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Posted on Monday, March 9, 2015

It is possible to order your tenderloin blackened or grilled, but since this is Indiana, you definitely want it breaded. This is the biggest tenderloin I've ever been served!
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Posted by Al & Janet Bowen on Sunday, March 8, 2015 1:12 PM

Mr Whiskers is a catfish joint like you usually find out in the woods of the rural South. But this place is in the middle of a strip mall, a couple of blocks off of the Main Street of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

In addition to excellent fried catfish, oysters and shrimp, the menu also branches out to include burgers, BBQ and ribs, along with a variety of side dishes. Prices are reasonable, and once you place your order at the counter, they deliver it to your table quickly and "piping hot"! I noticed that my fried seafood did not leave any grease traces on the serving plate. The same for my wife's Blackened Catfish, it was done 'just right' she said. My 'Combo-Plate' had four catfish filets, four oysters, and four shrimp plus slaw, french fries, hush puppies and a large drink.

The place was very busy during the Saturday lunch rush, but our server found the time to offer us samples of their bread pudding to share around the table for a closing sweet.

All in all, we rate the visit to Mr. Whiskers as a good choice for folks coming into Hot Springs, especially if you are coming in from Little Rock using US 70/270. There is an exit for Malvern Ave that makes finding the place a simple task.
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Roadfood of the Day: Silver Sands - Nashville, TN
Posted on Sunday, March 8, 2015

Ham & Grits

When you order a portion of these dense and satisfying grits, one of the ladies behind the counter will ask if you want butter. Yes, please. It is ladled on in abundance. In the background is a portion of rugged, full-flavored country ham.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Saturday, March 7, 2015 6:00 AM

Listed among "small plates" on the menu of the Willcox Hotel in Aiken, SC, this chicken liver pâté is smooth as velvet and rich as the fat that infuses it. Accenting the savory luxury of the pâté is a thin coat of sweet, spicy port wine gelée: a dreamy combo, spread generously on toast points. I recently attended an event at which this was one of several available hors d'oeuvre, but it was hard to eat as much as I wanted because people were lined up to get at it.

Posted by Michael Stern on Saturday, March 7, 2015 4:32 AM

Buckhorn Burger

The Buckhorn can be maddeningly crowded, but if you are on a mission to eat New Mexico's top-ranked green chile cheeseburgers, it's a must. The meat itself is a wide, rugged patty about 1/2-inch thick, cooked medium so it is moist but not dripping juice, redolent of beefy flavor. While several burger variations are available, including a barbecue burger, a taco burger (on corn tortillas instead of a bun), and an Atkins plate (hold the bun), it is the big, juicy, fully dressed green chile cheeseburger, here titled the Buckhorn Burger, that has put this ramshackle tavern on the map.

Buckhorn's Frito pie is a very good one, another example of multiple-ingredient poise. When you order it, you must choose between green chile, red chile or the combination of both, known as Christmas.

Considering how popular this place has become thanks to copious coverage on the TV food shows, it is a good idea to show up very early in the lunch hour. A few years ago when the tour came through town, we made a point of arriving at 10:40am. When the door opened at 11, we were seated right away. By the time we left, just before noon, a crowd of eager eaters was outside waiting to get in.
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Posted on Saturday, March 7, 2015


New York now has a branch of a Chicago favorite.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Friday, March 6, 2015 3:56 AM

Here is a place with ten-dollar breakfasts and a million-dollar view. A humble joint literally at the foot of the southbound Exit 34 ramp off the Merritt Parkway, the Lakeside Diner is set up just like countless other diners with a counter and stools and a scattering of tables; but one whole wall is a picture window that overlooks Holts Ice Pond where waterfowl skim past while customers fork into pancakes.

And what good pancakes they are! Let's face it: 9 out of 10 diner pancakes are crude and doughy, made tasty only by liberal application of butter and syrup. Lakeside's truly are elegant -- thin, lightweight, and full-flavored. You can get them with butter and powdered sugar, which is all they need, or with syrup (but if you want pure maple, bring your own). We love them loaded with blueberries.

A sign in the window boasts of homemade donuts. Even if you are getting pancakes, you must try at least one of these. No variety to speak of: they are modest cake donuts stuck with massive amounts of coarse sugar. Simple and beyond improvement.
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Posted on Friday, March 6, 2015

Seafood Cakes and Baked Beans

Brown bread doesn't come with the meal, but can be ordered separately.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Thursday, March 5, 2015 10:50 AM

The deep South still has many wonderful cafeterias, but this style of you-point-they-serve food service is rare in the North, where sloppy pile-your-own-plate buffets are more the rule. One great exception to that pattern is Indianapolis. Home of America’s earliest cafeteria (in 1888), the Circle City still has a handful of top-notch cafeteria restaurants where every day is like Thanksgiving. Among the best of them is Gray Brothers south of town in Mooresville. It is a huge place, very deluxe as far as cafeterias go: leaded glass windows in the doors, plenty of tasteful nick-nacks for décor.

Almost any time you walk in, it will be crowded, but that’s no problem because the cafeteria line moves really fast; and besides, your wait takes you along the “preview line,” which allows you to study the dozens and dozens of food items from which you will soon be choosing. Although the trays are especially big ones, if you’re like us, you’ll find yours fully occupied with dishes of food well before you get to the rolls and beverages at the end of the line.

It’s hard to know what to recommend because we’ve never had anything at Gray’s we didn’t like. Among the most memorable dishes are the fried chicken, which has an ultra-flavorful crust that pulls off the pieces of the bird like chewy bacon. The way things work in Gray’s line is that you tell the servers what entrée you want; they put it onto a nice flower-patterned partitioned plate then slide the plate down to the vegetable area, where it is piled with whatever sides you desire.

Who can resist the cornbread stuffing? Or mac ‘n’ cheese? We also love the heartland salads, especially creamy pea and carrot-raisin-marshmallow. Desserts are dazzling, with whole pies arrayed on shelves below the individual slices (many pies get bought and taken home). The Indiana favorite, and a specialty of Gray’s is sugar-cream pie … as simple and pure and good as the name suggests.
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Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2015

New York's Michigan

The hot dog itself is buried beneath sauce and onions. Also not visible: mustard.
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