My Year in Roadfood (2011)

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John Fox
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/01 07:35:02 (permalink)
Thanks, buffetbuster. I enjoyed your report and pictures. That Peter Luger's burger sounds good. I especially enjoyed the Hot Dog Art. I was at the Moonlight House of Weiners last week while visiting my daughter. Weiners at 10 AM right after breakfast.
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chewingthefat
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/01 11:44:17 (permalink)
Buffetbuster, you we're born for your food vocation, all of us live vicariously thru your food travels, pics, and discriptions,. Thanks, happy NewYear, bring it on in 2012!
#32
karilyn
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/02 08:58:22 (permalink)
I'm glad I joined in on your Roadfood trip on a full stomach - the pictures were killing me, I'm dying for breakfast and a burger now!  Thanks for sharing that . . . I can't wait to see what 2012 brings to your plate.  Happy New Year!
#33
kaszeta
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/03 08:01:42 (permalink)
Thanks, this reminds me I need to do my own 2011 review in the next few days (and unlike 2010, I realized that aside from one two day trip to Ireland, all my pics are from the US this year).
#34
mr chips
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 00:15:44 (permalink)
I enjoyed your reports
#35
Sundancer7
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 06:34:58 (permalink)
Does everyone on Roadfood believe that BB enjoys pie more than WJ or TM  I will never forget the pic that the Mayor took of TTM and Mrs. Saunders sitting at a table with hundreds of slices of pie surrounding him.
 
I am sure that when the Glee club gets together in Nashville, one of the stops will have to include pie, perhaps even multiple stops.
 
Roadfood ought to give awards for the best pie pics, food pics, most food travel and Roadfood person of the year.  If they did that, I would hate to be on the selection committee as many contribute so well.
 
Paul E. Smith
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buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 14:16:59 (permalink)
Man can not live by pie alone.....

BEST DESSERTS (NON-PIE DIVISION)
 
10.  Jack Pandl's - Milwaukee, WI

The specialty dessert here is the Schaum Torte, a wonderful combination of custard, meringue and strawberries.
 
9.  Crab Claw - St. Michael's, MD

This hard to find, multiple, thin layered cake is actually the official state dessert of Maryland.  And we drove all the way down to Crisfield to try it.  As it turns out, the best version we found was at the Crab Claw.  Our waitress told us that the cakes are made everyday on Smith island and delivered to them fresh.
 
8.  Balaton - Cleveland, OH

A wonderful Hungarian cake, the Dobos Torte looks like it could be Smith Island cake's European cousin.  I particularly love that hard carmel shell on top.
 
7.  Kopp's - Milwaukee, WI

In multiple visits to Kopp's this year, I was repeatedly disappointed in their special flavors of the day.  But, this is Kopp's after all, so even their so-so flavors will be delicious.  My favorite for the year was the Bunny Hop, available on Easter Sunday, which tasted just like a marshmallow cream Easter egg.
 
6.  Wayside Restaurant - Berlin, VT

Grape Nuts Pudding is a wonderful New England dessert that tastes of egg custard and nutmeg.  I had it at four different restaurants in 2011, but the version at Wayside Restaurant was best.
 
5.  Durgin Park - Boston, MA


The entrees and sides at Durgin Park are fine, but it is at dessert I think that they really shine.  I love their version of Indian Pudding and have never found it's equal.  Another favorite is the Apple Pan Dowdy, which is part deep dish pie, part cobbler or crisp.
 
4.  Dip's Country Kitchen - Chapel Hill, NC

I'm not as big a fan of Mama Dip's Restaurant as many others, but during a Sunday brunch during a Glee Club get-together here, the banana pudding blew me away.  Heavier on the vanilla wafers than most, it was fresh and not too sweet and just about perfect.
 
3.  J.R.'s Ribshack - Panama City, FL


During a weekend in Florida's panhandle, we visited J.R.'s on the recommendation of esteemed Roadfooder CajunKing.  We liked the bbq just fine, but it was the excellent desserts that caught our attention.  The banana pudding could not have been more different than the one at Mama Dip's, because this was light on the wafers and heavy on smooth, dreamy custard and cut up slices of banana.  We actually liked the mostly breading peach cobbler even better.
 
2.  Norma's Ocean Diner - Seaside, OR

Anytime you are in Oregon, you have to eat marionberry desserts and this Marionberry Cobbler was spectacular!  A solid block of cobbler, covered with lots of marionberries and topped off with vanilla bean ice cream from Tillamook.  My girlfriend, who is not ordinarily a dessert eater, especially went crazy over this dish.
 
1.  Zingerman's Creamery - Ann Arbor, MI

Part of the Zingerman's empire, which includes excellent Roadfood restaurants such as Zingerman's Deli and Zingerman's Roadhouse, the creamery is where you want to go for first class cheese and gelato.  We sampled delicious flavors like chocolate chip cherry sorbet and ginger, but it was the dark chocolate that we loved most.  Made with Scharffenberger cocoa, it provided incredible intense chcolate flavor.  I am embarrassed to say just how many times I went back in for more scoops.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/01/05 14:25:05
#37
wanderingjew
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 14:35:30 (permalink)
Buffetbuster
 
Glad to see Durgin Park and Kopp's on your dessert list. That hungarian cake at Balaton looks really good
 
Unfortunately I wish I could share your enthusiasm about the Smith Island cake at the Crab Claw. I thought it "looked pretty" but was "pretty ordinary"
#38
The Travelin Man
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 14:39:14 (permalink)
You know it's a good dessert year when Kopp's places 7th!  
#39
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 15:07:56 (permalink)
Interesting list.  I have a weakness for sweets, and these look yummy.  The only time I have had Indian pudding was at the Publick House in Sturbridge, Mass.  I didn't really want to have ice cream on it, so I asked for maple syrup (seemed like a better match to me).  They gave me a very generous, gravy boat portion of real maple syrup.  I really like the combination of the warm rich pudding and the maple syrup.
#40
leethebard
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 15:10:51 (permalink)
oooohhh, that banana pudding!!
#41
leethebard
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 15:11:01 (permalink)
oooohhh, that banana pudding!!
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buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 15:35:29 (permalink)
The Travelin Man

You know it's a good dessert year when Kopp's places 7th!  

And no Ted Drewes either, though that is mostly because my photos from there were lacking.
#43
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 15:37:50 (permalink)
Ivyhouse-
And I've never had the Indian Pudding without the vanilla ice cream.  The combination of flavors with each bite is a big part of the experience.  Having said that, I sure would like to try it with maple syrup instead sometime.  How could that possibly not taste great?
#44
kaszeta
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 16:05:47 (permalink)
It's fun when I can place that grapenut pudding as being from The Wayside before even reading the caption.  Haven't been there for a while, however.
#45
ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/05 22:33:40 (permalink)
Jack Pandl's is in my history. I lived down the hill from there, went to school with the kids, and spent many prom dinners there.When we had to sell Mom and Dads house( when she had to go into assisted living), the neighbors took me to lunch at Jack's. Wonderful food, and ths schaum torte was as good as ever. BB-you were in my stomping grounds!!
#46
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 08:29:58 (permalink)
kaszeta-
That is impressive that you recognized Wayside's grape nuts pudding just from the photo.  I know it was the lumpiest version I ate all year.
 
ann peeples-
When Mariton, TTM and I ate at Jack Pandl's that night, we were the only customers there.  Although it was late, this had me a little concerned about the amount of business they get.
#47
The Travelin Man
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 09:17:26 (permalink)
buffetbuster

The Travelin Man

You know it's a good dessert year when Kopp's places 7th!  

And no Ted Drewes either, though that is mostly because my photos from there were lacking.

I wondered about that, but wasn't going to publicly ridicule your choices.  But, I would have lent you my photo with the girl "two-fisting" the concretes.
#48
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 09:26:44 (permalink)
TTM-
I have plenty of those photos, which I plan on using later in the report.  Just none of the custards itself good enough to use.  Thanks for the offer, though.
#49
ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 10:21:02 (permalink)
Pandl's has kind of become a "blue hair" restaurant. Ladies having lunch and early bird diners.
#50
wanderingjew
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 10:47:16 (permalink)
ann peeples

Pandl's has kind of become a "blue hair" restaurant. Ladies having lunch and early bird diners.

I thought about going  to Pandl's when I was in Milwaukee this past June but it was trashed so badly on Yelp and Urbanspoon I decided against it
  
 
#51
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 10:55:43 (permalink)
WJ-
I can definitely see why the young, hip crowd wouldn't be attracted to Jack Pandl's, but both of my meals there were very good or better.
#52
ScreamingChicken
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 10:58:10 (permalink)
Sounds like any reference to Pandl's that includes "hip" should also include "artificial" or "replacement"...
#53
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 11:11:44 (permalink)
buffetbuster

WJ-
I can definitely see why the young, hip crowd wouldn't be attracted to Jack Pandl's, but both of my meals there were very good or better.


Buffetbuster
 
I couldn't agree with you more, you know how much I laugh off some of the reviews of Durgin Park or the No Name
for the exact same reason, but many of the reviews were referring more to the quality of the food with key words like "gone downhill" or "not what it used to be" and even questioned if there was a "change in ownership" or "cutting corners" because of the economy. If I recall the reviews on travelhero which usually attracts "older" less trendy
reviewers, werent' much different.
 
I'll certainly give Pandl's a try if I should ever return to Milwaukee, I just didn't have enough time for a meal there the last time around.
#54
ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 11:54:26 (permalink)
Lunch time is a good time to go-same entrees on the dinner menu, but for less....
#55
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 14:25:51 (permalink)
Looking back at 2011, it is very clear that I didn't eat nearly enough hot dogs, so my list isn't as strong as it should be.  Still, there are some quality wiener joints here.
 
BEST HOT DOGS
 
10.  Moore's Country Store - Lynchburg, VA


An odd place that has a tree growing through the roof, I was first tipped off to this place by a Southwest Airlines flight attendant.  They offer chili dogs, with different heat levels, including one that it is a real scorcher.  The cool, sweet slaw (along with some finely chopped onions, plus mustard) make the perfect partner for the hot chili sauce.
 
9.  Weenie Beenie - Arlington, VA

Weenie Beenie is one of the best places in the Beltway area to get a half smoke.  These hot dogs come split and grilled, topped with the condiments of your choice.  The one in the photo is a chili smoke, with mustard, onions and chili.  The smoky flavor of these wieners really comes across.
 
8.  Wiener's Circle - Chicago, IL


We came here as part of the 2011 Roadfood bus tour and the Chicago dogs have to be some of the best in the city.  Those cheese fries were awfully good, too.
 
7.  Crif Dogs - New York, NY

This place earns bonus points for the fun, unique atmosphere and that I was taken here by Mr. New York City himself, billyboy!  Bill picked out the Crif Dog, which is chili, mustard and onions, while I went with the Tsunami Dog, which has bacon wrapped with teriyaki, pineapple and onions and we then shared them.  For both of these, the wieners are deep fried, giving it an unusual crucnhy texture.  Delicious!
 
6.  Nick's Original Coney Island Hotdogs - Fall River, MA 


I came here with fellow Roadfooders wanderingjew and Chris Ayers.  One of the great things about being part of a group is that you get to sample more different foods and still preserve precious appetite.  The bad thing is that you may only get a small portion of something you really like.  The regular coney dog was good, but it was the fine bean dog that gets Nick's on this list.  This was the first time having baked beans on a hot dog and it worked for me.  My only regret, since all I got was a third of the bean dog, was not ordering one or two to eat all myself!
 
5.  Tom's Hot Dogs - Panama City Beach, FL


The original Tom's Hot Dogs location is in downtown Panama City, but stumbled across the one in Panama City Beach and ate there.  The recipes somehow (it was explained to me by two different people, which just confused me more) can trace their roots back to the late great Pete's Hot Dogs in Birmingham.  We tried all kinds of different combinations, but the slaw dog, with the homemade slaw and mustard was our favorite.  Much to our surprise, they also offer that Columbus, GA favorite, a scrambled dog!
 
4.  Clare and Carl's - Plattsburgh, NY

Hot dogs are very popular in this northern New York city and are called Michigans.  Of the three places we visited, we liked Clare and Carl's best.  As soon as we pulled up, a car hop was on us immediately, so we just ordered through him instead of going inside.  We loved the thick, earthy chili, plus the finely chopped fresh onion.
 
3.  BK's Carne Asada & Hot Dogs - Tucson, AZ

Hard to believe that in a weekend in Tucson, I was only able to eat at one Sonoran hot dog joint.  Luckily, it was a good one.  The Sonoran dog in the photo is wrapped in bacon and topped with onion, tomato, jalapeno sauce, mustard and mayo.  What's not to like about that?
 
2.  Ted's Hot Dog's - Tonawanda, NY

I have been going to Ted's for over a decade and I swear, it just keeps getting better.  You put onions and the addictive homemade hot sauce on top of a quality wiener, chargrilled for maximum flavor and you have an unbeatable combination.
 
1.  Charlie's Pool Room - Alpha, NJ

After not visiting here for almost two years, glad to know that CPR still puts out world class hot dogs.  Their signature hot dog, the mealie, comes with perefectly arranged peppers and Grandma Fencz's secret Hungarian hot sauce.  I could eat these all day.  Even my hot dog frowner girlfriend, ate four mealies while we were there.  And a big part of the CPR experience is sitting down and relaxing with Joe and John Fencz, who will treat you like long lost friends, even on your first visit.  We ended up being here for 2 1/2 hours!
 
Honorable Mention:
1.  Gus's Restaurant - Plattsburgh, NY
2.  Dogmatic - New York, NY
3.  Texas Tavern - Roanoke, VA
4.  McSweeney's - Plattsburgh, NY
5.  J.J.'s Coney Island - Fall River, MA
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/01/06 14:34:09
#56
Sundancer7
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 15:58:06 (permalink)
BB:  Great hot dog shots.  All looked good to me especially the Chicago dog.
The hot dog is the best quick food that there is.  As always great reporting and great pics.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#57
kaszeta
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 16:12:09 (permalink)
Two hot dog comments:
 
1. I've driven by Clare and Carl's a gazillion times but never stopped.  I should.
2. I've only been to Ted's in Tonawanda once, but going to the one non-NY Ted's location in Tempe, AZ is a cornerstone of my trips home to Arizona (here's an all-beef jumbo and a white hot, both with onions, mustard, kraut, and pickles):

 
#58
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 16:47:02 (permalink)
kaszeta

Two hot dog comments:

1. I've driven by Clare and Carl's a gazillion times but never stopped.  I should.
2. I've only been to Ted's in Tonawanda once, but going to the one non-NY Ted's location in Tempe, AZ is a cornerstone of my trips home to Arizona (here's an all-beef jumbo and a white hot, both with onions, mustard, kraut, and pickles):



I'm a big Ted's - Tempe Fan and you GOTTA add their Hot Sauce to those dogs next trip. 
#59
Greymo
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) 2012/01/06 17:11:08 (permalink)
I really enjoyed your hot dog reviews.  Ted's Hot Dogs have always been a favorite in my family.  We have eaten there many times.................a great story  about one of my daughter's wedding nights.  They had a very large wedding reception at at local hall in Syracuse.  The meal was all Ukrainian foods with lots of champagne  (many bottles stolen by groom's  family and taken home)........but that is another story. 
 
Anyway, their honeymoon destination was  Niagara Falls  but reception lasted so long that they drove only as far as northern Buffalo area and checked in at a hotel.  They were too tired to keep the reservations that they had for a very lovely restaurant  My daughter suddenly remembered Ted's Hot Dogs...........so ther new husband went  there and got hot dogs and frys and that was their  wedding night dinner.
 
Every year, they return to Niagara  Falls for their anniversary   and every year, they eat at Ted's Hot Dogs.
#60
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