Breakfast Across the States

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mealot
Junior Burger
2011/02/04 16:40:10
In about 7 months I plan to retire from a job I’ve held for 30+ years. The inevitable task in September will be to fill the 8-5 weekday void. I love to travel and I love to eat so it was not hard to come up with my first idea – to get in the car and have breakfast in all of the 48 contiguous states and DC.  I’m calling this cholesterol- laden odyssey BATS (Breakfast Across the States). This two month road trip has already been planned but is certainly open to amendments.  Over the past year I have used a number of internet sites including Roadfood, Chowhound, Yelp, Tripadvisor, Mr. Breakfast, and local magazines to choose  48 breakfast spots. I’ve also seen the Food Network’s website “50 States 50 Breakfasts”.  Again, my choices are not set in stone. Some of them may even have closed.  I know there are some real food experts out there. You may have much better suggestions or negative experiences with the spots I have chosen. Beginning next week I’ll reveal a few at a time and let you react if you are so inclined. I have really enjoyed reading your reports.  Of course, during the trip I’ll be reporting back with pictures.
 I do have some criteria that I tried to stick with:
1)      The most important criterion is geography. I’ll be doing a lot of driving to hit all 48 states and DC in one trip so I have no desire to drive to very Northern Maine (although I’m sure the blueberry pancakes are awesome) or all the way down to Key West Florida (sorry Blue Heaven).  My goal is to minimize mileage yet find some great breakfast spots.
2)      No chains!  The breakfast spots must be single independent establishments.
3)      I travelled for my job about 15 times a year and have eaten breakfast at some great places (e.g.  Golden Harvest in Lansing MI).  On this trip I want to go to places where I have not had breakfast before. 
4)      I’m inclined to avoid the very large cities. Ease of parking is important.
I’ll start and end in Washington DC, where by the way a good breakfast is hard to come by. Next week I will start to reveal the BATS plan a few states at a time and look forward any feedback you care to share.
 
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/04 18:21:50
Mealot, that is a very ambitious plan that you have developed.  I am sure that many posters will chime in once they are more aware of your travel plans.  You indicated that you want a limited mileage drive?  I find that somewhat impossible because you are driving 48 states.  Good luck with your plans and I hope you can keep us apprised with your travels and breakfast finds.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
1bbqboy
Filet Mignon
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/04 18:36:48
Do you realize how big the states are West of the Mississippi?
Davydd
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/04 18:57:34
mealot,
 
48 States in two months is awfully ambitious. You might burn out and not enjoy the pace. In the past 5 years I have been traveling in a Class B camper van and have only managed a little over 40 states in a combined off and on one year+ on the road. Over 80% of my road travel has been on the "blue highways" and off the freeways. If you are retired, then relax.
 
Here is my breakfast photo gallery to give you some ideas:
Breakfast to Start the Day
 
Minnesota has two nationally reputed must stop breakfast spots in Hell's Kitchen and Al's Breakfast both in Minneapolis. You don't want to travel to extremes like northern Maine and Key West, FL so my favorite spot, Trail Center Cafe on the Gunflint Trail in extreme northern Minnesota is probably out.
Curbside Grill
Filet Mignon
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/05 01:58:53
big trip but can be done in 2 Months.   Don't know if you have certain places, like parks, schools, site seeing stuff  in the states you plan to cross. For you can cut alot  mileage off by using the panhandles of states.
I would like to know the routes.  Sept. depart, I would be doing the northern section first. Out west it snows anytime after Sept. 2
post edited by Curbside Grill - 2011/02/05 02:05:00
kaszeta
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/05 08:07:00
There are a lot of people out there that have done similar quests (The Iron Butt Motorcycle association, in particular, has contests for visiting 48 states in 10 days).  So a quick google search out there yields quite a few people that have found more-or-less optimal driving routes to visit all 48 states.
 
I'd recommend taking something like http://colinm.org/blog/sh...h-through-48-us-states and perturbing that route to go through places with better dining.
 
I think one of your bigger challenges is the fact that you are trying to do breakfast, which requires you to arrive at a place during breakfast hours, meaning that you can't pick off locations by passing through them mid-day.
 
If trying to do major cities, look up the Traveling Salesman Problem, since that will give you the shortest circuit of state capitals you can do (calculated by straight line distance, not driving route).  The route isn't much different from the one linked above.
 
Having been to all 50 states (and 35 of them in the last few years), I'm more than happy to help you plan your drive.
MellowRoast
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/05 08:08:50
Wow, 48 states in 30 days is ambitious, but for me it would be torture.  I traveled for almost 20 years and can't imagine such an itinerary.  Most assuredly, I wish you Godspeed.
mealot
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/05 13:26:54
48 states in 30 days would indeed be ambitious. I don't think I could eat more than one breakfast a day let alone drive that much in 30 days. I think in the original post I stated it would be a 2 month trip. Even with that some are still calling the trip ambitious.  I agree it is ambitious but I also think it is realistic. I've planned the trip to take exactly 66 days. My preliminary estimate is that it will cover 10,800 miles. I plan on staying put on 10 of those 66 days leaving an average of about 190 miles of driving a day.  Not to bad. The longest one day drive will be 540 miles. I still think I can smell "some of the roses" on this trip and not burnout. It would be nice if I could stretch the trip out longer but two factors prevent me from wanting to do that.  First I just don't want to be away from home any longer than two months.  Second, because I am leaving at the beginning of September, the trips abuts on winter and since some tent camping will be involved I would rather be back in my toasty bed before it gets to cold.
Davydd: your pictures were truly saliva inspiring.  I have always dreamed of getting up to Northern Minnesota and the Boundary Waters but will have to make it another trip.
mealot
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/10 16:48:25
Tentative BATS:  States 1-3
Maryland:  My plan is to leave in the very beginning of September and I thought it would be prudent to initially head north and more or less cover the USA in a counter-clockwise direction.  In theory, the average weather I would face would be warmer than if I went clockwise.  My choice on the first morning is Blue Moon Café in Baltimore. This already breaks one of my criteria as Baltimore is a fairly large city and parking could be a hassle. Blue Moon Café is not in downtown Baltimore but in Fells Point where parking can be a hassle.  Nevertheless, this place looks interesting and has very positive reviews on the Web.   Another option may be Pete’s Grille which won Best Breakfast 2010 in the City Paper. There may be other places that people really like.  Please let me know.
Delaware:  My research didn’t turn up much in Delaware. This Roadfood site listed Lucky’s Coffee Shop and Helen’s Sausage House as possibilities.  Lucky’s seems promising but was dissed by a blog called Mac & Cheese.  Helen’s is in Smyrna which could mean significant backtracking. If I was to go to Smyrna I would have to find another Maryland breakfast place around Annapolis or on the Eastern Shore.  The Yelpers like a place called Fresh Thymes in Wilmington. It bills itself as a healthy eating establishment. That’s okay with me since I’m sure I’ll get my fill of cholesterol on this trip.  So far it is a toss-up between Lucky’s and Fresh Thymes.
 
New Jersey:  One of the reasons I chose to have breakfast in all 48 contiguous states rather than lunch or dinner was that I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by choices.  A pizza place? A burger?  Diner?  Ribs? Seafood?  Beef? Ethnic?  No doubt I will try to seek out some interesting dinner places (and probably just skip lunch) on the trip.  Breakfast is pretty much breakfast and in many locations the choices of establishments are few and  manageable. Except New Jersey. It seems everyone has their favorite diner for breakfast.  Places like Mastori’s, Tick Tock, Hightstown, and Summit seem to dominant food review sites.  As positive as many reviews of these diners are, some are negative. I was all set on Mastori’s but there seems to be a large contingent  of folks who think it has gone downhill and is no longer up to snuff. Maybe I’ll be a maverick and avoid the famous diners of New Jersey.  I searched for a place not too far from the beautiful  NJTP and came up with Teddy’s Luncheonette in Cranbury. Anyone been there? Or tell me why your diner is great.
 
kaszeta
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/10 17:41:17
I've twice had really good breakfasts at the Post-House in Wilmington, DE, although it is a smaller Delaware chain.  Libby's is pretty good as well. 
Holly Moore
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/10 17:42:50
I wouldn't let a mixture of positive and negative reviews steer me away from a place.  Jersey breakfast - has to be a diner.
 
I know you said no chains - and Waffle House is most certainly a chain. I just don't see how one can survey breakfast across the U.S. without breakfast at a Waffle House.

Edited to add:  When your choice is between a Roadfood and Yelp recommendation - go with Roadfood. 
post edited by Holly Moore - 2011/02/10 17:45:29
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/10 18:04:25
I agree with Holly, go for Waffle House.  I always enjoy their breakfast.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
RC51Mike
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/10 19:36:34
Delaware- If you are making some kind of meaningful roadfood breakfast road trip then your Delaware stop has to be Helen's Famous Sausage House.  It is a certfied institution.  If you have to have a Maryland stop then the Breakfast Shoppe outside Annapolis a bit or Chick and Ruth's in Annapolis.
kaszeta
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 09:13:51
RC51Mike

Delaware- If you are making some kind of meaningful roadfood breakfast road trip then your Delaware stop has to be Helen's Famous Sausage House.  It is a certfied institution.  If you have to have a Maryland stop then the Breakfast Shoppe outside Annapolis a bit or Chick and Ruth's in Annapolis.

 
Crap, I forgot Helen's.  Yes, that's a good place for breakfast.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 09:47:17
Holly Moore

Edited to add:  When your choice is between a Roadfood and Yelp recommendation - go with Roadfood. 

 
I'm going to  have to respectfully disagree with Holly on this one (but only partially)
 
Sometimes yelp recommendations outweigh roadfood recommendations and I'll explain why.
 
If  you have a choice between a yelp recommendation and a Sterns Reviewed recommendation on Roadfood I would then go with the roadfood recommendation in heartbeat
 
However other than a few select posters on Roadfood whose advice I trust, I would sooner go with a yelp recommendation under the following circumstances:
1- Make sure that that the place has been reviewed several times
2- Make sure that the posters have reviewed at least a few places
3- If you've heard "good things" about a particular place and there are more negative reviews than you anticipated check to see the other reviews that particular person posted, they may just prefer a different style of restaurant...
 
Following these criteria to the letter I've found some excellent gems  on yelp and also urbanspoon.com that I may not have found on Roadfood.
 
 
 
Davydd
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 10:08:36
I like the roulette method of finding breakfast places. Go into a small town preferably less than 5,000 people, drive to the center of town and look for the local independent cafe. Works most of the time. I don't research much ahead  because in our travels (61,000 miles in a camper van the last 5 years) we never knew exactly where we would be at breakfast time. We also mostly drive the "blue highways" and in the farthest hinterlands away from cities. We even do that now crossing the Great Plains states.
Holly Moore
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 10:48:27
Wandering Jew,
 
I guess I see Yelpers more as foodies and Roadfooders as eaters. I'm more down with eaters. 
 
It is also my sense that Yelp reviews can sometimes be petty or vindictive, overreacting to some minor issue.  Not so much with Roadfood.
 
Finally, I have a better sense for the criteria of many Roadfood reviewers than those of the myriad of Yelpers.
 
That said I have used Yelp as a resource and am glad it, along with Roadfood and other sites, are out there for my road trip research.
 
No reason not to consider both sites and then disregard either or both sites. Sometimes a place intrigues me despite negative reviews.  Just costs me a meal to find out for myself.  
RC51Mike
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 11:42:03
Delaware- again.  By all means skip Fresh Thymes.  Some of their prices are ludicrous by Delaware standards.  $7 for a grilled cheese sandwich?  $5 for a bowl of millet?  Yum.  I'd rather be robbed.  Only a few blocks away is Angelo's.  Lunch counter lost in time.  Only open M-F 6:30- 2.
kaszeta
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 11:57:07
One of my problems with yelp is that once you get off the beaten path, the data just isn't reliable.  They seem to require a *lot* of people to flag places as closed, so when I use Yelp to try and find places to eat when I'm in a fairly obscure area?  It's quite likely that a substantial number of places on the list aren't open any more.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 13:18:30
What are you doing for lunch and dinner?
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 14:00:57
Holly Moore

Wandering Jew,

I guess I see Yelpers more as foodies and Roadfooders as eaters. I'm more down with eaters. 

It is also my sense that Yelp reviews can sometimes be petty or vindictive, overreacting to some minor issue.  Not so much with Roadfood.

Finally, I have a better sense for the criteria of many Roadfood reviewers than those of the myriad of Yelpers.

That said I have used Yelp as a resource and am glad it, along with Roadfood and other sites, are out there for my road trip research.

No reason not to consider both sites and then disregard either or both sites. Sometimes a place intrigues me despite negative reviews.  Just costs me a meal to find out for myself.  

 
Holly first of all, I don't think I ever let you know, but  even though I disagree with you on Pats, I'm a HUGE fan of your website, Hollyeats.com Your other suggestions have been spot on and you've provided extraordinary assistance and recommendations for my trips to Philly.
 
I'm a combination of a foodie and an eater.
The problem with foodies is that they may  criticize stuff that's more traditional which I've seen done on yelp, perfect examples are Durgin Park in Boston and Hollyhock Hill in Indianapolis. The problem with eaters is that many recommendations are made by folks who have no problem eating at McDonalds, Taco Bell and all you can eat chinese buffets so I question their taste buds to begin with.
 
For the most part I'm a regionalist- and I don't mean this from a snooty perspective it just means that this is what I picked up from the Stern's roadfood books which I started reading back in 1990. Whether it's an unhealthy Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza, a healthy southern California Smoothie, a "Sexy" double cheeseburger dripping with  cheese, greasy bacon and grilled onions or a more "modest" plate of broiled scrod it's all roadfood to me.
kaszeta
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 15:36:17
wanderingjew
I'm a combination of a foodie and an eater.
The problem with foodies is that they may  criticize stuff that's more traditional which I've seen done on yelp, perfect examples are Durgin Park in Boston and Hollyhock Hill in Indianapolis. The problem with eaters is that many recommendations are made by folks who have no problem eating at McDonalds, Taco Bell and all you can eat chinese buffets so I question their taste buds to begin with.

This reminds me of a time last year when I was in New Jersey for work, and used Yelp to look up nearby highly-rated restaurants.  Wendys and McDs were at the top of the list...
 
Myself, all sorts of places have their place, and especially with the foodie crowd, I have to mention that sometimes there are reasons I go eat someplace other than just the food being good, such as history (Louis Lunch comes to mind), nostalgia, and quality-to-cost ratio.
rumaki
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 17:17:36
Not to hijack the thread, but: Wow, WJ, I had no idea that the Yelpers were trashing Hollyhock Hill.
 
So I went to read the posts, many of them from what seem to be young folks who don't think HH is cool enough for them.  Or who want HH to serve spicy food.  Or something other than what it does serve.
 
OK, yes, it is true, it is not a "young and hip" kind of place.  But the food is great, and the atmosphere unique.  I've been going there since I was perhaps four years old, and I love it.  But of course, I'm not "young and hip."  And I suppose some of these old classics do have to be worried if the newer generation doesn't appreciate what they have to offer. 
 
[You may now return to responding to the OP's questions about breakfast.]
 
 
cyold1
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/11 18:56:59
Breakfast is DC has to be at Bardia's New Orleans Cafe in Adams Morgan (2412 18th ST, NW).  It the only DC breakfast spot that's worth my 25 mile drive in from Woodbridge.  It's very small and offers kitchen tours, the only restrooms are actually in the kitchen.  I know this in not 'native' food but it is very authentic.
mealot
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/12 14:53:35
Thanks for the tip cyold1. I'll ride my bike over there one of these days and check out the beignets.
When someone (RC51Mike) from Wilmington DE tells me to go to a particular Delaware place I listen. I now have Helen's Sausage on the list for Delaware which means for driving purposes I'm dropping the Blue Moon Cafe in Baltimore and substituting the Breakfast Shoppe in Severna Park.
Davydd - you my man have a "perceiver" personality; one that feels restrcited by schedules. I have a "judger" personality where I need to set schedules or else I feel lost. In fact I have as much fun planning a trip or vacation as the actual event. Which brings me to the question from TJ Jackson: "what are you doing for lunch & dinner?" For lunch - carrot sticks? I don't want gain 50 pounds on this trip so lunch may not be much. As for dinner I might change into a "perceiver" personality and jsut end up somewhere. 
Re. Yelp, I agree with the comments to some degree or another. Yelp has helped me a lot in finding some intersting  good restaurants especially of the ethnic variety (as has chowhound, Tripadvisor, urbanspoon, local blogs, local newspapers and magazines) when I travel. True, some Yelp choices have been complete busts for me. I've also been to over 125 establishments listed in the various Stern books and have really enjoyed most of them but there were a handful I really disliked. Reviews are only opinions and will not guarantee a stellar meal. The best one can do is take all available information and make a choice that you feel will meet your needs.
Finally a question for Holly. Why isn't the Waffle House on your website? I appreciate the suggestion but I think I'm sticking to my guns re. no chains.
Holly Moore
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/12 16:52:23
Here it is - kinda hidden under "Eating my way to Texas" http://www.hollyeats.com/WaffleHouse.htm
Davydd
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/12 16:54:41
I don't know if I feel restricted by schedules. In fact I have a very keen sense of working schedules out in our travels. It is just that I am a blazer rather than a tracker. It is more fun and challenging snowshoeing in fresh fallen snow through the woods off the path than plodding down a well worn track by others. Or ask yourself this. What book do the Sterns use?
 
I will stop at places in the Roadfood books and places mentioned here in the forums if they coincide or if there is something unique I am intrigued by or am searching out. I just don't go out of my way to knock off the list or let restaurant stops guide my direction. I admit too I do a little bit of pre-planning for seeking out breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches with opportune lists I've databased but more times than naught I end up switching out at the last minute for many reasons. Whim mostly.
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/12 17:05:21
Davydd

I don't know if I feel restricted by schedules. In fact I have a very keen sense of working schedules out in our travels. It is just that I am a blazer rather than a tracker. It is more fun and challenging snowshoeing in fresh fallen snow through the woods off the path than plodding down a well worn track by others. Or ask yourself this. What book do the Sterns use?

I will stop at places in the Roadfood books and places mentioned here in the forums if they coincide or if there is something unique I am intrigued by or am searching out. I just don't go out of my way to knock off the list or let restaurant stops guide my direction. I admit too I do a little bit of pre-planning for seeking out breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches with opportune lists I've databased but more times than naught I end up switching out at the last minute for many reasons. Whim mostly.

 
DavyDD, since you mentioned snowshoesing, you might enjoy thie article on my brother who resides in Edina, Minneapolis.  He is much more a athelete than myself.
 
http://www.snowshoemag.com/viewContent.cfm?content_id=411
Paul e. Smith
Knoxville, TN
mealot
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/17 16:54:26
Tentative BATS:  States 4-6
Connecticut:  I think I’ll go from New Jersey to Connecticut for my next breakfast.  I realize that NYC is a breakfast Mecca but I don’t want to deal with the traffic and parking. I’ll find a place in Upstate New York after covering New England. I researched potential breakfast spots along the Connecticut coast. Kitchen Little in Mystic seems to be a slam dunk choice.  The Web reviews (including this Roadfood site) were superb and I have a personal recommendation from a friend who went there recently.  I would also like to tour the Seaport after eating.
Rhode Island:  I can’t recall why I was in Rhode Island about 30 years ago (the only time I have been in the state) but I do remember I had my Roadfood book with me and I was trying to find the Dovecrest Indian Restaurant in the dark.  Without GPS and Mapquest it took me considerable time to track the place down but once there I partook in the johnnycakes.  They were delicious and more than made up for the fact that I had been driving in circles for some time.  So in my internet search for a breakfast place I tried to find a place that served this Rhode Island -only specialty.  It seemed that Jigger’s Diner in East Greenwich was the one so I put it on the list.  Then I heard that they were shut down for owing back taxes and my search continued. I came up with another place that had johnnycakes on the menu called Spoonem’s JP in Cranston. So I took Jigger’s off the list and replaced it with Spoonem’s. Now I hear that Jigger’s is opened on a limited basis Fri-Sun. I think I can time it to get there on a Friday so Jigger’s is back in contention.  Has anyone been to both places and would recommend one over the other or is than any other place you would recommend that serves Johnnycakes for breakfast?
Massachusetts:  I plan on staying with a relative just north of Boston so I searched for a place in MA going North toward NH & ME.  I found a couple of interesting spots in Lynn but Red’s Sandwich Shop in Salem really caught my eye.  A number of posters at Chowhound raved about the place. That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to consider other places in the Salem, Lynn, Peabody, Ipswich area.  
 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/17 18:32:00
mealot

Tentative BATS:  States 4-6
Connecticut:  I think I’ll go from New Jersey to Connecticut for my next breakfast.  I realize that NYC is a breakfast Mecca but I don’t want to deal with the traffic and parking. I’ll find a place in Upstate New York after covering New England. I researched potential breakfast spots along the Connecticut coast. Kitchen Little in Mystic seems to be a slam dunk choice.  The Web reviews (including this Roadfood site) were superb and I have a personal recommendation from a friend who went there recently.  I would also like to tour the Seaport after eating.
Rhode Island:  I can’t recall why I was in Rhode Island about 30 years ago (the only time I have been in the state) but I do remember I had my Roadfood book with me and I was trying to find the Dovecrest Indian Restaurant in the dark.  Without GPS and Mapquest it took me considerable time to track the place down but once there I partook in the johnnycakes.  They were delicious and more than made up for the fact that I had been driving in circles for some time.  So in my internet search for a breakfast place I tried to find a place that served this Rhode Island -only specialty.  It seemed that Jigger’s Diner in East Greenwich was the one so I put it on the list.  Then I heard that they were shut down for owing back taxes and my search continued. I came up with another place that had johnnycakes on the menu called Spoonem’s JP in Cranston. So I took Jigger’s off the list and replaced it with Spoonem’s. Now I hear that Jigger’s is opened on a limited basis Fri-Sun. I think I can time it to get there on a Friday so Jigger’s is back in contention.  Has anyone been to both places and would recommend one over the other or is than any other place you would recommend that serves Johnnycakes for breakfast?
Massachusetts:  I plan on staying with a relative just north of Boston so I searched for a place in MA going North toward NH & ME.  I found a couple of interesting spots in Lynn but Red’s Sandwich Shop in Salem really caught my eye.  A number of posters at Chowhound raved about the place. That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to consider other places in the Salem, Lynn, Peabody, Ipswich area.  


 
Been to Spoonem's once and Jigger's many many times. Jiggers is a short 1/2 a mile walk from my condo.
 
If I had a choice, I would make sure you get to Jigger's when they're open Friday thru Sunday and go there for Jonnycakes. They're still my favorite
Holly Moore
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/17 20:42:44
Wandering Jew,
 
I think Rhode Island may be the toughest state to limit oneself to just one breakfast. So many really good diners.  Jiggers is a great choice - but I'd also throw OV's into the mix  Really liked OV's alot - both the cooking and the clientel. Maybe Modern too, for a history lesson, though Jiggers is a great historical diner too.  Did Jiggers, at some point, take a hiatus, or am I thinking of another diner?  If so, really glad they are back.
 
Mealot, I've had a couple of excellent breakfasts at Lee's on Main Street in Glouchester, MA  Omelet and a side Linguica (Portuguese Sausage). Struck me as a place for locals and those who work the fishing boats and processing plants - but they get their share of tourists too.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/17 20:56:46
Holly Moore

Wandering Jew,

I think Rhode Island may be the toughest state to limit oneself to just one breakfast. So many really good diners.  Jiggers is a great choice - but I'd also throw OV's into the mix  Really liked OV's alot - both the cooking and the clientel. Maybe Modern too, for a history lesson, though Jiggers is a great historical diner too.  Did Jiggers, at some point, take a hiatus, or am I thinking of another diner?  If so, really glad they are back.

Mealot, I've had a couple of excellent breakfasts at Lee's on Main Street in Glouchester, MA  Omelet and a side Linguica (Portuguese Sausage). Struck me as a place for locals and those who work the fishing boats and processing plants - but they get their share of tourists too.

 
Holly,
 
I agree, there are lots of great breakfast joints here in Rhode Island. Unfortunately I just don't get to them as often as I like since I try to eat healthy when I'm home....
 
Modern Diner is probably my favorite, so many daily specials on the weekend, however as you know I'm all about regional food. So if there's only room for one - Jigger's Jonnycakes are not only the best but they're about as regional as you can get.
Georgieporgie
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/18 14:59:53
Well if you pass through Iowa City on I-80 on a Sunday.... Go to El Banditos on Market St, Their brunch is so delicious whether you want spicy eggs and chorizo, or the most delicious oatmeal pancakes with mango sauce.... yyyyyyuuuuuummmm! If it isn't Sunday, I would recommend The Wedge Pizzaria in the Pedestrian mall downtown, they have delicious french toast, add a side of sweet potato home fries and you are in heaven!
mealot
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/19 14:28:23
Holly Moore

Wandering Jew,

I think Rhode Island may be the toughest state to limit oneself to just one breakfast. So many really good diners.  Jiggers is a great choice - but I'd also throw OV's into the mix  Really liked OV's alot - both the cooking and the clientel. Maybe Modern too, for a history lesson, though Jiggers is a great historical diner too.  Did Jiggers, at some point, take a hiatus, or am I thinking of another diner?  If so, really glad they are back.

Mealot, I've had a couple of excellent breakfasts at Lee's on Main Street in Glouchester, MA  Omelet and a side Linguica (Portuguese Sausage). Struck me as a place for locals and those who work the fishing boats and processing plants - but they get their share of tourists too.

The historical Modern Diner? Great oxymoron! Glouchester is a wonderful food town. Have you ever been to The Causeway? One of my favorite places ever.
Twinwillow
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/19 17:05:02
Hmm, my dream trip. I envy you. Have fun and, be careful.
senor boogie woogie
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/20 05:17:42
 
I wopuld suggest Las Vegas.
 
I lived in Las Vegas almost 20 years ago and remember a casino on South Las Vegas Blvd. which has this huge breakfast special, somthing like 4 eggs, ham, bacon, biscuits and gravy and all that jazz for some ridiculously low price of like $2 bucks.
 
It's next to that famous above ground swimming pool with the windows. I think Vegas Vacation was also filmed in that casino. I have tried to find where it is with limited luck, but a lots of casinos do it well.
mealot
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/25 11:53:16
Tentative BATS: States 7-9
Maine:

Even though I’ll be driving through New Hampshire I’ll probably wait until after I finish with Maine before I eat breakfast in the Granite State. Besides, I’ve already been to the great Friendly Toast in Portsmouth. I don’t want to venture too far into Maine because I plan on driving through southern NH, southern VT, and then toward the Albany NY area. People will probably say that I must go to Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro and I must say that I have already had the pleasure of dining there. Besides, Waldoboro is too far north as is Portland. I have set my sights on the York Beach area. Why? Because, it is not too much extra mileage and my family use to go there when I was very young. So young in fact, that I have no recollection of the place. Anyways, I’m not going there to try and rediscover my lost memories but to eat breakfast. There were a handful of breakfast spots listed on the internet in the area including the Maine Diner in Wells but it was Congdon’s Donuts also in Wells that finally caught my eye. Anyone been? 

New Hampshire:
I would guess that New Hampshire is near the top of the list in terms of breakfast spots per capita. So much to choose from. If I polled the staffs of New Hampshire presidential primary candidates the Red Arrow would probably win in a landslide. I would like to check it out but I’m being pulled in other directions. There are two serious contenders in my mind presently. About 5 years ago I was driving from Concord to the Manchester airport and needed to make a pit stop. I ended up in Hooksett at Robie’s General Store. I regretted that I did not have enough time to stay and have some breakfast because from what I could see it looked fabulous. The dining room had great ambience as well. I vowed that someday I would be back and have some pancakes. The other place in southern NH that looks amazing is Parker’s Maple Barn in Mason. From what I’ve seen on the Web it reminds me of the infamous Polly’s Pancake Parlor where I ate about three decades ago. Has anyone been to both Robie’s and Parker’s and would recommend one over the other?
Vermont:
I plan on taking Route 9 from NH to NY. The Roadfood site lists a couple of possibilities: Dot’s in Wilmington and Blue Benn Diner in Bennington. The Washington Post just a couple of weeks ago had a real nice travel article on Wilmington and highlighted Dot’s. I think that will be my intended target.



 








 


.


Ralph Melton
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/25 12:18:37
I had breakfast at the Maine Diner this summer, and it was excellent - I was very glad that I'd visited. My breakfast was a lobster roll, but my wife enjoyed her more traditional breakfast:
IMG_1142 by Ralph Melton, on Flickr
The Indian pudding we had to finish breakfast was excellent.
IMG_1143 by Ralph Melton, on Flickr
 
We also visited Dot's Diner for a late breakfast. I wasn't wild about my chili, but Lori enjoyed her berry pancakes. The most wonderful breakfast I had in Vermont (and indeed in New England), though, was at the Dorset Inn, where I had an out-of-this-world potato-bacon pancake:
IMG_1115 by Ralph Melton, on Flickr
post edited by Ralph Melton - 2011/02/25 12:20:18
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/25 12:41:27
The Maine Diner is good- the only problem is I'm convinced their Corn Beef Hash is from a can- at least it tasted that way- however when they offer their special, Red Flannel Hash (usually on  a weekend) then you must absolutely go for it- it's the real deal..
 
If you want a gen-u-wine downeast breakfast (porridge- baked beans and hash)
Check out- Hot Suppa in Portland
Baked beans aren't on the breakfast menu but it usually is available
and their Hash is the best I've ever had.
 
http://www.hotsuppa.com/
 
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/25 13:03:51
If you somehow end up in Cincinnati - there is a breakfast item you can really only find here: goetta
 
I recommend you get your goetta at Camp Washington Chili, for several reasons
 
1) they are a stone's throw off I-75, so you wont get lost
2) they are open virtually 24-7, with just a few hours closed overnight on Sunday
3) You can get a sampling of the other well known Cincinnati-only specialty - Cincinnati style chili, at the same sitting.  Camp Washington's version is one of the finest in the area.
4) very inexpensive, very low key, come as you are
 
http://www.roadfood.com/R...ashington-chili-parlor
Penn German Chef
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/25 13:49:44
If you make it down to New Mexico here are some interesting places. New Mexican style food is truly different and so appealing especially at Breakfast or Brunch. Along with the Owl Bar in San Anitiano,NM
Owl Bar BTW way this Blog is a great one for searching New Mexico Rest. Moms out in Salina ,Utah off I-70 might be worth a stop . Also I think that you might consider US-50 through Nevada rather than I-80 for a really western experience. In Reno, Archies  is a good choice  www.archiesreno.com/ and Dish a interesting Breakfast.
kaszeta
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/02/26 08:33:18
I've been to both Parker's and Robie's.  I'd recommend Parker's over Robie's, although both are good.
 
My review of Robie's, if it helps: http://offbeateats.org/20...ral-store-hooksett-nh/
 
I haven't yet reviewed Parker's.
post edited by kaszeta - 2011/02/26 08:34:48
drummagick
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/01 14:01:34
I fyou happen to make it up to the Sandpoint area in North Idaho, please do try the Hoot Owl Cafe just outside of town.
 
Excellent biscuits & gravy and hash browns supreme ( home fries with scrambled egg, onion, green pepper, ham and cheddar).  Don't forget a side order of bacon!  Come to think of it, they have a wonderful german sausage and eggs platter, and the sausage is made nearby!
 
http://www.urbanspoon.com...Hoot-Owl-Cafe-Ponderay
 
http://www.yelp.com/biz/hoot-owl-cafe-ponderay
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/01 14:19:34
Pittsburgh is a really good breakfast town, with Jo-Jo's, DeLuca's, Pamela's and the Gab 'n Eat all being worthwhile choices.  My personal favorite is Jo-Jo's
 
This old Roadfood thread may also be of some use.
mealot
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/03 15:44:19
Ralph Melton- Lobster roll for breakfast? I like your style.
Wandering Jew - Thanks for the Portland recommendation but I don't really want to drive that far north.
Penn German Chef- San Antonio NM is a little out of my way (I-40). Have you ever been to Earl's in Gallup?
kaszeta- Parker's it is. I like the fact that it looks a little out in the middle of nowhere.
drummagick- I'm afraid I won't be getting that far north up into Idaho. Beautiful section of the country. Have you ever read the book "Blue Heaven" by C.J. Box. It really captures the essence of Northern Idaho and is a can't put down read.
buffetbuster- I love Pittsburgh!  However, I've never been out to breakfast there. I've always tried to save my appetite for lunch at Fat Head's Saloon. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh will be well off my planned route (see below). One of these days I'll take a solo trip and try Jo-Jos.
 
 
Tentative BATS: States 10-13
YIKES!! I’ve been watching the price of gasoline with growing angst. For every  5 cent rise I figure it will cost me an additional $22 for the trip. Not a lot, but the price of gas has risen about a $0.75/gallon ($330 more) since I started thinking about this trip.
New York:   If everything goes okay, I’ll be eating breakfast at a restaurant a friend is planning to buy in the near future.  It will be in the Capital District region of NY and will have a full breakfast menu.  I’ll revise this post with the name of the restaurant as soon as the deal is done.
Pennsylvania:  I will probably take the NYS Thruway west from the Albany area so that I can visit some people in the Rochester. Going to Ohio will have me covering only about 45 miles of Pennsylvania.  Not much space to find a good breakfast.  The obvious place for me to look was Erie. The most interesting sounding spot I found on the internet is called the Sidewalk Café.  Any other ideas?
Ohio:  Since Michigan was to be after Ohio I wanted to find a place in Northwestern Ohio to stay and then have breakfast the following morning. I researched the Toledo-Sandusky area and found Lemmy’s Eatery in Huron. The alluring thing that attracts me to this place is that they have perch omelets. Sounds a little outside-the-box, but I’m willing to give it a try.
Michigan:  I don’t want to travel too far north into Michigan so I set my sights on Ann Arbor. I may be mistaken about this, but I assume University towns have some very good breakfast establishments along with their numerous greasy pizza joints.  At least, that was the case when I lived in Madison WI. There seemed to be a good number of places to choose from but Angelo’s got the best reviews. 
 
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/03 15:57:35
mealot-
I have never been here myself, but my niece who goes to school in Erie likes the Breakfast Place.
emmymom
Hamburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/03 16:27:18
The best breakfast place in Delaware (and I've eaten all over the state) is Sinclair's Cafe on Main Street in Newark.  It is a tiny, funky cafe with outstanding pancakes, eggs, bacon, and even a pretty good veggie sausage.  Pancakes are a different variety each day, served with real maple syrup.  Tea (a particular interest of mine) comes in many varieties, loose leaf, in your own teapot.  I hear they have good Irish oatmeal, too, but I haven't managed to get past the other stuff yet and try it.  Everything is homemade, fresh, and from scratch.  It's a teeny little place, but has great charm -- and great food.
 
We also really enjoyed Mastoris Diner in New Jersey, which is worth it just for the hot loaves of cinnamon bread and cheese bread which arrive, gratis, when they take your order.
 
And since I'm originally from Pennsylvania, I should mention that scrapple is the unique breakfast food there that you really should try -- however, I don't know if you will find any up near Erie.  It's more of a Pennsylvania Dutch thing, common in the Eastern half of the state.
post edited by emmymom - 2011/03/03 16:31:53
Holly Moore
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/03 18:01:57
Consider Kate's Kitchen in Flat Rock MI - a bit SE of Ann Arbor.
 
http://www.hollyeats.com/KatesKitchen.htm
brookquarry
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/04 09:05:57
I agree with the comment about scrapple. It's a regional speciality you should definitely try. I also tend to doubt you will find it on the menu in Erie.
However, most places in Northern Delaware, South Jersey and even Northern Maryland (from Baltimore north) should have it on their menu, so maybe you could try it there.
kaszeta
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/04 09:30:25
In Ann Arbor, I'd recommend Frank's myself (334 Maynard).
callmebruce
Cheeseburger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/05 22:19:51
Davyyd - I had to look up "Blue Highways" just to see what you meant. Now I am really interested! I remember looking at pictures of your Class B a while back in one of your old posts. A very nice looking camper. Sounds like you have a great way of visiting the country and getting to see and experience what is out there. Now I have to go read your website, lol.
 
Mealot - sound like it will be a fun adventure. And it sounds like planning is going to be a lot of fun as well!. Good luck!
 
Davydd
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/06 11:14:21
callmebruce,
 
We head out again at the end of this month in our new just purchased Class B camper van. First trip is to Arizona for most of the month of April.
 
2011 Great West Van Legend
mealot
Junior Burger
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/10 15:41:03
Buffetbuster-Thanks for the tip in Erie. It looks like a winner. But alas, no scrapple on their menu. That’s okay.  I have had scrapple before in the Reading Market Terminal and I feel there is no compelling reason to drive out of my way to have it again.
Emmymom- Looks like a great suggestion. I think I’ll stick with Helen’s for my Delaware breakfast but I do drive up and down I-95 a number of times a year and I will definitely check out Sinclair’s.
Thanks to Holly Moore and kaszeta for the additional Ann Arbor suggestions.  I have just read the article “What makes a Diner a Diner?” on this site. It profiled Angelo’s, my original choice for breakfast in Michigan.  It got me to thinking that I really don’t want to face the same menu of eggs, western omelets, potatoes, bacon, pancakes, and toast every morning of this trip. I would like to mix it up every once in a while with something maybe a little more upscale and “un-roadfood” like.  It looks like Ann Arbor provides that opportunity in the form of Café Zola.  Great reviews and the menu items look intriguing with various crepes and interesting omelet mixings. It’s a linen tablecloth kind of place but it does open at 7 AM and I think I would like to give it a try.
 
Tentative BATS: States 14-16
Indiana:  I have two options in Indiana. I’ve always wanted to visit and camp at Indiana Dunes State Park in the very NW of the state.  This would mean breakfast in the Michigan City/Chesterton area.  The only semi-interesting place I could find on the Web is the Third Coast Spice Café in Chesterton.  The other option is to head to the Amish country in LaGrange or Elkhart County.  If it’s anything like Pennsylvania Dutch country, there should be plenty of places to have a gluttonous breakfast.
Illinois:  I want to have my Illinois breakfast not far from the Wisconsin border because I would like to be in Madison later that morning.  I researched the Rockford area and found the Stockholm Inn.  It has been around since 1968. How can you go wrong with a place where Mickey Rooney ate? Swedish pancakes with lingonberries sounds especially appealing.
Wisconsin:  I attended the UW-Madison about 30 years ago. One weekend my girlfriend and I camped at Devils Lake State Park a little north of Madison with one motive being to check off from my first edition Roadfood book an eatery in nearby Baraboo called The Main Café.  All I can remember is that I had 3 slices of pie, each of a different variety.  Baraboo, thirty years ago, was a lovely little town typical of what you find in much of rural Wisconsin. I don’t know how much things have changed. I do know that The Main Café is long gone. I would like to again camp again at Devils Lake and then have breakfast in Baraboo. What I found on the Web is a place called Jen’s Alpine Café which has some decent reviews.
 
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/10 19:53:26
Al "The Mayor" visits family in Baraboo yearly and probably knows some good places. Maybe he will pipe in or you could PM him...
1bbqboy
Filet Mignon
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/10 22:36:07
don't know what you're Oregon intentions are, but Morning Glory serves a mighty fine breakfast.
 morninggloryrestaurant.com
post edited by bill voss - 2011/03/11 01:25:22
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/11 00:00:03
Davydd

callmebruce,

We head out again at the end of this month in our new just purchased Class B camper van. First trip is to Arizona for most of the month of April.

2011 Great West Van Legend

If you need any tips or help while here just PM contact me. I check-in every day. What places are you going to visit?
I live in the PHX area but my 1st love is Northern and Northeast AZ. Particularly the White Mountian Region.
There's plenty of nice camping areas up there although some of them have been closed due to budget cuts.
Check out:
http://azstateparks.com/index.html
http://www.pr.state.az.us/find/fees.html
The National Parks have cut back also.
The Southeast Quadrant can be interesting also.
Here's a great resource for information:
http://www.arizonahighways.com/
Welcome to a little slice of Heaven!
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/11 00:31:32
Your new Van looks FANTASTIC!! And a Mercedes Engine no less!
Davydd
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/11 10:29:03
Foodbme,
 
Thanks for the references. Our plans are to first visit my wife's cousin in Sun City before they snowbird back to Minnesota in mid-April. Then we will have a couple of weeks to travel around before attending a "BEE Social" (an informal gathering of Class B RVs) at the Tombstone Territories RV Resort in Huachuca City. I have my list of breaded pork tenderloin sandwich restaurants though my wife says we are going to eat at restaurants less this trip. We've been to the Grand Canyon north and south rim, Hoover Dam, Flagstaff, Monument Valley, Petrified Forest, Four Corners and Sedona area in our recent travels. I've been to both Phoenix and Tucson, Taliesin and Arcosante in leisure offshoots of my business travels.
 
Our new camper van with two deep cycle auxiliary batteries totalling 210 amp hours is better set up for dry camping in the national forests and BLM lands. We will definitely get to most all the National Parks and Monuments.
Davydd
Sirloin
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/11 10:39:19
I know Mealot isn't going to get to the far reaches of all the states especially not 45 miles up a deadend road across from the Canadian border at the arrowhead tip of Minnesota but I have to post my latest breakfast, one of the best omelets ever, a fully loaded omelet with two cheeses, sausage, ham and bacon from the Gunflint Lodge.
 

samarsingla
Junior Burger
Flagged as Spam (1)
Re:Breakfast Across the States 2011/03/14 01:17:21
welcomes you to embark on a culinary journey as you enjoy the ultimate dining experience, including food, wine, and liquor. 
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