Summer Trip 2013
Well, it's summer time again and that means it's time for our annual pilgramage to Mrs. Sippi's homeland, the Deep South. As I am want to do, I've captured our meals so I can tell our future, imaginary grand children.
Our food journey begins in Windsor, On. This for those of you who don’t know, is across the Detroit River from Detroit. We left town mid afternoon and stopped there for the night. The Canadian version of Triple D is called You Gotta Eat Here and they visited a spot called Motor Burger.
The place has a car theme. Honouring Windsor’s automotive building heritage. They name their burgers after cars (or car related) naturally. Mrs. Sippi opted for the Shrimp Fuel burger which as you can imagine is a shrimp burger. It was very good but having seen it on TV, I was expecting better. Another burger that got my attention was the Autostrada.
This burger is insanely good. It’s an Italian sausage burger with a chipotle rub. It is dressed with gorgonzola cheese and apple slaw. They’re right, “You gotta eat here.”
Breakfast the next day was just a bagel w/ cream cheese from Tim Horton’s. Even their bagels aren’t nearly as good as they used to be.
Anyway, our next stop was in Cinci and a visit to venerable Zip’s Café. Still going strong after almost 90 years.
Well known for their burgers Mrs. Sippi had a basic cheeseburger while I decided to go against my norm and went with the Train Wreck.
It’s a burger with 3 different cheeses, mettwurst and deli ham. I left off a lot of the condiments that are standard. Simply put, this was another great burger. You can’t go wrong either way. The basic is just a great representation of the classic American cheeseburger. This one, with all its modifiers, is even better.
Dinner that night would be in Chattanooga at one of my new favourites, Champy’s. It sits just on the edge of UTC and does a booming business. Every time we’ve been there’s been a line up. Fortunately, it moves pretty quickly.
We of course had an order of their fried chicken and it’s every bit as good as ever. We also picked up a sausage, cheese and pickle platter that was really nice. I decided to go for the hot wings.
These are smoked and tossed in a hot wing sauce. I’m starting to realize that, while I really like them, I don’t think I’ll ever love smoked chicken wings. Here, with the hot sauce on them it was kind of a clash of flavours. When I make them at home I make a spicy, vinegary BBQ sauce. I think that would’ve worked better. They were still really good though.
We ate at my SIL’s house a fair bit. In fact, we had dinner there every night. So not as much eating out.
One of the first things we did was hit New Market BBQ. We tried them on our last trip and were thoroughly impressed. I’d also been in contact with Libby (one of the owners) so I wanted to say “Hi.”
Their Q was fantastic as I knew it would be. We had ribs and pulled pork. Mrs. Sippi was particularly interested in trying the Elvis Presley Cake.
This is not like I was expecting. I thought we were in for a chocolate, peanut butter, banana type cake but this was a white cake with crushed pineapple on top with a cream cheese frosting garnished with chopped pecans. It was excellent. Supposedly it’s called that because Elvis loved it and insisted it always be on hand at home.
Another lunch was at Stanlieo’s Sub Villa. There are 2 locations for this little family owned place. The owner is from Boston and wanted to capture the true Boston style sub. I guess he did. I’ve never had a “Boston style” sub before so have nothing for comparison.
Anyway, probably what makes this place a cut above your usual spot is the fresh baked bread. They get unbaked sub rolls and bake them in house. A small thing that makes a big difference.
Anyway, they come dressed with chopped tomatoes, onions and pickles. In future I’d leave off the pickles unless appropriate. Here on this pizza sub they weren’t. I ended up picking them off. It was quite good otherwise.
Mrs. Sippi's Steak and Cheese sub was very tasty too.
Being in the south there was more BBQ to be sampled. The Chuck Wagon in neighbouring Madison offers up some serious Texas BBQ. The owner is a Texan who loves Q.
They have all the usual suspect and all are very good. I've now had ribs, sausage, pulled pork and of course, brisket. Their sides are really strong as well. What really made Mrs. Sippi happy was the home made fried pies. Apple and peach were your options and both were great with a slight nod to the peach.
The meat is really where it's at. Though I could handle it a little smokier.
And yet more BBQ. This Chuck Wagon is in Fayetteville, Tn. We were on our way to Jack Daniels and stopped there for lunch. They’ve just recently changed owners but from BBQ stand point, they haven’t skipped a beat.
They have a beautiful smoke house out back with a very kind old gentleman. He’s been here for 10 years now but has many years of Q experience behind him.
Here we have the next day's butts. Their sides are fantastic as well. A great spot for lunch on the way to JD.
While in Lynchburg we took a spin around the courthouse square. That’s where you’ll find Nina’s Taste of Tennessee.
This little shop sells collectables and food items. Among those edible items is a fantastic Jack Daniels Fudge.
A simple chocolate fudge with some of Mr. Jack’s finest. It’s very tasty and definitely has a leg up on the regular version. I'd also recommend the Chocolate Covered Oreos.
In order to work on my 20 Distinctive Tastes of Huntsville list we stopped at Thai Garden. Their Pad Thai being #19 on that list. We also went with Pad Phed Mee with chicken.
It was really terrific. The real star of the show here was the Sweet Rice with Mango for dessert.
The house specialty was incredible. Such a simple dish but so good. Probably the best piece of mango I’ve had.
I also had occasion to give the new Taco Bell creation, the Smothered Burrito.
I thought it was pretty good for what it was. It had some good flavour although mostly from the sauce. I’d order it again if I were at TB.
On getaway day I grabbed a quick breakfast from a drive through only place called Biscuit Express. They do a pretty good business and serve up some great “To go” breakfast and lunch options.
I can’t resist the Country Ham, Egg and Cheese biscuit. I have to admit I’d like to see a little more ham on it but it is enough to stand up to the tender, flaky biscuit. It’s a great spot to have basically at the end of the street. I can also recommend the sausage, egg and cheese biscuist as well.
We ate lunch at Puckett’s Boat House in Franklin, Tn. This place opened up a few months back in the old Harpeth River boathouse.
Trying to capture the feel of a seaside, seafood house they offer a nice menu that is of course heavy on the ocean critters. You can write your name on a single and they'll put it in the rafters.
While Mrs. Sippi thought here Combo (Shrimp/oysters) Po’ Boy was excellent I think I still preferred the Fish Taco. I actually ended up with one fish and one shrimp and thought both were fabulous. Perhaps a slight edge to the white cod version.
The surprise was the side of Chipotle Cheese Grits. Some of the best grits I’ve had with a strong cheddar flavor that’s complemented with some chipotle. These were very, very tasty. On that we both agreed.
That night we got off the road late and weren’t overly hungry. We grabbed a small pizza from the local Dayton area chain Cassano’s Pizza. Pepperoni, bacon and green olives like I usually order.
While the pizza as quite good it was way salty. Not bad salty but pushing it.
Ate breakfast at the hotel comp bar the next morning and not again until we got home.
So there you go folks. Our journey in food. Hope you enjoyed.