From owners to cooks, waiters and waitresses, it is the people who pour so much love and devotion into these Roadfood restaurants that make them so special and worth bypassing the chains to visit. Here are some of the people I met in 2010.
This is Jack and Norman from Original NY System
in Providence. These are faces that have undoubtedly seen millions of hot wieners go out the door. The best part of meeting these guys is when Jack spoke with disgust with how you are no longer allowed to have wieners up the arm, when dressing a large order. But this enthusiastic young guy
from Olneyville NY System
shows how he does it without any of the wieners actually touching his arm.
We were still in line waiting for a table when I got this stopped to pose with some of the huge sandwiches they make at Famous 4th Street Deli
At Lou Mitchell's
in Chicago, this woman goes around and passes out donut holes to the customers.
When Roadfooder JRPfeff
and I told the owner of Tucson Tamale Company
how much we loved the tamales we ordered, she sent over a Thanskgiving tamale for us to try, too!
Visiting with the nattily dressed owner of H & R Sweet Shop
in Charleston, SC, is both a delicious and surreal experience!
Looking for a place to grab a quick lunch in Lansing, MI, we came across Jose's Cuban Sandwiches
in a space inside a gas station. A native of Peru, Jose hopes to have his own building real soon. BTW, the Cuban sandwiches were really good!
This energetic young lady, who waited on us at Harry's Roadhouse
in Santa Fe, was one of the coolest and funniest we had all year. And she didn't even blink when ChiTownDiner
ordered one appetizer and five desserts! The Travelin Man
, along with the owner of Cosmi's Deli
in Philadelphia. While we were hanging around and chatting, people were pulling up and placing to go orders from their car, one of whom was a stripper! Only is South Philly!
I don't know if there was ham on the menu, but there was plenty of ham in the kitchen, when I pulled out my camera at Tom Jenkin's BBQ
in Fort Lauderdale!
My favortie waitress anywhere is Miss Myra C. at Niecie's
in Kansas City. This year, she dragged one of the cooks out of the kitchen to pose with her.
At Gus's Famous Fried Chicken
in Memphis, I knew I was going to love the place when my waiter, Steve, showed up to take my order in a throwback Mean Joe Greene jersey. Once he found out I was from Pittsburgh and a fellow Steelers fan, we were instant buddies. He wouldn't even let me pay for my meal.
Our waitresses at The Porthole
in Portland, ME were all dressed up for Halloween when we visited.
One of the great features of Nick's Nest
, in Holyoke, MA, is that they have a rope behind the counter, when pulled, will open the door for customers with arms full of food to go.
When we asked this chef at Army & Lou's
in Chicago to pose with us, he first went back in the kitchen to put on his good apron and hat.
At South 21 Drive-In
in Charlotte, all the car hops are well dressed with hats and super friendly.
This young lady took my order at Jaarsma Bakery
in Pella, IA. I was trying to get her to look down, so I could get a better view of her hat, but it is hard to get upset at a pretty face like that!
The young girls were doing a fine job of managing the grill at Crabill's
in Urbana, OH, until several parties walked in wanting 30 sliders at a time. Shortly after a distress call, dad walked in and burgers were soon flying off the grill!
Larry White, of Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe
in Phoenix, was happy to pose for me. He even grabbed one of the waitresses, who I think was his daughter.
Isn't this typical? It takes two men to sit around and watch a woman work! Actually, I wonder how she can even see through that hair! At John's Water Ice
Both Chris and Amy
swear this waiter from Santarpio's
is usually cranky. But on the day of our visit, he was the friendliest waiter imaginable, even playfully hiding my camera to see how long it would take me to notice.
This guy from Western Steak Burger
in San Diego was a lot of fun! Here is displays their signature burger, which comes with gyro meat right on top of the burger. Trust me, it is much better than it sounds. When wanderingjew and I told our waitress at Aunt Carrie's that we were eating our way around Rhode Island for the weekend, she wanted to hear all about where we were headed and what we were eating. She even offered up a few suggestions. Sounds like a Roadfooder to us!
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