Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!!

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wanderingjew
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Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Wed, 07/13/11 7:15 PM
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Next month I was planning on visiting Charlotte on an actual roadtrip that would begin right here in Rhode Island. Although there would be road food along the way and on the way back, the likelyhood of anything other than minimal "roadfooding" would have been moot since I would be staying with friends who live 35 miles north of the city. 

Reviewing some of the great Roadfood Restaurants in the Charlotte area and in nearby South Carolina made me depressed because of the likelyhood that I would not be able to visit them, well, I had an idea, after a finding a great deal on priceline I decided to head down to Charlotte and NOT TELL ANYONE ! The plan was to visit some of the roadfood restaurants reviewed here on the forum as well as others that I researched on my own and I was even going to spend the day in Columbia SC to indulge in some Mustard based "Q"....
 
Well guess what! NONE OF THAT HAPPENNED!!!

 
Taking Friday off from work, I landed in Charlotte around noon time. 
 
My first stop was a standby I haven't been to since 2008
 
 
Price's Chicken Coop
 
I was looking forward to their fried chicken, however I also knew based on past experience that I was going to toss the forgettable sides so I can enjoy more elsewhere.
 
Take out only-I stood on line waiting to give my order
 

 
Deciding only to chow down on the Chicken and forgettable cole slaw, I recall enjoying the fried chicken much more last time. This time, I thought the portions were skimpy and there was hardly any meat on them there bones!
 
Reviewing my previous trip report, I answered my own question after reviewing my photo here I ordered white meat last time- What a difference. I won't make that mistake again.
 
 
A few miles away I made it to my next stop...
 

 
McKoy's Smokehouse and Saloon
 
A yuppie wanna be biker bar in a very contrived almost "chainish" like setting.
I found the atmosphere offputting but how is the food?
 

 
I ordered the Country Style Steak  meal. The Country Style Steak was nothing special, however the hearty mushroom gravy was actually quite good..
 
The Mac N Cheese was incredibly amazing. Some of the best I ever had
Here's a close up...
 

 
I didn't care for the sauteed green beans....however
 

 
The cornbread which you have to order separately was worth every penny. This is actually a half order...
 
 
Ready to head to the James K Polk Historic Home Site- my conscience got the best of me  and I called my friends to let them know I was in town,  you see I realized I may have to cut my road trip short next month due to personal reasons (I already decided to ditch Gettysburg previously) and realized I may not end up seeing them at all......and there went the rest of the road guilt trip...... I ended up staying up in Lincolnton the rest of the weekend, no roadfood....no nothing (I did have a good time otherwise)....Oh I did go to the Dilworth Coffee House Saturday and Sunday Morning in nearby Denver NC....
 
Leaving a little early to head to the airport on Sunday I did have an opportunity to make one last stop...
 

 
 
La'Wan's Soul Food Restaurant
 
Ever since the closing of the sorely missed Coffee Cup and then the subsequent closing of the Highland Mills Cafe (both solid A pluses) in my book. I've been searching for a suitable replacement...
 
La'wan's is located in a shopping plaza in the 7700 block of North Tryon Street. A small basic exterior with indoor table seating..
 
I decided to go with the fried chicken (white meat this time) with sides of collards and mac n cheese.
 
 

 
 
The fried chicken was superlatively superior to anything I've had in a while. It was juicy , succulent and the seasoning was just about perfect. Usually when eating fried chicken I have to reach for the ketchup bottle, not in this case. The Mac N Cheese was solid and and the Collards were even better. The Corn Bread (muffin) was probably the weakest part of the meal and even that wasn't bad...
Since I've been trying to avoid sweets until my next trip, I passed on dessert which according the menu included sweet potato pie, peach cobbler, red velvet cake, and lemon pound cake among other items. Ironically I didn't see any banana pudding.
La'Wan's was a solid B Plus in my book and I would certainly return.....however I'm still looking for that A Plus soul food meal...
 
Flying out of Charlotte, I had a bizarre location for a layover (Detroit) well when I arrived at the Detroit Airport - do as the Romans do....
 

 
Ordering a coney special 
 

 
it's basically a coney dog with loose meats- although not as good as other coney dogs I had, it was certainly what the doctor ordered. The only disappointment was they no longer have Vernors- although it was unlikely I would have ordered one anyway unless they had the diet version..
 
After this very odd bizarre trip, I was back home at midnight....
 
 
Although I usually do a list of favorites, This time I'll do a list of places I had planned to visit but obviously never did. 
 
1-  521 BBQ - Indian Land SC
2- John's Country Kitchen- Charlotte NC
3- Little Pigs BBQ- Columbia SC
4- Big T's BBQ- Gadsen SC
5- The Wagon Wheel- Fort Lawn SC
 
 
 
<message edited by wanderingjew on Wed, 07/13/11 7:21 PM>

wanderingjew
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Thu, 07/14/11 7:54 AM
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BUMP!

joerogo
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Thu, 07/14/11 8:27 AM
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Hey WJ,
 
If I was in that neck of the woods, I would add one more to the list.......
 
1-  521 BBQ - Indian Land SC 
2- John's Country Kitchen- Charlotte NC 
3- Little Pigs BBQ- Columbia SC 
4- Big T's BBQ- Gadsen SC 
5- The Wagon Wheel- Fort Lawn SC 
6- Visit Nancypalooza?
 
Did you try the Q at CLT?  Good stuff!

wanderingjew
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Thu, 07/14/11 8:38 AM
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joerogo


Hey WJ,

If I was in that neck of the woods, I would add one more to the list.......

6- Visit Nancypalooza?

Did you try the Q at CLT?  Good stuff!

 
I offered and......
 It wouldn't have worked out anyway since I was holed up 35 miles north of Charlotte for virtually the entire weekend.
 
I saw the Q place at CLT when I was flying back home, but that at point I was stuffed from my early dinner at La'Wan's and barely had enough appetite left over for one coney dog at my layover in Detroit (remember, my appetite can't keep up with "the big boys!")

ScreamingChicken
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Thu, 07/14/11 10:20 AM
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Despite the size of the pieces, how was the crust/skin on the Price's chicken?  It looks pretty good in your photo.
 
Brad

Nancypalooza
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Thu, 07/14/11 10:27 AM
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I did receive a very nice invitation from Dale--as well as another for this weekend from Steve--and I've had to turn them both down because I'm trying to finish up my dissertation on the weekends.  So another time to both of you.  :)
 
I did meet local poster huntryce (hi Ellen!) yesterday for lunch at one of the places I was trying to sell Dale on, True BBQ in the Triangle City neighborhood of West Columbia.  I've been there four times now and I'm happy to report that their hot dogs (while good) don't measure up to their barbecue and sides, because the barbecue and sides will make you wanna slap your momma. 
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nancypalooza/5642007514/  (pictures not from yesterday)
 
Dale, I'm gonna get you trying Vietnamese in Charlotte yet.

The Travelin Man
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Thu, 07/14/11 10:37 AM
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I actually have my other friend who works at USC trying to lure me to Columbia, too.  Not sure if I will make the drive, but if I do, I want some of that BBQ.

wanderingjew
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Thu, 07/14/11 10:46 AM
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Screaming Brad
The fried chicken at La'Wan's was truly a keeper, I'm not sure what kind of seasoning they used but it certainly prevented me from reaching for for that ketchup bottle, usually white meat can be kind of dry, not at La'Wan's. The collards were also exceptional.  La'Wans is roadfood worthy and the highlight of this trip and if I weren't so lazy I would do a formal review.l
 
Nancy
 
You certainly sold me on True BBQ and was "truly" bummed to find out that they were closed this past weekend. Seems like alot of Q places take off for vacation right after 4th of July Weekend.
 
As I wrote to you previously, your disseration is important. I'm Looking forward to calling you "Dr.  Nancypalooza" soon

Nancypalooza
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Thu, 07/14/11 10:55 AM
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(big smile)  Thank you Dale!  God am I looking forward to that too!
 
Here's the deal though boys, you need to come either in late Sept/early Oct or like the middle of April.  That's when it's downright pretty here and you don't want to die from trying to breathe outside in the middle of the day (July and August).  And you need to schedule time for Shealy's.  Dale, I passed your Hudson's thing by a number of people, and some said it would be worth the trip and some thought not.  Little Pig's, maybe even less so.

The Travelin Man
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Thu, 07/14/11 5:40 PM
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Unfortunately your recommended time frames for a visit just don't jive with my available time for personal travel.  Poke your head into your admission office and ask them what their schedules are like in late Sept/ early Oct and April!  
 
You know those students who magically show up on your campus every August?  That's about the time that they are out on the road getting them!

mr chips
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Fri, 07/15/11 3:44 AM
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Sorry you id not get as much roadfood as you liked. What you had does look good.

buffetbuster
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Fri, 07/15/11 8:47 AM
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I don't know if I have ever seen anyone put ketchup on top of fried chicken before.  Is this common?  Not judging, being from Pittsburgh where Heinz is located, we like our ketchup here.  Just strikes me as a strange combination.
 
wj-
You really do seem to have great mac & cheese radar.  You always find really good versions.  Out of curiousity, which places have your favorite mac & cheese?

ChiTownDiner
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Fri, 07/15/11 9:38 AM
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Mac n cheese and collard greens...one of my favorite combo's!

wanderingjew
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Mon, 07/18/11 8:07 AM
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Haven't been on the internet much (not that I'm really on it that much to begin with)- no home computer- that should change within the next week or so.
 
Nancy
 
I hope to return to charlotte in the late fall (late october/early november) I'll probably do that in lieu of the Chicago/Milwaukee bus tour (I most likely can't afford to do both) This time I'll probaby take an extended 4 or 5 day weekend and split my time between friends and roadfood with at least a day in Columbia and a chance to try Shealy's when their ribs are available and also True BBQ I would love to visit Big T's too in Gadsen- they also use real wood to smoke and have gotten rave reviews on the web.
 
Buffetbuster
 
I usualy limit my Mac N Cheese tastings to the meat n threes in the south, so far Coffee Cup and Highland Mills Cafe are the winners (ironically both are no longer in business too)
 
 

ChiTownDiner
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Sat, 07/30/11 4:50 PM
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More mac 'n cheese...
 

mar52
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Re:Road Trip????........Nooohhh.........Guilt Trip!!!!!! - Sat, 07/30/11 5:50 PM
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A meeting up with Nancypalooza is a good thing.