I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex.

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Post
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
2010/07/20 16:02:42
There are times when I get home from a trip, I want to write about one or two places that were visited, but don't have the time or inclination to do a full report.  When that happens, I'm just going to pour them into this thread.  So, this is going to be a mixture of restaurants from all over the place.
 
This past weekend, I was driving around (mostly) Iowa.  One of the reasons for going to Iowa was to revisit a real favorite, Wilton Candy Kitchen

in Wilton, Iowa.  Wilton is a town of just under 3,000 people and is located a short distance from I-80.
 
I walked in the door just a little after 10:00 on Saturday morning and owner George Nopoulos was already holding court.  There was a couple dressed in biker gear at the counter, while two guys in overalls/work clothes stood behind them.  They were all chatting and listening to George's stories, so I grabbed a counter seat and quickly joined in the conversation.  The youngest guy had only been married for a month and everyone was quick to give him advice, with plenty of laughs being shared.  The biker couple explained they were both on their third marriages, second one to each other!  While this was going on, George was eating what he called his "morning pick-me-up", a couple scoops of ice cream with hot fudge sauce on it.  At one point, he stopped, looked at the group and said, "I'm not saying it's good, (pause).....but it sure ain't bad!" and winked at me.  I felt like I was with Burt Lancaster in Field of Dreams!
 
George asked me what I wanted, so I started inquiring what was in some of his mixed sodas.  They have quite a list on the mirror. 

He patiently described each one, usually answering with some sort of a joke.  Once I heard the hadacol was mixed with vanilla syrup and root beer, I went for that.  George poured out the different syrups in just the right amount

and expertly mixed them together.  Needless to say, it tasted just like a first-rate cream soda.  As for the name, George explained, "I hadacol it something!"  Here is my drink

with George enjoying his "morning pick-me-up" in the background.
 
It was at about this point that it came up in conversation that George was now 90 years old.  90!  Unbelievable!  And he still comes to work everyday, making his own ice cream.  Astonishing!  I did ask him what his secret to longevity was and he said to never stop moving.  He said if he stopped moving, he would dead in a year.  Don't expect George to ever retire, which is a great thing for the town of Wilton and Roadfooders everywhere.
 
The only thing in town older than George is the Candy Kitchen itself.  The building goes all the way back to 1856

and it is recognized by some as the oldest soda fountain the US.  How much of it is original, I have no idea.  But, I can't imagine it has changed too much over the years.  Some photos from the inside:





 
Wilton Candy Kitchen has to be one of the bigger tourist attractions in eastern Iowa.  And some famous people have stopped by.  Brooke Shields was here in 1991 and Gregory Peck in 1995.  There are signs on the wall, including photos,

of their visits, with more signs indicating which booths they sat in.  I loved the story the one farmer told, how we was riding his motorcycle through town and saw a woman standing next to her car.  "I said to myself, hey, that looks like Brooke Shields!"  I think you needed to hear the way he said to appreciate how funny it was.  BTW, Brooke Shields did lock her keys in the car while she was in town.
 
The rest of the crowd left, which left just George and I.  Time to order my sundae.  Since I had my usual favorite, a hot fudge sundae, just an hour earlier at Lagomarcino's in Moline, I went another direction and had the creme de menthe.  Now earlier, when I ordered my soda, George grabbed a paper cup.  Since those don't make nearly as good a photo, I asked if he could use a glass instead.  He happily obliged.  With the sundae, he went ahead and grabbed a paper cup.  I didn't have the heart to ask him to use one of the glass bowls.  At the age of 90, if he wants to cut down on the amount of dishes that need washed, who am I to say otherwise?  Here is my sundae.

The mint topping was pretty standard from a jar, but that homemade vanilla ice cream was especially creamy and delicious.  While I ate my sundae, I watched George continue to work.  Here is a shot of him making the marshmallow topping.

 
Thelma Nopoulos, George's wife of 60 years walked in and was all dressed up.  She greeted me and explained her clothes by saying she was headed to a funeral.  When George found out that it was a good distance away, he decided to close the store so he could drive her himself.  So, I grabbed a 150 year anniversary coffee cup and a postcard and everything added up to just under $11.00 bucks.  Not bad!  I asked if they had time to pose for a photo and Thelma instantly became the Iowa version of Fellini, directing us behind the fountain, with George's hand on one of the handles. 

She has done this before!  In case you are wondering, based on that photo, "Is buffetbuster that big or is George that small?"  The answer is yes and yes.  They were also happy to pose together for one last shot before they closed up.  Here is the happy couple of 60 years!

 
Ice cream-wise, there are better soda fountains in the country, although the ice cream here is very good.  Atmosphere-wise, this place is hard to beat.  George is every bit as talented an entertainer as he is a mixologist.  Photos can't really convey just how charming this Roadfood institution is.  If you are ever in eastern Iowa, this place is a must stop!  But, make sure you call first, since the hours really are at the whim of the owners.
 
Wilton Candy Kitchen
310 Cedar Street
Wilton, Iowa
563-732-2278
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/151/wilton-candy-kitchen
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/07/21 09:00:13
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/20 16:15:55
One more photo I meant to include. The local high school girl's volleyball team incorporated the Wilton Candy Kitchen into their team poster/schedule, which I think was cool.

I particularly like the "We Don't Do Soft Serve."
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/20 16:16:32
Awww, that is an adorable story!  I love his shop, and that banana split sign especially.  Hadacol, LOL.
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/20 17:25:57
That is so cool!

We don't do softserve! 
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/20 18:03:23
Buffetbuster,
 
You did it agian!  Excellent, excellent trip report on The Wilton Candy Kitchen.  You have a knack for finding and reporting on that one of a kind place. 
 
I guess you could say The Wilton Candy Kitchen is the CPR of ice cream 


Ahi Mpls.
Double Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/20 19:55:59
 Oh this is wonderful!  So very very roadfoody.  
           Check the mirror in the picture that the lovely Thelma took....A taped up picture of George seems to be waving at you!     That dame really knows how to take a picture.  
Greymo
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/20 20:36:08
The picture of this couple  has to be one  of my  favorites........Thank you
tedlovesdogs
Hamburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/20 21:38:32
Primo post--what a splendid tribute to a wonderful couple and their shared passions. Thanks!
douginvirginia
Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/21 06:33:11
BB, what an outstanding report! You truly captured the essence of the place, both in photos and prose. Made me feel like I was there.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/21 06:42:57
I wish some others would learn from your 'style' of reporting. This is an outstanding review of a Landmark Roadfood Stop. Thank You, Cliff.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/21 08:09:48
joerogo
I guess you could say The Wilton Candy Kitchen is the CPR of ice cream 
Joe, I like that comparison.  Although the food at Wilton Candy Kitchen is really, really good, what you end up remembering most is the experience itself.  Like every visit to Charlie's Pool Room, I walked out just feeling good that places like this still exist.
 
Thanks to everyone for the kind comments!
Michael Stern
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/21 08:46:32
Beautiful! It's been nearly forty years since we first accidentally happened upon this place in the afterglow of Iowa pork chops and sour cream raisin pie at the old White Way Cafe in nearby Durant, and nothing has changed! George looks a little older, but in fine fettle. I wonder if those hot fudge-topped morning pick-me-ups are the secret of his good health?
ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/21 12:40:23
Terrific report on a terrific place. Thanks so much for a trip to small town Iowa.

Rock On:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz1N7I9ePtk
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/21 13:58:03
Terrific report. terrific pictures. Thanks again for sharing and for filing reports that capture the essence of roadfood.
post edited by mr chips - 2010/07/26 21:27:05
icecreamchick
Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/21 14:01:30
That's a great reason to visit Iowa! What a wonderful place! 
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/21 15:35:15
Found a nice video on Wilton Candy Kitchen:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8611088022993160212#
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/21 16:20:33
buffetbuster -

You've really outdone yourself on this one...great write-up on an even greater place!  I feel like I was there!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/26 16:24:51
If things had gone according to plan, I would have been eating lobster rolls, whoopie pies and blueberry pie in Maine with wanderingjew.  But some big problems popped up at work and prevented me from taking the trip.  But, the weekend was not a total loss.  There are some places in Southeast Ohio I have had my eye on for a while now, so I took a day trip down to do some exploring.
 
One of the restaurants I visited was Etta's Lunchbox Cafe


Besides being a small restaurant, it is also part general store and part lunchbox museum.  It is located on OH-56, a little more than a hour southeast of Columbus, not too far from Athens.  The street address says New Plymouth, but it is closer to the town of Starr.  In other words, it is in the middle of nowhere!
 
When I pulled up, there were four corvettes sitting outside.  When you walk in, several mismatched tables and chairs sit off to the right, while the general store is to the left.  

A large group all sat at two of the mismatched tables pulled next to each other.  I sat at a large round wooden table in the corner.  Both a man and a woman greeted me warmly and gave me a menu.  They do have a large roster of hoagies/subs and several Italian dishes for dinner, but the sandwiches part of the menu interested me the most.  

How can you not love a place that serves spam, bologna and pb&j?  Unable to resist something called Hobo Ham Steak, I went with that.
 
I am going to go ahead and apologize for my subpar food photos now.  It was a real battle (and I'm not sure why), but my food photos just did not turn out well.  The first thing to arrive was a cup of chili,

which I ordered instead of their other soup, beef vegetable.  The chili was on the thin side, with beans and some of the largest chunks of meat I've ever seen in chili.  It was mildly spicy, with good flavor.  I would get it again.  The Hobo Ham Steak was up next. 


That is some really thick cut bologna!  Brought on nicely toasted bread and topped with mustard, lettuce, cheese, pickle and onions, this was a sloppy delicious sandwich.  For some reason, a bologna sandwich seemed the perfect thing to order at this humble cafe.
 
While I was eating, my waiter Tim (a dead ringer for Geoffrey Rush), who also happens to be one of the owners, sat down at the piano and played The Eagles Desperado

Hey, dinner and a show! 
 
I was all set to order a slice of pie for dessert (they had homemade apple or cherry), but after hearing the description for the strawberry shortcake, I went with that.  Now, strawberry shortcake, for me, is one of those dishes that always sounds better in theory than it does on a plate in front of you.  Growing up in my house, strawberry shortcake was fresh strawberries, with a minimum of the strawberry glaze/compote, over store bought angel food cake.  I am almost always disappointed whenever this dessert is delivered to me in a restaurant.  Here is the version I was served here: 

The strawberries did taste nice and fresh, but there was just too much of the gooey compote.  And the cake itself had a strange grainy taste.  I should have stuck to the original plan and gone with pie.
 
Time to look through the lunchbox museum.  Here is the entrance

and you can see, that is a fairly large room full of these collectors items.  I started looking through the huge collection and this really is a walk through American pop culture.  Some of the lunchboxes:



Tim came back and gave me very informative and amusing tour that was well worth the visit here alone.

Asked how these were all accumulated, he told me it was 25+ years of visiting garage sales and flea markets.  As a kid, I remember having a Johnny Quest lunch box, before graduating onto Scooby Doo.  But, my favorite lunch boxes were these:

How many first graders were sent off to school with a Hooters or a Cheech & Chong's "Up in Smoke" lunch box?  I think you can expect a call from the principal for that!
 
Etta's Lunchbox Cafe
35960 OH-56
New Plymouth, OH
740-380-0736
 
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=322276002210&ref=search&sid=611356765.1882829763..1&v=info
 
Anybody else remember what lunchbox they had?
 
And I did find this short video on youtube of Tim giving a similar tour.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjlaIRRaH8I
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/07/26 16:31:38
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/26 16:44:20
Oh my god!  I'm pretty sure I had the Welcome Back Kotter lunchbox, but I would have given my seven year old eye teeth for the Six Million Dollar Man or even the Space: 1999 lunchboxes.

Aside: 1999 was *nothing* like the show said it was supposed to be.

I disagree about the pictures; the one of the bologna sandwich is particularly good I think.  Nice place to have lunch!
ALLGOOD
Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/26 17:24:21
You know what I LOVE.  The Wilton Candy Kitchen.  Look at the poster announcing:

"BROOKE SHIELDS" WAS HERE.  Was that really "her" or "Boy George" with bushier eyebrows.  Thus the "quotes"...  They didn't have any doubts about GREGORY PECK though. 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/26 17:51:33
buffetbuster

If things had gone according to plan, I would have been eating lobster rolls, whoopie pies and blueberry pie in Maine with wanderingjew.  But some big problems popped up at work and prevented me from taking the trip. 



Hence, I'll be beginning my your trip report  within the next few days!

buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/26 17:58:04
...which will make it both fun and painful to read!
Greymo
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/26 18:11:41
Great report!   How  did that sandwich compare with the one  at  G & R  in Waldo?  I  would love to try it...................the lunch bx collection  looks  great.  By the way,  I never knew that you actually  worked.....I thought you  just  traveled and ate!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/26 18:22:15
Greymo
By the way,  I never knew that you actually  worked....
The people I see Monday through Friday kind of wonder the same thing!
 
I enjoyed the bologna sandwich here at Etta's, but the G & R Tavern is clearly superior. 

post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/07/26 18:24:06
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/26 19:40:07
Boy, if the Beaver had shown up at school with that Cheech and Chong lunchbox, Miss Landers would have sent him to the principal's office for sure!
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/26 20:48:48
buffetbuster 
How many first graders were sent off to school with a Hooters or a Cheech & Chong's "Up in Smoke" lunch box?  I think you can expect a call from the principal for that! 

Hey, I remember my principal taking my Hooters lunch box.  He said if I kept quiet he wouldn't call my mother....hmmmmm.
TnTinCT
Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 10:53:58
What great stories and pics! You have a way of pulling me into where you've been, although once Roadfood figures out "smellaposting" we'll be all set!
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 11:26:19
BB, you sir, are quite the divining rod for great Roadfood and great character(s)!  I was walking to work today and started laughing to myself over that Cheech & Chong lunchbox!  I'd give almost anything to have been sitting in on THAT marketing meeting! 
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 11:38:45
Honestly, the Hooters one is just as inexplicable.  :)
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 12:14:32
Nancypalooza

Honestly, the Hooters one is just as inexplicable.  :)
 


And I had the new deluxe "Pop-Up" model!" />


ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 12:28:28
buffetbuster -

This may be the number one forum if you keep these kinds of posts! 

Thanks for sharing...GREAT STUFF!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 12:49:03
Thanks CTD (and everyone else)!  I really like that I can write about just one or two places from a weekend trip, without the hassle of doing a complete report.  Why didn't I think of this years ago?

Oh, and I have every intention of still finishing all the other trip reports.
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 12:53:59
buffetbuster

Thanks CTD (and everyone else)!  I really like that I can write about just one or two places from a weekend trip, without the hassle of doing a complete report.  Why didn't I think of this years ago?

Oh, and I have every intention of still finishing all the other trip reports.



Yeah right!
 
So much pie...so little time!
josefinajoisey
Hamburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 13:02:37
Fantastic post.  I had to think hard about what lunch box I had as a kid, but my guess is that it had something to do with David Cassidy and/or the Partridge family, the Osmond Brothers, or HR Pufinstuf. Painful.
billyboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 13:09:09
I had the Six-Million Dollar Man and the Hardy Boys.  My sister had a Little House On the Prairie lunchbox.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 14:37:33
As unusual as Etta's Lunchbox Cafe is, the next place makes Etta's look like an Appleby's!
 
O'Betty's Red Hot Dogs and Sausages is located in Athens, Ohio.  Not your typical hot dog place, O'Betty's is part hot dog museum and has a burlesque theme. 
 
The outside is nothing special,

but as soon as you walk in the door, you know you aren't in Kansas anymore!  There is a narrow hallway that leads to a counter with a few chairs.  Here is where you will find the menus hanging above your head.  Panel # 1

shows the hot dog choices, with each variety named after a famous, shall we say, dancer.  The next panel is for the sausages (sorry, the photo didn't turn out) and finally, the sides are on panel #3.
 
The two guys working in the small kitchen were funny and friendly and with me being the only customer, took time to chat and answer my usual questions. 

The guy on the left is the owner, but I failed to catch his name.
 
After placing my order, they told me to grab a seat in the back and they would bring the food to me.  I was not prepared for the two back rooms.  This is the oddest/coolest hot dog shop I have ever seen.




 
The photos don't do the weirdness of the place justice and I mean that in the best possible way. 
 
In a short amount of time, I had my food.  The first hot dog was the Mata Hari. 

Topped with their own cool, crisp slaw and the meaty, mildly spiced chili, this hot dog was wonderful.  The fact that the buns are toasted and that the wiener itself had a nice snap to it only helped.  The owner did tell me which brand wiener they use, but I have already forgotten.  Sorry!  Hot dog #2 was the Varla, subtitled "Va-Va-Voom"! 

This was topped with homemade horseradish, bacon bits, sauerkraut and 1,000 Islands dressing.  Although everything tasted fine individually, this was just a little too busy a collection of toppings for me.   The side of fresh cut fries

were also very good.
 
With Ohio University being here in Athens, the town does have a younger/hipper vibe than the surrounding communities.  I can't possibly imagine this unique hot dog shop setting up elsewhere in Southeast Ohio.  On the take out menu I grabbed, it says O'Betty's Red Hot, "The Weenie With A Wiggle"!
 
O'Betty's
15 W. State Street
Athens, OH
740-589-6111
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/4242/obettys-red-hot-dogs-and-sausages 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/07/27 14:43:03
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 14:43:04
Tell us more about the third back room...that probably mixes Hubba-Bubba with Va-Va Voom!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 14:56:07
billyboy
I had the Six-Million Dollar Man and the Hardy Boys.  My sister had a Little House On the Prairie lunchbox.
Funny you mention Little House on the Prairie, since when Tim held this up,

he said this is what Laura ingalls would have used to take her lunch to school.
 
Now, if Steve Austin was smart, he would have used a billyboy lunchbox! 
  

 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/07/27 14:57:54
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 15:03:08
Awesome!  It looks like that guy had to open some kind of restaurant to house his extensive hot dog memorabilia and ladypose collections.  The hot dogs look pretty good too.
Ahi Mpls.
Double Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 18:37:56
  
 You may remember the menu game that I play while reading your new reports, (guess what BB ordered!) I saw  "Hobo steak" and clapped with glee, KNEW you had to get it... Way to be so dependable. 
         My Lunchbox was the Jaime Sommers/ Bionic Woman model,  It got really rusty, really quickly. The thermos proved to be breakable if flung toward a possibly murderous herd of geese.  I'm just sayin'.     
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/27 19:31:17
All those great sounding french fry sauces made me think of guspas Wienner and Still Champion in Evanston.  He seems to create a sauce a week!
TnTinCT
Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/28 10:54:48
Nice wieners! (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/28 11:18:10
Awesome!A great combination of good food and unusual sights. The essence of roadfood. 
post edited by mr chips - 2010/07/29 08:48:14
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/28 16:29:34
One more interesting stop in Iowa worth reporting.....
 
If you asked me what the quintessential Roadfood small town restaurant would be, I would most most likely answer, Coffee Cup Cafe in Sully, Iowa.  A town of less than a 1,000, seven miles or so off of I-80, it feels a million miles from anywhere.  Cousin Johnny and I had breakfast here in 2007 and thanks to the friendly service and local townspeople, it was a memorable meal.  The first rate pecan roll and pie surely helped.
 
The drive through the backroads of Iowa was made more difficult by a detour,

which took me from paved roads to unpaved roads.  But, that's what rental cars are for, right?  Strangely, Coffee Cup Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch, but close at 1:30PM on Saturdays.  I was the first in the door when they reopened at 5:00PM and grabbed a seat by the window.  The plan was to get the Dutch Lettuce, but the young waitress explained that they only have two options on Saturday nights,

all you can eat broasted chicken or roast pork.  Although disappointed, these are some pretty good choices here.  Even though I was planning on meeting Roadfooder blizzardstormus at Machine Shed in a couple of hours, where I would undoubtedly order the Iowa Chop (pork), the roast pork sounded too good to pass up.  In a very short amount of time, the restaurant had filled up with locals.

 
The first thing out was the bean soup

and like just about every bean soup I've ever had, it was too salty.  My entree came out

and this was a good looking plate of food.  The one negative on the plate was the green beans, which tasted like they were from a can.  The corn was fresh and highly seasoned.  The mashed potatoes were definitely not from a box and covered in a peppery chicken gravy.  At first, I was going to ask for some gravy to put on top of the pork, but after one bite, those thoughts disappeared.  Tender, moist, full flavored, this pork was wonderful.  Some heavy on the mayo cole slaw

and a small biscuit also came with the meal.  As good as the pork was, I stopped after one plate.
 
Now for the real reason why I was here, pie!  The single most important thing I have learned from the Roadfood books, is order your pies as soon as you arrive, because they could run out of your favorites at any time.  The first thing I asked the waitress when I sat down was how much banana cream was left.  When she told me only three slices, I told her to reserve me one.  While I was eating my dinner, a couple came in and sat at the booth across from me (they had a different waitress) and I heard them order a slice of the banana cream each.  I kept an eye on the situation and as soon as the other waitress took the banana cream pie plate out of the fridge, my waitress ran over and she was obviously telling her than one slice was already reserved.  She looked over at me watching and smiled.  Nicely done!  Of course, if I was smart, I would have had her bring the slice to my table right away, so there could be no mix up.  I won't make that mistake again!
 
Anyway, I watched the couple slowly fork into their pies, dissecting it and making lots of yummy noises.  I heard them tell people at another table that they had called in to make sure Coffee Cup Cafe had the banana cream pie, before getting off the interstate and were thrilled it was still available.  We all watched as the one waitress went over to the list of pies on the wall and crossed banana cream off.  I told them I had reserved the other slice as soon as I sat down and we laughed over it.  They introduced themselves as Leonard and Kathy from Chicago and they told me they read about how good the pie here was "in some book."  I asked if it was Roadfood and they answered, "Yes, how did you know?"  Turns out they were recently vacationing in Maine.  She had found the book at the airport, hit a bunch of restaurants in Maine and were now Roadfood fans.  Just that morning, they decided to drive to Iowa and hit some of the recommended places.  Very cool!
 
My slice of banana cream pie

was delivered and I couldn't have been happier.  Incredibly airy meringue, with simply perfect banana filling, this pie is one of the all-time greats!  Because they had forgotten to take photos of their own, Leonard came over and snapped away at my pie.  While we were talking, a pretty blonde walked over to our table and started chatting.  I recognized her from our previous visit, since she waited on Johnny and I and she was one of Coffee Cup Cafe's bakers.  Since she had made this banana cream pie, she was thrilled to hear all three of us rave on about it.  I did get Leonard, Kathy and the expert baker (never did catch her name) to pose for a photo together.

 
We were having a real nice time chatting, but I knew I had to go since I was meeting blizzardstormus in Urbandale, on the other side of Des Moines.  On the way out, I snapped a photo of Leonard and Kathy's blackberry pie,

which they were now sharing and the pie list,

now with banana cream, blackberry and pecan wiped off.
 
Coffee Cup Cafe
616 4th Street
Sully, Iowa
641-594-3765
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/550/coffee-cup-caf
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/07/28 16:57:53
Greymo
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/28 16:52:33
Wow...........the crust on that blackberry pie  looks   just about  perfect!
quijote
Double Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/28 17:12:57
Great reports and delicious-looking pies, buffetbuster. I've also learned the hard way that I have to order highly desired desserts in advance and make sure they're on the table.

By the way.... Did you actually have an Iowa Pork Chop at Machine Shed after all of that?
irisarbor
Double Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/28 17:13:34
I love this thread!
The pic in the lunch box cafe on the bottom shelf I love the little Fisher Price rolly telephones. I had those for all my babies to play with.
I remember the  little crunchy noises they made.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/28 17:52:38
quijote
By the way.... Did you actually have an Iowa Pork Chop at Machine Shed after all of that?
Does this answer your question?


blizzardstormus
Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/28 18:46:45
And I will attest that he ate that hunk of pork AND more pie! Great thread. I need to get out and visit my own state's great food
quijote
Double Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/28 21:41:36
buffetbuster

quijote
By the way.... Did you actually have an Iowa Pork Chop at Machine Shed after all of that?
Does this answer your question?



Foolish me! Of course you did! 

agnesrob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/07/29 07:57:14
Why do I read these things before I've had breakfast?? Great report, thanks for posting it.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/08/09 14:04:36
Well, I'll be a stuffed ham!
 
This past weekend I ended up in Maryland, visiting with cousin Johnny.  On Saturday, we decided to drive down to St. Mary's County, to hit some Roadfood spots we haven't been to in a while.  The most interesting place is St. Mary's Landing

in Charlotte Hall, because they serve stuffed ham.
 
Stuffed ham is a dish unique to St. Mary's County and is usually only served in cold weather months.  There are very few restaurants that offer it anymore, but you can still find it at church dinners and things like that.  Luckily, St. Mary's Landing has it year round.
 
The first hint that things here are a little different is this bumper sticker

located on the hostess stand.  Another thing, how many Roadfood spots have running games of Keno going on?

All the walls are covered with photographs of people. 

Now, if this was Tony Luke's or any other Philly sandwich shop, the photos would be autographed head shots of celebrities.  I looked over the photos and didn't recognize a soul.  I asked the waitress and she told me they were all relatives of the owners, favorite customers and some of the employees.  She then pointed to the near wall and said that there are a couple photos of her over there.
 
St. Mary's Landing is also unusual that it is a three meal a day, family tavern.  There are people doing some serious drinking, but also whole families here having a nice, quiet, relaxing breakfast.  This place somehow manages to be everything to everyone.
 
Stuffed ham is available as part of a platter for dinner or a sandwich for lunch.  If you are there for breakfast like Johnny and I are, your option is called the Charlotte Hall, which is stuffed ham, eggs and some home fries.  Here is my plate:


It is served cold and the kale, cabbage, onions and spices really give it a substantial kick.  Not burning hot, but definitely spicy.  It is unlike any other ham I have had before and ham is my favorite meat.  The scrambled eggs were fine and the homefries were big and crispy.  This was a really good breakfast. 
 
St. Mary's Landing also offers that mid-Atlantic favorite pig meat, scrapple.

I started off eating it by itself, but added syrup and what doesn't taste better with syrup on it?
 
Next time I come to St. Mary's Landing, I want to make it for lunch, so I can try that stuffed ham sandwich!
 
St. Mary's Landing
29935 Three Notch Road
Charlotte Hall, MD
301-884-6124
 
http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/1509-1548/st-marys-landing
 
If you want to know more about the stuffed ham preparation, I found this article:
http://somd.com/news/headlines/2007/6754.shtml
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/08/09 14:58:16
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/08/09 14:48:51
buffetbuster

One of the restaurants I visited was Etta's Lunchbox Cafe
 

I don't see any of mine but my brother had the "Speed Buggy" box, which I think wound up getting spraypainted gray and used as a fishing tackle box.  And your photos look perfectly fine to me!
 
I remember that Tinker the mechanic on "Speed Buggy" looked an awful lot like Shaggy, but without the perpetual munchies.
 
Brad
post edited by Brad_Olson - 2010/08/09 14:51:26
Ahi Mpls.
Double Cheeseburger
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/08/09 17:34:55
  Oh my!
     You weren't kidding when you said you had some (Balti) MORE!!  
    I too love ham and I LOVE spicy so this has always really appealed to me. I'm wondering if the ham itself gets a bit pickled from the greens?  


     ps. maybe next time put some greens on your eggs....Dr. Seuss would approve! 
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/08/10 11:41:08
Given the author and nature of this thread I'm surprised it wasn't titled "I'll eat Potpourri..."

Brad
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/08/10 15:47:57
While I was in town, Johnny wanted to take me to a couple of dessert places he had found.  Stop # 1 was Dangerously Delicious Pies in downtown Baltimore.  He had actually taken me to a different location of DDPs two years ago (was that area called Fell's Point?) and we really enjoyed it.  In the meantime, he had stopped back a number of times.
 
Dangerously Delicious Pies was started by Rodney Henry, who is a rock musician by trade.  He decided music wasn't paying the bills, so he started a pie shop.  Apparently, he had grown up in Indiana learning the family recipes.  The idea of a rock musician starting a pie company does seem a little strange, but it obviously works and he has gotten all kinds of attention from magazines and tv.  When we were here a couple of years ago, we got to chat with him for a while and he is a really cool guy.
 
The outside,

with their logo of crossbones underneath a pie, which can also be found on their menacing looking pie boxes. 

The interior has one table in the window and lots more tables in the back, but most of the seats in the main front room are at the counter.  Johnny and I plopped ourselves down and looked over our choices. 


Although the savory pie choices were tempting, we had already eaten at The Breakfast Shoppe and Attman's, so we only had room for dessert.
 
Johnny went with the apple crumb,

which contained lovely, sweet apples and a cobbler like top, with plenty of oats.  Good, solid slice of pie.  I ordered what the young woman serving us called their signature pie, the Baltimore Bomb.

Those of you who have been to the famous Lexington Market are undoubtedly familiar with Berger's cookies, which start with a vanilla wafer and cover it with a ridiculous amount of dark chocolate.  The Baltimore Bomb uses a chess pie base and mixes in some Berger's cookies.  The top of the pie is light, while the bottom is rich and fudgy.  A wonderful combination!
 
Another plus about Dangerously Delicious Pies is that they open at 7:00AM everyday.  We weren't here that early, but it sure is nice knowing they are here if an early morning pie emergency crops up.  We walked in around 9:30AM and other than some other customers picking up phone-ins, we were their only customers.  The young lady working was very pleasant and personable and we enjoyed chatting with her.  She really loves working here.  I did manage to get a shot of her

taking some beautiful pies out of the oven.
 
Dangerously Delicious Pies
1036 Light Street
Baltimore, MD
410-522-PIES
 
http://dangerouspies.com/index.html
 
 
From there, the next place was a good 40 minute drive north up I-95 to Bel Air, MD.  There, you will find Broom's Bloom Dairy

It may only be three miles off of the interstate, but this is still undeniably farm country.  They do a lot more than just ice cream here and we saw several people ordering their crab soup, but we stuck to the ice cream.  The menu board

with the available flavors.  I usually just get a couple scoops of ice cream in a cup the first time I go somewhere, but on the drive here, Johnny mentioned his desire for a hot fudge sundae and that was all I needed to here.  It was now stuck in my brain and that is what I needed to have.  For the ice cream choice, I went with black raspberry.  The trouble with a sundae, especially when it comes in a white styrofoam cup and is covered in whipped cream, is there is nothing worthwhile to photograph.  So, you will just have to take my word for it, that this is some really good ice cream.  The hot fudge tasted homemade and the black raspberry ice cream tasted very fresh and even had bits of fruit mixed in.
 
Johnny ordered a sundae also,

with peach ice cream, topped with fresh peaches, caramel sauce and pecans.  How could something like that be anything but delicious?  And the amount of ice cream you get here is over the top, especially for the price.  They do sell cheeses and milk

here and pints to go.  I am already looking forward to a return visit.
 
Broom's Bloom Dairy
1700 S. Fountain Green Road
Bel Air, MD
410-399-COWS
 
I just realized that a couple weeks earlier, Johnny brought Travelin Man here.  Maybe he can tack on a couple photos of the ice cream.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/08/10 15:58:35
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/08/10 16:34:11
I just want to know if you ordered the "large?"
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/08/10 17:05:53
I wanted to order the large but when the young guy picked up a cup the size of a 55 gallon drum, I quickly switched to the medium.
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/08/10 20:13:51
Large is usually better value!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex. 2010/08/13 08:05:41
Earlier this year, I was driving around Louisiana.  One of the stops was the Roadfood reviewed Borden's in Lafayette, to get some ice cream on a blistering hot day.  It had only been since March of last year since my last visit, but they have completely overhaulded the look of the interior

and added new signage on the outside. 

To eat, a fine hot fudge sundae. 

But, my favorite think about this stop was something hanging on the wall.  This is an obituary of a woman who worked here many years ago,

plus a photo of her behind the soda fountain back then.  It is easy to tell it is the same woman as she seems to have the same slight smile.  And Evelyn was a real cutie!

http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/1890/bordens
post edited by buffetbuster - 2010/08/13 08:07:34
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