Hot!2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas

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ChiTownDiner
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 07:18:17 (permalink)
Danny - this is some great stuff...thanks for chiming in and adding your photos and reflections!  This has really been a fun thread!
buffetbuster
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 07:34:12 (permalink)
Al, I love those photos!  And not just because there is pie in them.
ChiTownDiner
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 07:34:23 (permalink)
In my food induced coma, and just before a 2 hour bus ride nap on the previous night, I agreed to meet buffetbuster early on Sunday morning.  While this was against my better judgement, I agreed to go so as to keep buffetbuster from getting into any trouble.  As indicated, I am an omelet guy...
 

 
...and here's my meat lovers omelet which had all the southern meats along with some cheddar cheese on top.  The hash browns were Michael Hoffman inspired and came smothered....cheese and onions!
 
While I love the atmosphere at The Barksdale, the omelet is just average.  Could be because Chicago is such a breakfast town, and I enjoy a lot of omelets over the course of a year, so in comparison, this one is solid but not great.  It's also a lot of fun to chat it up with the staff and motherly is the perfect word!  I still feel this a solid Roadfood stop in Memphis because of the atmosphere and staff.  Also, I have not had any other meal here except breakfast.
buffetbuster
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 07:37:28 (permalink)
CTD-
I have probably eaten at Barksdale at least ten times and I have never had anything but breakfast.  Mariton and I will be right back there next week and I plan on ordering much more than just biscuits and gravy.  Maybe we will do a ChiTownDiner inspired doubleheader!
ChiTownDiner
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 07:52:36 (permalink)
It's now 7:55am, we've had breakfast #1, spoken to several departing Roadfooders at our hotel and we're now in line for breakfast #2 at Brother Junipers.  While I have not dined at the San Fran location, this was on my Memphis radar screen...
 

 
Here's the Hungry Tiger open faced omelet which is described as...
 
Hungry Tiger
A Bed of Home Fries Topped w/ Bacon, Ham, Sausage,
Tomatoes, Green Onions, Feta, Cheddar Cheese, Mozzarella, & Swiss Chesse
 
It really has a nice mix flavors with each bite having a different taste depending on the ingredient mix.  I choose the biscuit and gravy as my side and while not the best on the trip, it was slightly above average on the Southern Biscuit Scale.
 
The omelet was definitely one worth returning for as would several of the other items we viewed at the adjacent and now completely full tables.  This spot really specializes in egg dishes so if you're an omelet lover, they got you covered! 
 
Next up was a quick stop - can't interfere with our next meal - at Sun Records.
 

 
Having seen and really enjoyed Million Dollar Quartet, I was enthusiastic about this stop...and so were lots of other folks from all over the world...at least judging by all the languages we heard spoken.
 

 

 
Also of interest was this local dance hall just down the street.  While closed on a Sunday morning, I imagine the neon to be pretty cool after dark...
 

 

 
As we had an 11am lunch meet-up, it was time to program the GPS...
ChiTownDiner
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 07:54:20 (permalink)
buffetbuster

CTD-
I have probably eaten at Barksdale at least ten times and I have never had anything but breakfast.  Mariton and I will be right back there next week and I plan on ordering much more than just biscuits and gravy.  Maybe we will do a ChiTownDiner inspired doubleheader!


buffetbuster -
 
Looking forward to your next recap...will you make the lunch menu?
 
Also that burger place in Nashville on today's front page looks awesome!  How have I missed that one?
buffetbuster
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 07:57:24 (permalink)
CTD-
Blame CajunKing for not finding it earlier!
ChiTownDiner
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 08:07:47 (permalink)
buffetbuster

CTD-
Blame CajunKing for not finding it earlier!


I love love love blaming CajunKing for anything....you listening Donald
 
I am still embarrassed we had to add an extra table to a fourtop when only three were dining because of his excessive ordering....I have trouble sleeping at night remembering that picture! 
buffetbuster
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 08:22:11 (permalink)
CTD-
You are right, CajunKing really was a bad influence on us that night at Rotier's.  Without him, no doubt we would have went with our usual order, a side salad for me and a Tofu wrap for you.
 
Seriously, I love the fact that we have been getting photos and desciptions from six different Roadfooders who were on the tour!  This thread has been a real team effort. 
ChiTownDiner
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 09:34:36 (permalink)
This is a really team effort...no TTM'ing here! 
The Travelin Man
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 09:39:02 (permalink)
Hey....I'm right here. 
 
You know I can hear you?
ChiTownDiner
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 09:48:06 (permalink)
The Travelin Man

Hey....I'm right here. 

You know I can hear you?


Couldn't resist...saw you were online!!!   
ChiTownDiner
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 09:49:28 (permalink)
Also...never heard or saw any discussions on regional food ordering/selecting/eating/trying/dreaming of/or whatever on this trip!  
ScreamingChicken
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 09:52:54 (permalink)
I'm looking forward to reports on Memphis-style pizza.
buffetbuster
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 10:27:25 (permalink)
SC-
Coletta's!
ChiTownDiner
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 11:29:45 (permalink)
SC -
Ditto! 
CajunKing
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 14:38:13 (permalink)
CTD & BB - You realize that does mean another trip to Nashville is in order.  One where we ALL can be there.
 
Because besides Gabby's there is The loving Pie Company too, which i will be submitting to the new review editor shortly. 
 
PLUS - Rotiers hashbrown casserole is calling your names
 
ChiTownDiner
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 14:59:37 (permalink)
CajunKing

CTD & BB - You realize that does mean another trip to Nashville is in order.  One where we ALL can be there.

Because besides Gabby's there is The loving Pie Company too, which i will be submitting to the new review editor shortly. 

PLUS - Rotiers hashbrown casserole is calling your names



You're killing me with this teasing! 
Big_g
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 15:07:11 (permalink)
ChiTownDiner

Danny - this is some great stuff...thanks for chiming in and adding your photos and reflections!  This has really been a fun thread!

Very nice stuff Danny!!
CTD you are correct sir...a very fun thread...people here at work are dying to see/read the next pages.....
ChiBears15
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 21:30:53 (permalink)
CajunKing,
LOL you are right.  Candied yams (a side dish) are no substitute for delicious pie.  I made a blasphemous statement.  I promise to show up at the Cincy chili and coney crawl with a bigger appetite!
 
BuffetBuster,
I really do not know why I wasn't given a plate at Alcenia's.  Haha I probably didn't notice because I was too busy enjoying the food. 
 
Big_g,
Thanks for the compliment Gary!  I am having a blast reading/posting to this thread.  By the way, you need to start signing all your posts Big_g, CBJ (Certified BBQ Judge).  Remember when you told me about that awesome title you have?! 
 
Lastly, I know that I am new to the Roadfood community, but I want to be informed about any future Nashville eating get together.  Please lol.  And the story about the extra table for food at Rotier's is hilarious.  I actually laughed out loud when I read it.
 
-Danny
 
 
ChiBears15
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 21:43:33 (permalink)
Cliff did an amazing job documenting all the restaurants on the bus tour.  He even posted some of my pictures to this thread, so I am not going to post any of my photos of the food.  Here are some other pictures from Friday and Saturday. 
 

Mem 24 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 
Wayne and I at Gus's.  Boyd took this photo.
 

Mem 26 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 
Mr. Stern and I at Central BBQ at the end of the tour Friday evening.  What a great guy!
 
 
Mem 27 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 

Mem 28 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 

Mem 29 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 
What can I say about the world famous Beale St?  Honestly, when I went there Saturday night after the bus tour, the place had an unpleasant smell to it.  Lots of drunk folks and lots of police officers.  I don't mean to disparage the area, but I highly doubt any locals come here to eat or drink.  Based on the last image, I am not surprised by the heavy police presence on Beale St.  
 
I still had all of Sunday to eat!  One more chapter to come...
 
-Danny 
 
 
Michael Hoffman
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 22:31:38 (permalink)
Chibears15, you may be new to Roadfood, but you're a Roadfooder, and you done good. Keep things coming.
ChiBears15
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 22:37:00 (permalink)
On my final day (Sunday) in Memphis, I was planning on eating at the Blue Plate Cafe, Dyer's Burgers, and A&R BBQ.  I purposely booked an evening flight out of Memphis to have time to eat.  This ended up being an incredible day despite some serious culinary misses.  A couple of fellow Roadfooders would save the day!  Keep on reading for details.
 

Mem 30 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 
I checked out of the DoubleTree at 9:00am, left my bags at the bell desk, and walked to my breakfast destination: the Blue Plate Cafe.  This is not the same location that was previously visited in this thread, but I ended up with a similar result.  This one is located downtown near Court Square. 
 

Mem 31 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 

Mem 32 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 
I ordered biscuits n gravy and a waffle with fruit.  The waffle was decent, but the gravy was basically a very thin soup.  Way too watery for me.  Despite the average food, the restaurant is nicely decorated and my waitress was very pleasant.  An ok start to the day.
 

Mem 33 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 

Mem 34 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 
I was hoping my lunch destination would more than make up for my lackluster breakfast.  I walked to Beale St. to eat at the world famous Dyer's Burgers.  Apparently, they use 100 year old grease to cook their burgers.  This burger joint had me excited because I had read about it online and saw it on television.  This was on my burger bucket list! 
 

Mem 35 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 
Sadly, the burger was a complete dud ;-(
It wasn't terrible.  It was just very ordinary, and I do not know how this place gets as much hype as it does.  To be fair, the service at Dyer's was fantastic.  The mother and daughter servers who took care of me were complete sweethearts.  They made me feel very welcome at the restaurant.  Regardless of the mediocre burger, I left a generous tip. 
 
That's strike two for the day.  Darn!  I, however, was not yet discouraged at this point since I had plans to try a Memphis staple soon: the bbq bologna sandwich.  I walked north from Beale St. to A&R BBQ's downtown location on 3rd St. 
 
 
Mem 36 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 
What did I order at A&R you may be wondering?  I ordered nothing because the place was closed!  When planning this Memphis trip, I checked whether they would be open on Sunday and their website confirmed their Sunday hours at this location.  Strike 3 for the day! 
 
At this point, I threw in the towel.  Considering it was Sunday and I was carless, I was out of Roadfood options at this point.  My plan now was to grab a cup of coffee and watch football somewhere until it was time to cab it out to the airport for my flight home. 
 
Since it was a beautiful day in Memphis, I decided to make one more visit to Mud Island River Park to see the Mississippi one more time.  I can stare at that river for hours without getting bored.  This would end up being the most important decision I made on this trip.  Call it an accidental audible that won the game!  I would eat a BBQ bologna sandwich because of this critical decision! 
 

Mem 37 by dnowak15, on Flickr 
 
Here is one more picture of the river. 
 
While walking around the park enjoying the sunshine and daydreaming, I noticed someone in sunglasses waving hello toward me.  It was Cliff aka BuffetBuster!!!  I walked over toward him, said hello, and noticed the ChiTownDiner sitting on a bench talking on the phone.  What a coincidence!  I talked to both of these guys extensively on the bus tour so it was great being able to see them again. 
 
Cliff asked me how I was getting to the airport.  After telling him I was planning on taking a cab, he and Gregg offered to give me a ride to the airport.  Turns out, me and CTD had the same flight back to Chicago! 
 
The three of us walked from Mud Island to their hotel to pick up the car.  They drove me to my hotel so I could pick up my luggage.  LOL since I was with two of the biggest foodies in the country, we couldn't just drive to the airport without enjoying one last meal.  We decided on Jim Neely's Interstate BBQ which isn't located in the best of neighborhoods. 
 

Mem 38 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 

Mem 39 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 

Mem 40 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 

Mem 25 by dnowak15, on Flickr
 
CTD and I both ordered BBQ Bologna sandwiches with a side of BBQ spaghetti.  BuffetBuster went with the pulled pork sandwich, and we all tried some of CTD's Sock-it-to-Me cake.  I thought the BBQ Bologna was fabulous.  Truly a unique flavor profile I never experienced before.  I thought the pulled pork was average and I do not remember much of the Sock-it-to-Me cake.  Maybe the guys can chime in. 
 
After not being able to eat bologna at A&R and having average meals at Blue Plate and Dyer's, Interstate BBQ saved the day for me.  Plus, I got to spend time with two great individuals.  Hopefully, we all keep in touch.  Following our meal at Interstate, we drove to the airport and dropped off the rental car.  While sitting with CTD at the airport gate area, I asked him if he wanted to split an ultimate sampler platter from Corky's BBQ (they have an airport location), but he declined like a true amateur Just kidding...
 
There was an annoying Pittsburgh Steelers fan (No, not Cliff) that was sitting by us and screaming at a television by the gate area.  This made Gregg and I laugh.  Our flight left on time and landed early at O'Hare.  What an amazing end to an amazing weekend.  I hope all of you enjoy my pictures and comments.  Final thoughts on the bus tour to come...
 
-Danny
ChiBears15
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 22:38:18 (permalink)
Mr. Hoffman,
 
Thank you very much!  I hope you enjoy the final chapter.
lleechef
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 23:00:14 (permalink)
ChiBears15
Thanks for your great photos and commentaries to this wonderful thread!  And yes, you certainly did end up with two great Roadfooders!!
buffetbuster
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 23:04:36 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman

Chibears15, you may be new to Roadfood, but you're a Roadfooder, and you done good.
Agree 100%!!! 

buffetbuster
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 23:10:03 (permalink)
Big_g

ChiTownDiner

Danny - this is some great stuff...thanks for chiming in and adding your photos and reflections!  This has really been a fun thread!

Very nice stuff Danny!!
CTD you are correct sir...a very fun thread...people here at work are dying to see/read the next pages.....
Hey Big_g, how about letting us know about your choices for best of the tour?

buffetbuster
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/22 23:39:50 (permalink)
Before my last trip to Memphis, I read that Four Way Grill had reopened.  This place used to be a regular in the early Roadfood books, but it had been closed for quite a while.  It was obvious from reading the old books that it was a favorite of Jane and Michael Stern.  So, we asked if they were interested in joining us there for lunch and we were thrilled when they took us up on the offer.
 
This restaurant is in the same building as the old Four Way Grill, but now just calls itself The Four Way

Notice how the sign says they are celebrating 65 years.  The menu


is what you would expect from a Southern soul food restaurant, with lots of good options.
 
Jane's choice was the fried chicken

and her sides were mashed potatoes and dressing.  Unfortunately, I was a little slow getting the food photos and Jane had already taken a bite out of a leg.  She set it back down, hiding the bitten part on the bottom, so I could get my photo!
 
Michael went with the catfish fillet,

with boiled okra and broccoli covered with cheese as the sides.  CTD ordered the turkey and dressing,

with his usual mac and cheese, plus corn.  None of the entrees jumped out at me, so going with a four vegetable plate was an easy decision. 

Clockwise from the front, that is English peas, smothered cabbage, yams and turnip greens.  And just in case a fifth diner decided to join us, we were prepared because Michael also got the hot dog special.

 
No meal with CTD is complete without at least some desserts and here we split slices of chocolate

and strawberry
 
pound cakes. 
 
Truthfully, I don't remember all that much about the food, other than the yams and turnip greens were my favorites.  At one point I asked how the food compared to the old place and both Jane and Michael immediately replied that it wasn't even close.  For CTD and I, we enjoyed the conversation so much, we really didn't mind that the food was just okay.  This lunch was one of the highlights of the trip for both of us.
 
The Four Way
998 Mississippi Blvd.
Memphis, TN
901-507-1519
 
After this meal, even CTD was ready to take a break and do some sightseeing.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/11/22 23:42:29
mlm
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/23 01:11:36 (permalink)
Chibears 15, you did a beautiful job on your first trip report! I'm going to sound like your mother here (I'm 53!) but you look and sound like such a very nice young man. I admire your poise in your photos with the other roadfooders. I am shy and I would have looked much ill at ease. You said you went into the trip not knowing anyone. A common interest can help you make such good friends. Nice save on your last day. Isn't it nice that you ran into Cliff and CTD? Hope we hear from you frequently. By the way, I'm sure you've already been told this, but you can count yourself a real roadfooder now that you've ttmed. Just ask Travelman what that means. God bless you.
Marion
buffetbuster
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Re:2013 Roadfood Bus Tour Memphis/Arkansas 2013/11/23 05:51:32 (permalink)
It wasn't that we had eaten that much food on the day, but you combine it with the tour the previous two days and we were now running on fumes.  Needing to do some sightseeing, ChiTownDiner expressed interest in riding the trolley car around the downtown area.  It runs in a constant circle, with a stop right in front of the hotel we had spent the last three nights.  So, we went back to the hotel just to park and caught the trolley.
 
The inside of the vehicle is lots of wood


and looks either new or neatly refurbished.  The entire loop didn't take very long, maybe 45 minutes tops, but it was a relaxing way to see some parts of the city that was unknown to us.  
 
We got back off the hotel and walked to the entrance to Mud Island.  When we got on the monorail, the young man working inside asked everyone to please fasten your seats belts.  Everyone around us, including me started looking around and, of course, there are no seat belts.  He just laughed and said, "I get them everytime!"
 
When you buy a ticket to Mud Island, you get to see the museum dedicated to the Mississippi River and the Mississippi Riverwalk. 

Needing to do some walking, we chose the latter and traced the river as it makes it's journey to the Gulf of Mexico.  

As a lover of geography, I love this riverwalk!
 
This pool of water

represents Lake Pontchartrain and this bigger one,

with the duck boat is the Gulf.  You can also get nice views of downtown and further down the river from here. 

This was a very enjoyable hour or so for us and a nice break.
 
As CTD was talking on the phone to his better half, he pointed out to me, "Hey, it's Danny".  So I went over and waved himdown.  It was great that we had run into him, because he would have had to get a taxi to the airport and we could share one last meal together.
 
There was talk of trying a different bbq parlor for our last meal in town, but Interstate's close proximity to the airport made it the choice.  I have always been a fan of Interstate Bar-B-Q


and think they are a little underrated, but not on this day.  We looked over the menu

and decided to split some sandwiches. 
 
The pork bbq sandwich

looked good, but the meat was very dry and probably half of it went uneaten.  The bbq spaghetti

was as wonderful as ever.  I did get a quarter of the thick sliced bbq bologna

and that was much better.  At this point, I was spent and didn't even try the sock-it-to-me cake,

which was a iced lemon pound cake.
 
Even though the pork bbq sandwich this day was not good, I would return to Interstate Bar-B-Q with no hesitation, having so many good meals here in the past.
 
Interstate Bar-B-Q
2265 S. Third Street
Memphis, TN
901-775-2304
 
It was straight to the airport, where I said to goodbye to an old friend and a new one.  Once at the gate, they had the Steelers vs. Ravens game on, so I spent the next hour yelling at the tv.  Since this was a direct flight to Pittsburgh, I wasn't the only annoying Steelers fan!
 
I had no plans to do a trip report, so Danny and I agreed that he was going to tackle it instead.  But, this was such a great all around trip, it would be a shame to not write about it.  With Danny not being able to post pictures yet, due to his 30 day probation period, he kindly let me step in.  Much appreciated!
 
My part is done.  I am still hoping we hear from other people who were on the tour to let us know about their experiences.       
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/11/23 05:55:54
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