My Year in Roadfood (2012)

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buffetbuster
Porterhouse
2012/12/28 10:02:37
With only trip left this year (we are spending New Year's in Charleston, SC), this seems like a good time to start the year in review.  And since I know we won't be eating any hamburgers this weekend, we will start with that list.
 
Best Burgers
 
10) Shake Shack - New York, NY


If you would have told us ahead of time that a burger from such a big chain would make the list, I would have never believed you.  But, we were blown away by this burger.  We weren't even planning on eating here, but we walked past it on the way to Papaya King and couldn't resist.  I think it was cousin Johnny's idea to order the double SmokeShack burger, which comes with applewood smoked bacon, incredibly flavorful chopped cherry peppers and shake sauce, whatever that is, all on a grilled, buttered bun.  We weren't all that impressed by the custard, but we will definitely be back for that burger!
 
9) Jack's North Hi Carry Out - Wichita, KS

This place would earn our love just for the great story of a young man in his 20's buying (with help from grandma) a closing old-fashioned burger stand.  But that wouldn't matter if Jack's didn't put out a great burger and they do.
 
8) The Summit - Ojai, CA

The owners here have an admirable dedication to quality.  They told me they get their fresh ground beef delivered to them everyday and how fussy they are about how the burger is grilled.  And it shows in just how delicious this Western Bacon Cheeseburger turned out.  Thanks to Chris & Amy for finding this gem.
 
7) Ranchman's Cafe - Ponder, TX

The Travelin Man and I ate quite a few burgers during our Easter weekend in the Dallas area, but the burger here at Ranchman's was head and shoulders the best.  Nothing fancy, but this is one of those burgers that you think to yourself, this is what beef is supposed to taste like.
 
6) Meers Store - Meers, OK

The Meers Store is such a fun, interesting place, it is easy to look past the fact they put out a terrific burger.  Using the beef from their own private herd of Texas longhorn cattle, the burger is very lean, but still tastes great.  That this restaurant in the middle of nowhere packs them in tells you something.
 
5) Powers Hamburgers - Fort Wayne, IN

My favorite sliders!  But, they put so many carmelized onions on the burgers, they will fill you up like a regular sized burger.  The tiny building is an art deco beauty!
 
4) El Mago de las Fritas - Miami, FL

A big thanks to Roadfooder MiamiDon for acting as our guide to this Little Havana landmark.  The fritas is the Cuban spin on the hamburger and they reportedly use chorizo in the fresh ground beef to give it a distinct flavor and top it off with made in house potato sticks.  We can't wait to go back to Little Havana for more fritas!
 
3) J & W Grill - Chickasha, OK

I have eaten quite a few onion burgers in El Reno and I think J & W Grill has them all beat.  They can trace their roots back to El Reno and here the fried onions infuse into the beef until it practically becomes one.  As an added bonus, J & W has great lunch counter atmosphere.
 
2) Hank's Hamburgers - Tulsa, OK


This list is dominated by Oklahoma for a reason.  At this point, I am ready to name Oklahoma the best state in the country for burgers.  Cousin Johnny and I split this four patty bohemoth known as the Big Okie burger.  This was so good, we were still talking about it for days afterwards.
 
1) Bobcat Bite - Santa Fe, NM


After a one year absence from the top spot, the king is back!  I had a much better experience here in 2012 than I did in 2011.  Though there was some concern, since it was my first visit since they changed to a more substantial bun, the new bun did indeed stand up to the juiciness of the meat much better.  And the green chiles, high quality beef and cheese combination is still perfection.  
 
Honorable Mention:
1) K. LaMay's Steamed Cheeseburgers - Meriden, CT
2) Owl Cafe - Albuquerque, NM
3) Triple XXX Family Restaurant - West Lafayette, IN
4) Robert's Grill - El Reno, OK
5) Marty's Hamburger Stand - Los Angeles, CA     
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/12/28 10:08:47
JRPfeff
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 10:15:43
buffetbuster,
 
Great start, I am drooling!
 
You could publish a book of your trip reports and pictures and I would buy it.
 
carolina jim
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 10:19:38
Great start Buffetbuster
 
Gasp!  I thought the best burgers were in LA????   (sarcasm smiley?)

There's no doubt that Oklahoma is probably one of the best burger states (along with Nebraska, Montana) being in the heart of beef country....
 
I'm taking notes for my trip through Oklahoma in July with those beautiful burgers that you have posted...
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 10:37:27
WJ-
If you are spending some vacation time in Oklahoma in 2013, than I am thinking you will have a great burger list for next year's review.  Okies are crazy about burgers and they know how to make 'em!
 
JRPfeff-
Spending so little time in Wisconsin (just nipped the extreme Southwest corner) hurt this list, but I promise to make up for it in 2013!  Thanks for what you said.
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 11:24:50
I'm glad the Bobcat Bite Green Chile Cheeseburger is No. 1!!!!!  Trying to talk MH into leaving now for Santa Fe!  But they all look delicious! 
phlmaestro
Cheeseburger
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 12:04:06
Yum! I always look forward to your year-end report.
 
Philly finally got a Shake Shack this year and those burgers more than lived up to my expectations. So I'm pleased to see that you had them on your list.
 
One of these years I'll talk my wife into going to Oklahoma or rope a friend into it.
 
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 12:25:57
phlmaestro
One of these years I'll talk my wife into going to Oklahoma or rope a friend into it.
I think Will Rogers would have enjoyed this pun!  Lucky Philly on having a shake shack in town.  Hopefully it makes its way to the other end of the state soon.  Which burger do you order when you go?
 
lleechef-
Looks like the distance from Mobile to Santa Fe is only 1,224 miles.  Maybe that will help!
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/12/28 12:28:54
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 12:35:12
bb
Piece of cake!  Um, or should I say burger.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 12:39:31
Great. So now I have to drive from Mobile to Santa Fe. Oh, well, if it'll get lleechef off my back -- and get me a green chile cheeseburger.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 12:40:25
JRPfeff
carolina jim
  You may want to make sure there is no copyright infringement on your new handle.  Or, at least get written permission from The Man himself! 

ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 12:54:58
Nice start...your annual list is a lifetime for many!  How many catagories can we expect?
Pancho
Double Cheeseburger
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 13:06:03
Great report and pics! I'm heading out to the Blue Moon for a burger thanks to you! I also really like Nick's in Brookings, SD. Here's a blue burger from the Moon...(soon to be my lunch).
http://www.google.com/img...=1t:429,r:33,s:0,i:195
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 14:03:19
That's a great looking burger Pancho.  There are somany really good burger joints in and around Madison.  I visited Nick's in Brookings for the first time just last year and came away very impressed by the place.
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 14:08:38
Great start.Looking forward to much, much more.
Pancho
Double Cheeseburger
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 15:18:28
buffetbuster

That's a great looking burger Pancho.  There are somany really good burger joints in and around Madison.  I visited Nick's in Brookings for the first time just last year and came away very impressed by the place.
Same here...I was on a 5K solo motorcycle trip and skipped breakfast in New Ulm, MN just to be hungry when I got there. Dick, the owner, served me and was amazed that I downed three double cheeses in about 15 minutes. "Wow, you must have been hungry". Best burgers of the trip until I arrived at the renowned spot in Santa Fe.

phlmaestro
Cheeseburger
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 16:04:56
buffetbuster

phlmaestro
One of these years I'll talk my wife into going to Oklahoma or rope a friend into it.
I think Will Rogers would have enjoyed this pun!  Lucky Philly on having a shake shack in town.  Hopefully it makes its way to the other end of the state soon.  Which burger do you order when you go?

Buffetbuster: I don't like dressing/special sauce or mayo on burgers, so I go with their basic quarter pound burger and get it topped with cheese, pickles, raw onions, ketchup and mustard. I tried it once with bacon and didn't think it was as good as without the bacon.

carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 16:21:45
buffetbuster

JRPfeff
carolina jim
  You may want to make sure there is no copyright infringement on your new handle.  Or, at least get written permission from The Man himself! 

 
Nope, I don't have a copyright on the "Carolina" name thing but I sure wish I did, seeing that some kind of monetary remuneration might have come out of my having one.  
 
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/28 17:03:19
Outstanding pictures of beautiful burgers!
 
 
strongy78
Hamburger
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/29 01:31:18
Awesome top 10.  Those Powers Burgers got me drooling.  I love grilled onions...that picture is amazing and those burgers look great!
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/29 10:38:10
Fabulous! Yep, BB, we need you back in Wisconsin this year! Maybe I will get to break bread with you twice in one year....
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2012/12/30 19:01:03
BB
My mom is now in a nursing home in Fort Wayne, so looks like LOTS more Powers Burgers and Nick's Kitchen visits in my coming days & months.
 
Your burgers made me drool
 
Jack's, Hank's and Bobcat make me drool even more.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/02 07:43:42
ann peeples
Yep, BB, we need you back in Wisconsin this year! Maybe I will get to break bread with you twice in one year....
Ann, that reason alone is enough to get me back to Wisconsin this year.  Of course, the butter burgers, frozen custard, kringles, fish fries, hoppel poppel, etc. don't hurt! 

buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/02 07:45:39
CK-
Sorry to hear about your mother being in a nursing home in Fort Wayne.  I hope she is doing well.  That is a significant drive, isn't it?  When you get to Powers Hamburgers, please report back.  I feel very confident you will not be disappointed.
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/02 08:33:20
buffetbuster, Spectacular Photos!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/02 09:14:43
As much as I enjoy creating these end of the year lists, it tells only part of the story of why I love Roadfood and traveling so much.  This year, I am hoping to do something a little different and write about some of my favorite experiences in 2012.  And there will be no ranking of these.  Each and every one will be something I will remember for, hopefully, the rest of my life.
 
My girlfriend Mariton has family in Japan that she is very close to.  Her 21 year old cousin Maki graduated from college and as a graduation gift, her and three of her friends were given a two week trip to the United States.  The first week was spent on a cruise and the second week brought them to Pittsburgh to visit Mariton and the rest of her family.  Mariton asked if I would help entertain them, which sounded like fun.  From left to right, this is Junko, Mari, Mariton, Maki and Miki.

 
While here in Pittsburgh, we went into the city for a dinner at a tapas restaurant, where we celebrated Mari's birthday, followed by a showing of a Broadway musical in town.  Afterwards, I decided there was no way they could come to Pittsburgh without visiting Primanti's for the famous sandwiches with cole slaw and fries on top.  Not knowing if they would like them or not, I played it conservative and just got three sandwiches for the six of us to share.  Here is an action shot from my phone. 

I was shocked that the girls went crazy over these.  They wolfed them down so fast, I had no choice but to order more.  And those disappeared just as fast.  I wonder if the owners of Primanti's should open up a Tokyo location?
 
Mariton also asked if we could take them on a weekend trip, so they could see more of the country.  We talked over several different destinations and settled on going to Washington, DC.  There is precious little good food between Pittsburgh and DC, but I do like Weaver's Family Restaurant in Hancock, MD.  The regular food is okay, nothing special really, but they do make their own breads, pies and other bakery items.  After our meals, I ordered three different slices of pie for us all to share.  Maki's three friends, who were making their first trip to the US and spoke very little English and used Maki as an interpreter, had never seen pie before.  Can you imagine?  After they took lots of photos of the pies, they dug in slow at first, picking up steam once they recognized the different flavors.  The banana cream was especially a big hit.  This may have been the first time in my life I have ever enjoyed watching other people eat pie more than eating it myself!
 
Once in DC, we had a wonderful time visiting the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian and taking a tour of the US Capitol.  That first photo was taken right outside of the Capitol Building.  There was also posing for photos (and there was almost nonstop posing for each others cameras!) outside of the White House and the Washington Monument.  It seems safe to say the ladies were having a good time!

Truthfully, their favorite part of the time in DC was the shopping, which they did for 4+ hours.  This allowed me to do some eating on my own and to take a much needed nap.
 
Dinner ened up being late at night.  Maki asked where were we eating.  The other three girls might not know very much English, but they did know the words Texas and barbecue.  This made them visibly excited, which made me happy, because I was never exactly sure of what they would like and not like.  Our dinner was at Hill Country Barbecue.  While certainly no match for the great barbecue parlors in and around Austin, for what they are, I think they do a nice job.  And this turned out to be their favorite meal of the trip.  They ate so much that I twice had to go back up to the counter for more barbecue, once for ribs and once for brisket.
 
After our Sunday tour of the US Capitol, it was time to drive back to Pittsburgh.  But, I asked them if they were hungry enough for one more meal.  When I said the word hamburger, Miki yelled out "HAMBURGER!  All of the girls had a conference in Japanese, but after another shout of HAMBURGER from Miki, we were headed to nearby Tune Inn.  For late March, the weather was surprisingly warm, so we ate outside.  They were not as enthusiastic about the hamburgers as they were about some of the other foods, but from the photos they did seem to enjoy them. 

BTW, it wasn't until later than I found out that Miki's nickname was Dyson, as in vacuum cleaner, because of her appetite!
 
I have always enjoyed meeting and talking to people from other countries.  And to be able to act as tour guide for these wonderful young ladies was a real privilege.  They were all so fun, sweet and open to new things (especially food) that the language barrier turned out to be no issue at all.  All of the girls thanked Mariton and I over and over for the trip, but it felt like I should be thanking them because it may have been the most fun weekend all year!      
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/02 09:52:18
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/02 10:01:57
Now that is a really neat report!
mar52
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/02 14:45:53
What fun!  Thanks for including us in the enjoyment.
will_work_4_bbq
Cheeseburger
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/02 16:32:39
I love it!  How lucky to have the opportunity of entertaining them!
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/02 16:44:08
Very COOL!!!
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/02 18:34:55
buffetbuster, food and surrounded by women...you are living life to the fullest!
 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/02 19:06:00
ChiTownDiner

buffetbuster, food and surrounded by women...you are living life to the fullest!


 
How about being surrounded by women bathed in food- even better ! 
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/03 13:46:46
With few trips to the South and Texas, my best barbecue list was looking rather skimpy.  But, just this past weekend we ate at two excellent places for the first time and filled out the list nicely.
 
Best Barbecue
 
10) Bubba's Barbecue - Eureka Springs, AR


We loved the basement atmosphere, the colorful exterior and the quirky sense of humor of Bubba's, but it is the 'cue we will remember most.  The sausage was a little spicy and drenched in Bubba's wonderful sauce.  Cousin Johnny was a big fan of the thick ribs and the pulled pork with plenty of crunchy outside meat.
 
9) Short Sugar's - Reidsville, NC

I made four seperate trips to the Tarheel State in 2012, which means this list will be heavy on North Carolina style barbecue.  It helps that I also love the stuff!  They serve the classic pork and slaw tray here, light on the sauce, heavy on piggy flavor.
 
8) Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ - Hutchinson, KS


Get here early because the lines are long and they typically run out of food by early afternoon.  We arrived just before noon and snagged the last of the spicy hot links.  I liked Roy's enough to write a Roadfood review.
 
7) Flip's - Wilmington, NC

We had to drive from Raleigh to Charleston last Saturday and decided to take the eastern route so we could visit Flip's.  This is a longer drive, but Flip's helped make it worthwhile.  Everything is made in house and we tried a good sampling of the menu.  The fried bologna sandwich, shockingly dark in color and dressed with slaw and chili, is known as a Flip's burger "all the way".  We both loved it!  The pork, moist with a slight smoky flavor was sauced with the fine vinegary sauce.
 
6) Archibald's - Northport, AL


Just finding Archibald's can be an adventure, but if you follow the smell of smoke, you will eventually find it.  And Archibald's just looks the way a Southern barbecue parlor should.  They didn't have the ribs available when I stopped in and said it would be another hour or so until they would be ready.  Since my schedule didn't allow that, I "settled" for the pork sandwich.  The meat is cut into thick slabs that hang well out from the soft white bread. The sauce is thin and more vinegary than sweet.  Next time, I will wait for the ribs, no matter how long it takes.
 
5) Lexington #1 - Lexington, NC


A long time favorite of mine, it wasn't quite as spectaular as on previous visits.  It was merely very, very good.  While I was sitting at the counter taking photos, the owner (Wayne Monk's son) took an interest in me and sent out some things for me to try.  The barbecue turkey was wonderfully smoky, but the pork straight off the pit was truly something amazing!
 
4) Skylight Inn - Ayden, NC


Pete Jones' barbecue is still packing them in after all of these years and for good reason.  I do like sauce on my Carolina barbecue, but this is that rare place that truly doesn't need any at all.  This is a great combination of both inside and outside meat.  And I love how you get it with the slaw and cornbread piled on top.
 
3) LC's - Kansas City, MO


LC's is the promised land for burnt ends.  We did try the ribs this year and they were perfectly fine, but it is those burnt ends that make us always return while in Kansas City.
 
2) McClard's - Hot Springs, AR


Along with the Brick Pit in Mobile, McClard's is my favorite barbecue parlor for ribs.  These beauties are big and meaty, with just the right amount of chew.
 
1) Scott's Barbecue - Hemingway, SC

Everything you have heard about this place is true.  And then some.  We drove a couple hours out of our way to eat here on Saturday, questioning whether it was going to be worth it.  Oh, was it worth it!  This is the moistest, smokiest pork I have ever had and the vinegary/peppery sauce made my nose run and my lips tingle.  I will definitely be back!        
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/03 13:51:20
mar52
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/03 15:03:55
LOVE seeing all the different styles of barbecue.
 
Officially jealous!
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/03 16:47:24
Skimpy year for barbecue, eh? How skimpy can it be when LC's gets beaten twice???
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/03 18:55:59
TTM-
One thing is obvious from looking at the list.  We should have eaten more barbecue while we were in Dallas/Fort Worth.
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/03 21:13:31
Wheres the beef?
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/03 22:36:51
ChiTownDiner

Wheres the beef?

NOT in NC - Pork Rules there
 
BB
I agree about archibald's - most of my favorite southern pit places look alot like that
 
 
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 11:36:14
It can't be all eating while on the road.  Here are some of my favorite tourist attractions from 2012:
 
Adams National Historical Park - Massachusetts

 
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park - Virginia

 
Arizona Capitol Museum - Arizona

 
Ash Lawn-Highland - Virginia
 
 
Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum - Maryland

 
Buffalo Botanical Gardens - New York

 
Butterfly House - Ohio


 
Centennial Land Run Monument - Oklahoma

 
Cincinnati Museum Center - Ohio

 
Cleveland Botanical Gardens - Ohio


 
Des Moines Sculpture Park - Iowa

 
Eisenhower National Historic Site - Pennsylvania

 
Elvis Haircut Historic Site - Arkansas

 
Empire State Building - New York

 
Fair Park - Texas


 
Fenelon Place Elevator - Iowa

 
Field of Dreams - Iowa

 
Flagler College - Florida

 
Fort Sumter National Monument - South Carolina

  
Fremont Street Experience - Nevada

 
Gettysburg National Military Park - Pennsylvania


 
Golden Driller - Oklahoma

 
Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona


 
Great River Road - Wisconsin

 
Hearst Castle - California

 
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum - Iowa

 
Hershey Museum - Pennsylvania

 
Hot Springs National Park - Arkansas

 
Jacksonville Zoo - Florida

 
Jimmy Carter Library and Museum - Georgia

 
Keeper of the Plains - Kansas
 
 
Korner's Folly - North Carolina 

 
La Brea Tar Pits - California
 
 
Loretta Chapel - New Mexico

 
Los Angeles Art Deco Tour - California

 
Mac-A-Cheek Castle - Ohio

 
Maryland Zoo in Baltimore - Maryland


 
Miami Beach Art Deco Tour - Florida

 
Mission San Juan Capistrano - California

 
Mission San Xavier del Bac - Arizona

 
Montpelier - Virginia

 
Museum of World Treasures - Kansas

 
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum - Oklahoma

 
National Museum of the Air Force - Ohio

 
National World War I Museum - Missouri

 
Neon Museum - Nevada

 
Niagara Falls - New York

 
Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum - Oklahoma

 
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - California

 
Pennsylvania State Capitol - Pennsylvania



 
Pro Football Hall of Fame - Ohio
 
 
Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library - California

 
Sabino Canyon - Arizona

 
Saguaro National Park - Arizona

 
Santa Monica Pier - California

 
Shenandoah National Park - Virginia

 
Sixth Floor Museum - Texas

 
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens - Ohio

 
Traveling Man Sculptures - Texas

 
Tryon Palace - North Carolina

 
Tulsa Zoo - Oklahoma
 

 
United States Capitol Building - District of Columbia
 


Vizcaya Museum & Gardens - Florida

 
William McKinley National Memorial - Ohio

 
Zion National Park - Utah


post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/07/17 15:40:08
Hepcat
Cheeseburger
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 12:40:33
Buffetbuster:
 
Great thread! Excellent reports with fabulous pictures of food and best of all Japanese women!
 
And man, does Archibald's ever look like my kind of place!
 

 

post edited by Hepcat - 2013/01/25 18:10:50
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 12:46:53
You just posted the Golden Driller to taunt me. 
 
I think I know of one that is coming up! As a matter of fact, I would be disappointed if it didn't make your list.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 12:58:54
I'm now troubled that I can't think of what it might be unless it starts with an E and has train tracks running behind it. 
FriedClamFanatic
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 13:23:06
Ok.of the travel photos, Ashland wins...for obvious reasons!  But great non-food shots! Thanks for sharing
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 13:32:34
Lovely photos of the tourist sites. I went to Montpelier just after the public was welcome back but the before the restoration to more Madison era look. Gettysburg is a sacred place where we see fully the price for the sin of slavery, as Lincoln so aptly remarked. I am very  overjoyed to see all of the wonderful places you have seen.
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 13:33:01
And the food pictures are a delight.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 14:42:44
The Travelin Man
I think I know of one that is coming up! As a matter of fact, I would be disappointed if it didn't make your list.
Not sure which one you are referring to, but that photo of you in front of one of the Traveling Man sculptures is priceless!

The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 14:51:25
Honestly, there were a bunch of good ones in the "after lunch" group - and many which were shared, but the one to which I was referring was the World War I Museum in Kansas City. That was one of my favorites of the whole year. I also loved the Sixth Floor Museum....and the Traveling Man sculptures. I also like the shot you got from the Neon Museum. 
 
I had a few good ones this year, too - Donner Pass, Custer's Last Stand (where, I was disappointed to find, contained no custard stand), Mount Rushmore to name a few.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 17:20:49
I was happy to see the "Field of Dreams" movie site included. I don't know why but that location holds something extrasensory for me. I watch the movie every time I can, and get that 'hair on the back of my neck-raised' every time.  I mention this because ESPN had a story last night that a a sports-complex of ball fields and other athletic things will be built around the original farm-field, the feuding gamilies that owned the place have sold out and moved away. I look forward to a visit next summer.
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 17:39:51
bb
If you weren't already a professional Roadfooder I would suggest you become a professional photographer.  Truly beautiful pictures.
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 18:02:35
The Travelin Man

Honestly, there were a bunch of good ones in the "after lunch" group - and many which were shared, but the one to which I was referring was the World War I Museum in Kansas City. That was one of my favorites of the whole year. I also loved the Sixth Floor Museum....and the Traveling Man sculptures. I also like the shot you got from the Neon Museum. 

I had a few good ones this year, too - Donner Pass, Custer's Last Stand (where, I was disappointed to find, contained no custard stand), Mount Rushmore to name a few.

Custer's..... Not Custard  Sheeesh #1 Son Next you will want the sixth floor museum to be on the third floor.    It was too bad you were one of the many that was under the weather in Nashville, I missed breaking bread and sharing with you.  I knew something was wrong when I got to the hot fish place and there was cousin johnny, you, ctd, WJ & BB and only 1 half eaten sandwich for you all to share.
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/04 18:11:52
Compared to the others, I was downright healthy.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/07 11:13:53
Favorite meal of 2012
 
This is a category that I planned on doing last year, (the choice would have been a chicken dinner at Stroud's) but never got around to it.  Not going to make that mistake again.
 
This year's winner is the dinner on the night of July 21st at the Pine Club in Dayton.  My sister has twin 15 year old boys and she has done a marvelous job of raising them by herself.  Alex and Andrew are smart, fun, kind and well-adjusted.  And man do they like to eat!  They have mentioned in the past their desire to go on one of my weekend trips and 2012 was the year we finally made that happen.  Because of their love of science (Andrew wants to become a physicist), we headed for the Dayton/Cincinnati area.  We spent hours exploring both the great airplane museum attached to Wright-Patterson AFB and the Museum of Natural History & Science in Cincy.  Lots of eating was done, including a very successful trip to Camp Washington Chili, where the boys ate everything I could throw at them.  We sampled 5-Way chilis, double decker sandwiches, cheese coneys and even goetta!  When gracious owner John Johnson came around to check on us, I had the three of them pose for a photo together. 

That is Alex on the left, Andrew on the right.
 
The Pine Club is open late,

which would give me time to rest after the busy day and they are also less crowded then.  Besides, there is something fun, even adventurous about a late night dinner out.  So we got a little dressed up, (jeans, but with nice collared shirts) and headed out.  They don't take reservations, but when we walked in at 9:30PM, we got seated right away.  If you haven't been here before, you can't imagine how dark the inside is of the Pine Club.  They have an attractive bar between the two sides of the dining room and here is what the bar looks like. 

It really is that dark!  This adds to the Midwest Supper Club ambience.
 
At 50, my eyes aren't what they used to be, so I had to use the flashlight app on my phone to read the menu.  This is the first time I had seen the bone-in filet on their menu and I had to try it.  The boys asked me a couple of questions and decided the bone-in filets were what they wanted, too.
 
Your meals here start with one of the better assortments of bread

this side of Peter Luger's.  There was something for everyone and considering the last thing we ate was at least 5 hours ago (an eternity when you are 15), these disappeared fast.  Salads come with the meals and Pine Club has one of the better salad dressings I have had. 

This is the "red and bleu" salad, which is simply iceberg lettuce with blue cheese and french dressing.  Those two dressings make a wonderful combination and I also prefer my salad with as little other toppings as possible, so this is just about the perfect salad for me.  Andrew also ordered it and loved it, but Alex went the more conventional way with one of the other made-in-house dressings.
 
Our steaks were delivered to the table, met with a chorus of oooohs and ahhhhs. 

These are just gorgeous looking steaks!  Because the boys have never been to a place like this, I showed them how to cut it open to make sure the steaks came out the way we ordered them (medium) and they were all exactly what we wanted.  Other than some yummy noises, the conversation halted for a while as we all dug in.  The complaint many have about the filet is that it doesn't deliver the flavor that other steaks can and I agree to that.  But this was still one amazingly flavorful steak.  It was lean, but not too much so, with that dark outside crust that I just love.  The boys were equally crazy about their steaks and there was nothing left by the time we were through.  Those onion rings you see in the steak photo are the thin, wispy kind that I prefer to the big, thick rings.  We also got some sides of mushrooms in light wine sauce

and asparagus with hollandaise,

just so I could tell their mother that we ate some green vegetables!
 
After we were done and all three of us were completely stuffed, the manager stopped at our table to make sure we enjoyed our meal.  Needless to say, he was pleased to hear our glowing reports.  I asked a question about the bone-in filet and told him it was the first visit by the boys.  He excused himself and said he would be right back.  He then quickly returned with a cart with all kinds of different uncooked steaks on it.  He then explained to the boys (and me) about the different cuts of meats and where they come from on the cow.  He also answered all of our questions (and we had quite a few) and it was a real education for all of us.  Altogether, he must have spent 20 minutes with us, which was much appreciated.  By the time we paid the bill (cash only!) and returned to the hotel, it was already after midnight.  And the boys told me over and over how much they enjoyed their meal.
 
Any dinner at the Pine Club is special.  I have been there five times now and every meal has been stellar.  But, to share this experience with my nephews and their very first visit to a real steak house, that is something I will always remember and why it was my favorite meal of the year.
 
When we were out to lunch over this past weekend, we discussed where we are going this Summer.  When they said they wanted to go someplace with historical sites and great food, I immediately thought of either Philadelphia or Boston.  No matter where we go, it will be difficult to top the meal we had at the Pine Club.
 
Honorable Mention:  New Year's Eve dinner at Magnolia's. 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/08 17:58:54
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/07 11:49:20
bb
You are a good uncle!  We are supposed to be headed to Dayton in April so we will be sure to go to the Pine Club and get that bone-in filet.  It looks marvelous!
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/07 11:53:50
That's a great story!  Nice job bb!
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/07 11:59:39
Damn! Now she's ordering for me? Give 'em a ring and they take over your whole life.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/07 12:44:59
lleechef

bb
You are a good uncle!  We are supposed to be headed to Dayton in April so we will be sure to go to the Pine Club and get that bone-in filet.  It looks marvelous!
Just so you know, Pine Club opens at 4:00, but they don't start taking dinner orders until 5:00PM.  My advice is to get there at 4:00, claim a booth and have a couple of adult beverages.  If you get there at 5:00, you will almost definitely have a wait for a table.  Of course, in a place as nice as this, that isn't the worse thing in the world.  I hope you and Michael go.  You will love it!  Don't forget, cash only!
 
Michael-
If you behave between now and April, maybe she will let you order your own steak!

ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/07 12:50:34
You bet, Mr.Hoffman. Ring equals love AND ordering.......
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/07 12:55:31
Buffetbuster: It's against my nature to behave. So I'll probably end up with a bowl of Wheatena.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/07 12:56:25
ann peeples

You bet, Mr.Hoffman. Ring equals love AND ordering.......


Oh, Right. I forgot about that obey stuff.
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/07 13:09:39
LOL! So does Bob....
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/08 09:54:44
Best Beverage
 
10) Limeade - Sugar Bowl (Scottsdale, AZ)

The limeade at the Sugar Bowl is fresh squeezed and refreshing on a hot Arizona day.
 
9) Dipsy Doodle - Wilton Candy Kitchen (Wilton, IA)

A trip to the Wilton Candy Kitchen is more about visiting with 90+ year old George Nopoulos than what you are about to eat and drink.  Still, they serve fine homemade ice creams and mixed right in front of you soda fountain beverages.  When I asked George what was in a dipsy doodle, he replied, "Whatever I feel like putting in it!"  I watched him mix in at least five or six different syrups, which gave this a nice fruity flavor.
 
8) Date Shake - Oasis Date Gardens (Thermal, CA)

I have had several other date shakes before, but this was the first time trying it with another fruit flavor.  This is the date banana shake.  This combination eliminates most of the overwhelming sweetness from the typical date shake, but the date flavor still came through.
 
7) Root Beer - Nu Way Cafe (Wichita, KS)

I was fortunate enough to drink homemade root beer in quite a few restaurants and drive-ins this year, but this was clearly the best.  Served in a cold mug and with a strong caramel flavor, we regretted not getting a second serving to go.
 
6) Various Beverages - Swenson's (Akron, OH)


If you are like me, you leave Sonic Drive-ins wondering, why wasn't that better?  If you want to see what Sonics wish they could be, just pull up to a Swenson's, a small chain of drive-ins around the Akron area.  They make fine burgers and sides, but it is their beverages that make the biggest impressions.  The wonderful shakes are thick and there is always a nice variety of flavors to choose from.  The ones in the above photo are pineapple and pomegranate.  But, I especially love the Californias (ginger ale mixed with grape soda) and Floridas (ginger ale mixed with orange soda).
 
5) Chocolate Banana Malt - Chink's (Philadelphia, PA)
 
Chink's makes some of the better cheesesteaks I have had, but it is the imposing chocolate banana malt, made right in front of you on an old-fashioned mixer, that keeps me coming back.
 
4) Lemon Milkshake - Lemon Drop (Anderson, IN)

I love most things lemon and this milkshake was so good, it had me wondering why you don't see lemon as a milkshake flavor more often.
 
3) Fruit Smoothie - Orange Inn (Laguna Beach, CA)
 
Orange Inn claims to have invented the fruit smoothie.  While I can't substantiate that claim, I can tell you that this is the best fruit smoothie I have ever had.  This one, known on the menu board as the Original Smoothie, is made with strawberries, bananas, dates, fresh juice, crushed ice, with bee pollen sprinkled on top.
 
2) Mamey Batido - El Mago de las Fritas (Miami, FL)

El Mago may be best known as a magician with the fritas, but he doesn't do too bad with the the batido, either.  This Latin American drink, similar to the smoothie, is made with milk, fruit and ice.  The mamey is a fruit I was completely unfamiliar with and Roadfooder MiamiDon, who took us to this Little Havana landmark restaurant, described the mamey as tasting somewhere between a banana and a peach, which was spot on.  I loved this so much, I drank four more mamey batidos while in town, but the version here was clearly superior.
 
1) Watermelon Agua Fresca - El Campeon (San Juan Capistrano, CA)

Mariton's melon (cantaloupe) drink was also a real pleasure to drink, but it was the watermelon flavor that really grabbed me.  This is just the juice of the watermelon itself, with plenty of small bits of the fruit floating around.  Simple and perfect!
 
Honorable Mention:
1) Sweet Tea - Beacon Drive-In (Spartanburg, SC)
2) Horchata - Teresa's Mosaic Cafe (Tucson, AZ)
3) Mexican Hot Chocolate - El Farolito (El Rito, NM)
4) Root Beer - Triple XXX Family Restaurant (West Lafayette, IN)
5) Witch Doctor - What-A-Burger Drive-In (Mooresville, NC)  
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/08 10:52:02
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