My year in Roadfood (2010)

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kaszeta
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/15 10:28:41 (permalink)
Nice.  I like the idea of an annual summary, I might have to done one, too.
 
You got a lot of my favorites.  Matt's Bar.  Cafe Latte.   Hunter House.  You had a good year. :)
#61
buffetbuster
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/15 12:24:34 (permalink)
kaszeta-
I would love to see you do a year end in review.  You always have such excellent photos. 
#62
buffetbuster
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/16 11:09:05 (permalink)
So many Roadfood restaurants have fun, interesting signs.  I have divided these up into different categories.
 
Best neon:













 
 
 

Best murals:










 
 
Best rustic signs:
 
I love the simplicity of the old sign at Lankford Grocery in Houston.

 
Maybe not a sign, but at Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe in Phoenix, they just write the menu on the white walls.

 



 
  
 
 
Some other interesting outdoor signs:










 
 

 
And some other favorites:

 
I love that they point out the place is owned by an Iowa gal!

 



 
If only there really was such a thing as a cheeseburger tree.....

 
If you are only going to use half the pig in the sign, why did you pick this half?

 
Looking at the size of this burger,

I'm thinking the Wall of Shame should be if you actually did eat the entire thing!
 
Obviously, these signs

are for a Southern bbq parlor, right?  No, it is for a ice cream shop in Michigan!
 
As someone who has never owned a cat in my life, I had to have this one

explained to me.
 
In case you have always wondered what Elvis would look life if he was a fisherman.....

 
And here you thought that giving your dog an occcasional bath can be difficult.

 
This one is just plain odd:

 

 

Eat and get out!

 
Only in Texas!

post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/01/06 22:47:40
#63
Nancypalooza
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/16 11:52:31 (permalink)
You do have a great eye for a sign, Cliff!  Almost more fun than the food!
#64
crew84row
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/16 13:22:27 (permalink)
buffetbuster 

Since I only have one more trip planned this year (to Memphis & Arkansas for bbq and pie, but definitely not in that order) .
 
BB, Thanks for the great pics and rankings.  Always enjoy your reports.  I'm awaiting your BBQ and Pie review as I will need to make a trip to Charlie Portis' neighborhood to see my sister sometime in th enew year and can always use recos for that part of the country.  Already have Littleman's Pigskin BBQ off I-55 on the list to hit either going up or coming back, whichever route I go.
 
Crew

#65
ScreamingChicken
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/16 15:43:08 (permalink)
buffetbuster



 
I think somebody from Rhode Island has just been called out...
 
Brad
#66
Michael Stern
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/16 15:44:01 (permalink)
Beautiful!
#67
ann peeples
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/16 16:34:11 (permalink)
Yeah-here we go again-Leons in Milwaukee-I am so proud( and embarassed that I wasnt at our meets)that we made the list, again!!!
#68
EdSails
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/16 17:45:04 (permalink)
There's something about the Le Tub burger that keeps calling my name.
Great list, buffetbuster!
#69
buffetbuster
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/16 17:48:44 (permalink)
WJ-
Just remember, that was Brad, not me!
 
annpeeples-
No surprise that Wisconsin will also be very well represented on the pie list, too!
 
Thanks to Michael Stern and everyone else for the kind comments.
#70
will_work_4_bbq
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/16 19:17:30 (permalink)
Fabulous food!  Fabulous signs!  What a great year, BB.
#71
mr chips
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/17 03:28:56 (permalink)
What marvelous signs! You ought to create a photography book. BB.
#72
buffetbuster
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/17 13:10:04 (permalink)
Compared to the strong field of contenders for best burger, the best hot dog list is rather weak.  I never made it to New Jersey to eat hot dogs during the year and sorely missed Charlie's Pool Room, my all-time #1 place.  Still, I was able to eat in some really good hot dog joints.
 
Best Hot Dogs
 
10. Skin Thrasher's - Anderson, SC

These are two "all the way", which means chili, mustard and onion.  The chili is more pebbly than liquidy and delivers top notch flavor.  The onions were especially strong and the split top buns, nice and soft.  BTW, hot dogs are the only thing on the menu here. 
 
9. Gene & Jude's - River Grove, IL

Gene & Jude's makes the list, despite the fact that they told me no photos inside.  What, did you think someone from Pittsburgh is going to complain that there is fries on his hot dog!  
 
8. Lafayette Coney Island and American Coney Island - Detroit, MI


Sorry, I just can't seperate these two next door neighbors and rivals.  Mariton and I ate here back-to-back early on a Sunday morning.  I gave a slight edge to Lafayette for their chili, but American's weiner had more of a snap to it.  I slightly preferred Lafayette, she liked American better.  Let's call it a draw for now.  
 
7. Olneyville N. Y. System - Providence, RI

Last year, I ate at a suburban location of Olneyville and it was not good.  Wanderingjew took us to the downtown Providence location this year and the hot weiners and the atmosphere were significantly better.  The combination of the sauce, finely cut onions, mustard and celery salt is addictive!  
 
6. Poochie's -  Skokie, IL

Third time here and still my favorite Chicago dog.  
 
5. Flo's - Cape Neddick, ME

We screwed up by only ordering the Flo's "special", which means the onion sauce and mayo.  Yes, mayo sounds bizarre on a hot dog, but trust me, it works!  Next time, we need to try the ones with spicy mustard, too.  
 
4. Pittsburgh Willy's - Chandler, AZ

A Pittsburgh themed hot dog stand in the Valley of the Sun, I had to stop in.  The most popular item is the Wild Willy, which puts the Pittsburgh only lunchmeat, chipped ham (and cheese) on top of the hot dog.  Apparently, not only us yinzers appreciate it, because it has won several awards for best local hot dogs!  
 
3. Swanky Franks - Norwalk, CT

This was a surprise.  Chris Ayers took me to some more highly regarded hot dog joints during my weekend in Connecticut, but this one was my favorite.  The weiner is split and deep fried and covered with the delicious, meaty chili.  
 
2. Grand Coney - Grand Rapids, MI


Another place we loved much more than expected.  You can get your coneys either Flint style (top photo), which means a spicy ground beef or Detroit style, the more typical coney sauce.  We very much enjoyed both and the coney sauce was the best chili I had all year.  My girlfriend, who is not a hot dog lover, mentions this place about once a month, asking when can we go back.
 
1. El Sinaloense 3 and El Guero Canelo - Tucson, AZ


These two were my first encounters with Sonoran dogs.  Since I went to them back-to-back and they are just down the street from each other, I am going with co-number #1s.
 
El Sinaloense 3 is nothing more than a cart in a vacant lot, south of town.  Don't ask me what all is in it, because even though I ate quite a few Sonoran dogs during my time in Tucson, I'm still not sure.  But, the dog is grilled, wrapped in bacon and buried under an avalanche of toppings.  The grilled bun was superb!  
 
El Guero Canelo is more of a restaurant, although you order at the counter and they call you up to get your food.  Because of the overload of condiments, I went with the Sammy dog, which means it comes with two franks.  The bun here was pleasantly soft and the weiners had a much more bacony texture that was incredible!  
 
Honorable mention:
1. Blackie's - Cheshire, CT
2. O' Betty's - Athens, OH
3. Ritzy Lunch - Clarksburg, WV
4. Original NY System - Providence, RI
5. Rawley's - Fairfield, CT 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/01/03 06:20:03
#73
wanderingjew
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/17 13:27:21 (permalink)
Buffetbuster
 
burgers and hot dogs were kept at a minimal for me in 2010.
In fact I couldn't even put together a top 5 list of burgers or a top one list for hot dogs because I had so few on the road.
 
My experiences at American were different than yours when I did the coney smackdown in 2008. I remember the dogs were squishy at American and they were "snappy" at Lafayette, either way Lafayette just had it over American big time.
 
My favorite hot weiners are still Olneyville NY System.
And I enjoyed the Chi Style Dogs at Poochies but Wieners Circle is still my favorite
#74
joerogo
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/17 13:40:02 (permalink)
buffetbuster, Love the signs, great photo quality.  Funny, I didn't see any from Tony's in Kingston?
#75
zataar
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/17 21:31:39 (permalink)
Another wonderful report! Your photos and descriptions are always terrific.
#76
UncleVic
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/19 04:17:15 (permalink)
Buffetbuster... Sorry I missed out on your venture to LeTub earlier this year... But next time your in West Palm Beach, you seriously need to check out GREASE for a great burger! Curious to see if it makes your top 5 list there! (About 3 or 4 miles north of the Havana).  www.greasewpb.com
And all these chili dog pics are making me hungry here...
 
 
#77
kishkaeater
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/20 14:33:44 (permalink)
New here and would like to tell you how much I'm enjoying your food and sign pictures.
#78
buffetbuster
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/21 08:06:09 (permalink)
kishkaeater-
Thanks!  And welcome to Roadfood!
 
UncleVic-
Sorry we missed you that day at Le Tub, too.  But, there will be other chances.  And thanks for the tip on Grease. that burger looks really good!
 
JoeRogo-
I'm a little disappointed I didn't make it up to your end of the state this year.  So much great food over there.  I won't make that mistake two years in a row!
#79
Sundancer7
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/21 09:20:17 (permalink)
BB, your sign pics were spectacular.  I would have never thought about keeping a log of the places I have been that attract me due to their appearance.  Traveling Man did a phot a few years ago of one of the cheese steak places in Philly.  It was beautiful.  Perhaps he will send it to you.
 
BB, happy holiday period to you.  You are one of the best and your hobby is out of sight.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#80
buffetbuster
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/21 10:05:26 (permalink)
Sundancer7 BB, happy holiday period to you.  You are one of the best

Right back at you, Paul.  You are one of the people who really make this website special!
#81
buffetbuster
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/22 14:25:19 (permalink)
Next up is best BBQ.  Since there were few trips to the South this year, the field is rather weak this year.
 
Best BBQ 
 
10. Slow's BBQ - Detroit, MI

Slow's BBQ is a wildly popular barbecue parlor in a neighborhood that seems to be on its way back.  The sandwich in the photo is called "The Reason", which sounds more like a character from Jersey Shore than something to eat.  Tender pork butt, covered in a delicious sauce and cole slaw, it is easy to see why this place has long lines.  We also tried the ribs and several sides, all of which were quite good.  
 
9. A & R Bar-B-Que - Memphis, TN


After eating at several other Memphis bbq parlors, I was pork bbq'ed out.  Still, I needed to stop at A & R for the best bbq spaghetti in town and an excellent thickly cut bbq bologna sandwich, which comes with cole slaw on top.  
 
8. Moonlite Bar-B-Que - Owensboro, KY

I love the intensity of the flavor that mutton has and Moonlite Bar-B-Que is still the ultimate mutton bbq parlor.  
 
7. Lem's - Chicago, IL

We tried the ribs at Lem's and they were quite good, but the hot links stole the show.  Juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, these were some delicious sausages.  Cover them with french fries and a generous slathering of bbq sauce and you have a memorable bbq meal.
 
6. Sgt. White's Diner - Beaufort, SC

Besides having first rate ribs and delicious, smoky pork bbq, Sgt. White's makes superb Southern vegetables and sides.  
 
5. Jewell's Open Pit Bar-B-Q - Princeton, KY

The pork bbq sandwich we had at Jewell's was wonderful.  Even better was the incredibly moist pork they brought to us straight from the pit.  No sauce necessary!  
 
4. Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q - Decatur, AL

One of the most famous bbq parlors in the country and after tasting these smoky, meaty ribs, you can see why.  I thought the pork was just okay and the white bbq sauce was nothing I will go out of my way for, but those ribs will definitely bring me back!  
 
3. Sweatman's - Holly Hill, SC

We ate here as part of the President's Day Glee Club weekend. We didn't get to stay as long as we wanted, since they decided to close early because of the snow!  Still, we had plenty of time to hit this short cafeteria line for some of the moistest, most tender pork bbq anywhere.  And I am also a big fan of Sweatman's sweet mustard bbq sauce. 
 
2. Hocutt's - Wheeling, WV
Sorry, no photos.  Cousin Johnny and I stopped in one Saturday during the Summer and Travis Hocutt's little bbq parlor in downtown Wheeling was closed.  But, the sign on the window said he was serving out of his trailer at the blues festival around the corner.  We ordered up fine plates of slaw dogs, pork bbq sandwiches and sweet tea.  Just as we were finishing up, Travis sent over some ribs for us to try.  It had been so long, I had forgotten how great these huge, meaty ribs were.  There was no talking between Johnny and I, just the loud sound of yummy noises!   I will be writing more about Travis Hocutt later.
 
1. Stubby's Hik-Ry Pit Bar-B-Que - Hot Springs, AR


The best bbq parlor I hit was just this past Saturday.  The huge, smoky ribs were on par with the best I have ever had, but the item that really caught my attention was called the Pot O Beans.  This is a cup filled with baked beans, mixed in with plenty of dark, crusty ham and covered by the sweet bbq sauce.  This was the best side dish I had anywhere, all year!   
 
Honorable Mention:
Oklahoma Joe's - Kansas City, KS
Leonard's - Memphis, TN
Pierce's Pit - Williamsburg, VA
Rendezvous - Memphis, TN
Freddie's Southern Style Rib House - Cleveland, OH
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/01/03 06:33:36
#82
The Travelin Man
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/22 15:52:57 (permalink)
I think we were all a little food-ed out by the time we hit Oklahoma Joe's.  I don't usually leave food on my plate there, but I think I did this time.  
 
I have tried to go to Stubby's a couple of times, but I am always in Hot Springs on a Monday, and I am pretty sure that they - like darn near every place in town - is closed up tight on Mondays.
#83
wanderingjew
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/22 18:14:46 (permalink)
You did it again, another restaurant on your bbq list that's going to either end up on my top 10 new or top 10 honorable mention list!
 
I'm glad to see that Stubby's is just as good now  as when I first (and last) hit it back in 1999.
#84
buffetbuster
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/27 11:26:26 (permalink)
Finally time for my favorite list, best pies.   I was fortunate enough to eat a lot of good pie in 2010.  While some of the fields in the other lists were on the weak side, this one is akin to the 1939 Best Picture race!  No way to limit it to just the Top 10, so it will be the Top 20.  Even then, some really good pies will be left off.
 
Best Pies
 
20. Banana Cream Pie - Wheel Inn (Cabazon, CA)

There is more to the Wheel Inn than just the giant dinosaurs, made famous in Pee Wee's Big Adventure.   I could have done without the nuts on top, but this pie had a fresh whipped topping and was ultra-dense, for maximum banana flavor.  The very friendly waitress asked me, "Isn't this the best banana cream pie you have ever had?"  Uh, no, but still a mighty fine slice of pie.  
 
19. Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie - Grand Traverse Pie Co. (Ann Arbor, MI)

In multiple trips to various locations of the Grand Traverse Pie Co., we focused mainly on the different fruit flavors.  All were very good, but none wowed us.  Having a birthday for one of the women I work with and knowing peanut butter was her favorite, I grabbed this one to go, almost as an afterthought.  This pie had a strong peanut butter flavor, yet wasn't overly rich and had all the ladies in the office swooning.  
 
18. Coconut Cream Pie - Bon Ton Mini Mart (Henderson, KY)

This was actually cousin Johnny's slice of pie.  Though I do not particularly care for coconut, even I had to admire the beauty and elegance of this smooth pie, which we had minutes after coming out of the oven.  
 
17. Vanilla Peanut Butter Pie - Schmucker's (Toledo, OH)

After multiple trips to Schmucker's this year, I like their meals better, but hold their pies in less regard.  Still, this vanilla peanut butter pie was nice and light and the subtle peanut butter flavor was a pleasant surprise.  This is the only time I have ever seen this flavor.  
 
16. Banana Cream Pie - Downing Cafe (Downing, WI)

The banana filling on this pie was fine, but this makes the list based on that delicious, airy meringue!  
 
15. Grape Pie - Monica's Pies (Naples, NY)

I wasn't expecting much more than grape jelly in a pan, but with full flavored grapes in an excellent flaky crust, this was more than just a novelty slice of pie.  
 
14. Chocolate Pie - Starne's (Paducah, KY)

Cousin Johnny and I came to Starne's to eat bbq, but came away loving the pies!  There are two Starne's locations around Paducah and we were told that one makes the bbq and the other the pies.  Looks like we chose the right one!  Light, airy meringue, with an excellent fudgy filling makes this a memeorable slice of pie.  Johnny was equally happy with his coconut cream pie.
 
13. Bob Andy Pie - Village Inn (Middlebury, IN)

When the young Amish waitress started listing the available pies on the day we stopped in, I had to stop her after three because I had never heard of any of them!  Upon hearing that Bob Andy pie is a cinnamon custard pie, we knew that had to be one of our choices.  The pie was pleasantly eggy, with subtle cinnamon taste.  Delicious!  
 
12. Banana Cream Pie - Best Pies (Bowie, MD)

Best Pies is a friendly family pie shop, right off the main road in Bowie.  They only sell whole pies, but with cousin Johnny and I available for eating, that was no problem.  When we ordered a banana cream, we had to wait while the owner took it the back to apply the fresh whipped topping.  When he handed it to us, we had to laugh, because it was by far, the heaviest pie I have ever held.  Ultra-dense and packed with fresh banana slices and a flaky, too thin bottom crust, this was on the short list of best banana creams.  
 
11. Baltimore Bomb - Dangerously Delicious Pies (Baltimore, MD)

The Baltimore Bomb is DDP's signature creation.  They start with a chess pie and mix in some of Baltimore's famous Berger's cookies.  The top is light, while the bottom is rich and fudgy.  I don't think I could eat a whole pie of this, but for a slice or two, it is heavenly!  
 
10. Butterscotch Pie - Nick's Kitchen (Huntington, IN)

It's good to have friends in high places.  Mariton and I were driving around NE Indiana on a Friday morning, with plans to eventually work our way to Nick's Kitchen.  Having met owner Jean Anne Bailey and knowing how popular her homemade desserts are, I called ahead to find out what pies were available.  When Jean Anne told me there was only one slice of butterscotch pie left, I asked her to reserve it for me, which she was kind enough to do so.  And this slice of pie was worth the fuss!  First-rate crust and not overly sweet, this was the best butterscotch pie I have ever had.  
 
9. Ginger Custard - Hoosier Mama Pie Co. (Chicago, IL)

Despite the tiny size of this Chicago pie shop, they put out some really good pies.  The first one we tried, the ginger custard, is still the best.  I am a fan of all things ginger and the flavor went well with the egginess of the custard and the solid crust.
 
8. Carmel Pie - Charlotte's Eats & Sweets (Keo, AR)

Charlotte's is a polite restaurant in a tiny town that makes sandwiches and eye popping meringue pies.  There was a long roster of pies avialable, but carmel pie was too irresistible to pass up.  Pie this good begs the question, why don't more places make carmel pie?
 
7. Key Lime Pie - Joe's Stone Crab (Miami Beach, FL)

I don't know which to rave about first, the wonderful graham cracker crust or the fine line between sweet and tart that this pie walks perfectly. 
 
6. Apple Pie - Julian Pie Company (Santa Ysabel, CA)

A particularly heavy slice of pie, with a thick rugged crust and huge slices of fresh fruit, this pie is every apple pie lovers dream!  
 
5. Blueberry Pie - Holy Hill Cafe (Hubertus, WI)

Stopped here with ChiTownDiner and cousin Johnny and we ordered four slices of pie between us.  Both of them were most wowed by the caramel apple pie, but it was the blueberry that made the biggest impression on me.  The perfectly flaky crust, filled with sweet, fresh fruit and I found a new favorite blueberry pie!  
 
4. Chocolate Pie - Family Pie Shop (De Valls Bluff, AR)

The airy meringue on top is fine, but that deep fudgy filling is beyond words.  The fact that they give you an entire 1/4 pie per slice and that the pie shop is right in Mary Thomas' house only adds to the charm of this place.  
 
3. Banana Cream Pie - Coffee Cup Cafe (Sully, IA)

I ate a lot of banana cream pie this year, most of it crappy, but this one was clearly the best.  The ultimate combination of dense banana filling and delicate meringue.  
 
2. Double Lemon Pie - Stockholm Pie Company (Stockholm, WI)

Once again, this was cousin Johnny's slice of pie and he eagerly bit into it before I could get my photo.  The bottom layer is a lemon chess pie, while the top layer is lemon custard, with bits of lemon cut up and mixed in.  Simply spectacular!  
 
1. Sour Cream Raisin Pie - Farmer's Kitchen (Atlantic, IA)
First of all, sorry for the lack of photo.  But, I ate it in my hotel room and I was more anxious to eat than to get a good photo.  Mark Johnson, owner of the Farmer's Kitchen, was kind enough to drive over to Des Moines and meet me for dinner and brought along a couple slices of his mom's homemade pies.  The gooseberry was very good, but the sour cream raisin blew me away.  And this is despite sitting in the car for a few hours and getting tossed around a little bit.   The meringue is light, but is still substantial.  Filling-wise, I ate a lot of way too gummy sour cream raisin pies this year.  Not here.  The combination of the sweet and just slightest amount of sour works perfectly!   
 
Honorable mention:
Blackberry Pie - Pie in the Sky (Erie, PA)
Banana Cream Pie - Achatz Handmade Pie Co. (Troy, MI)
Chocolate Pie - Bonnie's Home Cooking (Glouster, OH)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie - Gus Balon's (Tucson, AZ)
Lemon Ice Box Pie - Big Bob Gibson's (Decatur, AL)
post edited by buffetbuster - 2011/01/03 06:59:14
#85
ann peeples
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/27 11:46:02 (permalink)
My gosh, that lemon pie sounds fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!And so does one of the savory pies you mentioned in the review of the Stockholm Pie Company.I wonder if those can be mail ordered?
#86
buffetbuster
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/27 12:29:31 (permalink)
annpeeples-
I just called the Stockholm Pie Company to order some pies for the New Year's, but they are closed until January 7.  I will ask them if they ship the savory pies when I call back.
#87
ann peeples
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 8695
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/27 12:45:18 (permalink)
Excellent-would love to have one of those, along with the others.A late Xmas present for Bob!
#88
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/27 14:03:41 (permalink)
The Travelin Man I have tried to go to Stubby's a couple of times, but I am always in Hot Springs on a Monday, and I am pretty sure that they - like darn near every place in town - is closed up tight on Mondays.
Oh sure, every place in Hot Springs is closed on Mondays, the day you just happen to be there.  Oh yeah, I can totally see that! 

#89
wanderingjew
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 7966
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Re:My year in Roadfood (2010) 2010/12/27 14:14:38 (permalink)
Oh, man, even the Sweet Potato Pie at Mama Mary's didn't even make your top 20 list - but I'm glad the key lime pie at Joe's Stone Crab did!
#90
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