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 How do "you" find good Roadfood?

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MilwFoodlovers

  • Total Posts: 3090
  • Joined: 3/31/2001
  • Location: Milwaukee, WI
How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 1:36 PM (permalink)
I'm talking about driving on the Interstate and you're hungry. You pull into a new town and drive past the fast food strip mall area.
I try to locate a mailman and ask for good homey meals. Police are useless as they seem to only know where they can eat free. What are some other options? I try to check this site out before leaving on a trip but that's not always an option. Ditto with the Roadfood book. It seems we get stuck in Effingham during lunchtime when heading for points south and that town is one huge mass of FF. Looking blindly off the beaten track often isn't possible as you still have to get back on the highway. Let's hear some tips!
 
#1
    roossy90

    • Total Posts: 6695
    • Joined: 8/15/2005
    • Location: columbus, oh
    RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 2:07 PM (permalink)
    I ask the locals... Like gas station attendents, or If I stop into a drug store, and ask the clerk...etc.....
     
    #2
      wanderingjew

      • Total Posts: 7384
      • Joined: 1/18/2001
      • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
      • Roadfood Insider
      RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 2:12 PM (permalink)
       
      #3
        Donna Douglass

        • Total Posts: 508
        • Joined: 8/22/2000
        • Location: Columbus, OH
        RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 2:15 PM (permalink)
        About a hundred years ago when we travelled quite a bit, I would first of all, hit the yellow pages when we had checked into wherever we were spending the night. I would look for ads in the restaurant section for those that intrigued me and more often than not, my instinct led us in the right direction. I had always heard not to rely on billboards as they were aimed at the tourists, and we all know what that means. So we avoided those at all costs. We found some terrific places just by my perusal of the yellow pages.

        Michael and Jane Stern never led us astray and we traveled from 1978 to about 1986 with them by our side without fail. Sometimes we would look for one of their recommended places only to find that it had closed and no longer existed, which then led us to find our own way to a good roadfood place. We found many over the years, and had I know then that I would someday be participating in this forum, I would have kept a diary of names, places, manus, etc. But alas and alak, I didn't know that.

        Now, we don't travel except in our own little corner of Franklin/Madison/Union/Licking/Knox Counties of Ohio and try to find places on our own that would meet Michael's and Jane's criteria for Roadfood. And there are lots of them. It is fun to once a week head out to somewhere we've never been, altho we are natives of the area, and try little hole-in-the-wall places. It is fun, and most of all, we are still adhering to the philosophy of Roadfood, and finding good eats in our own backyard, so to speak. Will from time to time report on places that we deem worthy of the term "Roadfood."

        Donna
         
        #4
          Donna Douglass

          • Total Posts: 508
          • Joined: 8/22/2000
          • Location: Columbus, OH
          RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 2:17 PM (permalink)
          Please excuse the typos....I forgot to spell check.

          Donna
           
          #5
            chicagostyledog

            • Total Posts: 3218
            • Joined: 9/10/2003
            • Location: Hot Dog University Chicago, IL
            RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 2:34 PM (permalink)
            "The Streets & San Man's Guide to Chicago Eats" is a great little guide and well kept secret of the "real taste" of Chicago. Lots of places you'll never find in Roadfood.
            http://www.lakeclaremont.com/sanman/reviews.htm

            CSD
             
            #6
              Sundancer7

              RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 2:37 PM (permalink)
              Anymore I travel a lot and it seems that you accidentally find occasional good places.

              Paul E. Smith
              Knoxville, TN
               
              #7
                Michael Hoffman

                • Total Posts: 17815
                • Joined: 7/1/2000
                • Location: Gahanna, OH
                RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 3:09 PM (permalink)
                quote:
                Originally posted by Donna Douglass


                Now, we don't travel except in our own little corner of Franklin/Madison/Union/Licking/Knox Counties of Ohio and try to find places on our own that would meet Michael's and Jane's criteria for Roadfood. And there are lots of them. It is fun to once a week head out to somewhere we've never been, altho we are natives of the area, and try little hole-in-the-wall places. It is fun, and most of all, we are still adhering to the philosophy of Roadfood, and finding good eats in our own backyard, so to speak. Will from time to time report on places that we deem worthy of the term "Roadfood."

                Donna

                In Knox County have you ever been to the Pioneer Restaurant on 62 in Utica, or Spearman's in Danville? In Licking County there's this little place right on 62 in the center of Johnstown, just before you get to the intersection with 37, whose name I forget, but it's a family-type place just across the side street from the townhall/opera house. Oh, and in the center of Sunbury, a place I really enjoy is the Sunbury Grill.
                 
                #8
                  Donna Douglass

                  • Total Posts: 508
                  • Joined: 8/22/2000
                  • Location: Columbus, OH
                  RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 4:03 PM (permalink)
                  Thanks, Michael, for those recommendations for us. We are having a lot of fun and good meals in our new hobby of going out once a week to somewhere different for either lunch or breakfast. We aren't big on dinners out anymore unless it is a special occasion, but love breakfast or lunch in places that are truly worth the effort to find, and miles to travel. I've made note of what you've recommended and will be checking them out in the near future.

                  Donna

                  P.S. BTW, we did try a Chinese buffet last evening...I know I've said we don't do buffets, but in this case it was where everyone else wanted to go, so we went along. And it was very good. The Asian Buffet, just west of New Rome in the Kroger center there. A large room with probably over 100 items, always being kept hot and/or cold as the need, and a lovely owner/mgr (don't know which) checking periodically and humorously, how we were enjoying the meal. The place was attractive and very clean, and in addition to the Asian dishes, there were also items for those who don't particularly like Asian cuisine. We were impressed and will return.

                  And if it is any yardstick by which to judge, there were many Asians eating there last night.

                  Donna
                   
                  #9
                    BarbaraCt

                    • Total Posts: 333
                    • Joined: 5/19/2003
                    • Location: Trumbull, CT
                    RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 4:29 PM (permalink)
                    We look for local license plates in "touristy" towns.
                     
                    #10
                      Michael Hoffman

                      • Total Posts: 17815
                      • Joined: 7/1/2000
                      • Location: Gahanna, OH
                      RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 5:07 PM (permalink)
                      Donna, the places in mentioned in Knox, Licking and Delaware (Sunbury) counties are strictly breakfast or lunch as far as I'm concerned. Have you eve tried Ding Ho on West Broad? I haven't been there in years, but it used to be terrific. In fact, I used to think they had some of the best steaks in town. Another suggestion: Lai Lai on East Broad in the shopping center just before you get to New Albany-Reynoldsburg Road. I haven't been there yet, but it's operated by the same people who ran Lai Lai when it was on East Main, before moving to the Tuttle Crossing area.
                       
                      #11
                        TxConnie

                        • Total Posts: 83
                        • Joined: 6/18/2004
                        • Location: Fort Worth, TX
                        RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 5:08 PM (permalink)
                        We ask the bartender at our hotel. Usually sends us to a local fav, light on the pocket book and great food.
                         
                        #12
                          Beer&Snausages

                          • Total Posts: 418
                          • Joined: 6/26/2005
                          • Location: Owings Mills, MD
                          RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 6:20 PM (permalink)
                          Since I travel every week to all parts of the country, mostly small town america. I'll ask the folks where we are working, what is your area known for (food wise)?

                          I learned early on that if I asked them where is a good place to eat, they'd tell me Applebees or Fazzolis or such. Well I can get all of that and more where I live so tell me what makes your part of (fill in the blank area) special.

                          I've used that to locate some great gems.
                           
                          #13
                            ScreenBear

                            • Total Posts: 1503
                            • Joined: 9/18/2005
                            • Location: Westfield, NJ
                            RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 7:20 PM (permalink)
                            What's Fazzoli's?
                            The Bear
                             
                            #14
                              Michael Hoffman

                              • Total Posts: 17815
                              • Joined: 7/1/2000
                              • Location: Gahanna, OH
                              RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 8:00 PM (permalink)
                              It's Fazoli's and it is a chain of fast-food Italian restaurants. Some even have fast-drive-thru windows.
                               
                              #15
                                ken8038

                                • Total Posts: 1559
                                • Joined: 2/4/2004
                                • Location: scotch plains, NJ
                                RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 11:46 PM (permalink)
                                Back in the day (i.e before the kids) my wife and I did Roadfood trips extensively. Not that we stopped when we had our first child in 1985, just that we didn't travel quite as far and as frequently.

                                Anyway, back in the late 70's/early 80's the first Roadfood book was our bible, supplemented by a series of paperbacks called "Interstate Gourmet" (still have them, hardly ever use them anymore).

                                If we wound up in an area without a "Roadfood" reference our method was to first check the yellow pages for a local tavern (places with names like "Al's Tap" or some such). Stop there for a pre dinner drink, and ask the locals. Worked nearly every time. --Ken
                                 
                                #16
                                  lleechef

                                  • Total Posts: 6223
                                  • Joined: 3/22/2003
                                  • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                  RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 11:51 PM (permalink)
                                  While we use the Stern's books a lot when we travel, they can't cover every eatery in the country! You just gotta sniff 'em out! We found Jim 'n Nicks just outside of B'ham. Fabulous ribs.......good as Dreamland? Well, awfully darn close! Use your sniffer and look for a place with a lot of cars. And if anybody is passing through Nebraska (I know, why would you want to go there?) go through Martinsburg (pop. 90, they even have a sign!) and stop at Bob's Bar for the BEST burger you ever ate!

                                  Once I was with a French friend from work and we decided to go to New Hampshire. We were looking for lobster in the rough. So we scoped out some people.....no, too thin, he says. Nope, that one is too thin too. Finally we kept driving and saw this portly gentleman cutting his grass.....THAT'S THE ONE!. We ate at this lobster shack for 3 nights! It was awesome!
                                   
                                  #17
                                    roossy90

                                    • Total Posts: 6695
                                    • Joined: 8/15/2005
                                    • Location: columbus, oh
                                    RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 12/31/05 11:53 PM (permalink)
                                    quote:
                                    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

                                    It's Fazoli's and it is a chain of fast-food Italian restaurants. Some even have fast-drive-thru windows.

                                    Yes.. There is one in Merritt Island, and I never went there, because I just couldnt get the concept of drive thru Italian food...
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Michael Hoffman

                                      • Total Posts: 17815
                                      • Joined: 7/1/2000
                                      • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                      RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sun, 01/1/06 5:08 PM (permalink)
                                      quote:
                                      Originally posted by roossy90

                                      quote:
                                      Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

                                      It's Fazoli's and it is a chain of fast-food Italian restaurants. Some even have fast-drive-thru windows.

                                      Yes.. There is one in Merritt Island, and I never went there, because I just couldnt get the concept of drive thru Italian food...

                                      I've never ventured near a Fazoli's, but that's only because I cannot imagine what fast lasagna might be like, and I really don't want to find out. There was another chain, a small one, around Ohio called The Spaghetti Factory. It, too, had drive-thru service. I remember seeing just a few of these places, and the ones I saw are all gone now.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Donna Douglass

                                        • Total Posts: 508
                                        • Joined: 8/22/2000
                                        • Location: Columbus, OH
                                        RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sun, 01/1/06 5:33 PM (permalink)
                                        Michael Hoffman.....thanks for all your suggestions. We love breakfast/lunch places and do those meals out anymore rather than dinner. But yes, we have been to Ding Ho many times. In fact, we lived in Lincoln Village back in the late 50s and went to Ding Ho often then. We've been there most recently this past Fall.

                                        Also, we've recently been to Joey Chang's in Mill Run at Hilliard and it is a lovely place for dinner. White linen all the way, beautiful room. I think maybe it had been a Lai Lai before Chang took over the space. Never went to Lai Lai if that is the same as the places you mentioned. We will return to Chang's for a truly elegant Chinese dinner whenever in the mood from now on. The food was terrific and the menu included some Thai dishes.

                                        I'm eager to try the breakfast/lunch places you mentioned earlier. Since the holiday season began we sort of got in a rut, going just to Waffle House or First Watch, but now we can begin to be adventurous once again and travel a bit farther.

                                        Donna
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Michael Hoffman

                                          • Total Posts: 17815
                                          • Joined: 7/1/2000
                                          • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                          RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sun, 01/1/06 5:48 PM (permalink)
                                          Donna, there's another place I mant to suggest It's Scali's Ristorante on the far east side. It's in a little strip shopping center at East Livingston and Route 256. Absolutely wonderful food, all ove it made right there, including the pastas and the bread. The wine list is terrific and the service is wonderful. You might want to check out the website: http://www.scaliristorante.com/home.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Donna Douglass

                                            • Total Posts: 508
                                            • Joined: 8/22/2000
                                            • Location: Columbus, OH
                                            RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sun, 01/1/06 6:37 PM (permalink)
                                            Thanks, Michael, for the info about Scali's and I enjoyed their website. Everything on their menu sounds fantastic. The next time our son, who is wild about anything Italian, come in for dinner, I think we'll head out east to give Scali's a try.

                                            Donna
                                             
                                            #22
                                              wheregreggeats.com

                                              RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Tue, 01/3/06 10:30 AM (permalink)
                                              quote:
                                              Originally posted by wanderingjew

                                              www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7113&SearchTerms=west,virginia

                                              Thanks for remembering that thread.

                                              I re-read my advice and, if I may say so myself, wouldn't change a word.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Jeep2000

                                                • Total Posts: 59
                                                • Joined: 4/25/2007
                                                • Location: Peoria, IL
                                                RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Fri, 04/27/07 5:34 PM (permalink)
                                                I remember going to visit some friends once in South Carolina. They took us to the coast, to see some lighthouses, and when it came time to eat, Larry just drove around and looked for the place with the most cars parked in the lot. It turned out to be excellent.
                                                We generally ask at our hotel for great local food options.
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  Jimeats

                                                  • Total Posts: 3175
                                                  • Joined: 8/15/2005
                                                  • Location: Ipswich Ma
                                                  RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Fri, 04/27/07 6:35 PM (permalink)
                                                  Old thread that someone dragged up, but a worthy one.
                                                  Somebody mentioned cars in the lot, this is a good indicator but! make and modle is a must. I would much rather go or try a place with p/u or an older type cars in the lot. I kind of stay away from places with Volvos,Merceades,Audis etc. I look for the joints with the local phone company trucks or electric company, public works etc. Those guys {and gals} are in the area all the time and know where to hit. Chow Jim
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Davydd

                                                    • Total Posts: 6222
                                                    • Joined: 4/24/2005
                                                    • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
                                                    RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Fri, 04/27/07 7:47 PM (permalink)
                                                    My single pursuit is leading me to places I would never have given a thought to stop before. Gad! I'm going to drive 231 miles tomorrow just to stop in a town of 700 or so in the middle of farm country for dinner.

                                                    If a place is not a chain and is still in business there is a good chance it might be worth a stop. I would guess most people stick to tried and true chains and to survive as an independent you would have to have something going to attract business.
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      ScreenBear

                                                      • Total Posts: 1503
                                                      • Joined: 9/18/2005
                                                      • Location: Westfield, NJ
                                                      RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Fri, 04/27/07 9:58 PM (permalink)
                                                      Davydd,
                                                      Going to have the Walleye while you're at it? Say hi to Iowa for me.
                                                      The Bear
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        V960

                                                        • Total Posts: 2429
                                                        • Joined: 6/17/2005
                                                        • Location: Kannapolis area, NC
                                                        RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sat, 04/28/07 9:19 AM (permalink)
                                                        I use a few different methods. The bartender one is good but the front desk clerk will usually send you where he/she is getting a discount by sending you there. Full parking lots w/ local plates or dealer stamps from local dealerships is another good indicator.

                                                        I have another one that really only works for small towns but has NEVER failed. Call the Mayor and ask him where to eat. In small towns you almost always be put through and 99% of the time he is glad to hear from you. The 1% comes around in microseconds.
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          Foodbme

                                                          • Total Posts: 9548
                                                          • Joined: 9/1/2006
                                                          • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                                                          RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sun, 04/29/07 1:49 AM (permalink)
                                                          When you drive by a place that looks like you wouldn't want to eat there, STOP and eat there! They're usually the best places!
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            Davydd

                                                            • Total Posts: 6222
                                                            • Joined: 4/24/2005
                                                            • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
                                                            RE: How do "you" find good Roadfood? Sun, 04/29/07 6:38 PM (permalink)
                                                            quote:
                                                            Originally posted by ScreenBear

                                                            Davydd,
                                                            Going to have the Walleye while you're at it? Say hi to Iowa for me.
                                                            The Bear

                                                            Walleye in Iowa? All I saw was one catfish caught at Pine Lake State Park. No, I went for Iowa's best pork tenderloin sandwich. Report coming soon.
                                                             
                                                            #30
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