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Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Two more of Jeni's unusual flavors: sweet potato and torched marshmallow in front, whiskey and pecans in back.
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Roadfood of the Day: Starliner Diner - Hilliard, OH
Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Crab Enchiladas

From our experience, the best dishes at Starliner Diner are on the specials board. Full of peppers, onions, scrambled eggs, two kinds of cheese, plus real crab meat in a spicy sauce, the crab enchiladas were one of the breakfast specials.
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Roadfood of the Day: PA Dutch Market - Annapolis, MD
Posted on Monday, January 12, 2015

This dish is homemade dumplings, celery, carrots, potatoes and chicken in a thick chicken broth.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Sunday, January 11, 2015 6:17 AM

With urban-renewal brick walls on which hang blues-themed pseudo-folk art paintings for sale, 5 Sisters is a pleasant place to dip into traditional African-American-Dixie cuisine, much of which is very good. When we stop in for lunch on Saturday, the clientele is 90% Caucasian, many of them large, happy families with babies in tow. Classic blues play on the sound system. The air conditioning is efficient and comfy. Lots of light streams in through big windows.

Fried chicken is very, very juicy with brightly-seasoned skin – available by the piece either on a plate or on a waffle on a plate. BBQ shrimp (peel them yourself) come cosseted in a spicy sauce that is quite delicious, but the shrimp are mummified, dense, flavorless. There are too many good shrimp in this part of Florida for there to be any excuse for these.

We like the side dishes. Cheese grits are vigorously seasoned and luxuriously cheesy. Cornbread dressing is radiant with pepper and spice and stout enough to be a meal unto itself. Collard greens are deliciously bitter, just soft enough, and include lots of little lengths of tender stem that is nice to chew. Sugar and Spice yams, lolling in syrup, are uncomplicated, soft and friendly. Banana pudding is light and frothy – sometimes available in a chocolate version; and there always is a fruit cobbler on the menu.

5 Sisters is a live-music venue, with jazz and blues bands at Sunday brunch and in the evenings Thursday through Saturday. The current schedule is available on the 5 Sisters Facebook page.
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Posted on Sunday, January 11, 2015


The cured meats on this platter come from Falorni, their neighbor on the square. Easily the best we sampled in Tuscany. As you can see, the locals are not as fat-phobic as Americans.
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Posted on Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Bordeaux wine and sage (not so much with the figs) really came through in the sauce on the right and the intense, heady flavor of organic black truffles in the one on the left really impressed us.
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Roadfood of the Day: Rizzo's Pizza - Astoria, NY
Posted on Friday, January 9, 2015

In The Box

Our boxed leftovers. Note the high crispy edge and the tomato-centric slices. We love how the cheese gets freckled-toasty.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Thursday, January 8, 2015 5:24 AM

Signature of Cincinnati

The morning I stopped by Eckerlin Meats, a dozen employees were behind the counter, coming and going from the back room and taking care of the retail trade. Among customers stepping up to the counter was Joe Tucker, proprietor of Tucker's Restaurant, a well-known breakfast place nearby. Just minutes before arriving at Eckerlin, we had been pounding on the door of Tucker's, trying to get in; but despite its posted 9am opening time, no one was there. Before leaving Eckerlin with a box full of provisions, Tucker explained that his wife wasn't feeling so well and he is shorthanded at the restaurant; but he promised to be open by 10. "I've been written up many times for the best goetta in town," he told us. "Because I get it from here."

Goetta is unique to Cincinnati: a mix of pork, beef, oatmeal, onions, and spices, formed into a loaf and cooked slowly. Roadfooder Marjorie Solomon suggested a visit to Eckerlin Meats because it makes the best. When I asked her how it would be possible to eat it, given that Eckerlin is a retail butcher shop and goetta requires serious grill time before serving, Marjorie told me to get it at Tucker's. But when I walked into Eckerlin along with Anne Mitchell of Cincinnati's CityBeat newspaper, we definitely smelled something cooking. A gent behind the counter said he would be happy to make us a goetta sandwich, so long as we had the patience for it to fry. Even before frying, the preparation of goetta is a painstaking process; Eckerlin cooks it a full four hours in a Dutch oven behind the counter, where a bell goes off every twenty minutes to remind a member of the staff to stir it. Once it's done and made into a loaf, slices from the loaf are fried ten or twelve minutes until the outside gets crusty and the inside is cooked through. We spent the sizzle time happily studying Eckerlin's inventory, which includes pig feet and ox tails, six kinds of bacon, sausages of every kind and even pig ears and smoked bones for dogs.
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Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2015

Roast Beef

The pile of tender beef on a hard roll is well-nigh perfect. The cheese we ordered was fine but totally superfluous.
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Posted on Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sticky Bun

This sticky-rich morning bun is available without nuts if preferred. The body is light and buttery, the glaze is honey-sweet. With a cup of coffee, it's the sticky bun of the gods.
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