What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011

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wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/29 10:12:29
ChiTownDiner

wanderingjew 

Remember, as adventurous as I am, I still can't do pie for breakfast or two full slices of pie at one meal!

No one can do that...


 
Yeah- just slap some bacon on that pecan pie!
 
Tonite- Top10 Standbys

wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/29 19:22:32
Top 10 Standby's of 2011
 
Shouldn't every standby be on the top 10 list? Isn't there a reason why I keep coming back to them. 
Like last year, a standby won't qualify if it's been visited over a period of 2 consecutive years.
This year I will  also note the year I previously visited the Standby
There is no particular order however # 1 is #1.
 
10. G and M Restaurant Linthicum Heights MD
previously visited 2007
 

 
 
They say that the Crab served here is not local, I found out that although this is the case, ultimately there's not enough crab in Chesapeake Bay to accommodate the demand. Be that as it may the Crab Cakes served here are nothing but the best- Pure lump crab with virtually no filler a true Baltimore classic.
 
9. Gray Brothers Cafeteria- Mooresville IN
previously visited 2008.
 

 
The fried chicken is no slouch here and although I was disappointed that there weren't any scalloped potatoes that I enjoyed back in 2007 on my first visit, the fried potatoes quickly faded any memories of disappointment. Although I can't eat two slices of pie in one sitting, I ordered two slices anyway and ate half of each- We won't tell a certain Pittsburgher what became of the other slice halves.
 
8. Tessaro's- Pittsburgh PA
previously visited 2007
 

 
(I decided to steal Buffetbuster's photo since it looked better than mine!)
One of the best burgers I've enjoyed in the country. I could smell the aroma of these wood-fired beauties as soon as we got out of the car and sinking my teeth into them was pure nirvana.
 
 
7. Farmer's Kitchen- Atlantic IA
previously visited 2008
 

 
This being my second visit, I almost had second thoughts about not ordering the breaded pork tenderloin, although when I heard the praises about their hot beef sandwich I took the plunge. 
Fork tender beef and real mashed potatoes and gravy- the perfect ideal comfort food- And of course you all know how I feel about Charlene Johnson's sour cream raisin pie.
 
6. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria - Chicago IL 
previously visited 2000
 

 
 
Not even an intense storm could keep me from one of my favorite Chicago deep dish pizza joints, although I couldn't make it to the original, the southside location delivered this thick,  cheesy deep dish delectable delight.
 
 
5. Mai Lee- Brentwood MO
previously visited 2006
 

 
I've seen some of the photos of the St Pauls at the other Chinese restaurants in St. Louis and they don't look like anything special however Mai Lee, a vietnamese restaurant located in the Brentwood light rail parking lot takes the St. Paul to a new level- and still for just about five bucks.
 
4. Stella's Bar & Grill- Bellevue NE
previously visited 2008
 

Ok, if I had to bestow an award for best burger of the year- Stella's would win this year. I couldn't tell you why, but it was actually even better than I remembered when I first visited last year. It's no wonder that Omaha is the burger capital of the nation. 
 
 
3. Robert Wholey & Co. - Pittsburgh PA
previously visited 2000
 

 
Buffetbuster previously stated that if there's  one regional dish that represents Pittsburgh it's the fish sandwich, if that's the case then Wholey's represents Pittsburgh as having the best- truly a whale of a fish sandwich. 
 
2. Sokolowski's- Cleveland OH
previously visited 2008
 

 
Having discovered the place back in 2003 when I searched the internet for good pierogies and lake perch, I'm elated that I led Buddyroadhouse and the Sterns to this excellent find. Sokolowski's is a working man's cafeteria and bar and definitely  represents old school Cleveland. Their pierogies and friday's lake perch special are truly a monumental  masterpiece.
 
 
and the number 1 Standby of 2011 is....
 
Diehl's- Nitro WV
previously visited 1999
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
When I first put together my "best of list" I was debating if Diehl's was truly a standby or a new
restaurant. It had been 12 years since I last visited and if I recall I only ordered a bbq sandwich I guess technically it is a standby and so it goes....There was absolutely nothing to this meal that fell short of perfect- oh- maybe one thing- no red eye gravy, but even that was just a minor inconsequential issue.
 
 
 
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/12/30 10:54:07
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/29 20:29:13
WJ-
It looks like if you remove the napkins, iced tea and anything healthy from your tray at Gray Brothers, you could easily fit in a few more slices of pie.
 
Your welcome.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 08:13:44
buffetbuster

WJ-
It looks like if you remove the napkins, iced tea and anything healthy from your tray at Gray Brothers, you could easily fit in a few more slices of pie.

Your welcome.


The napkins make for great "roughage"
 
I had hit a quagmire at Gray's Cafeteria. For the first time in my three visits they had sugar cream pie. They did not have this on my two prior visits. I actually had thought about ordering THREE slices of pie, but decided that since I had sugar cream pie earlier that day at Nick's Kitchen that probably wasn't a good idea.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 08:17:11
wanderingjew  I actually had thought about ordering THREE slices of pie, but decided that since I had sugar cream pie earlier that day at Nick's Kitchen that probably wasn't a good idea.

Yup, you just received my disapproval face.  And you know how ChiTownDiner will feel about this!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 08:21:40
Seriously, you got some great choices there. 
 
Any thoughts of writing a review for Diehl's?  The food there looks incredible.  And next time to Farmer's Kitchen, that hot beef sandwich is all mine!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 08:55:37
buffetbuster

Seriously, you got some great choices there. 

Any thoughts of writing a review for Diehl's?  The food there looks incredible.  And next time to Farmer's Kitchen, that hot beef sandwich is all mine!


Any thoughts of writing a review for Diehl's?  The food there looks incredible.  And next time to Farmer's Kitchen, that hot beef sandwich is all mine!


Possibly but it may take me nearly a year and half!
 
Seriously, I thought I retired from reviews after I did TNT's Diner but  you're right- now that Southern Kitchen (and Farmers Table) are gone- Roadfood restaurants in the Charleston area are lacking and you are correct, Diehl's does deserve a review.
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 11:04:51
WJ:  I think you and BB should put your efforts together and publish your own book.  The both of you have enough data, pics and extensive travel probably to do two books.  Both of you have very good taste and that would produce a very good travel book.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 11:24:51
buffetbuster

wanderingjew  I actually had thought about ordering THREE slices of pie, but decided that since I had sugar cream pie earlier that day at Nick's Kitchen that probably wasn't a good idea.

Yup, you just received my disapproval face.  And you know how ChiTownDiner will feel about this!


Very, very concerned....
rumaki
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 12:05:40
I wish you had tried that sugar cream pie at Gray Brothers!  I've never encountered it there, either, and would really be curious to know how it is.  I loved the sugar cream pie at the now-defunct Laughner's cafeterias, and have been looking for another source on my annual trips to Indianapolis.  I'll be back there in late April, and often go to Gray Brothers straight from the airport, given that it is so close.
 
(I've found fine BROWN sugar cream pie at several places in Kentucky, and I love that, too, but it is not classic Hoosier sugar cream pie.)
 
And I wish I'd made the trek to Mai Lee for the Saint Paul sandwich when I was in St. Louis in August.
 
Oh well -- I'll be in Chicago next August, and will certainly return to Lou Malnati's, which I really enjoyed the last time I was there -- at the Near North location.
 
Great report, by the way!
 
 
 
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 12:06:51
I agree with Sundancer 7.
Youze guys could become Gigantic, Gastronomical, Poor Man's Gourmet, Literary Icons! James Beardless Candidates. Food Advisors to the President. World Renowned Experts on the Subject Of Pie-ology! Etc, Etc, Etc.
Pittsburgh would become "The Food Mecca of The Universe"!!!
I can see it all now!
post edited by Foodbme - 2011/12/30 12:09:49
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 14:16:58
Paul
 
I think Travelin Man should be included in on the book writing venture, he can critique
all of the closed restaurants.
 
Rumaki
 
I've never had brown sugar cream pie. I too was surprised to see the Sugar Cream Pie at Gray Brothers, but then again, Michael Stern mentioned it specifically in his review, so I guess I was even more surprised that it wasn't there on my first visit back in 2007
 
Foodbme
 
Buffetbuster is definitely the expert on Pittsburgh,however I'm the expert on "the Poor Man"
 
Tonite- The Honorable Mentions
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 14:25:08
wanderingjew

Paul
 
I think Travelin Man should be included in on the book writing venture, he can critique
all of the closed restaurants.

Rumaki
 
I've never had brown sugar cream pie. I too was surprised to see the Sugar Cream Pie at Gray Brothers, but then again, Michael Stern mentioned it specifically in his review, so I guess I was even more surprised that it wasn't there on my first visit back in 2007

Foodbme
 
Buffetbuster is definitely the expert on Pittsburgh,however I'm the expert on "the Poor Man"

Tonite- The Honorable Mentions

WJ,
It's my understanding that you actually lived in Da Burgh at one time. If that's correct, then it is possible that Da Burgh could be anointed as "The Mecca" AND you could still retain your title as an Expert on the "Poor Man".
falco
Junior Burger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 15:36:53
Great reading your stuff, but as a Pittsburgher, may I humbly suggest that all "Wanderers" give Keith's Katering in Trafford a try for a fish sandwich? I think it may change some minds.
                                                                     Falco
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 16:02:11
Foodbme
 
That is correct, I was formerly a "Pittsburgher" from January 20 1996- November 24 2000- more specifically a resident of Mt. Lebanon
 
Falco
 
Thanks, although I no longer live in the Burgh, I'm always up for trying new places when I visit.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 17:02:04
Well, we're getting down to the nitty gritty...
 
Honorable Mentions of 2011
(All new for 2011 in no particular order)
 
1. Angelos Restaurant and Bar- St Louis MO
 


 
Part of the Lombardo' family of restaurants. Lombardo's has been recognized as having award winning toasted Ravioli. These toasted rav's are shaped somewhat unconventionally, but they're big beefy and bursting with flavor. The best I've ever had....
 
2. Milwaukee Brat House - MIlwaukee WI
 


 

Considered the classic Milwaukee style brat- this Usinger brat is served on a pretzel roll and adorned with  kraut, sauteed onions and topped with mustard and secret stadium sauce and the cheese curds's were pretty good too.
 
3. Kirkwood Pit Beef- Catonsville MD
 

 
Disappointed that Pioneer Pit Beef was closed on Sundays, several reviews on Yelp directed me here.  My disappointment quickly disappeared after enjoying this full flavored Pit Beef Sandwich
and the fresh cut fries that accompanied it.
 
4. Belgrade Gardens- Barberton OH
 

 




 
I previously noted that their chicken dumpling soup deserved the best soup of the year award, 
however although their chicken is also fine, their savory hot sauce and sweet n sour cole slaw were absolutely outstanding.
 
5. La'Wan's Soul Food Restaurant- Charlotte NC
 


 
Searching for a suitable substitute for the irreplaceable Coffee Cup I came across La'Wans
Although it's not the Coffee Cup, La'Wan's can certainly hold their own with their spicy fried chicken and thick cheesy mac n cheese. 
 
 
6. Jay's Beef-  Schiller Park IL
 


Wanting to expand my horizon's on Chicago Italian Beef, many raves on the internets led me here. Although this is not the original location, it appears inconsistency is certainly not an issue. I believe that Chi Town Diner will agree that this Italian Beef served "sweet" and "wet" deserve mention.
 
7. Risser's Family Restaurant Womelsdorf PA
 

 

 
 

Finally, I had the opportunity to try Schnitz und Knepp, not only was my first (and hopefully not last) experience a positive one but even the sides of salad with warm bacon dressing and corn nuggets  were quite good.
 
8. The Roost- Fishers IN
 


 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 
There was no weak spot in this Hoosier style meal. Dare I even say that the Green Beans were
better than Gray Brothers, although I will admit, although the fried biscuits were good, they fell short of Joe Huber's
 
9. Galax Smokehouse - Galax VA
 

 
As I said previously The Galax Smokehouse would appear several times during the course of the best of awards. Ironically, compared to the Brunswick Stew and Banana Pudding the BBQ was actually the "weak" part of the meal and still found its way to the honorable mentions category.
 
10. Suicide Bridge Restaurant- Hurlock MD
 
Admittedly the sides (crab soup and stewed tomatoes) were nothing special- but oh!- the Crabcake- I'm still kicking myself for not ordering two.
 

 
 
bethgrd
Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 19:07:09
Dale: This is a comprehensive, mouth watering report and great categorization! You are making me want to get back out around the country to check a lot of food out. You are a true asset to this site!!!! beth
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 19:55:17
WJ, You are correct that I should have included TTM in the group.  I am not sure how a three man book would work although the complied collections of all of you would certainly be an entertaining food venue for the millions of folks out there that enjoy that.  A great hobby by all of you.  I think TTM does it with his business travel where you and BB do it as more of a hobby.  I would put Al the Mayor in the group but he like me is sorta slowing down although his past history has demonstrated some wonder food travelogues
 
I think Roadfood is very fortunate to have all that contribute words and pics of their food and travels.  Roadfood should compensate those that do that but unfortunately Roadfood does not make any yenom.  That is money spelled backwards.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
 
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/30 21:26:26
...and these are also rans!!!!!
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/01 07:30:19
Wow! What a report. And great pictures too. I think I'm starting to understand that there is more to regional food than hot dogs! I especially liked the picture of the Kirkwood Pit Beef.
 
I rarely travel but was to Rhode Island to enjoy Christmas with my daughter. Was surprised to drive by Moonlight House of Weiners and find them serving weiners at 10 AM. I enjoyed a few even though I already had breakfast. Only other time I was in Rhode Island I was disappointed that Moonlight was closed for renovations.
 
I also discovered coffee milk. It's now my favorite drink. Well, next to beer. I brought a lot home, but was grateful that a store employee advised me to buy the Autocrat coffee syrup so I can make my own and not have to worry about a lot of bottles of milk going bad.
 
Thanks for the thread and pictures.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/01 18:42:21
Bethgrd
 
Thanks for your kind words, we have to coordindate a New England spring event. Ayersian (Chris) and I briefly discussed a few ideas  but your feed back is very important too. 
 
John Fox
 
Thanks, you are correct, about the diversity of regional food but I have learned so much from you about the diversity of hot dogs, especially Jersey Dogs which I hope to expose myself to when I'm back in the area visiting friends.  Please the next time you're in Rhode Island- PM me and perhaps we can share a meal.
 
BTW- nothing goes better with a NY System Hot Wiener than coffee milk 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/01 20:24:09
I'm still holding out for the Top Ten of 2011. I promise I'll announce  that tomorrow.
 
Here are  dozen or so signs and odds and ends that caught my attention last year.
 
Bertha's Mussels Baltimore MD
 

 
(I'm sure everyone has seen the bumpersticker at least once)
 
 
Poor Man's Art Gallery St Charles MO
 

 
(That's my kind of art gallery)
 
 
Decatur County Courthouse Greensburg IN
 

 
(I'm still trying to figure out how the tree got stuck in the clock tower)
 
Hey Hey Bar & Grill Columbus OH
 

 
(advertising what they do best)
 
8th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival Euclid OH
 

 
(can't believe I missed it!)
 
 
Galax Smokehouse Pig- Galax VA
 

 
(If our porcine pals really looked like this I'm sure many of you would think twice about turning that into ribs and bacon)
 
 
Restroom Guides Pamelas P & G Diner- Milvale PA
 

 
 

 
( I think it was very thoughtful of Pamela's to hire these kindly senior citizens to let us know where the restrooms are)
 
Mars
 

 
(my spaceship has landed and I was greeted by a real live Martian - yes really!- thats the Mars National Bank in the background)
 
Madison WI
 

 
(Chi Town Diner's scruffier long lost brother)
 
 
Cozy Dog Springfield IL
 


 
(Is it me or does anyone else feel like a peeping tom?)
 
 
The Wiener and Still Champion Evanston IL
 

 
(just a great sign)
 
 
Kopps Frozen Custard Cows Glendale WI
 

 
(A salute to the source of the manufacturer)
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/01 21:17:00
bethgrd

Dale: This is a comprehensive, mouth watering report and great categorization! You are making me want to get back out around the country to check a lot of food out. You are a true asset to this site!!!! beth

Ditto
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 00:33:46
I guess there's a Hall of Fame for everything. Anyone been to the Polka Hall of Fame advertised on the poster announcing the Slovenian Sausage Festival?
http://www.clevelandstyle.com/about.html
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 08:47:30
wheregreggeats.com

bethgrd

Dale: This is a comprehensive, mouth watering report and great categorization! You are making me want to get back out around the country to check a lot of food out. You are a true asset to this site!!!! beth

Ditto

Ditto
karilyn
Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 09:04:40
What a great gift you've given us  . . . now I have some ideas of places I must go, things I must eat this year!  Especially Pie!  I enjoyed your reports tremendously in 2011 . . . I can't wait to see what you find in 2012.  Happy New Year!  Thanks for all your effort and generosity!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 09:45:03
Thanks Karilyn, Miami Don and Wheregreggeats
 
Karilyn, we're hoping to have another New England meet up this spring. Hoping you can join us (Wheregreggeats too)
 
Foodbme- Yes, I did go to the Polka Hall of Fame on my Buckeyes Hoosiers and Redbirds trip back in September.
 
Since Karilyn wanted to know where 2012 will take me, I thought this would be the perfect time to respond.
 
Unfortunately, Miami Don, seeing the Marlins in Miami aren't in the plan this year, I thought I would wait a year until the novelty wears off and they work the kinks out.
 
February will take me to the deep south. Flying into New Orleans first for a few days- then flying into Birmingham AL and exploring Mississippi and Arkansas with brief stops in Memphis, and Birminghan AL and Tuscaloosa which will culminate with Presidents Day glee club weekend event in Nashville.
 
I also plan to spend  a week between Charlotte NC and Atlanta GA (it's been 10 years since I've been to Turner Field to see the Atlanta Braves)  with perhaps a day in Columbia SC
 
I would like to return to Texas too- I'm not sure if I will spend an entire week or split it up with perhaps Phoenix/Tucson or New Mexico I'd love to see all three states again but won't have enough time or $$
 
And of course since this past fall's freak snow storm in Philly blindsided me - a weekend in the City of Brotherly love is a must.
 
Looking ahead to 2013
 
Florida- definitely
 
New Mexico or Arizona?
 
Perhaps a return to San Francisco and the Pacific NW?
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 11:26:33
Phenomenal roadfood year, my friend!!!
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 12:40:47
So you know my brother...don't lend him any money!
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 14:42:48
wanderingjew: Keep me posted on the Spring 2012 New England meetup.  I'm thinking of a May/June trip to NYC & Framingham, MA.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 16:28:40
Ann
 
THanks, as you can see there were certainly some highlights from your fair city
 
Chi Town Diner
 
Perhaps not, but he can play a mean bass fiddle.
 
[font="'ms sans serif', sans-serif, verdana, arial"]

MD
 
absolutely- however we don't where we are going yet or when it will be. I know Chris and I discussed the possibility of Southern New Hampshire (Portsmouth & Manchester) but we would all have to reach a consensus.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 17:47:16
Here we go, as promised
 
The Top 10 New Restaurants of 2011
(10-6 are in no particular order
5-2 are the top 5 but are in no particular order
#1 is # 1)
 
10. Paradise Pups Des Plaines IL
 


 
 



 
I have two regrets all based on 20/20 hindsight.
 
1- Only finishing half of my meal
2- Not being able to share a meal here with Buddyroadhouse
 
all because I had to have my first butter burger  at Solly's Grill. If I knew that my experience at Solly's  was going to be less than impressive (butter on a burger is complete overkill) I would have done things differently. The classic Chicago dog is top notch and the burger with merkts cheddar is probably about as top notch of a fast food style burger that you will find anywhere.
 
 
9. Nick's Kitchen Huntington IN
 

 

 

Besides winning in the pie category, the Breaded Pork Tenderloin is nothing short of perfect. I wouldn't hesitate to say that I have reached BPT nirvana at Nick's Kitchen. This is the BPT that I will measure all others to even come close to compare to. And with a fine hostess/proprietor like JeannAnne, Nick's Kitchen sets the example of what every Roadfood establishment should be.
 
 
 
8. Kopper Kettle Morristown IN
 


 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
I did not include photos of the entire meal- just the highlights. Sitting down to a classic Sunday dinner of Hoosier Pan Fried Chicken should be an experience that every Roadfood enthusiast should undertake. Not only was the meal at  Kopper Kettle  almost flawless (I'll forgive them for the fact that their sugar cream pie was a mere shadow compared to that at Nick's Kitchen)  but their classic  atmosphere  was one of the best of 2011.
 
 
7. O'Connell's  St Louis MO
 

 
 
This is what every roast beef sandwich should strive to be- pink, melt in your mouth tender and flavorful. Pared with a side of au'jus this is pure roast beef heaven. 
 
 
6. Breitbach's Country Inn Balltown IA
 

 
 

 
 

 

 
The oldest restaurant in Iowa survived not one but two fires in recent years. Having rebuilt twice, I'm glad they did. Although I did not include photos of the entire meal, Breitbach's heartland salad bar is the largest I've ever seen and one of the best. Their bacon wrapped Iowa chops are pure porcine pleasure.
 
 
5. Farmer Brown's Steakhouse Waterloo NE
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
This old school steakhouse is what every steakhouse should strive to be. This meal was nothing short of perfect, everything from the crusty loaf of homemade bread, to the crisp salad with house dressing and blue cheese crumbles to the unique regional side of spaghetti and sweet marinara to the crispy hash browns and fork tender prime rib.  Farmer Browns is an asset not only to Steakhouses but Roadfood in general in the Omaha area.
 
4. Babushka's Kitchen Northfield OH
 

 
 

 
Having previously received a nod in the soup category. The sandwich is also truly something else. Slow roasted pork and gravy loaded with sauerkraut and sauteed onions sandwiched between two potato cakes and topped with sour cream and sided with small dumplings.  My only disappointment is that I completely finished my sandwich and could have kept on eating this beautiful masterpiece.
 
3. Redwood Steakhouse- Anita IA
 

 
 

 
With a "you just don't see this anymore"  relish tray and a Windsor Style Pork chop that just screams "oink" when you take each bite- it's no wonder that Iowa is the pork capital of the nation. Kudos to Ayersian for this fantasmic discovery.
 
2. Jozsa Corner Pittsburgh PA
 


 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 

 
Alex Jozsa Bodnar is a passionate man, and his passion reflects in the meals that he prepares at this reservations for 4 or more  only Hungarian Restaurant in Pittsburgh. With a parade of flawless courses that seem endless (and trust me,  you don't want them to end) its places like Jozsa Corner that makes the Roadfood experience so special.
 
and the # 1 new restaurant of 2011 is...
 
 
Gene and Georgetti's Chicago IL 
 
 

 

 

 
 

 
Three words- Shrimp De Jonge
 
And there you have it - the best of 2011
 
One more "bonus" category.....


Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 18:34:28
WJ:  Wonderfu presentation and fantastic pics.  I just had my dinner consiting of twice fried potatoes at home with some red wine and those pics made me double hungry.  Double outstanding.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 19:14:30
GREAT ENDING TO A GREAT POST....REALLY ENJOYED YOUR CHOICES. THANKS SO MUCH!
karilyn
Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 19:27:25
As soon as you know of any dates, let me know and I'll put it down in my calendar . . . in INK!  Looking forward to more Roadfood adventures . . . . thanks again!
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/02 21:17:40
I was in St. Louis in May-met my cousins from around the country. I had a fisftul of ideas and recommendations from all of you, and realized one thing after the trip-they are eaters, but not roadfooders. Thank God we traveled to see the Mayor and Janet on our way back( dont ask about Demi and Bob!!!) and had a wonderful meal at Hubers-and loved being with them for the Derby.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/03 08:09:48
Thanks Lee
 
Ann
 
I'm so glad that everyone I know accomodates me and eats local when I'm around.
Most don't care one way or the other so it reall doesn't matter to them- but here in Rhode Island it's extremely rare to find anyone eating "chain" Italian or Seafood.
 
Karilyn
 
We will definitely keep you int the loop
 
Paul
 
Imagine how I feel- I'm in strict diet mode for the next 5 weeks
 
One more bonus category is planned- perhaps tonight
blizzardstormus
Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/03 11:20:46
Thanks for the mentions.
 
It is good to see the Redwoods on your New Restaurant list.
 
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/03 11:48:51
Helluva job! Thanks.
Greymo
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/03 13:22:22
Very nice report.  I am so glad that you liked the stuffed ham at St. Mary's.  I have made this a couple of times and it is very labor intensive.  I can see why it is so regional.
post edited by Greymo - 2012/01/03 13:37:51
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/03 19:32:54

Mr Hoffman- thanks 
 
Greymo- I believe this was my third visit to St Mary's Landing. Since I last visited in 2005, the one thing that came to mind on my last visit was why did I wait so long to return.
 
Mark
 
Back at'ya - 
 
Ok, I promised one last bonus category.
 
Since Roadfood is about distinctive regional food (not just burgers and hot dogs and "eats")
I thought I would include
regional food experienced for the first time in 2011.
 
So here we go.
 
Hot Cheese Sandwich Nick's Coney Island Hot Dogs Fall River MA
(Photo courtesy of Buffetbuster)
 


 
 

Bean Dog J.J.'s Coney Island Fall River MA
(photo courtesy of Buffetbuster)
 


 
 
Snail Salad Andino's Providence RI
(photo courtesy of Buffetbuster)
 
 
 


 
 
Smith Island Cake The Crab Claw St Michaels MD
 

 
 
Steamed Crabs The Crab Claw St Michaels MD
 

 
 
Hot Sauce Belgrade Gardens Barberton OH
 


 
 
Cornbread Casserole The Roost Fishers IN
 

 
 
Hoosier Style Chicken and Noodles The Roost Fishers IN

 
 
 
Gooey Butter Cake Park Avenue Coffee St Louis MO
 


 
 
Slinger Al's Chili Mac Diner St Louis MO
 


 
 
Snoots Roper's Ribs Jennings MO

 
 
 
Persimmon Pudding Pat's Gnawbone Sorghum Mill Nashville IN
 

 
 
Sugar Cream Pie Nick's Kitchen Huntington IN

 

 
Sauerkraut Balls Hey Hey Bar & Grill Columbus OH
 

 
 
Polish Boy Freddie's Rib House Lyndhurst OH
 

 
 

Chicken and Waffles Oregon Dairy Restaurant Lititz PA
 


 
 
Corn Pie Country Table Restaurant Mt Joy PA



 
 
Schnitz und Knepp Risser's Family Restaurant Womelsdorf PA
 


 
 
Cheese Frenchee Shirley's Diner Omaha NE
 

 
 
Butter Burger Solly's Grill Milwaukee WI
 

 
 
Shrimp De Jonge Gene and Georgetti's Chicago IL
 

 
 
And there you have it- The Conclusion of What Wooed Wanderingjew-
 


mar52
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/03 23:44:17
I've waited until the end to comment.
 
BRAVO!
 
I appreciate your pictures, description and time it takes to write up a report.
 
Thank you.
 
Edited to change right to write.  Sheeeeeesh!
post edited by mar52 - 2012/01/04 19:28:30
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/04 01:12:00
Another fantastic report but what's in that Cheese Frenchee from Shirley's Diner???
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/04 08:28:06
Mar
 
Thanks
 
Foodbme
 
Cheese frenchies are a Nebraska speciality. Take a grilled cheese sandwich, slather it in butter, roll it in corn flakes and then deep fry!
ScreamingChicken
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/04 08:52:00
Great report, WJ!  From a Roadfood standpoint 2011 was a good year for you!
 
Brad
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/04 08:59:29
Thanks,Wanderingjew...loved the whole report...we go a lot to Amish Country..and the town of Lititz is very nice...never been to the Oregon Dairy...or have had chicken and waffles,either.....how was the dish? and how is the restaurant? Should we give it a go??
The Travelin Man
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/04 10:32:07
Dale - I thought that there was mayo inside a cheese frenchy, also?  No?
 
Great year-end round-up, by the way. 
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/04 11:03:42
Congrats Dale ...
You've won the coveted "Gregg-ie" award.

"Report of the Year !!!"
Ralph Melton
Double Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/04 12:46:49
I always enjoy your reports and your annual roundups, and this adds to a great collection.
 
CajunKing
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/04 16:25:40
Encore Encore
 
WE WANT MORE!!!
 
And here I thought it was the company @ the Kopper Kettle that made it the best
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/04 18:22:07
Thanks everyone
 
Lee
 
Yes the Oregon Dairy Restaurant is definitely worth the while- I enjoyed my chicken and waffles and the potato soup actually deserves a special mention. The good thing is that that its not as touristy as some of those Amish "feed barns"
 
TTM
 
You are correct, I thought I was missing an ingredient after the fact and mayo was it- I'm hoping they don't use the reduced fat kind, a "healthy" cheese frenchee just isn't right

Donald
 
Of course the company was great- but the food took the Kopper Kettle over the top
 
Wintem01
Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/05 15:05:21
Absolutely outstanding. They should make reports like this ILLEGAL during new year's resolution season. Just squashed every dieting fiber in my being.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/05 15:39:42
Outstanding job on this WJ!  This takes a lot of time and effort to do and it is really appreciated.  You set the bar very high!
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/05 18:52:27
I always love Gene & Georgetti's...glad you did also! 
 
Great recap...thanks!
josefinajoisey
Hamburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/10 17:26:11
I love that your travels are comprehensive: food, history, nature, vistas.   The complete package!  I appreciate this since I still have not shaken my fear of flying, and my travels are limited to the northern East Coast (with a couple of forays to Wisconsin to visit relatives)  Thanks so much for your committment to Roadfood!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/10 20:24:22
Again, thanks Buffetbuster, Wintem, Chi Town Diner and josefinajoisey.
 
Now I'm busy planning next months big trip-it's actually going to be the biggest trip of the year for me- 
 
 
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/10 20:30:25
WJ, I thoroughly enjoy your choices of food and travel.
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/01/10 23:25:15
Great report, WJ. I've been offline for two weeks and this is the first I've read most of it. You truly are a road food treasure.
cecif
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2012/02/11 06:58:38
Good stuff WJ.
 
May your 2012 out-do your 2011! 
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