What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA)

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Michael Stern
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2010/04/09 06:50:46 (permalink)

What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA)

Looking over a bunch of 35mm slides from Roadfood's early days, I realized just how compelling (and how much fun) restaurant signs are. Here is one of my favorites, from Lighting's Bar-B-Q, which I believe was in Arkansas. The pitmaster made some wickedly good sauce which we took away in a Jack Daniel's bottle (the only container he had on hand; and, I believe, one of the sauce's secret ingredients). The sauce, alas, was lost when our car was tail-ended by a gravel truck, splattering a whole trip's worth of great sauces across the highway.
 
If you have a favorite Roadfood sign, please post it here. We would love to see it.
 
BTW, I recently digitized several hundred vintage Roadfood slides and will be posting them in the forums (or with restaurant reviews, if the slides are still apropos). Next up: I will supplement the Arthur Bryant's review with a shot of legendary barbecue master Arthur Bryant at work in the kitchen of what he used to call his "Grease House."
 

 

#1

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    buffetbuster
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 08:29:22 (permalink)
    Michael, I think you told the story about the guy filling up a not so clean Jack Daniel's bottle in Two For The Road.  I know it is one of my favorite moments in the book.  It is great to see the photo of where that took place and what a great sign they have.  The guy tackling that pig (it is a pig, isn't it?) is absolutely priceless!  Can we assume Lighting's BBQ is long gone?
     
    So glad that you digitalized your photos and I can't wait to see them.  I have a couple of favorite sign candidates and will look for the photos.
    #2
    porkbeaks
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 08:55:08 (permalink)
    #3
    buffetbuster
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 09:04:37 (permalink)
    porkbeaks-
    Leonard's was one of the first ones I thought of.  And as good as it looks during the day, it looks even better at night!
    #4
    Tony Bad
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 09:39:16 (permalink)
    A few personal favorites:















    #5
    porkbeaks
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 09:46:20 (permalink)
    That last one is interesting. Must be a pretty classy place to have a couple condom dispensers next to the menu-board.
    #6
    MiamiDon
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 10:10:26 (permalink)
    I bet that Coney Island sign looks great at night.
    #7
    1bbqboy
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 10:29:32 (permalink)


    Psssst.


    That's Tony's Living Room.
    #8
    Michael Stern
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 10:40:27 (permalink)
    Cliff, I am assuming Lighting's indeed is long gone. That was about 30 years ago. Here's another sign from that era from a BBQ we found in Front Royal, Virginia. Earl's was in the original edition of Roadfood.
     

    #9
    Michael Stern
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 10:41:38 (permalink)
    One of the all-time greats, for sure!
    porkbeaks




    #10
    wanderingjew
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 10:54:34 (permalink)
    This has to be one of my favorites

    My visit to Bruce's Bar in Severance Colorado this past summer.

    #11
    Tony Bad
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 10:57:30 (permalink)
    bill voss

    Psssst.


    That's Tony's Living Room.



    No, we have a cigarette machine and charge for the knuckle sandwich
    #12
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 11:22:20 (permalink)
    My favorite was a sign on an East Columbus place that is now a used tire shop. It read:
                    GRACES TAVRN
                 HOME COOK FOOD
     
    And no, I did not leave out any punctuation marks or letters.
    post edited by Michael Hoffman - 2010/04/09 11:24:27
    #13
    Ralph Melton
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 12:01:18 (permalink)
    I'm very fond of this one, particularly because it was a childhood favorite of Lori's on her trips to Cook Forest. Unfortunately, the food isn't quite as splendid as the sign.



    #14
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 12:31:02 (permalink)
    Maybe it's just me, but I have always been partial to this sign:


    #15
    buffetbuster
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 13:01:19 (permalink)
    Two classics from out West.

    The bucking bronco at The Mint Bar

    and the spinning, futuristic design at Maddox Ranch House.
    #16
    Michael Stern
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 13:44:35 (permalink)
    I suppose 3-D statues should be a whole other category, but my two favorite top-of-the-roof characters, Maurie and Flaurie, are Roadfood signs par excellence:
     

    #17
    Tony Bad
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 13:51:22 (permalink)
    I love those dogs!

    Here is another classy sign...and no Bill...this one isn't in my living room either...



    #18
    DocChuck
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 14:41:28 (permalink)
    WOW!
     
    What a super thread this could be (or ALREADY is) for us old-timer road warriors.  I, for one, will copy and paste EVERY photo into a 'special album' on my computer (whether, or not, that is legal --- LOL).
     
    During our travels, my wife and I have collected hundreds of photos of vintage eateries from coast to coast (and in Europe --- where there are some REAL doozies, especially of some of the pubs in Ireland and Scotland). 
     
    I look forward to viewing and collecting copies of YOUR photos.
     
    Thanks for the effort.
     
    #19
    mimicooks
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 14:48:13 (permalink)
    Seen on a diner menu in Arkansas years ago: Special today - Salad Bowel
    #20
    mayor al
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 16:10:59 (permalink)
    In a Nashville BBQ Brew Pub in 2006 Poverty Pete pointed out this poster for a 'Charity Walk' to raise funds for training 'Sight dogs'. While a bit on the risque theme, It certainly attracted our attention while we ate !

    #21
    Tony Bad
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 16:47:40 (permalink)
    buffetbuster

    Two classics from out West.

    The bucking bronco at The Mint Bar
     






    This one reminds me of this place in Wyoming...
     






    post edited by Tony Bad - 2010/04/09 16:49:25
    #22
    Michael Stern
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 16:53:17 (permalink)
    You know you are not in Kansas any more when you see this sign on a buckwheat farm at the northernmost end of Route 1 in Fort Kent, Maine:
     

    #23
    Michael Stern
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 16:55:36 (permalink)
    The Mint Bar at night:
     

    #24
    carolina bob
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 18:01:52 (permalink)
    Here's a Milwaukee classic...


    #25
    carolina bob
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 18:09:21 (permalink)
    ... and a classic in Toledo.




    #26
    JUDYJACOBS
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 19:09:38 (permalink)
    I LIKE THE WOODEN PAINTED PRETZELS ON THE ENDS OF SMITTIES PRETZEL LIGHTHOUSE AND THEY HAVE A BLUE NEON PRETZEL IN THE TOP OF THE LIGHTHOUSE ROADSIDE STAND- YOU CAN SEE IT GOOD AT NITE CAUSE ITS LITE ALL NITE. JUDYJACOBS

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    #27
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 19:13:10 (permalink)
    How long have you been flacking for Smitties?
    #28
    buffetbuster
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 20:09:34 (permalink)
    Everything is bigger in Texas!

     

    #29
    Twinwillow
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    Re:What's Your Favorite Roadfood Sign? (all across the USA) 2010/04/09 20:13:13 (permalink)
    All these signs are an absolute, hoot! Please, keep 'em coming!
    #30
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