Thanks for all the kind words so far, folks. I will address those later on....but, I might not want to stop the train that is my writing for fear that the engine won't ever start back up again! Day Three - Sunday, December 30 - Charlotte, NC to Christiansburg, VA
A friend was driving over from Hudson, NC to meet me for breakfast in Charlotte. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, choosing a place for breakfast proved to be a greater challenge than I had initially anticipated. I purposely encouraged our meet in Charlotte for fear that there would be fewer options in the smaller surrounding towns on a Sunday morning. Little did I know....
So, with no Penguin Drive-In
(no breakfast service), no John's
(not open Sunday) and no Coffee Cup
(also not open on Sunday), I really had no idea what to do. My buddy is a pretty big Waffle House fan, and sensing that I needed to act quickly to avoid that I used my Bat Phone to call wanderingjew to see if he had any last-minute suggestions. He was pretty much as lost as I was, but suggested that I try CitySearch (amazing how you don't use the resources you know when you just get flustered!). One of the highest rated breakfasts in the Charlotte area was a place called the Landmark Diner
, which, if I had done my homework properly, I would have known that it is also recommended[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5743&SearchTerms=landmark+diner']here[/url] by the well-respected Ort. Carlton
Note that the weather is still a continuing theme.
I was looking for a standard breakfast, and the reports that Landmark does the basics well were correct. That is an excellent plate of pancakes - light and fluffy, the way they oughta be. The bacon and eggs were also just the way I like them. Not shown in the photo is a side of fresh-cut fruit. When I inquired as to the nature of the fruit (I was politely trying to determine if this was some syrup-laden concoction out of a can), I was given the only-in-the-South reassurance "Oh, honey, it's cut up right back they-ahh!" Classic.
I am all for clogging my arteries as quickly as I can, but since I was born north of the Mason-Dixon line, I don't know that I will ever understand the lure of biscuits and gravy. However, my buddy declared that these were the real deal. Admittedly, they looked pretty good - and I had my obligatory forkful, but it just isn't something that clicks with me.
Since the rest of this report seems to be in buffetbuster's
honor already, I want to add that I also indulged in some excellent chocolate cake for dessert. That's right - dessert for breakfast. Unfortunately, still learning the intricacies of my camera (and desperately not trying to draw attention to myself in this very busy establishment), I couldn't get a decent picture. My buddy got a good picture - with his phone, of all things! I think he may take better photos with his phone than I take with my camera! Unfortunately, I didn't get anything else in the picture to give this slice of cake perspective. It looks amazingly huge - and it was a healthy piece of cake, but I think the photo distorts things somewhat.
Disappointed that I missed out on my planned Roadfood stops in Charlotte, we drove right past this place on the way back to my hotel, and I made my buddy pull over so that I could take a few pictures.
Yes, Bar-b-q King
was ALSO closed.
I pulled into one of the stalls anyway. I wanted some practice for later in my trip! [url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2409/2256214620_ea524f0f4c_b.jpg']Hi-Res[/url] screen-busting shot of the menu, if anyone is interested.
Honestly, at this point, this picture best summed up my entire trip!
I departed Charlotte with a full belly and a desire to get back at some point to eat at the places that I missed. I trudged through the rain up I-77 towards the Virginia line. As much as I wanted to stop in Mt. Airy to go to Snappy Lunch
, well...guess what? It was closed. Intent on making it to my friend's house in Christiansburg (just outside of Blacksburg - near Virginia Tech) and going to the twice-recommended Home Place
, I kept on making good time. I crossed the Virginia border into some of the worst fog I have ever encountered. I can only be glad that the rain had subsided and it was still daylight (I think), because visibility was reduced to less than a car length.
White-knuckled, I arrived at my buddy's house around 3:00 pm. They were all gathered around the TV ready to watch their beloved Redskins, who still had a chance to make the playoffs. Nathan informed me that while the Home Place is normally open on Sundays (as their web site indicated), they were closed THIS
Sunday, as the entire place shut down for the week between Christmas and New Year's! Of course. We set out for Roanoke to find a good Plan B restaurant that Nathan had come up with - a place called Corned Beef and Company
[url='http://www.cornedbeefandco.com/'](web site)[/url]. Sounds like it would be right up my alley, no? Well, it was closed. As a matter of fact, I can't imagine that it would have been possible for FEWER places to be open in downtown Roanoke at any given time - short of the time we were there on this Sunday night.
We ended up at a regional chain, Macado's
[url='http://www.macados.com/'](web site)[/url]. They appear to specialize in catering to the college crowd (I am pretty sure all/most of their locations are located in college towns) - with sandwiches, burgers, and pub fare. On this night, we were also treated to the fine Virginia stylings of what appeared to be gay karaoke night. I am not passing judgment, mind you, just trying to eke out the right visual, for those that want to play along on the home game. Fortunately, since neither Nathan nor I are much for cuddling in the booth at a restaurant, it was probably obvious that we weren't there for the karaoke. And, lastly, dudes should not ever - I mean EVER - sing Meredith Brooks's [url='http://profile.imeem.com/P64BZF/music/Kae8P8i4/meredith_brooks_bitch/']Bitch[/url]!
On our way out, right next door, I spotted this place called Texas Tavern
, which was neither in Texas nor a tavern (discuss...). That looked like a place I would want to check out the next time I am in town.
We retreated back to Nathan's house to fight another day.