My Year in Roadfood (2012)

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kaszeta
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/23 08:43:31 (permalink)
I miss Roscoe's.  In 2007-08, one of my major clients was at Edwards AFB, and we'd have to frequently travel out there for testing.
 
Usually the procedure was:
1. Evening flight from BOS->LAS
2. Drive to Palmdale, sleep until early morning, often catching dinner in LA (Pink's was a frequent destination)
3. Breakfast at the now-defunct Pines Cafe in Palmdale (best Chicken fried steak I've had outside the South)
4. Drive to Edwards.   Test until 4pm or so.
5. Drive back to LA.  Celebrate a successful day of testing with chicken and waffles at Roscoe's.
6. Catch red-eye back to Boston.
 
Did this at least a dozen times.  After a while, testing got more complicated and shifted to a 6pm finish, which made the Red-eye too hard to catch, so then the routine ended with
 
5. Drive to El Segundo, get a hotel room for the night
6. Dinner in Manhattan Beach
7. Sleep
8. Breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House in Manhattan Beach
9. Catch a morning flight back.
ChiTownDiner
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/23 08:48:38 (permalink)
BB - may have been one more TTM at a little burger joint just north of the CT border!
 
Buddy - That's some story...Turn Me Over!
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/23 09:52:43 (permalink)
kaszeta-
That sounds like a very tiring schedule, but as long as Roscoe's is included, it must have been worth it!
 
CTD-
Yes, you are correct!  Let me see if I can find that photo.
rumaki
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/23 11:12:56 (permalink)
Where is the final chicken photo from?  Looks like it might be White Fence Farm or Brookville Hotel, but please tell!
 
One of my favorite places for chicken decor was the late-lamented Mrs. Peters Chicken Dinners in Kansas City, Kansas.  Great chicken, too!
 
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/23 11:19:04 (permalink)
rumaki-
That giant chicken, which has to be around four feet tall, is at AQ Chicken House in Springdale, AR.
 
On my first visit to Kansas City, I pulled into the parking lot of Mrs. Peters Chicken Dinners, only to find they had recently gone out of business. So disappointing to just miss out on a place I have read so many great things about over the years.
Michael Hoffman
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/23 11:23:46 (permalink)
The Collins Creamery at Powder Hill. Is that the Powder Hill in Connecticut?
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/23 11:33:10 (permalink)
Michael-
Yes, Collins Creamery it is in Enfield, CT, not far from the Massachusetts state line.  You recognized the name?
Michael Hoffman
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/23 12:04:57 (permalink)
buffetbuster

Michael-
Yes, Collins Creamery it is in Enfield, CT, not far from the Massachusetts state line.  You recognized the name?

It wasn't what I was thinking. The Powder Hill I know is at Middlefield, Connecticut. It's a ski resort started by a cousin of mine. As a matter of fact, I helped build it, using a D7 bulldozer to sculpt moguls and to dig a pond for water for the snow-making machines. It's now called Powder Ridge.
Sundancer7
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/23 12:23:03 (permalink)
BB:  Your pic of Youngs Jersey ice cream just south of Springfield, OH was always a pretty and delicious ice cream and burger stop.  Thanks for the memory.
 
Paul E. Smith
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Poverty Pete
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/23 13:50:10 (permalink)
Buffetbuster
 
Mrs Peters was a classic KC  chicken  joint.  That's where I met Chicken Betty Lucas  so long ago.
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/24 10:16:35 (permalink)
Paul-
Other than the places here in Pittsburgh, I have probably been to Young's Jersey Dairy more than any other Roadfood place.  The fact that he can stop in at 7:00AM for a couple of scoops just makes me love the place even more.
 
PP-
Since you have been everywhere, no surprise that you made it to Mrs. Peters.  I have to ask.....  Who is Chicken Betty Lucas?
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/24 14:34:15 (permalink)
My photos for many of the restaurants on the best breakfast list is downright awful.  I would love to blame it on the camera not being ready first thing in the morning, but the photographer might have something to do with it.  So, without photos.....
 
Best Breakfasts
 
10)  Marcy Joe's Mealhouse - Columbia, TN
Owned partially by the country singing duo or Joey & Rory, this place was a smash hit!  My eggs and country ham were very good, but ChiTownDiner's breakfast, called Rory's Overalls on the menu was something special.  This was biscuits, eggs, high quality bacon in a sausage gravy with cheese.  He talked about this item for the rest of the day!
 
9) Hash House a Go Go - Las Vegas, NV
Yeah, this place has a touristy vibe and brash, but there is no denying that our food was good.  Mine was the meatloaf hash, with huge chunks of the meat mixed in with peppers, spinach and mozzarella cheese.  The portion size was so big, there was no chance of finishing it.  They get big bonus points for offering tangerine juice.  TTM's chicken and waffles, and I swear I am not making this up, was about a foot tall.
 
8) Breakfast Shoppe - Severna Park, MD
Despite multiple trips to Maryland to visit family, somehow I only managed to hit the great Breakfast Shoppe only once.  They make a wide variety of Benedicts and this year I had their wonderful salmon version with some of the best Hollandaise sauce you will find anywhere.  Cousin Johnny loved his black and blue french toast, which came topped with blackberry and blueberry compotes.  To the surprise of no one TTM ordered the chicken and waffles.  What was unusual was that instead of syrup, it came with a cream gravy and the chicken was boneless strips.
 
7) Niecie's - Kansas City, MO
Service here is always top notch, but we wouldn't come back if the food wasn't as good as it is.  This year, it was an order of the pork chops "fried right", which is what they call it on the menu.  Johnny had as short stack of fluffy pancakes and if I have to tell you what TTM ordered, then you haven't been paying attention.  All followed up by a rich slice of chocolate cake.
 
6) Hash House - Las Vegas, NV
Even though the names of these two Las Vegas restaurants are so similar, they could not be more different.  Hash House is a quiet, unassuming place that just puts out quality breakfasts.  This year, I tried the party hash (no, I am not making that up, either), which combines the roast beef hash, the chicken hash, ham hash and corned beef hash.  That is a lot of different flavors at one time,but it works.  They also offer a colorful option of different jams for your toast and I went with pineapple and pomegranate.
 
5) Wink's - Salisbury, NC
All I ate here was a egg, sausage and cheese biscuit, but the cheese was some delicious homemade pimento.  Where has this been all of my life?
 
4) Teresa's Mosaic Cafe - Tucson, AZ
I ate the excellent huevos a la Mexicana (scrambled eggs with tomatoes,onions and green chiles), while Mariton had a bowl of menudo, despite not having a hangover.  To drink, made in house horchata and jamaica.  And this has to be the friendliest little cafe in Tucson.
 
3) Garcia's Kitchen - Albuquerque, NM
I have yet to eat anything at Garcia's that wasn't excellent.  The sopaipillas were piping hot, the chicharrones intensely flavored and the huevos racheros is an ideal version.
 
2) Pancake Pantry - Nashville, TN
As good as all their pancakes are, with the sugar and spice being my personal favorite, I am also a big fan of their powerful country ham.  Never had anything less than a great meal here.
 
1) Hominy Grill - Charleston, SC
Our first meal of the year was brunch at Hominy Grill on New Year's Day.  Fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese sauce?  Yes please!  That plus a cup of she crab soup and the best chocolate pudding on earth made my first meal of the year one of the best.
 
Honorable mention:
1) Pancake Shop - Hot Springs, AR
2) Spyro's Pancake House - Fort Wayne, IN
3) Original Pantry - Los Angeles, CA
4) Northstar Cafe - Columbus, OH
5) Classen Grill - Oklahoma City, OK
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/24 14:35:26
The Travelin Man
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/24 14:50:43 (permalink)
I don't know that my photos are any better, but here is a pic of the chicken and waffle dish from Hash House-a-Go-Go to which buffetbuster referred: 
 

 
And, yes, sir....there is bacon in them there waffles....
 

 
BB....seeing as how I am not usually up and out of bed before noon, how did I manage to accompany you on so many of your top breakfast excursions?
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/24 14:59:19 (permalink)
TTM-
Most likely by threats of me coming back and telling you how good the food was that you missed!
 
Thanks for posting the photo!  And it is definitely better than mine.  If memory serves me correctly, you ate the whole thing, didn't you?
The Travelin Man
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/24 15:05:03 (permalink)
I used the rosemary sprigs to pick my teeth.
Foodbme
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/24 15:47:24 (permalink)
BB,
Your Breakfast List is 5 Star!
If you're ever in Pensacola, FL, I recommend the Coffee Cup.
The Omelets, Biscuits, Gravy, and Nassau Grits while simple fare, are outstanding!
Poverty Pete
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/24 18:37:03 (permalink)
BB-  Betty Lucas and Helen Stroud  are the two pioneers of the fried chicken tradition in KC.  Almost any place you can name  (except Brookville)  was on the map if and only if they hired Betty Lucas to come in and show them how to do it.
Mrs. Peters,  Boots & Coates, RC?   That's all Chicken Betty.
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/25 06:03:09 (permalink)
TTM-
Now that I really wish I had a good photo of that!
 
Foodbme-
Thanks!  I have been to The Coffee Cup in Pensacola and it is a wonderful place for breakfast.  Considering how close we will be during the Glee Club in Mobile, I am hoping we find a way to drive over one morning.
 
PP-
I had no idea.  Thanks for that info.  Did you ever eat at Boots & Coates?  I have read the reviews in the old Roadfood books and it sounds like I missed out on another great one.
Poverty Pete
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/25 08:34:19 (permalink)
BB-
   In KC, there was Stroud's at 85th & Troost, and then the rest of the pack.  The food in the other places was similar.  The draw was the ambiance.  Mrs. Peters was like going to some crazy aunt's for dinner.  She had chicken on the brain.
 
RC felt like you were eating in a warehouse.  Boot & Coates  was my personal favorite.  It had the feel of a private dining club.
mayor al
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/25 10:56:13 (permalink)
TTM
Is that a weed sprouting on the top of your Chicken and Waffles??? or is it really The "Rosemary" Sprigs???
lleechef
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/25 12:00:59 (permalink)
I love Hash House a Go Go!  I was there with redpatti and Jeff.  I didn't get any rosemary sprigs.
The Travelin Man
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/25 13:11:16 (permalink)
That was, indeed, rosemary.
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/25 16:51:48 (permalink)
Poverty Pete-
If only I had found Roadfood ten years earlier!  I missed out on some great places.
Rocky Enfield
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/28 17:26:07 (permalink)
BB

I have been to Hash House a Go Go and what a breakfast it is.  I had the Eggs Benedict with the sage fried chicken and just like TTM's meal it was stacked a good foot high.  This was a seriously memorable meal.  I managed to eat the whole thing and my breakfast sustained me so well that the only thing ate the rest of the day was a banana at 11:00pm when I landed in Chicago. 
 
My wife had the scrambled eggs with sundried tomatoes, basil and goat cheese and loved them!
 
The owners/founders of Hash House A Go Go are from Indiana which leaves one question....why can't I find breakfasts like theirs in Indiana?
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/28 18:30:31 (permalink)
The original plan was to have this done by the end of the month, but I wasn't counting on coming down with strep throat. Other than going to the drs, I haven't left the house since Friday. This report will just take a little longer than expected to complete.
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/28 20:15:18 (permalink)
Feel better buckaroo!
 
Buddy
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/28 20:37:51 (permalink)
I hope you feel better soon BB. Great lists so far. Thanks. 
will_work_4_bbq
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/28 21:49:13 (permalink)
Get well soon!  
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/30 15:09:57 (permalink)
Thanks for the get well wishes!
 
Continuing on my with some of my favorite experiences of 2012.....
 
Back in January, TheTravelinMan let me know he was coming to Pittsburgh for the weekend.  He has been here often enough that I am running out of cool touristy places to take him.  Knowing he is a big baseball fan, I suggested the Roberto Clemente Musuem and he immediately responded that sounded like a great idea.
 
After an excellent lunch at Tessaro's for some of the best burgers

in the country (One of these days, either Ralph or I need to send in a formal Roadfood review, because it really is that good), TTM, my buddy Mike and I drove to the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh where the museum is located.  Owner Duane Rieder is a photographer who developed a relationship with the Clemente family and they donated much of what is on display.  The building is a beautiful old restored firehouse and yes, the pole

is still there! 
 
The museum is open by appointment only and there were a few other small groups joining us.  I had assumed that Duane would be leading the tour, but instead, a small older man with a thick accent arrived and was introduced to us as Les Banos.  He had been the team photographer for the Pirates and was a very close personal friend of Roberto.  Here is a photo of Les with Roberto back in the day


and Les on the day of our visit.  It was a very relaxed leisurely tour, with Les showing us the memorabilia and many of the photographs, which of course he taken himself and had since donated to the museum.







 
If all we did was look at some signed balls and some dusty old photographs, then we still would have had a fun afternoon.  But, it was so much more because of the stories.  Because of their friendship, Les was able to tell us what Roberto the person was really like.  He is so deified here in Pittsburgh, that it is easy to forget that he was a real person, with problems and faults just like anyone else.  And Les had countless great stories and through these it was still obvious that he admired the man.  Just every kid growing up in Pittsburgh and Puerto Rico did.  Some of the stories I was familiar with, but most were completely new to me.  Like when the Pirates were on the road in San Diego and Roberto got kidnapped and thrown in the trunk of a car.  Once the bad guys realized who he was, they dropped him back off at the hotel, apologizing the whole way.  By the way, Les was originally supposed to be on the plane to Managua, Nicaragua that carried earthquake relief supplies that crashed and killed Roberto.
 
With the years that he was around Major League Baseball, he had also become friends with many of the other great players.  And he had plenty of fun stories about them, too.  To the surprise of no one, Les said Ernie Banks and Stan Musial were just as nice in real life as they appeared.  I was a little surprised to hear such good things about Willie Mays, who was known to be a little cranky.  His story of Roberto introducing Willie to the Japanese ambassador on a downtown Pittsburgh street was probably my favorite all day.  There was one other superstar ballplayer of the era that Les had nothing good to say about, but I don't think it is appropriate for me to name that person here.  Ask me in person sometime.  Oh, and then there was the year he was responsible throughout spring training for taking Pie Traynor to the track.  And so many more. 
 
As if this wasn't interesting enough, he was also worked for one of the big wire services, so he ended up photographing and befriending some of the big Hollywood starlets at the time.  So we also heard stories about Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford, etc.  There was a particularly good one about running into fellow Hungarian Zsa Zsa Gabor in the Cincinnati airport.
 
By the way, I do need to point something out.  This can make it seem like he was boasting about all the famous people he knew, but it wasn't like that at all.  The stories were so matter-of-fact, like me telling someone about my Aunt Edna's adnoids, he did not come across as a braggart in the slightest.
 
It was an absolutely fascinating couple of hours hearing Les.  But, my back was getting wonky, so I went downstairs to sit on one of the benches.  For the life of me, I couldn't understand why I had never heard of Les Banos before.  So, I googled his name on my smart phone and the first thing that came up was a Les Banos who was a spy during World War and was credited with saving countless lives.  What?  That couldn't possibly be the same Les Banos could it?  Just then, museum curator Duane Rieter walked by and I asked him.  Yes, it was the same man.  He had joined the SS in his native Hungary and acted as a double agent for the Allies, feeding them information and changing Nazi orders.  I was stunned.  How could one man have lived such an amazing life?  When Les (along with Mike and TTM) came downstairs, I asked him about his experiences during World War II.  As open as he was with the baseball stories, he was reluctant to discuss the war.  Which we understood.  He said he had seen too many horrifying things and he would rather just forget them.  He did tell me that he wrote a book about it.  Since he had a copy in his car, I was able to purchase it right there and have him sign it.  If you would like to see a short video of Les discussing the war, you can find it here.
 
We sat around for a while longer with Les, just chatting in general.  We couldn't stay forever, but the three of us didn't want to leave.  Finally, TTM snapped a photo of Mike, Les and I before we left.
  
I had plans of taking other friends who loved baseball to the museum and to meet Les, but it never materialized and Les passed away just a few months later.
 
I can't begin to tell you how many times I have thought about that afternoon and what a great time we had.  And how fortunate I feel to have met Les Banos, even if it was just for a few hours.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/30 15:31:19
ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/30 15:18:06 (permalink)
I love stories like that-I have many about famous people in Milwaukee, and its not name dropping-its just stories....and I do tell them......
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