Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burgh and a slice of Jersey

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Williamsburger
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/18 10:13:47 (permalink)
Thanks for the info on Diehl's. When we head to Ohio to see Terry's family we are often at a loss as to where to eat in WV.  We will have to see how far our of the way it is.
Cathy
 
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Foodbme
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/18 16:15:54 (permalink)
"In fact this meal was almost perfect....why almost????? When the young waitress took my order, I asked if they had red eye gravy for the country ham, she looked puzzled and replied "no" 
Considering that I'm in the heart of "red eye gravy country, I was a little disappointed that it appeared she didn't know what it was and that they didn't have any..." 
WJ

Not surprised because the people of Western VA became sharply divided over the issue of secession from the Union and they separated from Virginia. They were formalized as the State of West VA and were admitted to the Union as a new state in 1863.
So, obviously, they left all their good recipes behind.
Sounds like Cliff Claven wrote that doesn't it?
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/18 18:52:18 (permalink)
Monday August 8
 
After some very uninspiring coffee at Capitol Roasters in downtown Charleston, I headed over to the farmers market just on the periphery.
 

 
 There were some really cool local items that were offered including local jams and jellies. 
As well as some outdoor vendors as well..
 
The day before I walked by an ice cream shop downtown that was already closed for the evening.
 
I noticed they had a small stand at the market
 
Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream
 
I ordered the raspberry chip
 

 
It was quite good- cream loaded with chocolate chips, however I still believe Dave & Andy's in Pittsburgh gets the ice cream award for this trip
 
My final stop in Charleston before heading to points south was
Betty Lou's Diner
 in South Charleston
 

 
Before I got here, I thought my GPS was steering me wrong- located in a residential neighborhood, the diner is surrounded by houses. 
Inside the place reminded me more of a sandwich shop than a diner.
 
I ordered the beans and cornbread with a West Virginia Style Hot Dog.
 

 
Although the beans and corn bread were obviously homemade I wasn't impressed with either. The cornbread tasted very plain and the beans were a little to soupy for my taste, the hot dog was actually pretty good, prepared traditionally with home made  chili slaw, mustard and onions, the chili was actually quite flavorful. I found out prior to coming that the owner used to run a hot dog stand prior to opening the diner- so that explains things..
 
Overall Betty Lou's was a very mediocre meal, and the least interesting of the trip.
 
After lunch I decided to stop in downtown South Charleston to see what ever became of The Farm Table
Since it was a beautiful day I took a stroll around town and noticed there were several asian restaurant that seemed to pop up since my last visit. I walked by the building previously inhabited by the Farm Table 
and noticed some construction going inside, but was unable to determine who the new inabitants were going to be.

I did stop at a  coffee house that wasn't there when I previously visited in 2007 called the Daily Cup that served a pretty good iced coffee- at least I now know where to go for coffee if and when I ever head back to Charleston WV again...
 

 
 
Here's cool photo I took before I left.
 
Making my way further south into Appalachia I arrived at my dinner stop..
 

 
The Galax Smokehouse
in Galax VA
 
When I arrived I was picturing  a ramshackle BBQ joint in the middle of no  where a'la Dreamland in Tuscaloosa
what I got was
 

 
a store front in the middle of main street Galax.
 
Entering the restaurant I noticed lots of piggy displays everywhere
 

 
this one was my favorite...
 
They had four types of sauces, my favorite was the vinegary sweet n tangy, however my least favorite was the brown sugar and honey..
 
I started out with the Brunswick Stew.
 

 
which came with a complimentary hush puppie. 
The Brunswick stew was extraordinary- just loaded with hunks of meat and veggie's. I did what Buffetbuster had recommended in his review and mixed in some of the bbq sauce into the stew- which made it even better. 
 
 
 

 
I also ordered the Pig- Out Platter  combo- pork and ribs which came with slaw
 

 

The plate automatically comes with hushpuppies and I chose bbq beans and corn nuggets for my sides
 
The bbq itself was fine the ribs had a nice gnaw texture, however I was expecting more smoke, the hushpuppies were extra good and the bbq beans were more sweet than tangy. Again I experimented with the different sauces that were provided.....
 
The best part of the meal however was....
 

 
dessert, some of the finest nanner pudding I ever had....
 
Overall I'd come come back just for this- 
 
The Galax Smokehouse deserved good marks in my book.
 
After dinner I veered back north onto I 81 to head to Roanoke. As I passed signs for Salem, I realize, hey, isn't there a minor league Red Sox team in Salem? Although this wasn't a baseball trip, I was bummed when I found out there weren't any minor league teams in Ronaoke, however  I didn't realize that Salem was right next door.

When I arrived at my hotel, I checked the internet and unfortunately the Salem Red Sox were on the road....No baseball for me
 
I did take a drive to downtown Roanoke for a stroll and stopped at a bar called Corn Beef and Co for a local Roanoke Railhouse lager called Track 1.....
 
Afterwards it was back to my hotel for the evening....
 
more to come tomorrow.
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/08/19 08:05:34
#63
pnwchef
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/18 20:44:44 (permalink)
WJ, I grew up with Halushki, nothing like a big bowl of that comfort food........Great pictures, Great report.............Thanks .........pnwc
#64
buffetbuster
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/18 20:54:53 (permalink)
WJ-
Excellent job on this report.  So glad that you had a good experience at Galax Smokehouse, too.  What I wouldn't do for a bowl of that great banana pudding right now!
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wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/19 08:02:36 (permalink)
Williamsburger
 
Diehl's is about 10 or 15 minutes west of Charleston in Nitro, an outer suburb of Charleston on the Kanawha River
 
Buffetbuster
 
I know that Banana Pudding is going to end up on a top 10 list!
#66
wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/19 19:10:28 (permalink)
Tuesday August 9
 
Today was certainly Bizarro day in Roadfood Land
Things happened that just simply weren't expected and that certainly surprised me 
However the day started off normally....
 
I arrived at the critically acclaimed
 

 
Roanoker
 
As most of you know, I'm not really a breakfast person but of course I couldn't visit the south without at least one traditional southern breakfast and the Roanoker certainly fit the bill...
 

 
The biscuits were fine. Just the way I like them- leaden and with substance.
 
 
'
 
 
 I had the option to order fried apples or grits, although the fried apples  would have been more "regionally appropriate" to Virginia ,  I was in a "grits state of mind"-   The grits were good too- warm, firm and buttery.
 
Sorry- no photos of the eggs- but for those who want to know I got them over medium
 
However the star of the show..
 

 
I finally got my country ham WITH RED EYE GRAVY
 
I left quite satisfied...
 
Things get a little odd from here...
 
I ended up getting my coffee fix at a local coffee house which was only about a mile or two from The Roanoker called Mojo Cafe. Now coffee houses come in all shapes, sizes and styles what threw me off is that they had "padded old style coffee shop booths" for seating- other than that the atmosphere was that of a coffee house but the furniture certainly wasn't- oh the coffee was decent though..
 
After checking out of my hotel, I returned to downtown for some sightseeing..
 

 
I walked by the interesting looking hotel Roanoke
 
And made my way to 
 

 
 

 
The O Wiinston Link Museum
 
O Winston Link was  a mid 20th century photographer from NYC who delighted in taking nighttime photos of the steam engine trains that passed through appalachia. Most of his photos are from the 1950's, and not only involved trains but the people that ran them - from the CEO's on down
 
Unfortunately no photos were allowed inside the museum
But I did get this shot just outside...
 

 
 
And I managed to snap a few more shots while walking around downtown
 

 

 
 

 
Including this shot of the downtown farmers market
 

 
Just around the corner from the farmers market was my lunch spot- remember- as I said- things are just about to begin to get very weird...
 

 

Thelma's Chicken and Waffles-
 

 
Downtown Roanoke's premier soul food joint
 
I give my order to the waitress - mind you I did get there at just after 11AM and they were serving lunch. However chicken and waffles are not on the lunch menu- fine- I ordered Fried Chicken,  corn pudding, and, oh, I asked about the lima beans, the waitress said they're really good- ok that too-  and corn bread- the waitress told me it takes about 15 minutes to prepare the fried chicken- that's fine
 
A half hour later my meal arrives
 

 
Umm... where's my corn bread???  the waitress replied that they aren't ready yet, so they gave me a roll instead- that kind of surprised me- And the lima beans- I was picturing the Lima beans that I saw everyone getting at the southern and soul food joints in Charleston SC- these looked (and tasted) like lima beans that I can get here- ok - the fried Chicken was good, however I don't think it was pan fried though- it tasted deep fried and the corn pudding was exceptional- much better than what I had at Surrey House in Surey VA last year.
 
Perhaps I can get dessert- peach cobbler? banana pudding? pecan pie? nooohhh, however they did have 4 different kinds of pound cake- thanks but no thanks...
 
I left feeling missed out or cheated-although  the only ordinary part of the meal were the limas (and the roll of course).....
 
I was on my way back north..... and things continued to "get weird"
 
I did stop for an afternoon snack....
 

 
 
Southern Kitchen


in New Market VA
 
I haven't been here since 2000 so I was really looking forward to one of my favorites...
 

 
Peanut Soup- and it was just as good as I remembered- In fact I think I do like this version than that at the Surrey House- Like peanut butter in bisque form but with hints of onion- 
 
I wasn't sure if Southern Kitchen is known for their pies- I thought they were- I asked the waitress- "we only have two left" really? it's just after 2 PM!!!!! On a  tuesday no less?????!!! Lemon Pie and Coconut Custard- I went with the Lemon Pie
 

 
Which was actually Lemon Merengue. 
I don't know if it's me, but I used to be such a big fan of Lemon Merengue Pie when I was younger- I guess I'm not anymore, I didn't think there was anything special about this pie, even though I was told it was home made- Again I left feeling a little disappointed...
 
I made it all the way back to Lancaster PA- I was exhausted. Although it was shortly before 6pm- I wasn't really hungry- just tired- I didn't even go out for a beer- I justed vegged out in my hotel room and called it a night....
 
The final chapter (Wednesday and Thursday) later on in the weekend....
#67
leethebard
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/20 08:08:39 (permalink)
Wanderingjew,
   Back in Lancaster,if you want perfect Lima Beans, just go to Dienner's on rt. 30,near Paradise..their Limas are my favorite!!! That country ham and red eye gravy looked superb,however!
#68
lleechef
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/20 08:47:39 (permalink)
Nice report wanderingjew, as always!  For great lemon merengue pie you need to go to buffetbuster's place, Henry's in West Jefferson, Ohio.
#69
Sundancer7
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/20 08:53:54 (permalink)
WJ:  I have always enjoyed country ham but the issue that I have with it is that it tends to be very chewy.  I asked Allen Benton with Bentons Hams about that and he explained that true country ham is almost jerky?  I accepted his explanation.  Did you find yours to be them same?
 
Thanks
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
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NascarDad
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/20 10:38:23 (permalink)
Sundancer7

WJ:  I have always enjoyed country ham but the issue that I have with it is that it tends to be very chewy.  I asked Allen Benton with Bentons Hams about that and he explained that true country ham is almost jerky?  I accepted his explanation.  Did you find yours to be them same?

Thanks
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

True country ham does get pretty dryish but not sure jerky is the right way to describe it - but close I guess.  However when you prepare it, it usually involves either soaking or boiling which adds moisture back and also removes some salt.  
Personally I have found it a real pain to cook myself so I usually by it fully prepared, or just go to a restaurant.
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wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/20 11:40:48 (permalink)
Lee,
 
I researched Dienners before my trip- It certainly seemed promising with great reviews- the only thing  is that I was looking for Amish restaurants that were offering daily specials of local main courses- although I'm sure Dienners offers great sides- it seems they only have the typical roast beef, ham, sausage and chicken as main courses which I've had previously at Haags Hotel in Shartlesville.
 
Paul
 
I've been to places where the country ham not only had the consistency of shoe leather but it was also very salty, however both Diehl's and The Roanoker do it right- a little chewy and not overly salty. 
#72
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/20 23:14:04 (permalink)
WJ
Your trip has looked great so far.  I am glad you got your red eye gravy.
That peanut soup looked good too.
 
I have enjoyed your trip and lived vicariously through it so far.
#73
agnesrob
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/21 08:36:51 (permalink)
As always, wonderful trip report. Thanks for taking us along!
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tcrouzer
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/21 08:57:07 (permalink)
Thanks for this great trip report, WJ! I might not always comment, but I read every trip report that appears on Roadfood and I enjoy them immensely. Loved that cute pink pig!
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wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/21 10:09:14 (permalink)
tcrouzer

 Loved that cute pink pig!

 
Hey, don't talk about Buffetbuster like that !   
 
Seriously, if all pigs really looked like that, I would never touch another pork product again..
 
Thanks  tcrouzer
 
And agnesrob
 
thank you too- there's more Jersey in the final chapter which I should get to this evening.
#76
josefinajoisey
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/21 11:16:11 (permalink)
I, like tcrouzer, read all of the trip reports, and especially enjoy the photos (especially when I'm being faithful to Weight Watchers).  I'm more of a lurker than a 'participator', but I appreciate that fact that you are sharing your experiences with the Roadfood community!
#77
jm199
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/21 13:48:39 (permalink)
Glad to see that you made it to the Link museum. It is a hidden gem and Link is a talent who should be better known in this country. He should be discussed in the same vein as Ansel Adams.
 
For those who want to read more about the later years of O. Winston Link's life, here is a juicy story from the New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/31/nyregion/trove-of-stolen-photos-is-found-after-arrest-of-creator-s-ex-wife.html?ref=owinstonlink
post edited by jm199 - 2011/08/21 14:15:14
#78
wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/21 18:29:32 (permalink)
jm199
 
visiting the link museum was certainly one of the non food highlights of the trip- I really enjoyed spending the morning there checking out the fantastic photography.
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wanderingjew
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/21 19:18:37 (permalink)
Wednesday August 10
 
Not sure if all the driving I did finally caught up to me- but I felt sluggish getting around in the morning. Even the fine cuppa joe I got at Square One Coffee in downtown Lancaster didn't completely bring me back to life, however I did manage to relax at my hotel, before lunch.
 
Speaking of lunch...
 

 
 
I drove to the Country Table Restaurant in Mt Joy PA- I was looking forward to trying their Wednesday Special- 
Unfortunately I was once again disappointed when Chicken Corn Soup was not mentioned as one of the soup specials of the day..
 
Since I enjoyed it so much at Risser's earlier on in the trip- I started out with
 

 
Lettuce with Warm Bacon Dressing- still good, but obviously not quite as liberal with the salad dressing...
 
I also tried something new
 

 
Red Beet Eggs- Hard Boiled eggs stained in beet juice with beets- it's an interesting concept but I'm not certain if I would go out of my way to order it again. 
 
The special I mentioned previously was  Corn Pie
 

 
When I called and spoke with the owner a couple of weeks before to ensure that it would be on the menu, he told me that ingredients include eggs and potatoes. For some reason I was picturing something similar to a quiche- however this was actually quite good- picture thick creamed corn or corn pudding filling enveloped in a pastry crust.
 
Dessert , though was definitely the highlight...
 
Not something they have on the menu everyday
 
 
 
Fresh peach pie- made with fresh peaches right from the restaurant's garden. At first I was put off by the whipped cream- but after taking a bite- I realized it's a necessity -  to go along with the peaches- peaches n' cream of course!
 
After lunch, I headed back to Lancaster and was bummed to find out that the Central Market is only open Tuesdays and Fridays during the week. I  did end up going to the Bird and Hand Farmers Market instead- unfortunately I left my camera in the car both times - so therefore no photos. 

My initial plans were to head back home after lunch- but since my afternoon plans took longer than expected and I didn't want to drive the 300 + miles back home- I decided to spend the night once again in Princeton NJ but not before one last meal in Amish Country..
 

 
The Oregon Dairy Restaurant in Lititz
 


Which includes a real working farm..
 

 
 
After striking out for the third time with no Chicken Corn Soup.... 

I went with a cup of the surprisingly good potato soup
 
 
 
and some pepper cabbage
 

 
Since I was not able to enjoy chicken and waffles at Thelma's the day before in Roanoke- I decided to get some today
 

 
This is NOT your soul food restaurant's Chicken and Waffles
This is Amish Style- hearty creamed chicken (definitely homemade)  on top of Waffles- and it was actually very good.
 
My waitress, who saw me taking photos suggested a banana split for dessert noting that it would make for a good photo- silly her! I explained I only take photos of regional food- no dessert me for anyway- I was stuffed..
 
After dinner, I drove directly to Princeton NJ for the evening...
 
Thursday August 11
 
Strictly a travel day- I had an opportunity to make amends for the beginning of the trip...
 

 
YAY- they're open!!
 
I ordered the pork roll- and YES- they can do a half hoagie roll, how's about grilled  onions and peppers? No onions and peppers.
 

 
I actually do prefer the pork roll on the half hoagie roll versus the hard roll- now if I could only get those onions and peppers from the Briarwood Deli - this would have been the perfect sandwich.
 
Ending the trip like it began was a good thing- after another superb dark roast at Small World Coffee in downtown Princeton, I checked out of my hotel and was on my way....

However I had to make one final stop in Jersey...North Jersey this time...
 

 
 
Jimmy Buff's in West Orange
 

 
I went with the Double Italian Dog with everything..
 

 
I switched off with both ketchup and mustard. 
You know I'm on the fence on this overly carb heavy dog. This is my second experience with an Italian Hot Dog- and honestly I think my first experience was better- too much overkill with the home fries- sometimes less is more- my other impression was that the roll was just way to "bready" an italian club  roll would have been much more appropriate- but hey that's just my opinion....
 
Either way I was back home by 3:30 in the afternoon-  
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/08/21 19:22:17
#80
ann peeples
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/21 19:50:23 (permalink)
I am envious of all your culinary experiences on this trip.Thanks for, as usual, a wonderful ride along!
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leethebard
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/21 20:26:23 (permalink)
Wanderingjew....Italian hotdog purists just had a fit......a hero roll instead of true Italian pizza bread........It's just my opinion, also...but if it's REAL pizza bread...the flavor is different, and it's NOT too bready, but, in truth, I've had bad pizza bread...and it tends to lose its freshness quickly...but fresh pizza bread is the way to go, taste and texture wise...and if they put only a few potatoes on my sandwich, I'd return it!!I've had hundreds of Italian hot dogs(used to make them for my Uncle's stand almost 40 years ago..and when I see one on a menu,I must try it....I think Mr. Fox would agree, a true Italian hot dog experience depends on the perfect blend of quality ingredients, from the hot dog down....like everything we talk about here, it's opinion,and for what it's worth, that's how I feel!
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leethebard
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/21 20:28:48 (permalink)
Ps...I've loved following this trip...great stops and great food...thanks!
#83
brookquarry
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/22 06:12:04 (permalink)
WJ, you picked my two favorite non-touristy Lancaster County Pa Dutch restaurants- glad you enjooyed both of them.
Chicken and Waffles Pa Dutch style is in my opinion, comfort food at its best. There is a resaurant not far from us (Snydersville Diner) that serves it every Sunday, and we go bout once every six weeks or so.
Corn pie is getting harder to find, but, when done right is a truly delicious dish.
Enjoyed following your entire trip.
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/22 07:49:25 (permalink)
THAT'S the chicken and waffles that I had a very long time ago.  I was so puzzled when I heard of the fried chicken on top of a waffle version.
 
What is in the bowl with the two hard-boiled eggs?
 
Another fine report, wj.
#85
ann peeples
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/22 12:43:12 (permalink)
MiamiDon-they are beets.
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MiamiDon
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/22 12:57:59 (permalink)
Thank you Ann!
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/22 13:16:26 (permalink)
The pickled beets and eggs are a Penn Dutch / Amish / Mennonite of that area thing. 
 
I remember growing up and seeing jars upon jars of them in the fridge of Grandma's house. Grandpa would eat several every afternoon when he got home from work, before he took his nap laying on the floor in front of the box fan in the living room.
#88
Michael Hoffman
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/22 13:58:12 (permalink)
Terrific report WJ. I lived in Charleston for several years, and this report was the first time I'd ever heard of Diehl's. Then again, I usually tried to stay out of Nitro, except to check police reports..
#89
FriedClamFanatic
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Re:Amish & Appalachian Adventures with a bit of da' Burg and a slice of Jersey 2011/08/22 16:53:19 (permalink)
Dear lord!  WJ....with a little help from your friends......you have outdone yourself and set a new standard for RF!  Took me over 45 mins to read all this..broken up by a few "snack breaks" because the photos and food look so darned good.   And fortunately i found a few new places
Thank You!
#90
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