hash browns, and toast. Great with hot coffee.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Thursday, May 14, 2015 4:46 AM

Burgerville is a fast-food eatery with 39 outlets in and around Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. It's not exactly a template for Roadfood, which is all about one-of-a-kind places, but to that rule, an exception must be made. Slick and efficient it may be, but Burgerville manages to be a superb taste of its region.

How's this for a local-produce salad: smoked salmon with Tillamook cheese (from a coastal creamery) and a great spill of crushed roasted hazelnuts from a farmers’ co-op called Oregon Orchard. While any Burgerville burger is swell, I'm particularly fond of the Colossal Cheddar Bacon Cheeseburger made with Oregon's Tillamook cheese. Every Spring, Burgerville gets North Pacific halibut for fish and chips. Deep fried until brittle-crisp, each piece feels featherlight and flakes into pearl white hunks that drip flavor.

Hazelnuts are huge in Oregon (where old-timers still call them filberts); the best known hazelnut item on the Burgerville menu is the chocolate hazelnut milkshake, available every year from January through April as part of the seasonal milk shake menu: strawberry shakes starting in April, then raspberry, blackberry, and peach shakes, and huckleberry and pumpkin shakes in the fall.
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Roadfood of the Day: Muffin Patch - Old Forge, NY
Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2015

Unbelievably Good

The fluffy, eggy French toast is bathing in a delightful caramel sauce that is teetering on the edge of burnt (this is a good thing!).
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Posted by Michael Stern on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 3:42 AM

Rich and Chris Decker took over the Igloo in 2010 from the Mazzorana family, who started it in 1937, and they have vowed to keep it as its always been: the town's favorite destination diner for burgers and chili, tenderloins and brats, hand-cut French fries and from-scratch shakes and malts. Nearly everyone here is a regular customer. One veteran waitress gives me a motherly smile when I sit at the counter, telling me I look just like good old Dr. Schott, who recently died and who was a big fan of Igloo chili.

After only a few minutes in this place, it is apparent that both Rich and Chris relish their role as owner, host, ringmaster. When one waitress starts needling Chris about spending too much time kibbitzing with the clientele and not enough running the diner, he turns away from her and announces loud enough for all around to hear: "This is my back. And this is you off it!"

Order a tenderloin (here known simply as "a pork") and its standard complements are onion, pickle, and – are you ready? – ketchup. At first I was skeptical, considering mustard to be the de rigueur condiment, but I very much enjoyed the interplay of sweet and tangy. The loin itself is wavy, crisp, and quite thin, with enough meat to be juicy once you crunch through the crust.

Root beer is served in a frosty mug, but if you like milk shakes, that's the drink to get. "I guarantee that this is the best chocolate malt I have made all day," says Chris Decker when I order one at 11:30am. I reassure him that it is the best one I've drunk all day. In fact, it was the best I drank during a weeklong trip through the Illinois River Valley.
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Roadfood of the Day: Val's Burgers - Hayward, CA
Posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Chili Dog

The chili dog, so evenly smothered with bean-laden chili that the cheese is nowhere to be seen. Real onion rings are in the basket.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 1:51 PM

From cinnamon rolls at Gus Balon's to green corn waffles at Mother Hubbard's to huevos rancheros at Little Cafe Poca Cosa, Tucson is a formidable breakfast town. The arrival of Prep & Pastry adds one more excellent way to start the day. Located at the back of a little shopping plaza, with seating on a sunny patio or inside a country-French dining room with exposed beams and bare wood tables, this brash little eatery has a menu full of interesting and inventive meals.

The pork belly breakfast sandwich makes me swoon. A fresh artisan roll comes packed with a thick slab of braised pork belly that is like a cross between bacon and a pork chop, along with shaved apple, fennel, greens, and an over-easy egg. It is one big dish, more knife-and-fork food than wieldy sandwich. Another fine house specialty, available at lunch as well as breakfast, is duck confit hash: shreds of luxurious meat laced with shallots, spinach, and raisins, crowned with a fried egg and a doot of goat cheese mousse. It is gluten-free, as is sweet potato hash, a rainbow presentation that includes corn, asparagus, mushrooms, and leeks.

The menu offers four kinds of French toast – classic, berry compote, carrot cake, and s'mores – as well as biscuits and gravy, which is sausage and duck fat gravy smothering a vividly herbed cheddar biscuit.

We've yet to eat at Prep & Pastry for lunch, but look forward to the likes of bacon-wrapped meatloaf, a grilled cheese sandwich with mint cashew pesto, and a double-patty bacon Lucy with bacon, gruyere cheese, and egg on a brioche bun.

Note to tipplers: this is a wonderful place to know about if you like to drink before cocktail hour. One whole side of the menu is devoted to interesting adult beverages, including eleven different mimosas, wine, beer, effulgent bloody marys, and sangria by the glass or jar.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 4:42 AM

Combo Dinner

"U Need No Teeth to Eat Our Beef" is one of Wilson's several mottos (another being "U Need A Bib to Eat Our Ribs"), and sure enough, that hacked up beef is impressively tender. Moist, velvet-soft shreds are interspersed with crusty strips from the outside of the brisket; the flavor is quintessentially beefy, well-salted and fatty. Magnificent!

I did not get a chance to try the ribs, nor barbecued bologna; but I did mix the beef with hot links, which have a great spicy zest and a muscular quality that does require dentition. Another house specialty is Wilson's smoked potato: a huge spud that is presented splayed open and lightly seasoned, available "plain" with just butter and sour cream, or stuffed with your choice of brisket, cut-up hot links, or bologna.

J.B. Wilson, who opened the place in 1961, passed away in 2004; but it is now run by Amos Adetula, whom the menu describes as "a good friend to J.B. [carrying on] the same values and traditions." It is now a modern two-room eat place with wood paneled walls, table service and a counter where people come for take-out orders. Décor includes signs that read, "Our cow is dead. We don't need no bull" and "The bank and I have an agreement. They will not sell bar b que and I will not lend money or cash checks."
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Roadfood of the Day: La Posta - Roswell, NM
Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

South of the Border scramble

This is a perfect melange of meat and eggs, potatoes, and creamy refried beans.
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Posted on Monday, May 11, 2015 7:56 AM
Why Cajun Country?

Of all America's good-eats destinations, no place is as exotic as Cajun Country. The swamp lands and rolling fields of southern Louisiana are a world apart, with a unique way of speaking, distinctive music, and menu of extraordinary good eats. This is where we are headed for the 2015 bus tour, Friday and Saturday, October 16 & 17.

You may have been to New Orleans, but the food and culture we will experience in Cajun Louisiana are a completely different story – rural, exotic, downhome, and utterly delicious.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, May 12, at 11am ET. ( More details, including hotel deals, will be announced shortly. [READ MORE]

Tour Highlights

Tour highlights will include V.I.P. participation (as judges) in the Boudin Cook-Off, a rollicking Zydeco breakfast at Cafe des Amis, and one other very special culinary event that few outsiders ever get a chance to know – an experience unique to Cajun country, sure to be a culinary memory that will last a lifetime. Stay tuned for more details on that one.

Endless Good Eats

And, of course, we will be traveling through the countryside visiting restaurants, butcher shops, bakeries, crawfish boils, and smokehouses unique to the region.

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