Hits and misses with 500 Things to Eat

Post
boyscout
Junior Burger
2010/06/01 12:01:26
I've just returned from a 12,000km loop through the U.S. with 500 Things to Eat well-thumbed along the way.  Only now when unpacking have I noticed the URL on the back of the book... wish I'd visited this site along the way!
 
I had a few great hits from the book, including Five-Way Chili in Cincinatti and Gooey Butter Cake in St. Louis, MO.  However misses too.  My own fault for not calling ahead but part of the fun was intended to be the journey in finding these places... I just went there.  My advice after a few disappointments:  call ahead.  The most disappointing were:
 
- The Ultimate Garlic Grilled Cheese at Eden Alley Cafe in Kansas City, MO, had me drooling across one and a half states, but Eden Alley is in the basement of a Unitarian church and is CLOSED all day Sunday!
 
- The Huevos Rancheros and Cinnamon Bun at Hell's Kitchen in Duluth, MN, sounded breakfasty enough that I didn't consider they would not be open in the morning, but they don't even open for lunch!  They open at 3:00pm, and I couldn't wait.
 
- Pork Chop John's in Bozeman, MT, is gone, just a burger joint now.
 
Finally, 500 Things to Eat does sort of hint between the lines that the Cinnamon Roll at Johnson's Corner in Loveland, CO, is not necessarily great, just big.  However the one I had wasn't "as big as a plate" - it was about average size - and it was definitely not worth going out of my way for.  The bun has never met butter, and has only a hasty passing acquaintance with cinnamon, so it has a stiff, pasty, gummy consistency without much flavour.  It's served in a deep lake of sugar icing with a hint of almond extract to overcome its shortcomings, but it doesn't work.
 
I certainly enjoyed reading 500 Things to Eat, and enjoyed seeing the places it took me, but next time will plan more carefully to avoid quirky operating hours that might have been mentioned in the book.
 
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:Hits and misses with 500 Things to Eat 2010/06/01 12:55:04
boyscout - Welcome to RF.

Around here, arriving at a restaurant only to find that it is not open is considered something of an honor errr....honour (forgot you were Canadian!).

I am not sure if it is differentiated in the book, but I have been to the Hell's Kitchen location in Minneapolis for breakfast.  It was on a weekend, so I am not sure if they only do breakfast then, or maybe only at the Minneapolis location.  It would appear from looking at their web site (http://www.hellskitchenin...rections-Parking.html) that they have changed the mission of their Duluth location into more of a burger joint than full-service breakfast/lunch/dinner menu.  Perhaps next time through Minneapolis, you could give that location a shot.

It does sound like you covered some ground.  I am a little envious.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Hits and misses with 500 Things to Eat 2010/06/01 13:04:21
boyscout-
Welcome to Roadfood!  That sounds like an amzing trip you just took.  It took me a while to completely understand the importance of pre-trip planning to fully maximize my eating opportunities.  Now, many of my Roadfood friends make fun of me for my lists, but I seldom get Travelin-manned anymore.

I had no idea there was a Pork Chop John's in Bozeman.  The Butte location was where I always stopped in. 

Can you tell us more about your trip?    
zataar
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Hits and misses with 500 Things to Eat 2010/06/01 14:14:10
I think the Bozeman location has been closed for quite some time. We spent the night in Bozeman in October and the building it was in appeared to have been vacant for a long while. We ate at one of the locations in Butte and the menu listed just the two locations there.
Davydd
Sirloin
Re:Hits and misses with 500 Things to Eat 2010/06/01 15:30:02
Hell's Kitchen in Duluth was refocused and renamed Hell Burgers. They don't serve breakfast and it is now basically a sports bar that opens at 11 AM.

You didn't miss anything at Porkchop John's even if you had been able to go to Butte. They don't serve a porkchop nor even a pork loin or pork tenderloin. It is a manufactured pork fritter deep-fried that wouldn't make the cut if located in Indiana, Illinois or Iowa. The Porkchop John's near the freeway is eerily similar to Mr. Dave's in North Manchester, Indiana right down to entry, seating, menu board, ordering and counter. Only at Mr. Dave's you will get a mighty fine true pork tenderloin sandwich.
post edited by Davydd - 2010/06/01 15:33:45
zataar
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Hits and misses with 500 Things to Eat 2010/06/01 18:17:53
We rather enjoyed our lunch at John's. It was very busy and it was amazing watching the 4 young women in the kitchen working in perfect harmony. We didn't expect it to be remotely like a BPT or even a real pork chop, so we weren't disappointed.  Everything was freshly cooked and tasty. They also had Alaskan halibut on the menu, which was in season. Sort of doubt if we'll stop there again, but we didn't think it was so bad. Our favorite in Butte is Matt's Place, but they have pretty limited hours. We've only had burgers there.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Hits and misses with 500 Things to Eat 2010/06/01 18:30:19
Davydd


You didn't miss anything at Porkchop John's even if you had been able to go to Butt
e. They don't serve a porkchop nor even a pork loin or pork tenderloin. It is a manufactured pork fritter deep-fried that wouldn't make the cut if located in Indiana, Illinois or Iowa. The Porkchop John's near the freeway is eerily similar to Mr. Dave's in North Manchester, Indiana right down to entry, seating, menu board, ordering and counter. Only at Mr. Dave's you will get a mighty fine true pork tenderloin sandwich.


I totally agree,

I went back in 1998, and never found a reason to go back although I'm glad I tried it once. It was kind of a "been there done that" kind of meal.  There's so much more that Montana has to offer.