re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten!

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stanpnepa
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re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sat, 03/22/03 2:54 PM
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...and thanks to the girl at the Memphis book store ten years ago who said "This Roadfood book is amazing. If you like to eat the best local food while you travel, you really should buy this"!!!! With her recommendation---and noticing some of our favorite regional eateries in the pages therein, I went for it. Well...traveling hasn't been the same since!!!

So...with some 130 Stern's favorites (book, website, old books) on my waistline, it's time for the "Roadfood All-Time Top Ten" list. Yes, this list is TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE and certainly depends on what mood I was in that day, the atmosphere, repeat visits (for those I've made it to again), and just about everything else. Call it unscientific, but oh so much fun!!

1. Eddie's, New Orleans, LA (oddly enough, the first place we hit after buying the book. Their gumbo was the best bowl of soup I've ever had. Total passion in the food---and I'm not even sure if they are open anymore).

2. Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco, CA (eating the freshest seafood cocktail with sourdough bread and guzzling down an Anchor steam on any afternoon can turn the crummiest day around).

3. Al's #1 Italian Beef, Chicago, IL (get it wet...and get the fries too!)

4. Snappy Lunch Mount Airy, NC (the fried pork chop sandwich was just as down home as the town, Mayberry U. S. A. Extremely humble service!)

5. Mother's, New Orleans, LA (yeah---I'm a sucker for dressed up sandwiches. Hello Ferdi!).

6. Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans, LA (a nice light way to start the day in a wild city. Cafe au lait...and oh those beignets!!!).

7. Pepe's Pizza, New Haven, CT (the best crust in the world!!)

8. Parkside Candy, Buffalo, NY (charming old-time parlor where I ate the best chocolate sundae ever---and I didn't even order it! Turns out our server gave me my friend's sundae, and vice-versa but I didn't have the heart to tell my friend---becuase it was just TOO good! )

9. Duran Central Pharmacy, Albuquerque, NM (pour some more of that green chile on those eggs please. Thank you).

10. Nick Tahou Hots, Rochester, NY. (the first couple times through, I just noticed how wonderful the "garbage plate" ingredients meshed together. Last time though, I took note that these may very well be my favorite hot dogs in the world...and the chili sauce is just as good).

Jane and Michael, thanks so much for the oodles of great tips...and may the road be filled with thousands more great discoveries.

Michael Stern
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sat, 03/22/03 2:58 PM
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You are welcome! We've been dealing with a serious craving for those Snappy Lunch pork chop sandwiches lately. May need to visit there soon.

Sundancer7
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sat, 03/22/03 6:35 PM
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I also share my thanks to Jane and Michael. I travel weekly. Last year I was on 125 Delta flights and stayed at 105 Marriott facilities. If you travel a lot, many of you know that the only pleasure you get is exploring a new place to do breakfast, lunch or dinner. Before I discovered their web site, I was at the mercy of other hotel options which I have found out are paid opinions due to free food. Before I travel to any city, I check the forum and state search before I go. If it is handy, I do it. Some have been good and a few have been bad, but that is the way the mop flops. This is the only good web site I have ever used that is not full of spam, advertisements and other crap. I have never met either of them, but I truly appreciate people who apparently do this as a labor of love.

My true thanks to Michael, Jane and their team and I appreciate their work.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
Sundancer7@AOL.com
865-607-3726

mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sat, 03/22/03 8:11 PM
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For me, my first roadfood book was picked up off a discount table for $1.00 in 1982. We have used it and it's offspring often since. With frequent roadtrips between the Left Coast and the Heartland, and even over to the Liberal East now and then, the books have helped many times in deciding when and where we were to stop for a break. Teaching several years on a year-round calandar that gave us May-June and November-December off made for great extended road journey's. Now were are near Louisville, and many of the trips point us thru the South and Southwest.
OK MY TOP 10...Not in order of Preference, since Geography plays an important part in choosing the stop!!
1. ARTHUR BRYANT's, K C My first use of the book... Even after the Yuppies discovered it and the parking lot filled with BMW's and Volvo's the place remains a dump with great BBQ.
2. LOUIS MUELLER's BBQ. Haven't been in since the new dining room opened...but loved the stinging of the eyes in the GYM while knocking down some of the great Hot Links, Ribs and Brisket. Last time I saw a business card I had put on the wall with many others..it was smoke stained and had remained in place for 12 years.
3. CATFISH 'N'- Dardenelles ARK. Beautiful location, been here several times , close by not on top of I-40, Catfish on the buffet with plenty of trimings. Eat inside or out, overlooks the river with plenty of shade trees.
4. MOONLITE BBQ & INN, Owensboro, KY, In the heart of KY's Mutton BBQ country, The Moonlite is a family run institution Grat BBQ Mutton/pok and pork ribs, good brisket, Plenty of sides from Okra to ham and biscuits, Desserts always have fresh cobbler and banana pudding, Buffet or Order off the menu.. MY Best Choice as it is 90 miles from home and we go for lunch or dinner at least once a month
5. IOWA BEEF STEAK HOUSE- Des Moines- I am not sure if this place is still around, but it was in the first 2 editions and we stopped a couple of times. Great Steaks and Large Pork Chops.. $1 off the entree price if you grilled it youself, rather than have them do it for you. Large flaming grill in the middle of the place. Plus if you cook it , they let you choose your steak or chops from the glass case reefer. It was fun after being on the road all day to play with fire!!
6.JENNY'S, Empire CO.- A kind of hippy-homespun place in the little village of Empire (up I-70 as you head west from Denver) Ribeye sandwich ($6) that makes the giant pork tenderloins of the midwest look small in comparison. Think this one is gone now too.
7. ROCKY POINT SHORE DINING HALL- Warwick R I - We went here as a result of Stern's writeup.. The family (wife and Mother) stayed with the clam cakes (fritters) and chowder, but Piggy me had to try the whole thing. Was an interesting experience and certainly differed from our BBQ centered trip up to there. Will go back when we can.
8. VAN'S PIG STAND in Shawnee OK, double referral here, One from the book, one from the state trooper on I-40 who told us about it after giving me a ticket for 74 in a 70 zone (California Plates are a magnet for cops). Worth the stop off the interstate. Been there 6 or 7 times, consistently good.
9 LOUIS'S BASQUE CORNER in Reno NV. A fun time, Heavy food for traveling after dinner, but If you are staying the night it is a great way to end the day. Great red wines !!!
10. THE DIXIE TRUCK STOP- McLean IL on old 66 at rt 136. The absolute stereotypical Truck stop. Wonderful place to get into the spitit of a road trip.
I must add that I like the organization of the books to be Alpha by State makes it easy to check them out quickly as you approach an exit. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK !!!!

joanie41
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sun, 03/23/03 12:31 AM
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I got the Roadfood book when I was a cashier at Polly's Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, NH back in 1984. The restaurant is featured in the book, so it was sold in the gift shop at the restaurant. I didn't enjoy working there at all (I was a teacher on summer break trying to earn extra money and the proprietor is not easy to work for) but I have been a fan of the "Roadfood" concept ever since. Don't know if I have a list of "top 10 restaurants", but I love Durgin-Park in Boston, and virtually all the choices we've tried have been very good. So much food, so little time (and so many calories -- yikes!)

Michael Stern
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sun, 03/23/03 5:10 AM
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To Al-the-Mayor:

Thanks for the good words and droolworthy top-10 list. FYI, Rocky Point Park Shore Dinner Hall is history (boo-hoo!), but[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=90']Iggy's Doughboys[/url] is a worthwhile replacement. It doesn't have the vastness or the class shore-dinner menu; but it DOES have addictive doughboys and snail salad!

mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sun, 03/23/03 8:16 AM
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Micheal,
Thanks for the note on the Rocky Point. I am glad we were able to share that experience once then before it disappeared.
BTW for all--- The Mayor thing is an honorary thing bestowed upon me by the "Railfan/Train-chaser " guys in SoCal's Cajon Pass. I lived near the Summit of the Pass where trains labor long and hard as they climb the mountains out of L A. There are thousands of train-watcher visitors to the area annually, and we met and hosted many of them, chasing around the desert and mountain roads with folks from around the world. It was a real fun time in my life.
My idea of heaven is sitting on a rocky overlook, with trains coming both ways, and enjoying a box of ribs from DAN THE BBQ MAN'S Stand in Bloomington,CA. Some of you folks from places like Rochelle,IL or Altoona,PA know what I mean. We combine roadfood, Train-watching, and flea market cruising into some great times now that retirement is our occupation.

stanpnepa
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sun, 03/23/03 1:39 PM
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Al,

The "Liberal East"? Ouch! Well, anyway...we may all not agree on politics---but we can on great chow!!! What a country!

Here's a question for Michael and Jane...and you don't have to answer in specifics. Have you ever not included an otherwise bookworthy restaurant because of something offensive you've seen or heard (political, racist, crude, mistreatment of help) by its operators in your visit(s)?




storytel
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 03/25/03 12:15 AM
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Al,

FYI, Jenny's in Empire is still there, even with the 4+ feet of snow we had here last week.

Michael Stern
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 03/25/03 2:36 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by stanpnepa

Al,

Here's a question for Michael and Jane...and you don't have to answer in specifics. Have you ever not included an otherwise bookworthy restaurant because of something offensive you've seen or heard (political, racist, crude, mistreatment of help) by its operators in your visit(s)?




Yes. There are lots of restaurants with politics we don't like (as evidenced by pictures and shrines devoted to politicians who get two thumbs down from us), but that's never been a problem for us. We chalk it up to free expression, and even sometimes enjoy it as evidence of the vast cultural diversity of this country. To do what we do, you can't have a hair trigger about oddball (or wrong ) opinions.

But the other part of your question is more troublesome. We have excluded restaurants where we saw the help treated badly, or where the decor, ambience, etc. was downright repulsive or in some way so infuriating that it turned our stomachs ... making it impossible to enjoy a meal even if the food might've been OK.

mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 03/25/03 8:41 AM
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Micheal,
The question was from 'STAN..." not me, but thanks for the straight answer I was curious also. As you said one can't be thin-skinned and enjoy a wide variety of roadfood type places. I must admit the current "IN THING" of having food service staff in an establishment berate and verbally abusive in an attempt at comic imitation of the original arrogant wait-staff is one modern trick that I DO NOT enjoy. So the simple solution is don't go to a place that uses that style of entertainment.
Another component of the 'style' that we don't seem to talk about much here is the noise level. Grabbing a sandwich and coke at a busy joint with the noise level on extra high is not a bad thing... but when I sit down to a meal, even in a truck-stop environment, I prefer to be able to talk to my companion without shouting over "background" music. I am not talking library-quiet, but whatever the sounds are they should allow for conversations at a distance of three feet or so.

Liza- Thanks for the comment on Jenny's, we did enjoy the stops there on previous trips. I think, because it isn't in the newest edition of ROADFOOD, we failed to check out the location.

Michael Stern
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 03/25/03 9:19 AM
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Don't get me started on noise level! All I want to hear is the distant whomp of a knife on a butcher block in the kitchen.


mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 03/25/03 10:55 AM
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That photo looks like it was taken at LOUIS MUELLER'S???

Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 03/25/03 12:33 PM
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We like the looks of the Roadfood Top Ten Game. Can we play too?

10. Peter Luger, New York, NY Simply the best steak we've ever had. And love that schlag!

9. Barney Greengrass, New York, NY Our favorite breakfast. Lox, onions, eggs are divine, and the smoked fish is wonderful. Great "old NY" atmo, too.

8. The Clam Shack, Kennebunkport, ME Unbelievably luxurious hot lobster roll, eaten standing up next to the bridge.

7. Central Grocery, New Orleans, LA Olive salad/bread put this sandwich in the Hall Of Fame.

6. White House Sub Shop, Atlantic City, NJ OK, so we have a particular fondness for great sandwiches. Terrific, fresh bread. The White House Special is as good as it gets.

5. Polly's Pancake Parlor, Sugar Hill, NH Their pristine, deeply flavored maple products can always be found in our kitchen. A visit in autumn, great pancakes, and one of the world's great BLT's, is highly recommended.

4. Carnegie Deli, New York, NY OK, so it's not what it once was (though still good). But in Leo's day, there was no better pastrami on earth. It was touristy even then, but loads of fun.

3. Roque's Carnitas, Santa Fe, NM Sitting in the square, eating and dripping, chatting with Roque, is among our fondest Roadfood memories.

2. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, New Haven, CT White clam pizza is perfection!

1. Abbott's Lobster In The Rough, Noank, CT Summer is not complete for us without a visit to our favorite restaurant - sitting outside picking lobsters, eating lobster rolls and excellent clam chowder.

mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/1/03 5:45 PM
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There are few places that I will travel out of my normal path for 100 miles or more to visit. ABBOTT's in Noank CN is one of those, as is Arthur Bryants in K C . The Moonlite BBQ in Owensboro is third. More to follow as I figure out the distances.

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sun, 04/6/03 11:04 PM
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Hello from a lifelong Sternhead and Roadfood maven/cook! Here are a few places I've visited (or they never got to):
1. Becky's Diner, Portland, ME. Breakfast all-day by the sea,
and priceless non-yuppie atmosphere.
2. Amato's, Portland, ME. This mini-chain offers a good
"Italian"- the curiously sweet, Maine-Yankee version of what's called
a "grinder" or "hoagie" elsewhere.
3. Chacarero Sandwiches, Boston (in downtown Filene's store).
This stand offers unique- and addictive- steak or chicken sandwiches from Chile. Long lines of downtown lawyers and cops- even in this brutal winter- come out for the best sandwich in town.

mobley
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Mon, 04/7/03 3:42 PM
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I'm the type of "Roadfood" guy that likes places that have been around a long time and that don't break my wallet. As a "travel junkie" who loves the regional differences in America, Here are my faves (in no real order)

Wilber's BBQ, Goldsboro NC. My home state has a TON of BBQ joints, some great some not so great. Wilber's cooks on real wood and the Q is lean and tasty. Awesome hush puppies as well.

Captain's Galley, Crisfield MD. This is the place where I discovered real crab cakes. I'll never order them anywhere but in Maryland again.

Central Grocery, New Orleans. I went there at least 4 times while in the Crescent City.

Katz's Deli, NYC..My first REAL deli sandwich.

Van's Pig Stand, Shawnee OK. Went on the road to OK to do relief work for tornado victims, armed with a copy of "Eat Your Way Across the USA" from there I found out about a most memorable BBQ experience.

White House Sub Shop, Atlantic City. The best sub in America.

Charlie Vergo's Rendevous, Memphis. Dry ribs are the best.

Pete's Skylight Inn, Ayden NC. The BBQ capitol of the USA for a good reason.

Charcoal Pit, Wilmington DEL, 5 Guys, Washington area. A tie for the best burgers I've ever tasted!

Geno's, Pat's or Jim's in Philly. A tie, cuz to me, they're all good

Michael Stern
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Mon, 04/7/03 7:33 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

That photo looks like it was taken at LOUIS MUELLER'S???



It could have been Louie Mueller's, but in fact it was[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=583']The City Market[/url] in Luling.

Here's Louie Mueller's:



And here is a similar scene at Prause's:


buffetbuster
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Mon, 04/7/03 11:13 PM
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Little did I know that picking up the first edition of Eat Your Way Across the USA would be a life changing event. So, of course I loved the idea of creating my personal roadfood top 10 list. But being a cagey veteran of 260+ Stern recommended places, I had no idea that it would be this difficult. So after much consternation, here it is in alphabetical order:

1) Barney Greengrass - New York, NY. Could qualify just for the eggs-and-Novie alone, but the genuine New York setting is equally wonderful.

2)The Cottage - La Jolla, CA. I wasn't surprised at how good the pancakes and eggs were. But who knew granola could be this good!

3)The Goulash Place - Danbury, CT. Great Hungarian food. And since we were the only customers there at the time, we had the very entertaining Magda all to ourself!

4)Maddox Ranch House - Perry, UT. An unlikely choice, because this place is all but devoid of atmosphere. But from start to finish, the two dinners I ate there are the best meals I have ever had.

5)Mendenhall Hotel Revolving Tables - Mendenhall, MS. When I read that this place closed, I was sad, but also grateful that I was able to eat there before it did. Eat 'Til It Ouches...the perfect roadfood motto.

6)Pasqual's - Santa Fe, NM. Is it fair that a city as small as Santa Fe has so many great restaurants? Whatever meal you eat there, you must get a Mexican hot chocolate with it.

7)Rancho de Chimayo - Chimayo, NM. Great food in a gorgeous setting. I would go there just for the sopaipillas with honey.

8)Snappy Lunch - Mount Airy, NC. As good as the food is, this is just as much a reflection of the owner, Charles Dowell, a true gentleman.

9)Sweatman's Bar-B-Q - Holly Hill, SC. Since the mustard based barbecue is my favorite, this is a logical choice.

10)Uglesich's - New Orleans, LA. A great restaurant in a lousy neighborhood. When I walked in there at about 10:30 AM one morning, Mr. Uglesich didn't ask what I wanted, he told me what he was going to make for me. I knew better than argue. Needless to say, he didn't steer me wrong.

I am really enjoying reading everyone else's list and I appreciate the chance to share mine. And a special heart felt thanks to Jane and Michael for their dedication to bring all these places to us. The only problem is that none of these are anywhere near my home in Pittsburgh!!!

wanderingjew
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/8/03 9:00 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

I am really enjoying reading everyone else's list and I appreciate the chance to share mine. And a special heart felt thanks to Jane and Michael for their dedication to bring all these places to us. The only problem is that none of these are anywhere near my home in Pittsburgh!!!



At least you have PRIMANTI'S!

Michael Stern
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/8/03 9:18 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

The only problem is that none of these are anywhere near my home in Pittsburgh!!!



Whatsamatta, you don't like...
[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=101']Benkovitz[/url]

or

[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=403']Jo-Jo's[/url]

or

[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=106']The Big O[/url]

or

[url='http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=398']Primanti Brothers[/url]

buffetbuster
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/8/03 12:11 PM
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Obviously, I needed to be more specific in my last comment. None of my top ten or any of the near misses are close to Pittsburgh. While certainly not a Santa Fe, New Orleans or Chicago, I think Pittsburgh is a fine roadfood city. I spent many a late night in my youth at Primanti's or the O. But, I think it is a natural human tendency not to think what is always so close by is that special. We take it for granted. For example, relatives in Memphis consider great pork barbecue more of a birthright rather than a genuine treat. But since I can't get that here, when I am visiting I want to eat it every meal.

joanie41
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/8/03 12:37 PM
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I agree completely with 'buffetbuster'...I lived a couple miles from Polly's Pancake Parlor when I taught and although I thought it was good, I was so used to having real maple products and good cheese (often brought in from my students or bought at Harmon's) that I took the place for granted. I lived about 10 minutes outside Atlantic City for over 6 years and didn't go to White House until I came back as a "shoobie". (I was a bit underwhelmed by White House...maybe I hit it on a bad day...) As a highschooler, I worked right by S****y Franks in Norwalk, and to this day, I've never been inside! Maybe when I go back for a high school reunion...

joanie41
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/8/03 12:39 PM
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Why did s w a n k y get **** out in my last entry?

Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/8/03 1:03 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by joanie41

Why did s w a n k y get **** out in my last entry?


LOL, we have a bad word filter on the message board. "Wank" was one of the words. I removed it.

stanpnepa
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/8/03 1:04 PM
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Are the letters w a n k considered foul?

mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/8/03 1:27 PM
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Stan,
Did you mean F O W L ????? hehehe

stanpnepa
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/8/03 2:59 PM
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Al,

Actually I did!

And speaking of fowl, right about now I'm getting a craving for some Southern pan-fried chicken. Only problem is I can't get it for at least 250 miles!

dte3672
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sun, 01/18/04 2:00 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen



For me, my first roadfood book was picked up off a discount table for $1.00 in 1982. We have used it and it's offspring often since. With frequent roadtrips between the Left Coast and the Heartland, and even over to the Liberal East now and then, the books have helped many times in deciding when and where we were to stop for a break. Teaching several years on a year-round calandar that gave us May-June and November-December off made for great extended road journey's. Now were are near Louisville, and many of the trips point us thru the South and Southwest.
OK MY TOP 10...Not in order of Preference, since Geography plays an important part in choosing the stop!!
1. ARTHUR BRYANT's, K C My first use of the book... Even after the Yuppies discovered it and the parking lot filled with BMW's and Volvo's the place remains a dump with great BBQ.
2. LOUIS MUELLER's BBQ. Haven't been in since the new dining room opened...but loved the stinging of the eyes in the GYM while knocking down some of the great Hot Links, Ribs and Brisket. Last time I saw a business card I had put on the wall with many others..it was smoke stained and had remained in place for 12 years.
3. CATFISH 'N'- Dardenelles ARK. Beautiful location, been here several times , close by not on top of I-40, Catfish on the buffet with plenty of trimings. Eat inside or out, overlooks the river with plenty of shade trees.
4. MOONLITE BBQ & INN, Owensboro, KY, In the heart of KY's Mutton BBQ country, The Moonlite is a family run institution Grat BBQ Mutton/pok and pork ribs, good brisket, Plenty of sides from Okra to ham and biscuits, Desserts always have fresh cobbler and banana pudding, Buffet or Order off the menu.. MY Best Choice as it is 90 miles from home and we go for lunch or dinner at least once a month
5. IOWA BEEF STEAK HOUSE- Des Moines- I am not sure if this place is still around, but it was in the first 2 editions and we stopped a couple of times. Great Steaks and Large Pork Chops.. $1 off the entree price if you grilled it youself, rather than have them do it for you. Large flaming grill in the middle of the place. Plus if you cook it , they let you choose your steak or chops from the glass case reefer. It was fun after being on the road all day to play with fire!!
6.JENNY'S, Empire CO.- A kind of hippy-homespun place in the little village of Empire (up I-70 as you head west from Denver) Ribeye sandwich ($6) that makes the giant pork tenderloins of the midwest look small in comparison. Think this one is gone now too.
7. ROCKY POINT SHORE DINING HALL- Warwick R I - We went here as a result of Stern's writeup.. The family (wife and Mother) stayed with the clam cakes (fritters) and chowder, but Piggy me had to try the whole thing. Was an interesting experience and certainly differed from our BBQ centered trip up to there. Will go back when we can.
8. VAN'S PIG STAND in Shawnee OK, double referral here, One from the book, one from the state trooper on I-40 who told us about it after giving me a ticket for 74 in a 70 zone (California Plates are a magnet for cops). Worth the stop off the interstate. Been there 6 or 7 times, consistently good.
9 LOUIS'S BASQUE CORNER in Reno NV. A fun time, Heavy food for traveling after dinner, but If you are staying the night it is a great way to end the day. Great red wines !!!
10. THE DIXIE TRUCK STOP- McLean IL on old 66 at rt 136. The absolute stereotypical Truck stop. Wonderful place to get into the spitit of a road trip.
I must add that I like the organization of the books to be Alpha by State makes it easy to check them out quickly as you approach an exit. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK !!!!


Does anyone know if the Dixie Truck Stop (#10) is still there?

mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sun, 01/18/04 3:04 PM
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We stopped there last summer and it didn't look like it was going down hill...busy as ever

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Mon, 10/23/06 2:26 PM
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It has been 3 1/2 years since I created my previous top 10 list. And since I have been to over 250 Roadfood places from the books or website since then, I thought it was time to make a new one. Strictly alphabetically:

1) Bobcat Bite - Santa Fe. Love those green chile cheeseburgers!

2) Bohemian Cafe - Omaha. Great atmosphere and the only restaurant I know that has plum dumplings, my favorite dish of my grandmother's, on the menu.

3) The Clam Box - Ipswich, Mass. Ate there on the Roadfood bus tour last year, which made the experience even better. Awesome building and the best fried clams I've ever had.

4) Gray Brothers Cafeteria - Mooresville, Ind. I can't tell you how happy eating here makes me. A huge selection and I have yet to be disappointed by anything, especially the sides and the pies. This is the one place I will happily stand in line.

5) Hob Nob Hill - San Diego. Other than local places, I have eaten here more than any other Roadfood place and no meal has been less than perfect. From the service to the high quality of the food, I couldn't ask more a better place to have breakfast. Don't miss their daily coffee cake and muffin.

6) Keaton's - Statesville, NC. From the very first bite of their chicken, you know you are in the presence of greatness. The odd thing is, before eating here, I have never really been a fan of barbecued chicken. This place is what Roadfood is all about for me.

7) Maddox Ranch House - Perry, Utah. Since it has been over six years since I last ate there, I do wonder if I mythologize this place too much. But from start to finish, I had the best two meals of my life here.

8) Mendenhall Hotel Revolving Tables - Mendenhall, Mississippi. I was so sorry to hear this place had closed. One of the first Roadfood places I visited and one of my fondest memories.

9) Rancho de Chimayo - Chimayo, NM. Great food in a beautiful, romantic place.

10) Uglesich's - Another place that has apparently closed for good. Talking food with Anthony Uglesich was every bit as enjoyable as eating his amazing food.

Ones just missing the cut are Cafe Latte (MN), Tony Luke's (PA), Lexington #1 (NC), Sweatman's (SC) and Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen (KY).

I would love to see more lists from everyone!




mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Mon, 10/23/06 3:50 PM
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Boy, That takes us back a few years...AND a lot of miles!

I would Add a couple to the top List.

1A. DILLARD HOUSE, DILLARD,GEORGIA- Great Family Style Meals in a beautiful rural Georgia Mountain environment.

2. LOUIS MUELLER BBQ- UPDATE- My business card is indeed still on the wall.(14 years now) We will replace or add a new one during the Feb. 2007 Glee Club Gathering in Austin,TX

3.MOAB DINER- MOAB, UTAH Nothing special about the appearance of the place, but great roadfood chow at very moderate prices. A wonderful place to 'refuel' after (or before) a day in ARCHES or CANYONLANDS National Parks.

I will edit this post shortly after reviewing my notes of the 2005 and 2006 roadtrip reports.

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Mon, 10/23/06 8:26 PM
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Ya know, at first I thought it would be impossible to put together an all time top 10 list. I actually put together a list of over 50 restaurants, which I thoroughly enjoyed throughout the years, then knocked that list down to 15 and finally to 10

Here it is in no particular order"

1.Dreamland BBQ, Tuscaloosa AL- BBQ that is truly better than

2. The White Way, Durant IA- The best Iowa Chop ever! Along with a killer salad bar and Sour Cream Raisin Pie. I sadly lament the loss of this place.

3. Joe's Stone Crab, Miami Beach, FL- Roadfood? Absolutely. Nuggets of Sweet Stone Crab meat and a decadent Key Lime Pie. Shelling out $100 for a meal here is a pleasure I never regretted.

4. Mother's- New Orleans, LA- I am so glad that this gem was spared by Hurricane Katrina, although saddenned by the devestation that occured on the Gulf Coast. If I could eat here everyday, I would.

5. Stroud's- Kansas City, MO- Although the original location is gone (and hopefully will be replaced) The Fried Chicken, Cinammon Rolls and Cottage Fries were unforgettable.

6. M & J's Sanitary Tortilla Factory- Albuquerque, NM- Another place that is gone but not forgotten. The fiery Carne Adovada Burrito and Sopapilla's will live on in my memory forever.

7. 2nd Avenue Deli/Carnegie Deli (Tie)- New York, NY- Both are/were equally outstanding. The Carnegie gets the nod for the Cheesecake and Mustard and The 2nd Avenue for the Matzoh Ball Soup.

8. Coffee Cup Grille- Charlotte, NC- I am so glad to see that the Sterns' latest review reveals that this southern meat n three institution is just as good as ever, I kind of figured it was.

9. 82 Queen Street, Charleston, SC- This establishment Defines Charleston- Shrimp n Grits and She Crab soup. What more can I say?

10. Hoover's- Austin, TX- There was a reason why I returned to this place, not once, not twice, but three times on my visit to Austin. The holy trio- Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Jalapeno Creamed Spinach

buffetbuster
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/24/06 7:03 AM
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wanderingjew-
Nice list! After reading what you have to say about The White Way, I am very disappointed that I never had the chance to eat there. And I forgot about Hoover's, which I love! It should be on my honorable mentions, if not my top ten.

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/24/06 6:10 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

wanderingjew-
Nice list! After reading what you have to say about The White Way, I am very disappointed that I never had the chance to eat there. And I forgot about Hoover's, which I love! It should be on my honorable mentions, if not my top ten.


Buffetbuster, the White Way was outstanding. The thickest tastiest, juiciest Pork Chop served with mushroom gravy and a side of homemade crispy hash browns. The salad bar was a sight to see, everything from Pea Salad to Jello Salad and everything in between.
When I put together my list of the most memorable 50 restaurants I narrowed it down to 15, so I guess the 5 honorable mentions would go to:
1- The Golden Ox- Kansas City MO- Kansas City Strip Steak
2- Nick Tahou's- Rochester NY- Garbage Plate
3- Payne's- Memphis TN- Pulled Pork Sandwich and BBQ Beans
4- Dot's Restaurant- Wilmington VT- Berry Berry Pancakes
5- Spud Fish n Chips- Seattle WA- Fish n Chips better than any I've
ever had here in New England

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 04/17/07 11:17 PM
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Since my original post is four years old, I guess it's time for a revised list. Out of roughly 190 Roadfood restaurants, I could narrow it down to sixteen---one for roughly each year I've been following the blessed palates and teachings of Jane and Michael Stern. In alphabetical order:

AL'S #1 ITALIAN BEEF, Chicago, IL
ALLIE'S DONUTS, N. Kingstown, RI
BENDTSEN'S BAKERY, Racine, WI
BLUE HEAVEN, Key West, FL
CAFE DU MONDE, New Orleans, LA
THE CLAM SHACK, Kennebunkport, ME
DURAN CENTRAL PHARMACY, Albuquerque, NM.
EDDIE'S, New Orleans, LA
GARRETT'S POPCORN SHOP, Chicago, IL.
MOTHER'S, New Orleans, LA
NICK TAHOU HOTS, Rochester, NY
SNAPPY LUNCH, Mount Airy, NC.
SRI LANKAN CURRY HOUSE, Minneapolis, MN
SWAN OYSTER DEPOT, San Francisco, CA
TONY LUKE'S, Philadelphia, PA
WHITE HOUSE SUB SHOP, Atlantic City, NJ


Honorable mentions: Wilber's Barbecue (Goldsboro, NC), Four Seas Ice Cream (Centerville, MA), Miss Hulling's Cafeteria (St. Louis, MO), Cafe Sicilia (Gloucester, MA), Parkside Candy (Buffalo, NY), Rutt's Hut (Clifton, NJ) and Libby's Lunch (Paterson, NJ)



buffetbuster
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Sun, 10/28/07 9:47 PM
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While my cousin Johnny and I were on vacation last week, I asked him to come up with his all-time top ten list. He has been to over 300 Roadfood places, but doesn't post here (he works WAY too many hours), so I am doing it for him. Listings are strictly alphabetical:

1) Bobcat Bite - Santa Fe, NM
2) Blue Willow Inn - Social Circle, GA
3) Dinner Bell - McCombs, MS
4) Inn at Pleasant Hill - Harrodsburg, KY
5) Goulash Place - Danbury, CT
6) Hob Nob Hill - San Diego, CA
7) Maddox Ranch House - Perry, UT
8) Pancake Pantry - Nashville, TN
9) Polly's Pancake Parlor - Sugar Hill, NH
10) Winchester Cafe - Livingston, MT


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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 6:21 PM
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Nice lists everyone! Obviously being in AK we don't poke our noses out of here very often. But if we lived in the Lower 48 we'd have lists and lists of eateries, diners and just good places to chow down. But many thanks to Jane and Michael for turning us all on to Roadfood!

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 8:16 PM
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I just drew up my list, and was surprised to find that three out of ten were in Kansas City. I don't really think of KC as a great food town, but there it is.
In no particular order...
Stroud's fried chicken in KC
Barney Greengrass in NYC for breakfast
Hob Nob Hill in San Diego for a smoked pork chop breakfast
Swan's Oyster Depot in San Francisco
Jess 'n Jim's steakhouse in KC
Maine Diner in Wells, Maine
Mosca's, just south of New Orleans
Arthur Bryant's in KC
Three Brothers in Milwaukee
Anyplace in America with Al, Janet, Paul, Bushie and all my Roadfood pals

buffetbuster
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 8:32 PM
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Poverty Pete-
Great list! I feel like I have missed out, since I have never had the smoked pork chop breakfast at Hob Nob Hill.

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 8:33 PM
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What a fun challenge! Okay, here's our top 10 in no particular order...

1. Pepe's, New Haven, CT
2. Owl Bar, San Antonio, NM
3. Lexington BBQ, Lexington, NC
4. The Cottage, La Jolla, CA
5. Joe's BBQ and Fish, Nashville, TN
6. The Beacon, Spartanburg, SC
7. Red's Eats, Wiscasset, ME
8. Cattleman's Steakhouse, Oklahoma City, OK
9. Woodman's of Essex, Essex, MA
10. Colony Grill, Stamford, CT

There just wasn't any room in here to list desserts, so that will need to be a separate forum topic!

Poverty Pete
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 8:43 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

Poverty Pete-
Great list! I feel like I have missed out, since I have never had the smoked pork chop breakfast at Hob Nob Hill.

Cliff, you gotta be joking, right? The smoked pork chop is the best meal in the house.

buffetbuster
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 9:04 PM
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Poverty Pete-
Now you tell me! I've been there approximately ten times and it must seemingly be the only breakfast item I haven't tried so far.

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 9:35 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by dte3672 Does anyone know if the Dixie Truck Stop (#10) is still there?
As of last August, when I stopped there on the way home from the Illinois State Fair, yes. Sadly, I lost the film I took a picture of it with. ~~~~ (tears) I have some more shots I took at the fair proper at http://www.flickr.com My screen name is Big_Ugly_Mich there.

mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 9:58 PM
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We stopped at the Dixie Truck Stop a week ago on our return trip from Wisconsin. We stocked up on Stuckey's candy for the ride home and had some good coffee. It is as it has been forever, a great roadfood rest stop!

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 10:02 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Poverty Pete

I just drew up my list, and was surprised to find that three out of ten were in Kansas City. I don't really think of KC as a great food town, but there it is.
In no particular order...
Stroud's fried chicken in KC
Barney Greengrass in NYC for breakfast
Hob Nob Hill in San Diego for a smoked pork chop breakfast
Swan's Oyster Depot in San Francisco
Jess 'n Jim's steakhouse in KC
Maine Diner in Wells, Maine
Mosca's, just south of New Orleans
Arthur Bryant's in KC
Three Brothers in Milwaukee
Anyplace in America with Al, Janet, Paul, Bushie and all my Roadfood pals



You don't think of KC as a great food town




Poverty Pete
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 10:12 PM
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Back in the fifties, my uncle Dee owned and operated a cafe at the KC stockyards called the Hog House. He used to serve a one pound burger. To an eight year old, fresh from a Kansas City A's game, a one pound burger looks as big as a flying saucer.

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 10:17 PM
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ayersin-
Love the list! You have some of my very favorites on there, like Red Eats & Lexington BBQ.

Have you been to The Clam Box? Do you prefer Woodman's to TCB?

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Tue, 10/30/07 10:39 PM
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Clam Box...Woodman's...Farnham's...I'd be very happy to see any of them in Nashville. Farnham's even serves Moxie.

mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Wed, 10/31/07 2:07 AM
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Yeah, We could drive Wandering Jew Crazy if one day we were to relocate some of the favorites on the lists here to a single location...Nashville or Tulsa or maybe even Reno...and hold a roadfood get together to hit several of the best each day for a week. Imagine Fried Whole-Belly Clams in Nashville, Shrimp Po'Boys and Gumbo in Reno, or a Lobster Roll in Tulsa. Yep WJ would starve rather than do that !!!

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Wed, 10/31/07 9:59 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

ayersin-
Love the list! You have some of my very favorites on there, like Red Eats & Lexington BBQ.

Have you been to The Clam Box? Do you prefer Woodman's to TCB?

Tough choice, BB -- do I have to pick? They're both very, very good and distinctive for Cape Ann fried clams. If I had to choose, then Woodman's...but I love them both. And my stomach is grumbling, just thinking about them...

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Wed, 10/31/07 11:13 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

Yeah, We could drive Wandering Jew Crazy if one day we were to relocate some of the favorites on the lists here to a single location...Nashville or Tulsa or maybe even Reno...and hold a roadfood get together to hit several of the best each day for a week. Imagine Fried Whole-Belly Clams in Nashville, Shrimp Po'Boys and Gumbo in Reno, or a Lobster Roll in Tulsa. Yep WJ would starve rather than do that !!!

Yeah, it's a rough life being a Fundamentalist Roadfooder.

wanderingjew
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Wed, 10/31/07 11:16 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Davydd

quote:
Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

Yeah, We could drive Wandering Jew Crazy if one day we were to relocate some of the favorites on the lists here to a single location...Nashville or Tulsa or maybe even Reno...and hold a roadfood get together to hit several of the best each day for a week. Imagine Fried Whole-Belly Clams in Nashville, Shrimp Po'Boys and Gumbo in Reno, or a Lobster Roll in Tulsa. Yep WJ would starve rather than do that !!!

Yeah, it's a rough life being a Fundamentalist Roadfooder.


Absolutely, although here in RI it's pretty much anything and everything. The only thing I refuse to do here is Mexican and BBQ and that's because it's bad...really...really bad....

mayor al
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Wed, 10/31/07 11:43 AM
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WJ
The one place I visited a couple of times in your area that came from the Stern's book, was the Rocky Point Shore Dining Hall. What a neat experience that was. The food was "OK" or maybe "OK plus", but the concept was linked to an era that I never experienced, so eating their shore dinner and (clear) Clam Chowder was like looking into the past. It was a great experience.

Is there a R.I. specialty in the Mexican food area? Scrod Tacos? Fried Whole-Belly Clam Burritos? They could put a whole new spin on the traditional "Beans and Franks" Saturday Night Supper. I won't mention the Brown Bread.

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Wed, 10/31/07 12:35 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster

ayersin-
Love the list! You have some of my very favorites on there, like Red Eats & Lexington BBQ.

Have you been to The Clam Box? Do you prefer Woodman's to TCB?


Hi guys... My two cents on this one: Clam Box is way above the rest for me, I put Farnhams next and Woodmans third, tied with Lewis'. I hit the others when I have not quite enough time to go further north or it's off-season, of course. Been eating at TCB since I moved here and bought the Sterns' book in 1992. Mmmmmm. But I have never actually managed to finish a whole clam order.

buffetbuster
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Wed, 10/31/07 1:31 PM
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I agree with cecif about the order being The Clam Box, Farnham's and then Woodman's. But to be fair, Woodman's was the fourth place we ate at on the Roadfood bus tour and since we were already quite full, probably didn't get a fair shake.

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Thu, 11/1/07 1:57 AM
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I haven't been to most of the "constants" on your all's lists (Clam Box, Blue Willow Inn, etc., etc.)

Numbered out of habit. Like one's children, I love them equally, just for different reasons.

1) TOM'S PLACE SOUL FOOD--West Palm Beach, FL. Why nobody has posted a review on here yet is beyond me. The world's best ribs, French fries, barbecue sauce, collards, catfish, corn muffins...they really don't serve anything that isn't "the best" in my book.

2) GIORDANO'S--Chicago, IL. I know, more commercial than some, but I still love the stuffed pizza. The chopped salad is wonderful, too.

3) SNAPPY LUNCH--Mt. Airy, NC. A national treasure.

4) COUNTRY CLUB BAKERY--Fairmont, WV. Where my grandmother used to buy her bread; hasn't changed much. The end-all pepperoni roll that sets the standard.

5) COLEMAN'S--Wheeling, WV. Better than any seafood I ever had on the coast.

6) TOM SAWYER'S--Boca Raton, FL. Biscuits and gravy, and fresh-squeezed OJ.

7) HATHAWAY'S COFFEE SHOP--Cincinnati, OH. Honestly, the food didn't impress me, but the atmosphere of the place is terrific. Time stands still.

8) PRIMANTI BROTHERS--anywhere in Pittsburgh, PA. Nothing else like it.

9) GRAETER'S--anywhere in Cincinnati, OH. World's best ice cream, and Cokes still made with syrup and soda water.

10)ELLEN'S ICE CREAM--Charleston, WV. Not being able to make it to Cincinnati too often, this is a fine stand-in for Graeter's. The espresso-Oreo is killer.

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Thu, 11/1/07 12:55 PM
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Restaurants with politics one doesn't like is actually a good subject - has it come up before?

I'm thinking in particular of a place in Skokie, Ill., on Touhy Avenue, called New York Bagel and Bialy. This little shop in a strip mall has the best bagels in the Chicago area. The counterman, however, wears a button on his hat that says "Concealed Carry." In other words, he supports a law that would make carrying concealed weapons legal.

Now I don't want to argue with anyone on this topic - my point in bringing it up was to note that although I adamantly disagree with this guy, I haven't stopped going there for bagels. Free expression is fine - though I don't think it's very professional of him to wear that button at work.

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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Fri, 11/2/07 2:11 PM
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Yesterday, I drove by a sandwich shop in a town I USED to work in. They had very good hoagies, but a few years back the owner/operator had some sort of TV news program on that featured student protests. One of the students was protesting torture in his home nation. The owner for some reason yelled "DIE ***** DIE". To me, it didn't even appear to be a joke (ill advised).

So, because of that, there's no reason for me to support their business. I'm pretty open minded, and eat at places where there are signs for politicians that turn my stomach, but open racism in 2007 is ugly and completely uncalled for.

cecif
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RE: re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten! - Fri, 11/2/07 3:59 PM
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CLAM BOX "warning"...
Y'all have 5 weeks to hit it this year. They close for the season on December 9th this year. (They're also closed on Tuesdays.)

A little RF clam get-together might be in order before closing... cider donuts at Russell Orchards & clams at TCB. (I know Chris is listening here... WJ??)


(edit: did I miss something?? how did "re: thanks jane and michael---all time top ten!" turn into political reasons not to patronize someplace?!)

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