BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga

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mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/25 16:25:48
I have received notes from both WJ and TTM to tell me they got home safely, if a little worn out. They will be posting additional reports and photos shortly.

However, if anyone would care to guess at what TTM had just asked the young lady on the other side of him, feel free to post your thought. Perhaps that will speed up his own description/testimony!! I will say she was a very nice person, with a great sense of humor and held her liquor quite well.

ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/25 17:42:31
Thanks for the great report. Especially enjoyed the pics of Arthur Bryant's. The only time I was ever in there was in 1976 on a cross country trip, and today it looks like an Applebee's compared to what it looked like then. OK, this was 32 years ago, but I do recall that I also went to Gates and Sons that same day and liked that much more. Back then all we had to go by was Calvin Trillin's American Fried book, so naturally KC was an important stop for us novice roadfooders. No Roadfood Books and no Websites like this one. --Ken
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/25 18:09:53
Ken,
Arthur Bryant's was our first stop using the first edition of Stern's Roadfood. We have been back several times over the years since...some good, some not as good. Since we are usually just passing thru Kansas City on our way either East or West, the location near I-70 made a convenient stop for some good BBQ.
We haven't made K C a destination other than when we got one of the Scotties from a rescue outfit there. We need to make time for a multi-stop visit soon.
mr chips
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/25 20:50:19
Great reports. i have loved them all. You guys know how to party.
Tony Bad
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/25 21:32:05
Looks like this trip made someone famous...look what I just picked up at the local magazine shop...




Outstanding reports!

I am soooo jealous that my travels of late have been WAY less fun!
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/25 21:36:47
quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

I have received notes from both WJ and TTM to tell me they got home safely, if a little worn out. They will be posting additional reports and photos shortly.

However, if anyone would care to guess at what TTM had just asked the young lady on the other side of him, feel free to post your thought. Perhaps that will speed up his own description/testimony!! I will say she was a very nice person, with a great sense of humor and held her liquor quite well.



Well, here's the deal: You show me your and I'll show you mine.
ellen4641
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/25 21:57:56


quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen[/i
However, if anyone would care to guess at what TTM had just asked the young lady on the other side of him, feel free to post your thought. Perhaps that will speed up his own description/testimony!! I will say she was a very nice person, with a great sense of humor and held her liquor quite well.

I'll just go as far to say that whatever he asked her, she seemed very responsive.
I won't go as far to say that liquor was involved.

And yes, she loved his sense of humor. Most likely, TTM was just saying something like "Did you ever see RIBS so BIG before?!? Wow ?!?
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/26 08:19:39

At last, After 5 years.. Michael Hoffman demonstrates his sense of humor!! This is a thread to preserve.
ann peeples
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/26 16:43:35
After laughing heartily at Mr.Hoffman's response, I thought the same thing-" I just saw a sense of humor!!"
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/26 18:25:33

OK WJ and TTM, ignore your careers and the stacks of work you have to catch-up (no pun) on, Lets get this report on the site before the All-Star game !
Scorereader
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/26 19:11:55
RE: The little imp on the coca-cola advertisement/parking sign on your trip

That happens to be the Sprite Boy. The "Sprite Boy" character, who first appeared with Santa Claus and was used in Coca-Cola advertising in the 1940s and 50s, was created by artist Haddon Sundblom, the same artist who created the drawings for coca-cola of the jolly red suited Santa based on Clements poem. Sprite Boy's name came because he is a sprite -- an elf. Sprite Boy first appeared in ads in 1942, while the drink Sprite was not introduced until the 1960s. The drink, which sparkled, was named after Sprite Boy.


The Sprite Boy, as an elf (or imp, as one might suggest) had the distinction to be the character Coca-cola used to introduce the shortened name "Coke." So ultimately, Coke used Sprite Boy for non-holiday ads as well:





BTW: EXCELLENT TRIP REPORT!!! looked like a ton of fun. Thanks for all the pics and descriptions!
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/26 23:03:09
Wow...I guess I'm up next. I have some additions to the previous Kansas City area discussion. I did arrive first, so I was up a meal on even the legendary buffetbuster!

Not really taking into account the magnitude of the red meat that I would consume over the next 10 days, I decided I needed to kick my vacation off with a nice, juicy steak. I narrowed my choice to Golden Ox, Hereford House, or Jess and Jim's. I'd like to claim that I did endless research, but I really just picked when I got to the hotel - and I really only picked Golden Ox because it was near Kemper Arena, and I thought I would see an additional sports facility to get this trip off on the right foot.



This is an old-style, classic steakhouse, if ever there was one.



From what I have read, this is where the "Kansas City Strip" was invented - but, who knows? The restaurant opened in 1949, and, to me, it looks like it may not have been remodeled since the Sixties. That's not really a bad thing as far as I am concerned. I also understand that the current owners began operating the restaurant in mid-2004, and have had something of a time re-generating business.

This steakhouse is located in a very out-of-the-way area of Kansas City - in other words, you have to be going there to go there. I suppose that they would do some serious business when there is an event at the arena, but on this Friday night, it was disturbingly empty. Truthfully, I was a little apprehensive when I arrived to find a half-empty restaurant.



Unfortunately, this plate looks a lot better than it actually was. The famed strip steak was severely undercooked. I ordered "medium" and followed my temperature order with the words "pink, not red" as a descriptor. In the past, I have found this helpful when ordering in a steakhouse where I was not familiar with their cooking reputation. The few people to whom I have shown this picture all immediately thought that the steak looked undercooked (I don't see it from the picture, but I did the minute I sliced through). Also, the fries were tepid. I was encouraged to order the "cheesy potatoes," which were described as the house specialty. Since I was meeting Cliff later on for a burger, passing on the extra cheese calories seemed like a good idea.

I sent the steak back - something I almost never do. It came back with an almost over-the-top apology and perfectly cooked. They also replaced my fries (I never said anything about them being cold) with the cheesy potatoes - essentially Potatoes au Gratin, which were good.



The steak was nice and juicy, and when prepared as ordered, quite tasty. Naturally, the wait staff saw me taking pictures - which may have accounted for the over-the-top attentiveness to my displeasure with the first steak. My server asked about my trip, and where I'd heard about their steakhouse. He gave me a pretty good history lesson, and even told me that Arthur Bryant was once the owner (or part-owner) of Golden Ox and had a hand in Hereford House, too. They said that business started going downhill when Mr. Bryant started working his kids into the business fold. Keep in mind - third or fourth hand information that may make a better story - don't know - but, it was what I was told.



Quite frankly, I thought this was a pretty decent value for a steak. The service was top notch and the food was above average. I did limit my bill by not ordering alcohol, appetizer, or dessert, but, this isn't outrageous by any stretch.

Golden Ox Restaurant
1600 Genessee St
Kansas City, MO. 64102

More coming...
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/27 00:44:00
Just a little more Kansas City and then on to Omaha!

I really liked Independence. I wished we had a little more time to poke around this town.



Inside Clinton's, I had ordered the "Cookies and Cream" (buffetbuster couldn't remember what I had ordered).



This may be my favorite picture of the whole trip (well...in KC).



I loved the "soda jerk" t-shirts, and I wanted to take a photo of one. As an added bonus, reflected in the mirror is a nice shot of wanderingjew checking out this fine young lady's ummmm...well, you know.

After wanderingjew bailed on us at 10 pm on a Saturday night, buffetbuster insisted that we hit one of his favorite spots in KC.



After Stroud's, we had to part ways with buffetbuster, and I was able to convince wanderingjew to hit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for my intended photo op....



See the statue in front of that building? I was curious as to what that could be. Turns out....



...there is one of Rodin's famous The Thinker statues! I was always curious what this guy was thinking about. Who would have thought that it was...



...the impending arrival of a mutant, giant shuttlecock. I didn't know that Rodin was such a sci-fi guy - but, I guess that's why you go to museums - to learn new stuff.

For more information, the link to the[url='http://www.nelson-atkins.org/']Nelson-Atkins Museum web site[/url].

We walked over to Country Club Plaza, which houses a number of Kansas City's famed fountains. The centerpiece of which is the JC Nichols Memorial Fountain.



This was one cool fountain.



One of the places that I didn't get the chance to visit was Fiorella's Jack Stack BBQ. Fortunately, I was able to get this shot of wanderingjew "taking the bull by the horns," so to speak. If only that bull knew what he was planning on eating later on in Denver....



Dale did confide in me that now that buffetbuster was gone, we can finally start enjoying our trip. To that end, I promised I wouldn't post this picture of a very satisfied wanderingjew coming out of....



One thing that I really did like about Country Club Plaza was that the integrity of the older architecture remained intact despite the whole area being overrun with stores like Restoration Hardware, The Gap, and, of course, the Cheesecake Factory.



If you care to see the rest of my pictures from KC, you can find them on my [url='http://www.flickr.com/photos/81181002@N00/collections/72157605838997349/']flickr page[/url].

Omaha's coming (as soon as I get the pictures uploaded)....
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/27 08:08:06
Excellent photos TTM, especially your sundae! I am bummed I missed out on the giant shuttlecocks, though. What I want to know is why I look drunk in the photo, when it was me who was drinking the iced teas?
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/27 08:11:30
Scorereader-
Thank you very much for the info on Sprite Boy. I had no idea about the history.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/27 08:15:39
I'm finally peaking my head out from reality (if only for a brief moment)

I will post a few additional photos and footnotes for Kansas City (and a photo for "coming attractions" for my Chicago visit in September)

After TTM posts about the Omaha portion of our trip, I will then post about Denver and Albuquerque...

Now its "back to work" time for me, in fact I will be coming in Saturday as well for a few hours in order to play "catch up".

mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/27 09:17:45

OK Now we have a plan. I have the second part of the Louisville Chapter ready to go when you non-retiree's get around to posting the Omamha, Denver, N Mex, and Nashville segments. This is like shooting a movie then piecing it together in the editing room !!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/27 09:29:31
It just struck me this morning the scope of this trip by the guys and all the different cities they will be reporting from. This is going to be a real monster!
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/27 15:32:30
A couple of quick thoughts before I begin the section on Omaha....

Re: Town Topic -- This place was fun, and funky, but does not belong on any list of "Ten Best" or some such. I think it was on the Playboy list that came out earlier this year. I would think that Playboy may know fried chicken better than burgers, given their proclivity for breasts and thighs.

Re: Niecie's -- This is one the best breakfasts, albeit not at all traditional, that I have ever had. To top it off, the waitstaff alone is worth the visit - these people are great. When I gave her a hard time about having a sign on their building that said "CHICKEN AND WAFFLES - ALL DAY EVERY DAY" and then telling me that they have no waffle iron, she just looked at me and said "Well, you can HAVE chicken and PANCAKES!" Hilarious.

Re: LC's -- I really wish I was hungry enough to eat here. I ate maybe a third of my burnt ends "sandwich." I was just too stuffed from a full breakfast, OK Joe's, Clinton's, a beer at the brew pub....too much! Oh well, I could tell it was a great meal - I just wish that I could have enjoyed it a little more.

Re: Arthur Bryant's -- This hurts to say. Really. But, this meal flat out sucked. I am an unabashed fan of Arthur Bryant's - have been three times in the last five years (so this is not a memory of "AB's hasn't been AB's since Arthur died" or "...for 20 years" or anything like that). It was my favorite BBQ joint outside of Texas (which says something). This was not just a place that didn't live up to its memories - this was a bad meal. The three of us sat their silently eating - and I think it was because no one wanted to be the first to say it. But, the brisket was dried out, the ribs were, too. The fries were good - easily the best thing on the table. After the meal and as time went on, the more I realized just how bad it really was - and this was $25 for a plate of food bad - not just a $10 burnt ends sandwich bad. I was bummed...really bummed. This doesn't mean that I will never go back, but to me, one meal in KC has always meant Arthur Bryant's - and everything else could wait. That is just not the case any more for me. Arthur Bryant, the man, should still be on BBQ's Mount Rushmore, but a blind recommendation for this place won't come from me.

Re: Negro League Museum -- This should be a must stop for any baseball fan, or any follower of the history of this country. This was my second visit, and I would gladly go again the next time I am in town. Admission was $6 - and worth every penny.

Re: Stroud's -- Wow! This was some really, really good fried chicken. Sometimes it is hard for places that others have raved about to live up to the hype. This was not the case for me at Stroud's - one could make the argument that the hype is understated. I am glad that someone had previously warned me that the breading at Stroud's was not as flavorful (perhaps "salty" is the word some would use) as others on the fried chicken circuit, but the flavor is in the juiciness of the chicken. When I saw the size of the breast pieces, I was initially worried that they would HAVE to be dried out to be cooked thoroughly - not the case at all!

If I were ranking the places that I ate in KC (and that is so tough to do given the nature of a $35 steak versus a $2.10 single hamburger), I would go as follows:

Stroud's
Niecie's
LC's
Oklahoma Joe's
Town Topic
Golden Ox
Winstead's
(which was still really good)
Clinton's (may have scored higher if they had homemade ice cream)
Shoe leather
Bowl of cereal the consistency of golf balls
Arthur Bryant's
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/27 20:00:05
Epilogue and Footnotes

Gee, I feel like I'm writing a thesis here...

I'm so thankful for my local coffeehouse. The owner of Main Street Coffee is a dedicated proprietor who is on the job by 5AM - I told him about my trip in advance and I was so thankful that he had my French Roast ready when I arrived at 5:20am (they don't open until 7AM!)

My 7AM flight out of TF Green took my to my layover at Midway in Chicago

With a couple of Atkins Protein Shakes under my belt- I was hungry!
I then realized, "hey I'm on vacation, I can eat now"

So......................when in Rome (or Chicago)
I made my way into one of these



A "Chicago Style" charred dog from Gold Coast Hot Dogs

I've said it before and I'll say it again- it was like a vegetable garden exploding in my mouth- although the charred version added some "zing" to the mellow taste of the dog.

I arrived in Kansas City shortly after 11am. I got my luggage and took the shuttle to the rental car agency. TTM and BB arrived and whisked me away and before I knew it I layed eyes on this sign



and realized "hey toto, we're in Kansas now!"

Here's a "somewhat" better photo of the Smokey Joe at Oklahoma Joe's in Kansas City KS



As a "city boy" from "back east" I'm still amazed at the mode of transporation that people still rely on in "flyover country"



Here's TTM



Unlike me he FAILED to grab that bull by the horns- perhaps symbolic of a "special delicacy" he chose to decline during the latter part of our trip

After TTM and I went to the Nelson Atkins museum, we walked over to Jardines a really cool Jazz Club across the street from my hotel- TTM didn't stay, but I did- it was young talent night and it's a pleasure to know that young folk are keeping Jazz alive-I heard some great musicians that evening while enjoying the local Boulevard Ale

I also rediscovered a fantastic coffee house in Kansas City called The Broadway Cafe located in the Westport Neighborhood about a mile walk from my hotel- I walked there both Sunday and Monday Morning. Not only was the coffee strong and flavorful but they had an Oat Bran Square that really hit the spot...

My thoughts about the restaurants we went to weren't that different than TTM's or BB's.

Oklahoma Joe's was great- I really enjoyed the Smokey Joe but thought that the smokeyness was a tad overdone- the beans were great

LC's was just fantastic- I've had burnt ends before at Jack Stack's and found them bland- LC's had the right balance of flavor and smoke
and the Fries were the best I had in KC

Arthur Bryants was the biggest dissapointment of the trip- Bland Cold Dry Brisket and Ribs (well the ribs werent' cold) what a contrast from my first visit in 2000- well at least the fries were good

Strouds- outstanding as always...

I'm going to leave this portion of the trip with this...



Part of the Jazz Museum, this is The Blue Room, which is where Jazz Musicians perform on almost a nightly basis.
Slim Strummer
Cheeseburger
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/27 21:17:42
Simply outstanding.

I am glad to see that WJ wears his Yankee gear outside of New England as well.

--Alex
kkrhmom
Hamburger
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/27 23:43:23
Wow...what an awesome report!!! Great photos, lots of laughs. Can't wait to see the next chapter in the saga.
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/28 07:00:18
TTM - Your "Town Topic" line was the best of the day...I'll be laughing all day...Thanks!

WJ - The Smokey Joe does look great! Keep 'em coming.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/28 08:39:46
TTM & WJ-
As I was driving to the airport in KC, it occurred to me that we hadn't discussed the food at Stroud's very much. I think we were all too busy eating and then I left in a hurry. So, I wasn't really sure if you guys liked it as much as I did. Glad to read you put it at #1, TTM.

Oh yeah, great photos by both you guys!
lleechef
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/28 17:28:01
Great photos and reports from all! Thanks!
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 04:12:43
Fantastic, stellar report guys! Those burgers at Town Topic and Winsteads look good and crusty! Chicken and pancakes might just catch on! BB, those cakes look like a pair of mighty fine substitutes for pie any day. Sorry to hear Bryant's wasn't up to snuff. That brisket did look a bit grayish. I've always wanted to go there. Those burnt ends at LC's look like the BOMB!! Great crust on them! Oh, the torture that is Stroud's! Thanks for a great trip report! Dale, I shoulda sent you some Red Sox gear to wear for the trip pictures!!
CajunKing
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 14:18:41
Our local minor league team now has a special for Thursday nights called "Thirsty Thursday" where Beer is cheaper than water. I think I am going to head out to a game this week.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 15:05:40
quote:
Originally posted by CajunKing

Our local minor league team now has a special for Thursday nights called "Thirsty Thursday" where Beer is cheaper than water. I think I am going to head out to a game this week.



CK,

I'm curious- which team is your local minor league team?
CajunKing
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 16:13:48
The Florence Freedom (Frontier League)

http://www.florencefreedom.com/
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 16:20:42
quote:
Originally posted by CajunKing

The Florence Freedom (Frontier League)

http://www.florencefreedom.com/


Oh, I thought you were talking about an affiliated team..

They're independent....

For some reason, independent league games never really appealed to me

I went to one independent league game- the Bridgeport Bluefish-
in Bridgeport CT

I just couldn't get into the game because of that.

CajunKing
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 16:39:23
I know what you mean, but its baseball and when the reds want $35 and up to see them lose, florence all seats are under $10.

mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 16:54:19
CK,
Take advantage of the cheap seats while you can. We went to a Little League Tourniment game last year in Floyd county. Admission was $4 for adults and $3 for old farts AND they charged a $7 per car parking fee. We are talking little League here not the Reds !!
At our recent (a week ago) Baseball outing to the Louisville Bats,with TTM, My old guy ticket was $8, I got Janet and TTM the $19 special which included the seat, a Team hat, Program and a Weinie and soda. Not a bad deal.
Big Ugly Mich
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 17:02:46
quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew
For some reason, independent league games never really appealed to me.
I'm with you on that. Except for: http://jengelman.travellerspoint.com/157/
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 19:33:21
OK....back on track. Starting with Monday, June 16 - Depart Kansas City, MO; arrive Omaha, NE/Council Bluffs, IA

We got a pretty early start out of KCMO and began the trek up I-29. As we drove up through the Missouri and Iowa countrysides, we got to see first-hand the devastation caused by the flooding through the midwest. For miles, all you would find were flooded corn fields. It was sad, especially knowing that the folks who work and own those farms make their living - their whole year's salary off of what was dying in their own fields. Unfortunately, I didn't stop to get any pictures, as we were on a time crunch.

Our first stop was Dinker's Bar for their self-proclaimed "Omaha's Best Burger."



Located in one of the older Omaha neighborhoods, not far from our stadium destination. They do have a pretty broad bar food menu, but the thing to get here (especially if it proclaims such platitudes on the outside) is the burger.



This bad boy runs about $5, if I recall correctly (I didn't get a photo of the menu). No cheddar for the burger, but American will do just fine, topped with bacon, lettuce and tomato, as well. I didn't ask them to cook it to temperature, which yielded a medium-well (no pink) result, but it was still flavorful and juicy. Next time, I will remember to order a medium or medium rare and see what happens.



Dale and I also shared a heaping helping of some finely prepared onion rings.



These were excellent "rings" (you can see how they didn't exactly keep their shape, but I didn't care) - and certainly not any kind of SYSCO product that I'd ever seen.

Make no mistake about it, Dinker's is a bar - this is not necessarily a kid-friendly establishment. We were there on a Monday afternoon, and the place seemed packed with locals - primarily blue collar men huffing down a good, quick burger before heading back off to work. Soft drinks were reasonably priced - I think a soda was $1.25 or $1.50 and iced tea was just a buck. The problem was that the tea was served in a very small glass (8 oz maybe?) and if I had been drinking a lot more, would have required repeated trips to the bar for refills. The service was hurried, but friendly - especially when one of the servers noticed the two of us taking pictures of our food. Yes, we got the first of many "you ain't from around here" looks.

Now might be a good time for a[url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66BycTdmzr8']musical interlude[/url].

Our next planned stop was the 1 pm game at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium for the College World Series (Game 5) - the first of the elimination games.



I will spare you all my baseball analysis, but since the game was Florida State against Miami, I will only say that the crowd wasn't really pro-FSU, but rather anti-Miami.

We secured general admission tickets ($10) and then snuck into the reserved seating. We had to move a couple of times, as people arrived to claim their seats, but there are usually plenty of seats available if you move around once or twice. Later into the game, we secured some good camera-ready seats (right behind the ESPN camera crew).



Much to the dismay of the pro-Nebraska crowd, Miami jumped out to an early lead and held through until the 9th. FSU tried a late rally, with the help of a guy who played his high school ball about two miles from where I work (he's on first in this picture).



I don't know if my food pictures are getting any better, but I seem to be taking better shots of sports! Miami's closer had some trouble late, but managed to nail down a tough 7-5 win, giving UM life for another day - and sending conference rival FSU packing as the first of the two-and-done teams in the double elimination round.

The ending of the game was timed perfectly for us to arrive near the old Omaha rail and stockyards for a nice early seating at Johnny's Cafe.



I've been coming to Johnny's as long as I've been coming to Omaha. To me, this is the quintessential mid-western steakhouse. When you walk through the doors (adorned with bulls horns, mind you), you have a sense that you are transported through time back to the steakhouse where cattlemen of your grandfather's age brokered deals - in big leather (Naugahyde?) booths, sipping whiskey drinks and chomping on big cigars. Well, I didn't see any cattlemen and I didn't see any cigars (I am pretty sure that Johnny's is now smoke-free), but everything else is pretty much the same.



I broke my usual ordering pattern and grabbed the filet. Normally, I will go for the more flavorful strip or ribeye, but for some reason I just wanted the filet.



No lie...this was, by far, the best filet I've eaten to date. My fears of a lack of flavor were completely unwarranted - and this steak did not need any of the accompanying "jus" that Johnny's provides to pair with the meat. This was just a great, flavorful, lean hunk of beef, cooked to the perfect temperature the first time around. Knowing what I know now, I would happily order this again, and may go a shade lighter on the cooking next time, too. The hashbrowns are the perfect potato compliment to the steak. Mine soaked up the beef's natural juices, making for a tasty side dish.

Fearing that I would be letting our departed buffetbuster down by not ordering dessert, I grabbed a slice of their "homemade" apple pie (which they advertise as "better than Grandma's").



They must have really meant MY grandma, who couldn't bake an apple pie to save a life. If I weren't still in a filet-induced haze, I would have let the apple pie ruin the rest of the meal. This was not good pie. It appeared to be Comstock canned pie filling in a rock-hard crust. I could have easily done without it, but at less than $3 for a slice, it was really hard to complain too loudly.

Considering the quality of the meal versus the final cost, I think Johnny's was one of, if not the best values of the entire trip.



This meal would have been considerably more at your local Outback, and I have yet to walk out of an Outback thinking that I had just consumed one of the best meals I'd ever eaten.

As we were leaving, I spoke briefly with the (person that I assume is one of the) owner(s). She is a delightful lady, and I have seen her in there before. She asked about our trip - immediately identified us as in town for the CWS - duh! - and confirmed that many of the places that we were considering were worthy stops. It is nice to know that one of the pre-eminent restaurateurs in the area agreed with our selections. One thing that strongly endeared me to her, she mocked wanderingjew for being too close-minded to consider my Italian place - which she claimed to be the best Italian SHE'D ever eaten.

Dinker's Bar
2368 S. 29th Street
Omaha, NE 68105

Johnny's Cafe
4702 S. 27th Street
Omaha, NE 68107

Still much more to come....
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 20:03:51
I see how this is going to go. You order a crappy dessert and you start blaming me!

You really do have some wonderful pictures there. I don't know which photo I like more.....the onion rings or the action at first base. Nah, of course, it is the onion rings!

Glad to hear that Johnny's Cafe lived up to your expectations. Did WJ enjoy his strip steak?
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 20:11:42
quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

I see how this is going to go. You order a crappy dessert and you start blaming me!

You really do have some wonderful pictures there. I don't know which photo I like more.....the onion rings or the action at first base. Nah, of course, it is the onion rings!

Glad to hear that Johnny's Cafe lived up to your expectations. Did WJ enjoy his strip steak?


Not only was the Strip Steak top notch but this meal probably tied for best meal of the trip (despite the crappy Apple Pie)

Like Kansas City- I will do my own Synopsis of Kansas City when TTM is done with that portion of the trip

Right now I'm in the process of getting some photos to TTM that he missed
roossy90
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 20:37:55
OK.. Who had the "WELL gin"?
NO Tanqueray or Bombay?
Come on, fess up!

(And just what that "open liquor?"..
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/06/30 21:58:06
Isn't Johnny's featured in a scene from an Alexander Payne movie, maybe 'About Schmidt'? Nice pictures and writeup Steve.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/01 17:50:00
TTM
The Beef looks good, and the Burger looks even better. keep thos segments coming!
CajunKing
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/02 00:08:58
yummmm STEAK!!!!

Man I gotta agree with BB, didn't know which was a better pix te food or the action, but I too agree it was the food.

The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 01:18:29
@ buffetbuster - You don't expect ME to accept responsibility for my OWN ordering choices, do you?

@ Nancypalooza - Yes, Johnny's Cafe was featured in the Jack Nicholson flick About Schmidt. On my first visit there, I saw a huge picture of Nicholson with the owner in the lobby. I haven't seen it on subsequent visits, but I haven't been looking for it, either.

Monday, June 16 - Depart Kansas City, MO; arrive Omaha, NE/Council Bluffs, IA (cont'd)

Before heading off the hotel for the evening, we stopped in the Old Market section of Omaha's downtown area. wanderingjew is a fan of brew pubs while on the road, so we decided to make a stop at Upstream Brewing Company. I admit that I am not a beer-o-phile, but I just don't get the fascination with brew pubs. On this entire trip, I went to a brew pub in each of KC, Omaha, Denver, and Nashville. Out of all of them, the only one where I had an exceptional beer was in Nashville, and that was with Poverty Pete encouraging my selection by telling me that he was the one who helped award the brew a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Other than that, I found each of the places to be similarly decorated, cookie-cutter, gentrified yuppie hangouts, where the proprietors sold beer at a $1-3/glass premium. On top of that, almost universally, these places were filled with out-of-towners, leading me to believe that the true locals know that there is beer of equal quality to be found elsewhere - most likely for less money.

Considering the relatively long day, it was no surprise that we both crashed hard back at the hotel.

Tuesday, June 17 - Atlantic, IA (and surrounding area) and Omaha, NE

I chose to sleep in rather than chase a cup of coffee at the local coffee house. Departure called for a one-hour drive into Iowa to the small town of Atlantic. Located about an hour due east of Omaha, Atlantic is home to The Famer's Kitchen, which is owned by fellow Roadfooder, blizzardstormus (Mark).



Upon arrival, Dale walked in and introduced himself. Mark thought that we weren't going to make it that day, as he had considered the time of the first game at the CWS and figured we were already past the hour. Little did he know that once you make it onto Dale's schedule, there's no turning back!

Farmer's Kitchen has a pretty extensive menu for a small town cafe. My favorite section of the menu was the "whine list."



I just can't pass up a good double-entendre. You will also note that this section of the menu has the critical dessert section, as well.

Mark paired us up with his all-star server, Lanae (I hope I am spelling that correctly) and we also got to meet the pie-maker extraordinaire, Charlene (Mark's mom), who did confirm that she does hate making their famous sour cream raisin pie. I believe she said that she was surprised that anyone liked it. Her time with us was short, as she was busy filming her local cable access cooking show - which, she was also surprised that anyone watched! Mark, I hope you appreciate what a truly fun - and funny Mom you have hanging around!



We did tell Lanae that the only way that she was going to get a mention in the trip report was if she took a picture for us. I just want you all to know that she volunteered to take the picture while sitting on my lap, but in the interest of keeping all of the female Roadfooders from getting jealous, we just went for this "family friendly" version. OK....on to the food....

On the recommendation of the resident expert in the field, Davydd, I chose the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. Not having had anything else to compare this to, I would have to say that this was a really darn good bite to eat. The breaded crust had a nice crispy flavorful exterior, which did a good job of sealing in the pork's natural juices. I thought the sandwich was really good, and I could surely have another one, but I don't know if I could ever have the same passion for this meal that Davydd does. I can see trying to seek out the best hamburger, for instance, as there may be differences in the way it is prepared (size of patty, coarse grind on the beef, temperature, various toppings, etc.). But, it seems to me, other than the skill of the cook or the bun-busting proportion of the meat, what the differences would be from one BPT to another?

We split an order of self-proclaimed "greasy" onion rings. Unfortunately, the pictures of said onion rings did not turn out at all, so you will all just have to imagine. These were a little more like "onion strings" and the grease didn't bother me, but I think I preferred the rings the previous day at Dinker's just a little better.

For me, the star of the meal was this exquisite slice of apple pie. This was the apple pie that we'd hope to see the previous night at Johnny's. No worries....had to wait about 18 hours, but it was so worth it.



Dale had a piece of the sour cream raisin pie, which I am sure that he will show later.

One of my all-time favorite customer exchanges took place while we were there. To say that Mark knows everyone in town may be a little bit of a stretch, but he sure does seem to know a lot of folks. One of his customers asked about one of his newer menu items, the Kobe beef burger (yes, you can get a Kobe beef burger in Atlantic, Iowa, of all places). Mark yells into the back room for a Mr. Zellmer. It turns out that Mr. Zellmer is the cattle rancher who brings the Wagyu cattle to market that make the Kobe burgers. Nothing like getting an answer to your question straight from the horse's errrr....rancher's mouth.

All in all, I gave The Farmer's Kitchen two thumbs up. The food is stellar, but even if it were a notch below, the friendliness of the entire staff would make this a worthwhile stop. We were truly treated like Roadfood celebrities. Thanks for the great lunch, Mark.

Oh, and say "hi" to Lanae for me, would ya?

We spent a few minutes poking around Atlantic after our lunch, and while we weren't really ready for another meal quite so soon, we found a place that may serve as the host for the next Glee Club Meeting in February.



You have to love a place that offers one-stop shopping - a breaded pork tenderloin, Philly cheesesteak (which I think wanderingjew was dying to try), AND Mexican fajitas - all at the Chinese restaurant!

After soaking up our fill of Atlantic, we started blazing our own trail through Iowa to look for funky stuff. It turns out that Stanton, Iowa is not all that far away, and they have some funky stuff.





The World's Largest Coffee Pot and Coffee Cup stand tall over Stanton. Virginia Christine, "Mrs. Olson" in the Folgers coffee commercials was born in Stanton and these water towers were erected in her honor. Dale was a little disappointed when I told him that we were going to see the world's largest coffee pot and we came upon a water tower. I think he was expecting a really big coffee pot, with a brew going, in the town square.

As we suddenly found ourselves on a time crunch, we made our way back towards Omaha.

Upstream Brewing Company
www.upstreambrewing.com
514 S 11th St
Omaha, NE 68102

The Farmers Kitchen
319 Walnut St
Atlantic, IA 50022
catosaurus
Cheeseburger
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 01:23:30
Wow, am I enjoying this thread! I was in Kansas City 7 or 8 years ago, and based my choice of eateries on the original "Road Food" book. Highlights of that trip were Stroud's, Arthur Bryant's (apparently pre-downhill-trend), and a place I think was called either the Smoke Stack or the Smoke Pit. Keep up the great reportage!
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 01:49:17

Tuesday, June 17 - Atlantic, IA (and surrounding area) and Omaha, NE (cont'd)

We arrived back in Omaha and found that we had some time to kill before the dinner hour. Dale decided to show me around Dundee, the side of town where Warren Buffett lives. I was hoping to run into him to see if I could offer him some investment advice. Dale decided that he was ready for an afternoon beer and wanted to go grab one at a "local" bar. We stumbled into one place on the main strip there and all of the local bar patrons chatter seemed to come to a halt as the two city boys wandered into their bar. They looked like they were about to turn around and, in unison, scream "Norm!" except that Norm didn't walk in. It seemed to me that this was about as local a bar as one could find. Unfortunately, Dale found out that they didn't serve anything brewed locally, so we moved on. Again, this seemed funny to me - we seek out the most local experiences, and then when we find them, they weren't what our perception of the "local experience" was. For instance, the brew pub, where the beer was made locally, didn't appear to have a single person from Omaha in there who wasn't working. This place - filled with locals - wasn't a local experience because all they served was Coors Light and Amber Bock. Oh well...we found another bar with significantly less atmosphere and character...they had a beer that was more to Dale's liking and life was good again.

Our dinner stop was Petrow's Restaurant.



This was a 50's diner-themed place, with traditional diner fare, burgers, blue plate specials, etc. - and homemade ice cream. Dale's mission was the "hot beef sandwich," which looked to me like a traditional open-faced roast beef sandwich, with a slightly different presentation. I am sure that he will have a photo to post. Having about had my fill of red meat (with more on the horizon), I opted to save myself from cow this meal and went for one of their specials - the roast turkey dinner.



Most of the people who have seen my pictures so far have remarked that this meal just looks somewhat well...unremarkable. It was. There wasn't really anything wrong with it - it was just ordinary. Normally, an ordinary meal would be something to just shake off - but, when you plan your vacation around all of your meals, this was definitely one of the disappointments of the trip. On top of that, service was one notch slightly below lousy. The restaurant was darn near empty prior to the dinner rush. There were a number of servers milling about - ours was just nowhere to be seen - ever. With the time on the clock clicking towards game time, we really did want to try some of their renowned homemade ice cream.

I ordered a simple two-scoop dish of cinnamon and black walnut. Dale ordered a strawberry-rhubarb pie with cinnamon ice cream (the ice cream never came). I have to admit, the ice cream was pretty good.



Dale had to chase down our server again to pay, or we never would have made it to the ballpark in time. This was the game that I really wanted to see. My beloved Tar Heels were playing the underdog Fresno State team. I would go to Omaha for the College World Series regardless of whether or not my team was playing, but it was a nice bonus to have my boys there, too!



This time, we were able to secure decent seats early in the game, and it allowed me to take a few quick photos while our pitcher was warming up in the bullpen. Indulge me a moment while I show off some of my fine photography skills!




Carolina starter Adam Warren

I'd been taking countless "rapid-fire" shots on the sports setting, which got me a few photos of the pitchers' full windup and delivery. For some reason, I stopped this shot after one click.



If I had clicked again, I would have had the perfect shot of the Carolina first-baseman (Dustin Ackley - remember that name!) applying the tag while picking this guy off first base.

One of the more recent renovations at Rosenblatt was the installation of this new scoreboard two years ago. I kinda liked the old one - but, I am just that way.



Unfortunately, Carolina never came back from this deficit and Fresno State ended up in the driver's seat to the championship bracket from this game.

Petrow's Restaurant
www.petrows.com
5914 Center St
Omaha, NE 68106
leethebard
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 07:50:29
Indeed, some nice photography..the sephia tone shot is great!!!
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 07:59:26
TTM - What kind of logo we seeing on Mark's shirt? That pie looks to be as good as it gets! Great job and great photos!
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 08:06:12
Did you notice that at the Chinese restaurant a run at the salad bar is $4.95, and for a single dollar more one can add a pork tenderloin sandwich and fries?
mr chips
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 09:07:36
Wow, what a photo on that pick-off play! I am in awe of your epic journey. Keep the reports coming.
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 09:29:05
@ CTD - I went back and looked at the picture to see if I could see a logo on Mark's shirt. After an intense review of said photo, I have come to the conclusion....

Who's Mark?

@ MiamiDon - I am reminded of an old Eddie Murphy routine. It was back when, well, he was funny. I think that they should add the phrase "WHAT A BARGAIN!" underneath the info about the breaded pork tenderloin.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 09:33:54
Looks like TTM has one more day of reportin' to do before I take over (although he still has Nashville & Louisville to talk about too) I'm sure The Mayor and Poverty Pete will be adding their commentary on that portion of his trip as well..

Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 10:08:54
Mark--blizzardstormus. I've seen that C on his shirt on the side of a train car, haven't I?

Steve you must be using a digital SLR--very nice shots. And that pie at Mark's place looks to die for. If I ever get in that section of Iowa again I'm going to have to try it myself.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 13:26:53
Fellow Roadfooders, I think we have a very serious situation here....

There is someone claiming to be The Travelin' Man currently posting a trip report. But, every restaurant he has tried to visit has been open for business. The photos are way too good for someone still learning to use their camera. And he hasn't even been yelled at yet for taking a photo.

I THINK IT IS VERY OBVIOUS THAT THIS MAN IS AN IMPOSTER!!!

Okay pal, who are you and what did you do with the real Travelin' Man?
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 13:47:29
quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster



But, every restaurant he has tried to visit has been open for business.


That's because Mr "Go With The Flow" was with Mr "Plan Ahead"
blizzardstormus
Cheeseburger
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 14:13:43
TTM, thanks for your wonderful report. We had been waiting with trepidation for your comments. We are glad you enjoyed yourself. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to converse very long with the two of you; our lunch crowd was unusually large that day.

Lynae is all smiles that you mentioned her. She is one of my premier waitstaff (don't tell her I said that).

The China Hut is the restaurant that we frequent when we eat out. The Chinese cuisine is excellent. Homemade crab rangoon, delicious Bon Bon chicken, and egg foo yung which takes 20 minutes to prepare. The owners are a fun, extremely hard-working couple who have put 3 kids through college by working 16 hour days. The American food was added to their menu because Atlantic has too may people who will "only eat American." Their loss.

The logo on my shirt: I liberated this shirt for the revolution from my brother who lives in Seattle. The logo is Northwest Cascade.
Davydd
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 14:18:50
quote:
Originally posted by The Travelin Man



On the recommendation of the resident expert in the field, Davydd, I chose the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. Not having had anything else to compare this to, I would have to say that this was a really darn good bite to eat. The breaded crust had a nice crispy flavorful exterior, which did a good job of sealing in the pork's natural juices. I thought the sandwich was really good, and I could surely have another one, but I don't know if I could ever have the same passion for this meal that Davydd does. I can see trying to seek out the best hamburger, for instance, as there may be differences in the way it is prepared (size of patty, coarse grind on the beef, temperature, various toppings, etc.). But, it seems to me, other than the skill of the cook or the bun-busting proportion of the meat, what the differences would be from one BPT to another?

The BPT meat varies a great deal in tenderness and the breading can make or break the sandwich. Surprisingly, quite a few restaurants can't seem to deep fry them right. Many come out too greasy. The size of the tenderloins vary from The Farmer's Kitchen 6 oz. meat to Darrell's Place's 4 oz. to some platter busting in size of 8 oz. or more. Iowans like to judge for the best in the state every year.

I'm glad you made it to the Farmer's Kitchen. It is a true quintessential small town restaurant and road food worthy as well.
Big Ugly Mich
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 14:54:58
Any of us can do this well, which is why it surprises me that many restaurants can't. All you do is clean your fryer and change the oil periodically.
CajunKing
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/03 15:33:43
Cliff

you know we changed it from being travelinmanned to buffetbustered after you struck out at3 places on your low country trip

TTM

The apple pie looked awesome, can't wait to see the sour cream raisin
harriet1954
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/04 16:37:12
I haven't even gotten past Page 1 yet of this report - I've been lingering on those wonderful photos and the commentary. All three guys look great, too, and WJ, you look so great since your weight loss, I really mean it. I can so see the difference in your face (your head's smaller LOL). And Steve - you don't look miserably uncomfortable in the Niecy's photos. Just full of good food. And damn, I wanna go there!! I like the way the sign said, "Chicken and Waffle" (singular).

I'll comment more as I look. I'm feeling full looking at the meat. Once again I live vicariously through you guys. Gotta show this report to Brian on Sunday; he loves looking at them and feels he's starting to know people from here. It's so nice to turn people on to RF and trip reports like this!
justmeincal
Hamburger
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/04 19:34:30
What an amazing and entertaining trip report. You guys rock!
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/08 12:33:36
HEY WJ and TTM, tell your social partners you have work to do at Roadfood and get the trip report done before it's time for the World Series Report !!!


(I have photos that are fading from age of TTM in action that I want to post, but can't until You All get your chapters written!!)
wanderingjew
Sirloin
RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/08 12:41:44
quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

HEY WJ and TTM, tell your social partners you have work to do at Roadfood and get the trip report done before it's time for the World Series Report !!!


(I have photos that are fading from age of TTM in action that I want to post, but can't until You All get your chapters written!!)


Al,I actually just sent an e-mail to TTM about this yesterday...
He's got one day left of Omaha to do- We'll give him a couple of more days and then I'll begin the Denver chapter.
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