Seventeen states in thirteen days

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carolina bob
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2010/03/21 22:24:24 (permalink)

Seventeen states in thirteen days

    Last month I drove from the Chicago area down to Charleston SC for the annual President's Day gathering of the Roadfood Glee Club, but I chose to take a rather unusual route to get there. Instead of heading east or southeast as any sane person would do, I aimed my car towards Kansas City and embarked on a drivin' and eatin' "odyssey" that lasted almost two weeks and took me through seventeen states. I've crossed Oklahoma and Texas many times in the past, but it's always been by train ( I'm a retired Amtrak employee ), so I'd never had a chance to check out the roadfood offerings in those states. For that reason, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and combine my Charleston trip with a visit to a number of Roadfood-reviewed restaurants that I had been wanting to try.
     On the morning of Saturday, Feb. 6th, I got on the road at about 5 AM CST and my first stop was at the Olympic Star Family Restaurant ( open 24/7 ) in Tinley Park IL. Having had breakfast there once before, I knew that it would be a pretty good way to begin the trip.



     My breakfast was a favorite of mine, scrambled eggs, sausage patties, hash browns and white toast. Not an outstanding meal, but still a satisfying way to start the day.





post edited by Carolina Bob - 2010/05/16 22:49:59
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    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/21 22:33:49 (permalink)
    Well, whaddaya know? My first attempt at posting multiple photos and I blew it. I'm technologically challenged, but I'll get the hang of it eventually. Anyway, here's the picture that was supposed to be up there.



    #2
    Louis
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/21 23:05:33 (permalink)
    I've been waiting for this one!  I'm hangin' in there with you Bob, all the way!  So are a lot of other folks, I'm sure.

    #3
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 08:28:40 (permalink)
    At some point in the future the word "magnitude" will undoubtedly be associated with this trip report...

    That breakfast looks good.  Way better than the microwaved bratwurst patty I just ate.

    Brad
    #4
    sk bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 08:45:00 (permalink)
    thats the way to start your day.

    don't feel bad Bob. I can't post pictures my wife does it for me.
    #5
    agnesrob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 08:50:14 (permalink)
    Can't wait for the rest!
    #6
    TnTinCT
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 14:08:49 (permalink)
    Wow - can't wait to see where your travels take you!
    #7
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 15:59:36 (permalink)
    I'm sure glad to see so much enthusiasm for what's to come in this report, which, considering that roughly four dozen restaurants are involved, may end up being the longest trip report ever ( yeah, I've said that about previous ones that I've posted, but this time I really mean it! ) I had planned to add more last night, but my computer had one of its occasional temper tantrums. Fortunately, I got it corrected this morning, and managed to avoid a crippling case of "Tripreportus Interruptus".
    post edited by Carolina Bob - 2010/03/22 16:42:07
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    MiamiDon
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 16:06:49 (permalink)
    Yay, another episode of Driving with Bob!
    #9
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 16:28:21 (permalink)
       As much as I dislike interstate highways and try to avoid them in my travels, I was on a very tight schedule on this trip, so I found it necessary to "bite the bullet" and use the interstates far more than I ordinarily would. Taking I-55 southwest from the Joliet area, I headed towards Springfield and Joe Rogers' Original Recipe Chili Parlor. Near Bloomington, I photographed this feed mill bearing a faded but reasonably legible old advertisement on its side ( antique advertising is a passion of mine )...  



        Here's an interesting structure that I found not far from Joe Rogers' place...



    ... and here's Joe Rogers' Chili Parlor, home to a style of chili unique to Springfield IL.




    #10
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 18:00:05 (permalink)
    Bob,

    I'm afraid I'm going to burn out my monitor reading this thread.  Will the trip report be offered in book form?  If so, how many volumes?

    Jim
    #11
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 18:30:57 (permalink)
    Jim, my publisher in NYC is anticipating that this will be a twelve-volume set, and will be available through Amazon.com at the low, low price of $239.95... a real bargain!  
    #12
    Greymo
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 19:01:45 (permalink)
    Now that is really funny.  I can see that this is going to take over one month to post  and  will exceed 100 pages!
    #13
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 20:11:57 (permalink)
    Greymo

    Now that is really funny.  I can see that this is going to take over one month to post  and  will exceed 100 pages!


    I'm afraid that your estimate may be a tad conservative, Greymo. I'm guessing four months and 368 pages.
    #14
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 20:51:05 (permalink)
    The chili at Joe Rogers' is different than any I've had before. The meat and beans are cooked separately, there are five levels of heat available, and the chili is traditionally served with a thin layer of hot spicy oil on top.





    Since this was my first time here, common sense told me to order the mild or medium chili, but my macho side kicked in and I went with the medium-hot. Bad mistake... the chili was delicious, but each bite was somewhat painful. I also got a hot dog smothered in the chili meat, which was pretty good.
    post edited by Carolina Bob - 2010/03/24 09:26:12
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    ellen4641
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 22:30:55 (permalink)
    chili looks good! Keep up the pics!
    #16
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/22 23:07:21 (permalink)
       After lunch at Joe Rogers' place, I managed to briefly get lost in Springfield while trying to get back to I-55; this wouldn't be the last time that it happened on this trip, as I didn't have a GPS at the time ( that has changed. ) Once I did get back onto the interstate, I continued on towards St. Louis.



       I passed through St. Louis quickly, stopping only for gas, and then I headed westward on I-70 to Kansas City, where I had a hotel room waiting for me ( free plug: Priceline is the way to go for reservations ). Also awaiting me in KC were dinner #1 and dinner #2; the first being at Arthur Bryant's.


    #17
    Foodbme
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 12:32:00 (permalink)
    In that picture of Joe Rodgers Building, what's that White Stuff on the Car & the Ground??
    #18
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 12:46:32 (permalink)
    Maybe some Styrofoam packing stuff?
    #19
    Neesie
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 13:34:35 (permalink)
    I'm one of the Roadfooders who can't wait for the book.  Keep these delicious posts comin'!
    #20
    joerogo
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 13:40:54 (permalink)
    Carolina Bob

    I'm sure glad to see so much enthusiasm for what's to come in this report, which, considering that roughly four dozen restaurants are involved, may end up being the longest trip report ever ( yeah, I've said that about previous ones that I've posted, but this time I really mean it! ) I had planned to add more last night, but my computer had one of its occasional temper tantrums. Fortunately, I got it corrected this morning, and managed to avoid a crippling case of "Tripreportus Interruptus".

     
    I think we need to alert Stephen to increase the storage capabilities of the site.
     
    Keep up the good work Carolina Bob.  It is still Carolina Bob isn't it?
    #21
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 15:46:36 (permalink)
    Yep, Joe, Carolina Bob is the new and permanent nomenclature. My old nocarolina username has ridden off into the sunset.
    #22
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 15:51:49 (permalink)
    Bob,
     
    Nice start to the report.  I am looking forward to reading and seeing more pictures from your trip.
    #23
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 16:23:46 (permalink)
       In the past couple of years, a number of veteran roadfooders whose opinion I respect have posted that Arthur Bryant's no longer lives up to its reputation as one of America's premiere roadfood restaurants. Many feel that the food quality has taken a real nosedive in recent years, but others feel that the barbecue is just as good as ever. In previous years, I've had two memorable visits to the late Mr. Bryant's "House of Good Eats", so I had to find out for myself just what's going on there.



       I'm very happy to say that, at least in my recent experience, nothing has changed. I enjoyed the wonderful brisket and french fries as much as I did on my previous visits. Apparently, the food quality can really vary from day to day.




    #24
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 18:33:28 (permalink)
       After my very enjoyable #1 dinner at Arthur Bryant's, I checked into my hotel room, where I plopped down on the bed to rest up and watch a couple of episodes of I Love Lucy.



    "Luu-ceee, you got some 'splainin' to do!"
    #25
    LeadBelly
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 20:59:10 (permalink)
    Off to a real great start. I really liked the Faultless Feed painted wall and the picture of the sandwich and fries from Bryant's.  Those fries looked pretty good. 
    #26
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 21:05:00 (permalink)
       Having rested up a bit, it was back to the car for the short drive over to Stroud's, the site of dinner #2.








    #27
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 21:26:57 (permalink)
       Stroud's is the home of what many people feel is the best fried chicken in America. The original restaurant, where I ate about ten years ago, is unfortunately no more, but the new Oak Ridge Manor location is a handsome and inviting place.



    My dinner ( number two! ) began with some very tasty chicken noodle soup.



    After the soup came the main event: four pieces of succulent pan-fried chicken, sided by real mashed potatoes with gravy.


    And of course there's the delicious cinnamon rolls that Stroud's is famous for. This was another great roadfood meal.





    post edited by Carolina Bob - 2010/03/23 21:46:19
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    JRPfeff
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 21:32:33 (permalink)
    Dinner #2!!!

    Carolina Bob, I've eaten with buffetbuster, I know buffetbuster, buffetbuster is a friend of mine. Carolina Bob, you're no buffetbuster

    But it is good to see you've picked a good role model.
    #29
    carolina bob
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    Re:Seventeen states in thirteen days 2010/03/23 21:33:01 (permalink)
    Damn, I did it again. I'm gonna nail this photo-posting process if it's the last thing I ever do ( he said without actually believing it... )
    #30
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