Road trip taking I40 east and other places

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mar52
Sirloin
2011/06/28 23:08:44
Sitting around watching The Food Network and I thought I’d start posting about my road trip.  
 
Our first stop was Needles, California.  There is absolutely nothing good to report about Needles.
 
Our next stop was Winslow, Arizona where we just had to stand on this corner:
 

 
It was amazing to me how a song could make a city.  It at least made the shop on the corner.
 
After driving around a bit and finding everything closed or uninteresting, we stopped at the La Posada Hotel.  It’s an old hotel dating back to (I think) the ‘30s.  Very nice!
 

 
We looked around and decided we were hungry and did not want to look any more.  We ate at the Turquoise Room in La Posada.
 

 
Being a soup nut I ordered what they are known for…  the half and half black bean soup and corn chowder.  It was outstanding.  The squiggle of chile cream was a nice touch and added a nice taste.
 

 
A basket was brought to our table with two hard sour dough rolls and 2 flour corn chips.  Very arty. Very Blah.
 

 
After looking at all of the game meats offered, my choice for dinner was the vegetable plate.                         
 

 
If food can be interesting, this plate was indeed.
 
Standing out on the plate was a roasted ear of corn.  There was also a cheese stuffed chile that was not battered, a scoop of corn pudding, a scoop of chipotle potatoes, a mushroom mousse, a block of tofu with a cilantro sauce, a few scattered vegetables and something that I thought was totally out of place….  A wild rice stuffed egg roll.  
 
The tastes were very distinctive and I recommend it.
 
However…  That ear of grilled corn was cold.  Not 'it sat out too long' cold, but right out of a freezer cold.   Not even out of the refrigerator, it was ice cold.  I took a couple of bites and called the waiter.  I had to know if the corn was always served cold. 
 
 So, I asked if the corn was supposed to be served cold.  My waiter said…  “No one ever complained of the corn being cold”.  Of course this was not this was not the answer to my question.  I asked if it was grilled and frozen.  He told me that they are boiled, frozen and when served they are thrown on the grill to heat them up and give them color.   I explained that it was frozen and he said he’d mention it to the chef.  I was finished with the meal by then and just paid the bill.  I was still quite satisfied with my meal and the frozen corn made it interesting with a story to tell. 
 
If in Winslow and hungry at dinner time I recommend La Posada.
 

post edited by mar52 - 2011/06/28 23:10:06
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/28 23:15:32
Editing because our next planned stop was breakfast at Joe and Aggies in Holbrook, Arizona.  I'm already mixed up!  I'll report on it before this:
 
Our next planned stop was Albuquerque for lunch at either the Model Pharmacy or the Route 66 Diner.  This did not work as we had/have two cute Corgis taking up the back seat of the car.  We could not leave them in the car with the temperature being 84 degrees.  Lunch out was out and we dined in the car on the way to Gallup, New Mexico our night's stop. 
 
I've already written a report on The Ranch Kitchen which was surprisingly delicious.
 
Being lunches were now out unless we could find a restaurant with outdoor and dog friendly seating our next stop was The Big Texan.
 
Coming up soon.
post edited by mar52 - 2011/06/28 23:23:51
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/28 23:28:44
Marlene you are taking giant steps between stops. I hope you checked out some of the places along I-40/US 66 in AZ and NM.  On our last couple of rides (with the Scotties) we have followed US 60 that runs east along the BNSF TRANSCON Rail line in Eastern N M. It is two lane, but generally empty, the landscape has hundreads of Pronghorn Antelope  to watch when you are tired of the trains ! (OK, I'm the train-chaser, not you !!!)
 
Looking forward to your Texas report. One thing Texas does have are some absolutely beautiful Roadside Rest Areas on their Interstates !!  The one on I-40 east of Amarillo was a dandy for dog-lovers.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/28 23:43:31
We are certainly taking roadside stops.  One was the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Out of the way and absolutely worth it.  I was there as a child and didn't appreciate any of it.  Breathtaking!
 

 
We are also visiting roadside attractions to break up the drive.  I'll post a few pictures when I get a chance.
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 06:59:09
mar, first time eating at a restaurant!!!!!!!!!! when you go to a Supermarket they have Fresh and frozen corn, you need to let the waiter know what one you like. I have found in some restaurants you need to also let them know you want clean forks and knives............Just a heads up on being a good roadfood Ambassador................Hope you had fun...
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 08:03:30
mar52, Nice report and pics.
 
Sorry, but I have to ask....was that a girl, my lord, in that flatbed ford?
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 08:12:58
I stopped in Winslow on a Sunday morning.  Iwanago had her pic taken on the corner and we had breakfast at the La Posada.  Super breakfast.  We also stopped just west of there to view the giant crater created by a meteor.  Great trip and we also stopped at the Grand Caynon enroute to Tucson.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN 
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 08:27:37
What, no detour for a green chile cheeseburger at the Bobcat Bite outside Santa Fe?
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 08:42:36
No but I have been to Santa Fe several times.  We spent the night in Gallup, NM where we had some delightful Navaho food and visited WalMart for some necessities.  The population was mostly American Indian and Navaho I suspect.  Gallup is full of art and gift stores.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallup,_New_Mexico
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
agnesrob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 08:48:59
Great start Mar. Anxiously awaiting more.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 13:01:53
Next eating stop... Holbrook, Arizona. But first we made stops at Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City, Arizona. Typical roadside souvenir shop with lots of Native American (Can I say Indian here?) novelties made in China. There were also tons of petrified wood pieces to be purchased. I left them there because I figure at some point they'll run out. It's enough I'm putting A&W out of business. There is a large Jack Rabbit with a saddle out in front on which you can have your picture taken. I climbed up for mine which may be my next Christmas card. The better picture would have been of me trying to get down off of that thing. Neither picture will be posted here.  
 

 
   Getting in to Holbrook we passed (and stopped at) Wigwam Motel. What a cool place. We peeked in to a room and if you're claustrophobic this would not be the place to stay. There were maybe 20 or these wigwam rooms and in front of each was a classic car. It looked well maintained and if I were a kid...  (Sorry about the window reflection.  I was too lazy to get out of the car)  
 

 
Paul, is the Meteor Crater a worthwhile stop?  It's one we may make on our trip home.
 
This is where I finally parked the car:
 

 
To eat here:
 
 

 
Does that motorcycle belong to any of you out there in lurker land? (I was taught not to talk to strangers) It belonged to this guy who had a German accent and an odd need to photograph his food:
 

 
It was a cute place with way too many flies. The waitress told me that the flies weren't as bad as the mosquitoes. Terrific.
 

 
The menu had many choices for breakfast, but not exactly what I wanted. You don't get if you don't ask. The menu was really specific in that you could get either green chili or red chili over the breakfast burrito which came stuffed with scrambled eggs, beans, rice and cheese. I wanted to try both chilies and trying to be conservative in my calorie consumption I didn't want the beans or rice. Here is what I ate and it was devine. Not a bite left when I was finished with it. The red chili was delicious with a very definite chili powder taste. The green chili sauce was my favorite. Nothing inside of the burrito except for the eggs and cheese. Sometimes when going back to a place that I've only been to once I like to order something new. The only thing different I'd do at Joe and Aggie's would be to have all green sauce.
 

 
Saw an A&W Root Beer drive-through on our way back to I40 so I had to drive through it. I commented on it in the A&W thread. Someone should call the animal cruelty hot line because right next to the A&W stand was a way too small fenced in pen (aren't the all?) of Sinclair dogs.
 

 
Joe and Aggies was a Roadfood recommendation and I certainly agree. Tasty!
post edited by mar52 - 2011/06/29 13:06:47
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 13:10:38
At some of the places in New Mexico there is a choice to have both red and green sauce.  I've been told to just order it Christmas and you'll get both.
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 14:26:10
Mar52:  The crater is defaintely worth the stop.  I first saw it several years ago when each time I flew over it, the airline pilot would point it out from 35,000 feet.  It is a huge hole in the ground created by a meteor.
 
The German guy taking pics reminded me of our AMERICAN version of BB and TM.  I do not think either of them have ever eaten without a pic of their food.
 
I also stopped at the petrified forest east of Winslow.  Not much to look at but there were prairie dogs every where.
http://search.aol.com/aol/search?q=prairie+dogs&s_it=spelling&v_t=tb50-ie-aolmail-tbsbox-en-us
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 14:46:41
Mar, I thought the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert (same park entrance) were very worthwhile stops along the way. We visited both on our way to Arizona earlier this month. I'll use the word spectacular to descibe the experience. I'd seen them both many years ago while traveling on U.S. 66, but my companion had not. I got to see them this time through her eyes and it was just like brand new for me. By the way, the road into the Petrified Forest from the Painted Desert passes a section of Old Route 66. Interesting.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 18:20:24
It's Monument Valley that I really want to see.  Guess that will be on another trip after I look up its location.
 
Having the dogs with us make side trips a bit difficult.
 
Off to Google the Painted Desert.
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 18:52:57
What a fun trip to follow on!
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 19:04:04
Here are Daisy and Mollie, the reasons for our limited stops.
 

 
On the way to Amarillo we stopped in Adrian, Texas at:
 

 
There was another car in the parking lot with a Traveling Man sort of looking guy. Ironically he informed us that they had just closed... right before he got there. See the sign?
 

 
The importance of this tiny roadside cafe has to do with its location. It's the midpoint of Route 66, half way between Chicago and Los Angeles.
 

 
Guess we'll try to stop there again on our way back... depending on the time. From the Midpoint Cafe we zoomed past The Cadillac Ranch at 70 miles an hour.  
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Ranch
 
I was going to stop but after seeing it from the car... I had seen enough. We stayed at Motel 6 at all of our stops so far.  Pets are free at all locations.  The Motel 6 in Amarillo stood out for two reasons. One was this sink in the bathroom which was so un-Motel 6:
 

 
The other was the size of the Styrofoam coffee cups for the coffee gratis. They were about the size of a shot glass and half the size of all of the other Styrofoam cups we had encountered and used thus far. From this point on I'll have to report from home. My pictures from The Big Texan came out dark and they need editing on my home computer.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 19:20:04
One Motel 6 for us on our trip. That was in Santa Fe. Never again. No remote for the television set (had to actually go to the office to demand one), one towel, no soap -- Hell even the toilet paper was installed upside down. Still, it was worth the detour and the stop because of the green chile cheeseburgers.
post edited by Michael Hoffman - 2011/06/29 19:22:20
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 19:34:31
We've had very good luck with our Motel 6 locations except for the stingy coffee cups.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 19:40:50
I don't want to hijack anyone's thread but I do have a somewhat interesting story about Winslow, AZ.  that happened in the late 60's. I think I'll post it on the misc forum a little later. 
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 19:55:49
mar52

We've had very good luck with our Motel 6 locations except for the stingy coffee cups.


I'd have to say for overall value and comfort it's Best Western for me. Every one had a refrigerator, a microwave, coffee-maker -- free Wi Fi, of course -- and great showers, towels, etc.
 
My last stay in a Motel 6 was well worth the six buck a night charge. This one was less luxurious, but it cost $78.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/29 20:26:57
It is tough traveling with a pet during a car trip. We've had to bypass many places that we would've liked to stop and see or places we would liked to have had a meal.  I think traveling in an RV with a pet is much easier as you can leave the AC on etc. We luckily have a mother in law who loves to have our dog visit when we go away.
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/30 09:17:54
mar52

Does that motorcycle belong to any of you out there in lurker land? (I was taught not to talk to strangers) It belonged to this guy who had a German accent and an odd need to photograph his food:

 

Looks like his name might be Herr Ayers!
 
Brad
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/30 11:50:31
Brad, I was thinking the same thing !!
agnesrob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/30 11:50:33
Mar, Daisy and Molly look like good traveling companions! Our Teddy is a nervous nelly in the car. My daughter and I try to take nice short trips (10 to 20 minutes) that end up with us arriving at a nice park or hiking trail to convince Teddy the car is an OK mode of transportation. Of course the last short trip we took was to get him shots!" /> Did Daisy and Molly always enjoy riding in your car or did you have to gradually get them used to it?
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/06/30 15:46:01
As most of you know we have traveled with our two Scotties since they were pups. Duff commands the front seat between Janet and I and Demi oversees the back seat (crew-cab truck).
The Way It WAS !!

   Well, we are undergoing some real stress  with the delivery of our new Supercrew truck. It has Captains chairs in front, with 'no place' for Duffy to occupy. The seats in back fold totally out of the way leaving a flat floor space that is more than large enough for the two K-9's. We put their favorite sheepskin rug on the floor and Demi is quite happy, BUT Duff won't get into the back seat. He will learn , but he is being pretty stubborn about the new seating arrangement.  Plus with the blanket on the deck, they can't rest their heads on the window ledge.... and spread doggie-boogers on the glass.  (Good for us, Not fun for them). We'll see how they adapt over the summer. They are very good travelers, but we are careful to leash them firmly when we stop to walk them at rest areas.
  We use America's Best Valu Inn most of the time we are on the road. Pet friendly for a small sur-charge, and the rooms are always large, with the amenities we enjoy.
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 12:39:57
Our next stop was The Big Texan Steak Ranch.
 

 
 
Knowing it had to be a tourist trap hadn’t stopped me from wanting to eat there.  Any place that offers a free 72 ounce steak if you can eat it has to be seen from the inside.
 
You’ve got to love Texas
 

 
 
Just in case you’ve never heard of the place they make it hard to miss from I40.  There was a fleet of stretch limos outside all with longhorns attached to the grill.  They’re ready to pick you up and deliver you back to the surrounding hotels.  I missed that picture.
 

 
 
Right inside the front door is an extremely crowded gift shop (with a fudge station) where you wait for your vibrating thing to go off to let you know your table is ready.  Way too crowded to get a picture.  They didn’t get any extra money from me in there. 
 
The interior was huge with lots of wood and animal heads hanging everywhere.  It had that western saloon feel except for its size.  They even had an upstairs eating area.
 

 
 
We were immediately assisted by our very friendly waitress.  What a menu!
 

 
 
I opted for the small ribeye with my two choices for sides... Macaroni and a dinner salad.   Not the best steak I’ve ever had, but not bad at all.  I added the extra sautéed mushrooms and onions with the money not spent in the gift shop which always delights the owners, no doubt.  The macaroni tasted like it looks.  Ordinary.
 

 
 
At some point during our meal the loud speakers came on and blared something I couldn’t understand.  All of a sudden people with cameras were jumping up from their dinner tables and running up to an elevated table on the other side of the dining area. 
 
A young man was attempting the 72 ouncer!
 
It seems that if you want a free meal, you have to make a spectacle of yourself.  The raised table seats six people but he was the only one trying the dare while we were there.
 
 
It’s not as simple as just finishing that huge steak.  You have to finish it in an hours time along with two dinner rolls, a dinner salad and a baked potato.  At least you get a drink.  There was a huge timer over the contest eating area with six hour countdown clocks.

 


 

This contestant gave up at 30 minutes in. 
Maybe if he wasn’t surrounded with camera clicking people asking him questions he could have given it a better try.  (I stood at a distance after the crowd left him alone)
 
The Big Texan runs with great efficiency.  We didn’t have to wait for anything except for our table which only took about 5 minutes.
 
I’d stop there again.  It was fun.
post edited by mar52 - 2011/07/23 12:56:44
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 12:44:33
I hear that if you don't finish that steak the meal costs you $50.00 but don't hold me to it.
 
The Big Texan Steak Ranch is a well run restaurant. We didn't have to wait for anything other than the vibrating thing which went off five minutes after being given to us.
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 13:37:30
When I was young I ate a 48-oz porterhouse for a restaurant challenge.  Somewhere on the wall of the original Shula's (before it became a chain) there is a tiny brass plaque with my name on it.   I can't imagine 72 oz. plus the other food!
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 14:29:22
Our destination for this part ( Leg?  Arm? ) of our trip was McKinney, Texas.
 
But first we had to drive I40, off the direct route for a burger stop.  I wasn’t getting that close without stopping.
 

 
What a nice city.  Reminded me of Mayberry if there is a Mayberry.
 
  
 
El Reno, Oklahoma is the home of the Onion Burger which I wanted to try.
 
There are three places in El Reno that are famous for the Onion Burger.
 
We drove around to see the three before deciding on which one we would choose.  They are all in walking distance of one another for someone who likes to walk.
 
Johnnie’s which is the one I had decided on before even leaving Los Angeles:
 

 
Robert’s:
 

 
And Sid’s which was our choice due to the weather and outdoor seating.  (The dogs were a concern because of the heat)  We were not going to travel back through El Reno on our trip home so this was important.  More places should be dog friendly!
 
 
Sid’s was most inviting from its outside appearance.
 
The interior was smaller than it looked from the outside if that is possible:
 

 
The grill after I asked if I could take a picture:
 

 
This is where things got interesting.  What a nice place!
 
The girl doing the grilling told me that I could join her there behind the counter to take some closer pictures.
 
The ingredients waiting for their day:  (except the onions)
 

 
The hamburger is pre-measured into what I think are quarter pound balls.
 
From there they are put on to the grill and smashed lightly to give them that burger shape.
 

 
They are then immediately topped with a mound of thinly sliced onions which are smashed into the meat and flipped onion side down to grill the onions.
 

 
Then they are flipped again to cook the meat and then once more for good measure.  Salt and pepper is applied prior to all this flipping.
 

 
This is the point where I left the grilling area.
 
I was asked what I wanted on my Onion Burger and I told them to fix it like they do normally…  which meant mustard.  That is what I would have wanted anyway!  I’m not a tomato person but I ate it as served.
 

 
I also ordered one Coney for us to try.  I was surprised by its appearance.  It looked to me like it was topped with some sort of hot minced garlic (I was hoping) sauce.  I’ve had what were called Coney’s in two other states and this one looked quite different.
 

 
The hot dog was a bright red color which really doesn’t represent itself in this picture.
 

 
The Onion Burger was delicious and prepared perfectly for me.  I’m going to try to recreate it at home in a cast iron skillet.
 
The dogs enjoyed their half of a plain grilled burger pattie.
 
The Coney Dog on the other hand didn’t do it for me.
I needed a knife and fork which I didn't have.
That sauce on top which was new for me was some sort of a hot slaw.  I didn’t like it but I’m sure that others do.
 
I’m glad that we took this detour and experienced our very own Onion Burgers.  Yum!
 
From there we drove through Oklahoma City (is mighty pretty) to look at the memorial to all those lost in the bombing disaster.  We decided not to go in to it as it was depressing to us.
 
On to McKinney, Texas.
 
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 18:17:20
Nice report to follow, Mar.Youve had some real treats! That onion burger looks fantastic.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 19:55:23
Thanks, Ann.
 
We also hit a few chains along the way.
 
We stayed with Sharon's daughter and the first night they took us to their favorite Tex-Mex restaurant... Chuy's.  It's a chain in Texas and a few other southern states.
 
It was your typical combo plate type place with bright colors and loud piped in music.  I didn't have my camera with me but here is a link:
 
http://www.chuys.com/#/about
 
They ordered the appetizer plate for all of us which was heavy on the tortillas and all fried.  The waiter did not bring us any of their touted Signature Sauces.  I guess he expected us to use the table sauce which was pico de gallo.
 
I wanted to try the Hatch Green Chile sauce but by the time it arrived, the appetizers were gone.  The waiter acted like I was acting out of the ordinary when I asked for one of their sauces.
 
http://www.chuys.com/documents/menu_noprice.pdf
 
My dinner was my typical cheese enchilada and chile relleno combo... the #4.
 
It was neither good nor bad.  I was already filled to the gills from the appetizers.
 
This was not Mexican food or Tex-Mex.  This was an American corporate combo plate with a little Latin flair.
 
I'm still waiting for the other sauces.
 
We were on our own the next day and I wanted to stop at a chain that has been talked about here.  I saw it on our way in to McKinney:
 

 

I ordered the ButterBurger, sweet potato fries and served myself a "Culvers" root beer... they make their own.  I figured if the ButterBurger was good enough for their sign, it must be good.  I also love root beer.

As the root beer was coming out of the machine I thought that there was a way too much soda to syrup ratio. Looked like it was all soda water.  I must have been right considering it was really lacking in the root beer flavor. If it's your own... it should be good or you should keep track on your equipment.
 


I did not finish eating the ButterBurger. It was, simply stated...  Awful.

I could not taste the meat at all. The mayonnaise and mustard that they applied with sheer abandon overpowered all taste and made the bun soggy. The meat patty was also flat, greasy and overcooked.
They advertised proudly that they used Wisconsin Cheddar but you could sure fool me...  or is Wisconsin Cheddar suppose to taste like plastic?
 
Sweet potato fries are fairly new to me.  I've been ordering them when I see them.  The Culver's rendition were as good as any I've had.
 
I'd never had frozen custard so I had to order one for the road when we were leaving.
 

 
I loved their frozen custard!  The 100+ degree weather took it's toll immediately.  I beat the heat.
 
I drove through Culver's again during our visit just for the frozen custard and to give their root beer another try.
 
The frozen custard was still incredibly satisfying and the root beer was not.  Although there seem to be more syrup in the drink, the flavor was all in the background and too sweet.  I wanted flavor, not sweet.
 
I was very surprised after all I'd read here.  Maybe I should have ordered the chicken fried steak but that's for later.
 
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 19:56:02
Why are my pictures so large this time around?  I'm doing them the same way.
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 21:06:21
I love your report. We have our occasional disagreements about what constitutes roadfood but imho a place like the Big Texan is the epitome of same. The onion burger from Oklahoma is another thing on my bucket list. Great stuff!
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 21:26:07
Thank you, ces.  
 
We did a lot of eating at home and I ran around McKinney during the day.
 
I found something in one of the markets that I just had to buy:
 

 
Does this seem strange to any of you?  I can't get this in Los Angeles.  I don't think I can buy it anywhere in California.
 
It's not the chocolate milk part that prompted my delight.  It's the whole milk part.  We can only buy low fat chocolate milk.  Why???
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 21:44:51
More chains:
 
Drove up to Denison, TX to visit with some relatives. Dinner wasn't on the menu but dessert was.  We ate here:
 

 
I had this which was covered with hot caramel, hot fudge and Spanish pecans.
 

 
I never seem to learn...  Hot toppings melt the ice cream which limits my enjoyment.  (Lying)
 
We went back to Braum's two more times during our trip.  Although Braum's isn't my favorite ice cream...  it's ice cream!
 
 
ces1948
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 21:49:08
I don't think I've seen any chocolate whole milk in Florida markets either. But I really haven't looked too closely as I only have chocolate milk once in a blue moon.
BTW Sweet potato fries are a real favorite of mine, like you I've only started trying a couple of years back.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 22:08:14
Sharon's daughter took us for breakfast at Bill Smith's.
 


 
This place was huge with 3 or 4 dining rooms filled to capacity.  It was first come, first served and you had to jockey for a table.  We immediately made our way to the room in the back where we found a table.
 

 
I had a simple but good breakfast of fried eggs with biscuits and gravy which were done perfectly.
Like the couple enjoying each other's company?


 
If in McKinney and looking for a good, hearty breakfast...  Bill Smith's is the place.
 
 
 
post edited by mar52 - 2011/07/23 22:09:39
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/23 22:34:26
Better food to come from our side trip to Branson, Missouri.
 
But first...  Can you guess where we ate one of our dinners in Sherman, Texas?
 

  Nothing to write home about.  I had the chicken and dumplings most of which I left uneaten.   Odd that they're famous for something unedible.
post edited by mar52 - 2011/07/23 22:38:52
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 00:55:51
Sorry I missed this earlier, mar52. Great reports on food and scenery and i enjoyed what i read. thanks for sharing.
agnesrob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 08:34:09
Great report! Can't wait for the next leg or arm!
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 11:24:27
Great report and pics, Mar!
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 12:29:39
The road to Branson, Missouri was interesting.
 
This time I didn’t do the driving.  We invited Sharon’s mother to join us and she wanted to drive her van.  No problem!
 
On our way there we saw and stopped at an unexpected place in Vineta, Oklahoma.  Now this was real Roadfood as it spanned across I44.  It was huge!
 
 
At one time it was the largest McDonalds in the world.  I didn’t know anything about it.
 
Here is the view from inside looking out while standing over I44.
 

 
Because we drove back to Texas a different way, I never got to drive under it.
 
From there we drove through Joplin, Missouri.  I can’t begin to tell you the destruction caused by the tornado.  My heart goes out to the people of Joplin.  The tornado destroyed most of the downtown residential area.  Horrendous and very sad.
 
Next stop:
  
 
Can you tell I like water towers?
 
Branson is not an eating town but it’s filled with restaurants.
 
Our first dinner was a chuck wagon style meal served when we saw the Sons of the Pioneers.
 
This is the theater where we ate and saw the show.
   
 
We never had to get out of our seats.  The dinner was served from carts at the end of our aisle.
 
It was done assembly line style with each person being in charge of a different food item.
 

 
The meal was a carb lovers dream.  Besides the brisket there was grilled corn, pinto beans, sliced some sort of potatoes and one roll.  We did have a choice when it came to our drinks… lemonade and iced tea, sweetened or not.  To keep it healthy there were cinnamon apples for dessert.
 
I figured it was a free meal with the price of the show ticket so it wasn’t bad considering.
 
  
There isn’t much to do in Branson during the day.  We did a lot of shopping and one day we drove to the fish hatchery which was near a dam.  It was quite interesting.
 

 
Our meals so far were mediocre so we decided to leave Branson for lunch and drove to
 
  
One of the homes of…
 

 
http://www.throwedrolls.com/shopcontent.asp?type=Ozark
 
The home of the throwed roll.
 
The wait was an hour and thirty minutes!  What else did we have to do?  We waited.
There were people everywhere, inside and out.
 

 
We were called after one hour and twenty minutes of waiting.  That’s a plus, isn’t it?
 
It was a zoo inside with employees walking around everywhere.
 

 
I didn’t know this but Lambert’s is known for passing around Norm’s Goodies.  Employees walk around with buckets of food and hand it out using tongs.  I knew that they threw rolls, but this?  There were four or five different food items being passed out.  They all came with your meal.  They also let you know that they have sorghum for your rolls, something I’ve never had.
 
First up…fried okra while we waited for our waiter.
 

 
There were rolls of paper towels on the table and the okra was served on top of the paper.  Not my style!
 
The roll man was busy walking around tossing the rolls to the diners.  He did not toss to women.  He obviously didn’t know that I lettered in softball.
 

 
On the table was a basket with individual servings of margarine and one serving of real butter.  I’m a real butter person and I wanted more.  I also wanted some hot sauce for the fried okra.  I didn’t butter my roll because I wanted to try the sorghum that was being served by one of those walk around employees.  I waited.  My roll got cold.
 
We ordered and our meals arrived.  They were brought by servers, not our waiter.
 
I had chicken salad and Sharon ordered the ham steak.  Her mother ordered a vegetable plate.
 

 
 

 
Even though I don’t like eating off of metal plates, I liked the idea of serving in a skillet.
 
The rest of the pass around food was placed on to our plates which is a much better idea.
 
I still didn’t have butter for my now cold roll and I still didn’t have hot sauce or sorghum.
 
I asked the roll guy and he told me to ask my waiter.  I asked the okra girl and she said to ask my waiter.  It seemed like they belonged to a union and could not do another’s job.  I waited.
 
I asked some of the other walk around servers and they told me the same thing… ask my waiter.  I hadn’t seen my waiter since the ordering of our meals.
 
I got up out of my seat.  There was my waiter in the back of the room, propping himself up against the wall doing nothing.  He saw me and made his way to our table.  He asked if he could help me and I gave him a list of the things that I wanted.  He told me that they didn’t serve real butter and I said that they did. He said that they didn't and I showed him the now empty container.  (Did he call me a liar?)  Took awhile, but I finally got everything and another hot roll.  I don’t like sorghum.
 
The roll guy was fun.  Here he is posing for me.
 

 
The food was good for food prepared in mass quantities.   It was more of an eating there place than an eating of their food place.  It was an experience for sure.  I guess it’s one of those places you do once.
 
On our way back in to Branson we stopped here for some wine tasting.
 

 
Stone Hill is what the Steinbergs who left Germany and Poland changed their name to when they relocated to England.  They sell Steinberg Red and Steinberg White wines.  I am a Steinberg which made it sort of special.
 
That was my first and last wine tasting.  We were served a dozen teaspoon sized servings of different wines in real wine glasses.  It seemed to me that they were getting progressively worse and then they served us a cream sherry.  That did it.  The brandy aroma and taste was so strong that I left there woozy.  Guess I’m a light weight or should always stick to one wine.
 
Ice cream was what we did for dinner.  We went to the old Branson area and had ice cream at
 

 
It was a cute 50s style ice cream parlor.  I don’t remember the name or what flavors I had as they were not memorable.
 

 
Our next meal was lunch here due to the slim pickens:  (We were also going to see his show)
 

 
It was a Tex-Mex themed restaurant but I ordered the special of the day.
 

 
I ordered the chicken fried steak special which was delicious, but small.  The chicken was the size of a small hamburger patty.  I guess I shouldn't ask for more at $5.00 in a resort town.
 
 
 
Sharon had the Mexican combo which looked sort of like a TV dinner.  She said it was good.
 

 
We had dessert at another Fifty’s themed ice cream parlor on the main boulevard.  Instead of having ice cream, I had a root beer float.  It was served in one of those paper cups so it wasn’t photo worthy.  I really think that if having a root beer float while at a table inside of a restaurant a glass mug should be used.  They also did not let the foam subside to fill the paper cup with more root beer.  Minus points for that.
 

 
Somewhere during those three days we also had ice cream at Dairy Queen.  I don’t have them near where I live so I was interested in what they served.  Not bad at all for soft serve.
 
Branson was fun.   It’s like a Country Music Las Vegas without the gambling.
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 14:06:07
Back in McKinney I wanted to try a place that I’d heard of in Richardson, Texas.
 

 
Del’s Charcoal Burgers.
 
http://delsburgers.com/
 
From what I’d heard about the place they make their own root beer.  I had been looking years to find a root beer that replicates Ricky’s root beer of my younger days.  Then there is the fact that they charcoal grill their hamburgers.
 
The inside of this tiny was cute and big on Texas.
 

 
To order you simple walked up to the great counter.
 

 
There were choices for hamburger toppings so I chose the one that sounded interesting and different than others I’ve had.
 
I chose the tangy relish sauce with onions and a frosty mug of their own brewed root beer.
 
When I opened the burger I was rather disappointed in its appearance.
 

 
The sauce was meager and where were the onions?  The sauce looked like wimpy thousand island dressing.
 
Upon closer examination I realized that there was also sauce under the hamburger patty. But was it enough?
 

 
While doing this I took a sip of my root beer.
 
This was it!  I’ve found the root beer of my dreams!!!  Smooth, creamy and full bodied with that root beer flavor I remembered from Ricky’s.  Nirvana in a frosty glass mug!  Why are they half way across the nation?
 
This root beer has given me the idea of brewing my own.  If they can make something so good, why can't I?  Time will tell.
 
Then I tasted the burger.  WOW!  What a delicious burger.  The charring was wonderful and reminded me of my long gone Woody’s Smorgesburger.  Absolutely delicious!  I wish I could transplant Del’s to Marina del Rey because I would be eating there at least once a week.
 
 
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 15:45:12
Our next journey took us to Waco, Texas to have lunch with a friend , Gwen who lives in the barren town of Malone.
 
It was a drive of a couple hours so we stopped at this clean place on the way.
 

 
I had perfectly done eggs and a crispy waffle.
 

 
 I liked this sign we saw on the way out.
 

 
It was definitely a choice and I repeated it another time in another other city somewhere during our trip.  I like their breakfasts.
 
First scheduled stop after picking up our friend was the old, but redone suspension bridge over the Brazos River.
 
It was part of Chisholm Trail and was used by cattlemen to walk their cattle across the Brazos.
 

 
There is a wonderful memorial to the cattle and cattlemen made up of bronze statues.  I had seen pictures of the memorial prior to our going there and was set for getting up on one of the long horns to have my picture taken.
 

 
This is the guy I was going to ride.
 

 
WRONG!  He was huge.  I would have needed a ladder (which I would have brought had I known)
 
But the temperature was in the hundreds which made even touching him difficult.  Next time a ladder and a blanket!
 
There was only one choice for lunch in Waco.  Not in the best part of town, but how could I not have a burger at Fat Ho’s?
 

 
 The menu:
 

 
Fat Ho Hot Sauce which I believe is re-labeled from another source.  Someone must like it.
 

 
I ordered a cheeseburger and this is how it was served. Arapahos immediately came to mind.
 

 
Unwrapped:
 
This was an ordinary burger.  Nothing special about it.  The hamburger patty was not preformed from the freezer, but it was over cooked and sloppy.
 

 
Our next stop driving back to Malone was a place I spied on the way to Waco.
 

 
Over the years I’ve been the recipient of their extraordinary fruit cakes.  With all the work they put in to their building, they deserved a visit from me.
 

 
At $34.95 for a 2 pound fruitcake you’ve got to love them.
 

 
 
 
 
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 17:45:24
I have a pageful of comments now.
 
(1) I've been to a Chuy's in Austin and you're exactly right, it's just okay.  I don't know what the big deal is.
 
(2) You went to a Cracker Barrel!  I'm very sorry.
 
(3) The custard is really the best thing at Culver's, and I don't think I've ever tried the root beer.  Usually the flavor of the day is the way to go.  I can't eat those butterburgers; they send me right to the restroom.
 
(4) I'm glad you enjoyed your Waffle House meal.  It's really terribly good food for the price and the particular ambiance.  It's not a good Waffle House waitress if she has an even number of teeth.
 
(5)  Fat Ho?  Really?  ;)  Glad y'all had some fun!
sk bob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 20:53:04
great trip report Mar.
excellent photos & commentary as always.
looks like y'all had a great time.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 21:07:58
Thanks all.
 
Yes, Nancy...  Cracker barrel.  The best part of the meal was that I only left one peg on my first and only try at that game which means I have a 100% win record.
 
More to come.
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 21:24:20
mar52, What a fun report!
 
Ice cream for dinner?  You and my wife would get along great.
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 22:04:23
We met Sharon’s daughter one afternoon for lunch at Norma’s Café in Plano, Texas.  It was recently reviewed here when they rolled back prices for a birthday.
 
http://www.normascafe.com/
 

 
I am beginning to believe that Texas and Red, White and Blue are synonymous.
 

 
They had a lot of old business signs hanging around that you just do not see anymore.
 

 
I ordered the chicken fried steak which came with three sides.  I wanted black eyed peas going in, but the day’s special side was lima beans.  I wanted them as well.  I ate all my sides but left some of the chicken fried steak.
 

 
Sharon ordered the chicken and dressing which was corn bread stuffing.  Sharon cleaned her plate.
 

 
When you walk in to Norma’s you see the pie display case near the register.  How do they get the meringue that high?
 

 
We could not leave Norma’s without sampling at least one piece of pie.  Between the three of us, coconut cream was chosen.  The custard filling was delicious, but there wasn’t hardly enough of it.
 

 
I like the sign I saw over the exit door.
 

 
I wanted to return to Norma's but that never happened.
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/24 22:29:04
We had been in Texas for a few weeks and it was time for barbecue.
 
We did a lot of grilling at home and it was time for some restaurant food.
 
Hutchins was recommended by a few but no one wanted to go there after a day at work.  It’s in the older McKinney area.
 

 
Our solution…. Take out.
 
They had a drive through and I’m glad that we didn’t use it.  We couldn’t make up our minds.
 
The meats were sold by the pound and the sides by the pint or larger container.
 
Not being able to decide we chose a few meats; ham, brisket and pork ribs.
 

 
All were pretty good.  I thought the ham was sort of salty, but isn’t most ham?
 
The brisket was a little dry, but maybe that’s because we took it to go.
 
I didn’t like the ribs, and I love ribs.  They tasted like ham and the meat was a bit tough.  I want ribs to taste like ribs.
 

 
I was too lazy to put the sides in serving dishes for the picture.
 
Nothing special about any of them.  My favorite was the macaroni salad.  The corn came right out of a can or bag and the green beans were over cooked.
 
I hear if we had eaten there we could have had banana pudding with our meal, but I saw what it looked like and everyone had already been digging at it.  Sort of like sharing a trough.
 
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 00:44:20
We hit several chains while we were away.
 
Burgers at Whataburger
 
I ordered the chicken club and hated it.
 

 
Dinner at Golden Corral which I actually enjoyed.
 

 
And take out from Chicken Express, a small Texas fried chicken chain.  No pictures taken there.
 
We don’t have any of these in the Los Angeles area and maybe even California, but don't hold me to that.
 
On to New Orleans.  We left McKinney for New Orleans after 4:00PM and I didn’t drive.  Not long after beginning our drive we stopped for a snack.  I ate mine in the back seat.
 
We stopped at Sonic several times during our vacation.  They have great “all beef premium” hot dogs.
 
Like my Roadfood lap tray?  This time I had jalapeno strips and a chocolate malted.  It was not a good combination.
 

 
We stopped in Shreveport for a break during the drive and arrived in Metairie, Louisiana close to 4:00AM.  No dinner for us that night.
 
The next morning we had my favorite breakfast… beignets at Café du Monde.  We also had them for the next two breakfasts before heading back to Texas.
  
This is how I eat mine.  Some of you may object.  I love dipping them.  They soak up the chicory coffee and the powdered sugar sweetens the coffee.  My first couple bites aren’t dipped but after that I can’t help myself.  I’m a dunker.
 

 
Looking up while we were eating shocked me.  The place was covered in layers and layers of filth.  This picture does not really show it.  The fans had so much build up on them that I was surprised they were even working. I just wondered if it was falling down on us as we were eating.
 

 
Guess they figured out that I’d be back for more the next day so it didn’t matter.
 
Next stop:
 

 
Walking through the French Market I saw a food item that was on my lists of must haves…  Boudin.
 

 

 
I ordered the pork boudin and it was served with a spicy creole mustard.  YUM!
 

 
We did some window shopping on Decatur but the high heat was against us.  It was really unbearable and we needed something to drink.
 
The closest air conditioned place was Margaritaville.  I wasn’t elated with this choice, but there were two others with me.  How bad can drinks be?  I have two cocktails on my list of must haves anyway.
 
I ask the waiter if they served Sazerac Cocktails….. NO
 
Do they serve Ramos or Orleans Fizzes?....... NO
 
Terrific.  I had a Havana Banana whatever that is.
 

 
I’m not sure what the others had.
 
To balance my New Orleans food needs (wants) I ordered a bowl of gumbo.  Not bad, but it was Margaritaville for goodness sake!
 

 
Nachos were shared by Sharon and her daughter.  I had a few but there wasn't an easy way to grab an edge of a chip so I settled with the gumbo.  New Orleans Nachos?
 

 
Dinner that night was ice cream at Stanley in Jackson Square.
 

 
Stanley had a new modern interior which did not say New Orleans at all…
 

 
Well except for the George Rodrigue Blue Dog standing next to Drew Brees painting.  Cool.  I love Blue Dogs and have a couple, myself.
 

 
 
 
 I had something called Stella Sundae.  I only ordered it because I wanted to taste the cream cheese sauce that they topped it with.
 
I could have wagered with you in the past that never in a million years would I ever order rum raisin ice cream.  Well the Stella Sunda was three scoops of rum raisin ice cream sitting on top of a slice of carrot cake and then  topped with the cream cheese sauce, toasted walnts and whipped cream.  Swooooon  Rum raisin isn't half bad.
 

 
Sharon had a scoop of coffee ice cream that had coffee grounds in it.  I love the way it was served.
 

 
That was it for our first day in New Orleans.
 
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 02:46:04
Wow...I tolerate and actually enjoy several chains, but my family wanted to try our first Golden Corral while in Orlando...the most disgusting food we ever ate...we actually just picked, and then went somewhere else in disgust. I guess this one was better quality!!??
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 07:30:55
I went to Golden Corral twice-once in my area( Milwaukee) which was disgusting. Then while in Raleigh, N.C. mt father-in-law wanted to go there, so we did.The food was pretty darn good-southern style vegetables( pintos, green beans with pork simmered in them) good fried chicken and an abundance of chess pie. Not roadfood, but an acceptable meal.
pnwchef
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 09:09:36
Mar, Happy you had a good trip, thanks for the info on the Breakfast burrito. The place you bought the Pork Boudin would have been my kind of place. Nothing like the heat and humidity in the South, good thing you got back West to cool off..........................Great report..............Bill
ConeyIslandLou
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 09:29:37
ann peeples

I went to Golden Corral twice-once in my area( Milwaukee) which was disgusting. Then while in Raleigh, N.C. mt father-in-law wanted to go there, so we did.The food was pretty darn good-southern style vegetables( pintos, green beans with pork simmered in them) good fried chicken and an abundance of chess pie. Not roadfood, but an acceptable meal.

 
One I have been to near Albany, NY, has been good  every time I have been there - everything fresh, nice homemade spuds, excellent meatloaf, etc, etc.  The manager seems to be about and checking everything all the time like he should be.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 11:34:19
My choices at the Golden Corral I went to were very limited.
 
There was a station where a very nice young man was
sautéing fresh shrimp and scallops which he put over rice or linguini.  There were 3 choices for sauce which were Alfredo, Cajun and another.  I chose Cajun over linguini.
 
This was prepared while I waited... for me.  It was not in a serving pan where anyone else had access.
 
He would also pan fry a white fish filet but it looked like Tilapia to me.
 
This was no different than sitting down in a restaurant and ordering the same.
 
It was good.






 










MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 12:26:29
Wow, what a great report, Marlene!  Lots of great photos, and you finally got to some place that I've been to: Cafe du Monde.  I have to put you in the group of top trip reporters.
 
The other year someone said they wanted to go to Margaritaville in NOLA, and I either wrote or thought, "Don't do it!"
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 13:01:09
mar52-
Very cool that they invited you behind the grill at Sid's to take some photos!  You hit some mighty fine Roadfood spots and thanks for the very nice report from Big Texan Steakhouse, a place I have never been but have always been curious.
mar52
Sirloin
Re:Road trip taking I40 east and other places 2011/07/25 13:13:29
Thank you, Don.  I really enjoy it and would love to do more of it.
 
Our second day in New Orleans was not spent there.  After our breakfast of beignets and a little shopping, we drove the Gulf coast through Mississippi driving through Bay St. Louis, Gulfport and Biloxi.
 
I wanted to walk out in to the Gulf of  Mexico.  It had to be over 80º easy.
 

 
I was shocked and saddened by the empty lots along the Gulf where magnificent beach homes once stood.  I forgot that Katrina also took a toll on Mississippi.  Was this trip becoming a disaster trip?
 
We parked for a few minutes at every casino on the Gulf where I ran in to purchase a dollar casino chip.  I’ve collected them since living in Las Vegas in the early eighties.  I know it’s silly, but hey… I was there.
 
We did not eat in Mississippi because I had plans for dinner in the French Quarter. I also wanted to walk Bourbon Street at night.
 
Parking in the French Quarter is either very expensive or impossible.  We paid $30 to park the day before for what seemed like just a few hours.
 
After driving around looking for a spot on the street and elevating “moods” we parked in the same lot as the day before.
 
The heat was unbearable but we walked Bourbon Street while having the Pere Antoine Restaurant , The Gumbo Shop or one of the Brennan restaurants as our dinner destination,
 
There was a jazz festival going on during the time we were there and the streets were over-crowded with inebriated people.  The “aroma” was a big put off.
 
It was too hot to walk to our possible destinations so when we saw Pier 424 Seafood Market Restaurant on Bourbon Street we all decided to give it a try.
 

 
I asked about a Sazerac Cocktail and was happy to hear that they served them.
 
This is a recipe for the Sazerac taken from
 
http://www.esquire.com/drinks/sazerac-drink-recipe
 
Sazerac
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2 1/2 ounces rye whisky
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • absinthe
  • lemon peel
 
Glass Type: old-fashioned glass

In an Old-Fashioned glass (not a mixing glass; it's part of the ritual), muddle a sugar cube with a few drops of water. Add several small ice cubes and the rye whiskey,* the Peychaud's bitters, and the Angostura bitters.**

 
I sipped it and I no longer need to have another.  Ever.
 

 
I order a cup of gumbo at every restaurant in New Orleans that serves it.  Gumbo differs in every kitchen.
 
In this kitchen they serve a cup of grease that doubles as gumbo.  It was not edible it was so greasy. 
But it looked good.
 

 
When it came to order dinner, it seemed that they were out of everything we wanted.  No crab of any sort?  They were out of the side dishes that we really wanted.  They waiter said it was because of the jazz festival.
 
Why didn’t we leave?
 
I was already disappointed that what I wanted was not available.
 
Kim ordered the stuffed shrimp with macaroni and cheese.
 
I ordered the seafood sampler because it gave me one of a few things I was deciding between.
 
Sharon ordered the fried shrimp.
 
We waited.
 
At forty-five minutes of waiting we started to get up.  That’s exactly when our waiter brought us our food.
 
The plates of food looked appetizing.
 
Don’t be fooled by appearances!
 
Kim ate part of the topping off of one of her cold and underdone shrimp.  The macaroni and cheese was macaroni and mayonnaise with Old Bays seasoning.  It was also cold.
 

 
When I was looking at the menu a few of the meals came with boiled, spicy red potatoes which were also offered as a side dish.  I asked if my meal came with them.  I was told no so I ordered them as a side.
 
This is the plate that was brought to me along with a $5.00 side dish of the same red potatoes.  I was already a little heated by the wait so I told the waiter that I did not need or want the side dish.  That was not a problem.
 
On my plate besides the skewer of raw shrimp was a cold, tasteless filet of tilapia, one Clam Casino, one Oyster Rockefeller and a cobbette of corn.
 
While the shrimp were raw, the oyster and clam were overcooked and topped with an awful topping.  The corn must have been soaking in water for days.
 
I loved those potatoes.
 

 
Sharon had the winning meal.  Her fried shrimp were perfectly prepared and she gave one to each of us because we were starving.
 
However, the waiter brought her a side dish which was not what she had ordered.  He came back several minutes later with the broccoli in cheese sauce that she wanted.
 
I guess he was never taught that you drain the broccoli out of the water before putting it in the cheese soup.  Another un-edible dish.
 

 
We saw the table of about 8 people next to us complaining to the waiter.  We saw the manager come to their table.
 
So…  I complained when we were presented with our bill.  The waiter could see that we had not eaten much off of our plates.
 
He came back with 10% taken off of our bill for…  local resident discount.
 
I’m sure the locals don’t eat there.   They already know better.
 
That was an expensive mistake and I hope you heed my warning to not eat there.
 
We were now faced with finding out how much our parking bill was going to be.
 
For some reason not known to us, the toll booths were open and parking was free.  Something to smile about!
 
There is a moral to this night's meal...
 
When you think you should get up and leave a restaurant... do not hesitate.  Get up and GO!
 
That ends our second day in New Orleans.
 
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