What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011

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wanderingjew
Sirloin
2011/12/14 20:42:28
As we're approaching the end of the year, I thought I would begin the best of list a little early  like I did last year with a few  teasers. Traditionally- I'll  continue with the bulk of the list just after Christmas and conclude with the Top 10 New Restaurants of 2011 around New Years.
 
Like last year, I thought I would begin with the year's best soups (and stew)... It won't be a top 10 list since I don't have enough, but it will include "standby's" in other words soup I've enjoyed previously as well as honorable mentions. Unfortunately I'm missing a photo for one of the award winning soups ...but here goes anyway....
 
Best Soup   (and Stew) of 2011 (In No Particular Order)
 
Stand Bys
 
1. Fish Chowder - No Name Restaurant Boston MA
 


 
I'm not sure why anyone thinks that the No Name has gone down hill,  however this aquarium in a bowl   that I enjoyed at the No Name last January with Buffetbuster certainly proves those critics wrong.
 
2. Peanut Soup- Southern Kitchen New Market VA
 


 
More bisque than soup, velvety, nutty with hints of onion.
 
 
Best New Soups


3- Beer Cheese Soup- The Old Fashioned Madison WI
 


(photo courtesy of Screaming Chicken)
 
The  Old Fashioned is a relatively new restaurant in a classic "old fashioned" setting serving the best of Wisconsin and I couldn't think of a better way to meet Screaming Brad for the first time, the classic mating of beer and dairy represents what Wisconsin is all about.
 
4. Brunswick Stew-  Galax Smokehouse Galax VA
 


 
 
This won't be the first time that the Galax Smokehouse will find itself on a best of list. The chunky and smoky stew was enhanced to a new level by adding some of Galax Smokehouse's bbq sauces.
 
5. Mushroom Barley Soup - Second Avenue Deli New York NY (no photo  )
 
Salty, smokey and sultry, this is your grandmother's Mushroom and Barley Soup
 
6. Nana's Vegetable Crab Soup - Thompson's Seafood Corner Market Mechanicsville MD
 


 
Probably the finest Maryland Crab Soup I've ever enjoyed.
 
7. Stuffed Cabbage Soup- Babushka's Kitchen Northfield OH
 

 
A meal in a bowl- this zesty soup was loaded with cabbage, meat and rice.
 
 
8. Chicken Dumpling Soup-   Belgrade Gardens Barberton OH
 


 
 
This may actually win best soup of the year. soft billowy dumplings and shreds of chicken actually outdo the broth.
 
Honorable Mentions
 
9 Chicken Meatball Vegetable Soup- Angelo's Restaurant & Bar St. Louis MO
 

 
Angelo's is a member of the Lombardo' s Restaurant Family in St Louis. known for their toasted ravioli- I wasn't expecting much when I ordered this cup of soup, but when it arrived my only regret was that I didn't get a bowl.
 
10. Potato Soup - Oregon Dairy Restaurant Lititz PA
 

 
I'm not usually a fan of potato soup, however this cup of soup could easily make me a convert.
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/12/14 20:43:30
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/14 21:09:25
Thanks WJ ... I always enjoy this offering.
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/14 22:37:09
ohhhhh, do I love soup!!!! Thanks so much Wanderingjew.
TJ Jackson
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/14 23:06:43
woo'ed, or wow'ed?
 
 
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/15 00:48:29
I'm glad the No Name is still turning out good fish chowdah.  I worked right next to the Fish Pier and the Bostonians for the most part always gave No Name a bad rap. 
Looking forward to your Best Of others......!
fatdoc
Junior Burger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/15 04:43:54
Very Nice!  I envy your souper year.  Have another one in 2012.
 
Thanks
 
Mike
Michael Stern
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/15 04:55:14
WJ: that is a tantalizing appetizer. More courses, please!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/15 08:33:05
I had also heard some horror stories about No Name and from people who's opinion I very much trust.  But our meal that day was good, especially the fish chowder.  And thanks for including the chicken dumpling soup from Belgrade Gardens, which is indeed outstanding.  The one that really grabs me is the beer cheese soup. 
 
Great list and photos WJ and I am looking forward to more.
 
 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/15 11:06:06
TJ
 
Per the thesaurus its "wooed"
 
lleechef
 
I've never been disappointed with No Name. I had a fine clam roll and have also enjoyed their scrod in the past. I know several "old school" Bostonians who still rave about the place, I do know that most of the "accentless" new school Bostonian Yuppies really love to hate the No Name (and Durgin Park) but so it goes, they don't know what they're missing.
 
fatdoc
 
Love the pun
 
Michael & Buffetbuster
 
Pie will be served this evening!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/15 11:10:57
wanderingjew
Pie will be served this evening!

WOOO-HOOO!!!
brisketboy
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/15 12:15:54
I would give much for a bowl of potato-leek soup right about now.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/15 18:29:32
Before I begin the best pie list later this evening I thought I would do a brief synopsis of what transpired this past year..
 
The year began with a trip close to home- spending the weekend in Boston with Buffetbuster
Shortly afterwards a snag hit which really curtailed any roadfooding for most of the first half of the year, however it didn't stop me from meeting up with Travelin Man at Modern Diner  here in Rhode Island while he was heading from NYC to Boston on business nor did it prevent me from going to my first Yankee game at the new ballpark in April with my friend Cliff who lives in Newport - we're both displaced New Yorkers and I managed to drag him to the Second Avenue Deli after the game without much protest.
 
My temporary stay in purgatory ended in June which brought me to the Beer Town,  and the City of Big Shoulders. I had the opportunity to meet and dine  with JRPfeff and his better half Pie Diva as well as annpeeples and her husband Bob for the first time , and prior that day had the opportunity to do some "Old Fashioned" eating and drinking with Screaming Chicken who I also had the pleasure of meeting for the first time. And of course who can forget hanging out with Chi Town Diner and eating "lightly" and our Burt's Pizza host Buddyroadhouse. Then it was back to the breadbasket after that and it's always a pleasure to share a meal with Blizzardstormus and his "little" brother.
 
After a guilt trip July found me once again at the New Yankee Stadium in NYC with my friend Cliff, and I didn't need to twist his arm for a return visit to the Second Avenue Deli.
 
August was dominated by Appalachian and Amish Adventures with enough room for a bit of da Burg and a slice of Jersey and more camaraderie  with Buffetbuster, Mariton, katherinecurry, Ralph Melton and his better half, Ice Cream Chick.
 
It was all Buckeyes Hoosiers and Redbirds in September and I finally had the long awaited opportunity to meet the elusive Michael Hoffman and Lleechef and enjoyed one of Janicks wonderful sugar cream pies and bpt's . Sharing a meal with Cajun King was also a highlight.
 
November once again found Buffetbuster back in Rhode Island with The Chris half of Ayersian 
taking us to his favorite Fall River haunts and the better half of Ayersian joining us as well the following day. My last roadtrip was a Krabby Kluster allowing me to renew friendships with Signman, Meowzart aka Goddess and her Poolboy and of course everyone's Cousin Johnny.
 
The year concluded with a Jonnycake Smackdown here in Lil Rhody with the Chris half of Ayersian a couple of weekend ago, I suspect Ayersian will be doing a Roadfood Digest report on our findings.
 
And there you have it- 2011 in a nutshell.
 
 
 
 
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/12/16 15:11:15
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/15 18:40:52
By the way Dale, you have to see Consol Energy Park in Washington, Pennsylvania. It's one of the prettiest minor league ballparks I've ever seen.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/15 21:14:53

On with the awards
 
Top 10 8 Pies of 2011
 
Standbys
1. Sour Cream Raisin Pie- Farmers Kitchen Atlantic IA
 

 
I'm convinced this is turning into the Tom Hanks of Pies- its' nominated for an award just about every year and for good reason raisin.
 
2. Banana Cream Pie  - Gray Brothers Cafeteria Mooresville IN
 

 
Quite possibly the best banana cream pie I've ever had.
 
3. Raisin Pie- Gray Brothers Cafeteria Mooresville IN
 

 
Somethings gotta be said about Gray Brothers if it shows up twice for the same category. Sweet but not cloying, as far as I'm concerned this slice of Raisin Pie is legendary.
 
Best New Pies
 
4. Blueberry Pie Sweety Pies Skokie Il
 

 
 
and 
 
 
5. Raspberry Pie Sweety Pies Skokie IL
 



 
Although Buffetbuster wasn't around, Chi Town Diner was an appropriate substitute when it comes to hunting down good Pie. Both pies had an almost cheese cake consistency which made them even more special, kudos to Chi Town Diner for taking me here for this "light snack"
 
6. Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie  Diehl's Family Restaurant Nitro WV
 

 
This won't be the last time that Diehl's gets an award. A true decadent masterpiece and and a fine finish to an outstanding meal.
 
7. Sugar Cream Pie- Nick's Kitchen Huntington IN
 


 
So simple, yet so good, Jean Anne's creation may just be the best slice of pie I enjoyed all year.
 
8. Peach Pie -  Country Table Restaurant Mt Joy PA
 
 

 
You know you're in for something special when the pie is only available in season- made with peaches grown right in the Country Table's garden. Although the whipped cream may appear offputting - it isn't- there's nothing that can be more homestyle than peaches n cream..
 
After an absence of one year- stay tuned for a side of Rotten Tomatoes
Not necessarily a slam on particular restaurants but on stuff  that happened along the way...
BuddyRoadhouse
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/16 00:46:11
wanderingjew
And of course who can forget hanging out with Chi Town Diner and eating "lightly".

Ahem....
 
Buddy
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/16 04:41:35
Man..there are some pies here I've never had.... sugar cream pie...sour cream raisen....Raspberry pie.....got to start looking....all look wonderful...but oooooh, that banana cream!!!!
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/16 06:56:49
That chocolate peanut butter pie looks great!
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/16 07:26:15
WJ:  I look forward to your awards every year.  I am glad we have travelers like BB, TTM and yourself.  You guys certainly cover the country.  Since I am retired, I travel much much less than I use to and I miss the adventure of driving and stopping like you all do.  The three of you certainly add a lot to Roadfood and the site sure does appreciate that.
 
There are many other contributors that make this site very interesting.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/16 07:35:50
I'm ready to jump in my car, but I can't decide whether to head south to Nitro, WV or west to Skokie, IL.  Both of those, actually all of them, look terrific.
 
Why doesn't ChiTownDiner ever take me anyplace good?
phlmaestro
Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/16 10:05:01
Those photos are driving me crazy! I can't wait to get back to a part of the country with good pies.
 
I also had the Gray Bros. banana pie; albeit last year, and agree that it's sensational.
 
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/16 15:05:58
BuddyRoadhouse

wanderingjew
And of course who can forget hanging out with Chi Town Diner and eating "lightly".

Ahem....

Buddy

Sorry Buddy, I don't know how I could have forgotten you- I also forgot an entire trip too- that's all been rectified
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/16 19:18:33

Well....It had to come eventually
 
 
ROTTEN TOMATOES OF 2011
 
1. Raleigh
Oh, there's nothing wrong with Raleigh itself,  and there is certainly some fine Roadfood to be had there however I was all  set to go to the Glee Club event this past February and a unfortunately due to circumstances beyond my control I was unable to go .
 
2. Weather/Flight to Chicago
 
I was expecting an early arrival into Chicago. On board, we were advised of bad storms in Chicago- a front was coming through. We ended up returning to the gate three times before we took off. I even heard the flight personnel suggesting they bypass Chicago altogether and go directly to San Francisco. I arrived in Chicago- 4 hours late- and to 50 degree day time weather- in JUNE!
 
3. Horseshoe at D & J Cafe- Springfield IL
 



 
 
Yes, one of the few Roadfood restaurants on my "rotten tomatoes" list. First of all, it wasn't bad. Apparently D & J Cafe is known for their breakfast horseshoe which this is not. It was just the most mundane, mediocre meal on this particular trip.  I'm sorry but a horseshoe is just not meant to have frozen fries..
 
4. No Sour Cream Raisin Pie!/ No Chicken Corn Soup- (tie)
 

 
Yes, this is a photo of Sour Cream Raisin Pie- this pie is NOT on the rotten tomatoes list- in fact this is probably one of the best slices of Sour Cream Raisin Pie I've ever had- in fact it was the ONLY slice of sour cream Raisin Pie I had when I was in Iowa this past June. Sure I went to several different places that I suspect should have had Sour Cream Raisin Pie and they didn't.
 
The same thing with goes with Chicken Corn Soup- a popular item in Pennsylvania's Amish Country. I went to 3 Amish Restaurants, you think at least one restaurant would have it- no...none of them did.
 
5. Travelin' Manned at Little King Sandwich Shop
 

 
Yes, I know what you're thinking, they went on vacation- they're entitled to it- yes? Of course they are, however it would have been nice if they told me when I called them the weekend before to ask what their hours would be that coming week!
 
6. Betty Lou's Diner South Charleston WV
 

 
Not a horrible meal- just the most mundane and mediocre on my trip back in August. The West Viriginia Style Hot Dog was actually quite good, but the bland corn bread and gloopy pinto beans were nothing to write home about
 
7. We've got Pound Cake, pound cake, and pound cake...oh, yes,  we also have pound cake.
Thelma's Chicken and Waffles  Roanoke VA
 
 
My meal itself was actually pretty good , even though they substituted my request for corn bread with a dinner roll, however you would think a soul food joint like this would have more for dessert than 4 kinds of pound cake! 
 
8. Charlie Gittos Downtown Closed/Ropers Ribs out of BBQ- St Louis MO
 

 

 
It was labor day- so yes, some Roadfood establishments would be closed, however when I called Charlie Gittos Downtown and specifically asked if they would be open on Labory Day, their response was , the Cards are in town, of course we'll be open. Later on I confirmed Ropers Ribs would be open, however they forgot to tell me that they would be out of Barbeque, when I got there I had to wait an hour for snoots- that's all they had left, yes, I could have waited another hour and a half if I wanted rib tips, but even that is just way too long.... 
 
9 Joe Rogers Chili  Springfield IL
 

 
I'm sure the quality is fine for what its supposed to be- but take a good hard look at that photo and all of that grease- I know it's just me and my preferences, but this was just about the nastiest thing I've eaten all year, no wait a second....this was the nastiest thing I ate all year 
 
10. Philadelphia
 
There's nothing wrong with Philadelphia, it's a fine city, although I know a certain Pittsburgher who might disagree, there's also some mighty fine Roadfood thats dished out of the City of Brotherly Love, however only I can plan a visit just in time for an historical October Snow Storm- I obviously didn't go!
 
And there you have it the Rotten Tomatoes of 2011
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/17 09:17:02
Best Strolls/Views
 
1. Lake Michigan Milwaukee WI
 

 
2. Pittsburgh - View from Mt. Washington
 


 
3. Kanawha River Charleston WV
 

 
4. Historic Main Street St Charles MO
 

 
 
5. Chesapeake Bay St Michaels MD
 


ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/17 13:18:28
WJ - As his own food category, I can never be a subsitute for buffetbuster....
lleechef
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/18 10:32:59
WJ, great photos and report.  I especially like the one of the "Burgh.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/18 13:24:38
Roadfood Restauranteurs
 
These are the folks that  we can thank who go the extra mile and provide the blood, sweat, tears and passion to "make it happen".
 
I've had the opportunity to meet several owners and proprietors of several Roadfood Restaurants.
Folks like Charlotte Hamburger at Back Alley Bakery  in Hastings NE who made sure that their cabbage burger  (bierock) special would be available the afternoon that I arrived . 
 
Folks like Doug and Denise, owners of Shirley's Diner in Omaha NE who take pride in the quality of their   food and their  customers concerns and requests and are proud that their Cheese Frenchies are even better than those served at the original Kings Restaurant now known as Don and Millie's
 
Folks like Ernie Risser, at Risser's Family Restaurant in Womelsdorf PA who stopped by my table just to say hello after he realized I was the guy he spoke to a week or so earlier to confirm that their Schnitz and Knepp special would be on the menu.
 
Folks like Mr and Ms Roper at Roper's Ribs in St Louis MO one of few independents open on Labor Day. Even though supply couldn't keep up with demand, they made sure that everything requested would be available even though it would mean a wait.
 
A special thanks to Jeremy Christensen at The Danish Inn in Elkhorn IA who was talking shop with Mark Johnson aka Blizzardstormus and his brother and explained all the different menu items, buffet items and desserts.
 
Speaking of Blizzardstormus,
 

(here he is back in 2010 with yours truly)
 
it's folks like him and his mom Charlene that makes visiting The Farmer's Kitchen in Atlantic IA so special.
 
And speaking of special
 

 
I can't forget JeannAnne Bailey at Nick's Kitchen in Huntington IN  who is presenting her Breaded Pork Tenderloin masterpiece and who made sure that her fantastic sugar cream pie would be available when I arrived.
 
I'm sure there are so many others that I haven't mentioned. However the award this year goes to...
 

(photo coutesy of Buffetbuster)
Alex Jozsa Bodnar, proprietor of Jozsa Corner in Pittsburgh PA.
His exuberance, passion, and most important his stories about Hungary truly exudes the ultimate definition of Roadfood.
 
 
 
 
Extreme Glow
Double Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/18 17:01:29
Great post.
 
Next time in St. Louis, skip Charlie Gitto's downtown and go to Charlie Gitto's on the Hill.  Different Gittos running it and the one on the Hill is decidedly better.
 
Yes, I've been to Roper's Ribs on a weekday afternoon and they were out of ribs!  I had to order something else.  Nice people though.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/18 19:06:14
Chi Town Diner
 
I disagree both you and Buffetbuster have certainly "broken the  mold" and I mean that in a good way of course!
 
Extreme Glow

I was only had toasted ravioli at Gitto's Downtown, you are right- the reviews I checked out clearly state the original Charlie Gitto's is better, however they also noted that the toasted ravioli were about the same at both the downtown and original location.
 
I have one more non food category before I suspend  until after Christmas.

Remember- this is only a teaser.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/18 19:28:15
Top 10 Tourist Attractions 
(in no particular order)
1.  William Mather Steamship Museum Cleveland OH
 

 
 
2. Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site- St Louis MO
 
 

  
 
3.  Lincoln Home National Historic Site Springfield IL

 
 
4.  Nationality Rooms University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA
  

 
5. O. Winston Link Museum Roanoke VA
 
 
 
6. Danish Windmill Elkhorn IA
 

 
7. Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum St. Michaels MD
 

 
 
8. JFK Presidential Library Boston MA
 

 
9. Field of Dreams Movie Site Dyersville IA
 

 
 
and last but not least
 
10.  "Heeyyyy!!" Milwaukee WI
 

post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/12/18 19:32:38
emmymom
Hamburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/18 19:33:46
Re your Rotten Tomatoes:  I just had a great bowl of Chicken Corn Soup this Saturday at the Dutch Restaurant in Middletown DE (in the Dutch Country Farmer's Market.)  It came as a special with a warm apple dumpling with milk.  Both were fantastic.  It's worth a visit if you get down this way; Chicken Corn Soup is regularly on the menu along with other soupes de jour.  I've sent in a review, with pictures and all, am waiting to see whether they will post it.
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/19 13:06:48
wanderingjew

Best Strolls/Views

1. Lake Michigan Milwaukee WI

 


If I'm not mistaken the larger building is the Discovery Center and the long low building is the Harbor House restaurant, which leads me to believe you took this photo from the vicinity of the Milwaukee Museum of Art.
 
Brad
ann peeples
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/19 14:30:55
My thoughts exactly, Brad.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/19 17:20:09
emmymom
 
I hope to explore more of Delaware in the near future since it really isn't so far away and it seems to be  a state that gets lost in the shuffle between Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.  
 
Screaming Brad-
 
I walked from my hotel (I think it was the downtown Hampton Inn) to the coffee house, Alterra on the Lake- It is possible I could have taken those photos from the Art Museum area. 
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/20 16:14:52
buffetbuster

I'm ready to jump in my car, but I can't decide whether to head south to Nitro, WV or west to Skokie, IL.  Both of those, actually all of them, look terrific.

Why doesn't ChiTownDiner ever take me anyplace good?

 
Your always dieting...

wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/26 17:21:20
The Wooes continue...

Best New Local Roadfood Restaurant
 
I rarely visit new local restaurants, probably because I rarely dine out when I'm at home, and when I do, its usually to places I've enjoyed on previous occasions.
 
Last month when Buffetbuster came to town,  he checked to see which restaurants would be open late since he was flying in late on  a friday evening.  He mentioned that he and Mariton had been to this restaurant when he previously visited me, unfortunately the day he went was the day I had a Mets game to go to in NY. I've been to handful of restaurants on Federal Hill (Providence's Little Italy)
but have never been here. I'm now very glad that I did.
 
Andino's- Providence RI
 


    (photo courtesy of Buffetbuster)
 

This was the veal special that evening. I don't remember the name of it, however Cassarino's next door has a very similar dish called Bracciola.  It's  a rolled veal dish stuffed with sausage, provolone and I don't remember what else, however it was served with a spicy  fra diavolo sauce that was absolutely spectacular. 
 
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/12/26 17:30:01
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/26 17:44:51
Roadfood Restaurant least likely to be visited by a Rhode Islander
 
(With the exception of yours truly of course)

Most Rhode Islanders don't travel, if they do, they usually don't go very far. I remember several years back before I had my own computer I was at the local library and overheard a couple at the  next computer planning their week long vacation to Foxwoods- the Indian Casino in Connecticut which is less than 50 miles away from me! 
 
A month ago or so, I was talking with a coworker who had visited her sister in Oklahoma City and she told he about her visit to the Cattleman's Steakhouse, I was a little surprised that she 
A. Had been to Oklahoma City
B. Actually visited a true local's establishment.
 
But even this didn't blow me away.
 
Over the summer one of my coworkers, a vegetarian was heading to Long Island NY for catastrophe duty, I couldn't really tell him where to go since he's well a vegetarian, I told him to check with the locals to find a local pizza place- since there are so few on Long Island that can be considered mediocre or less. When he returned from his tour of duty, I asked how Long Island was, he said he was only there a for a couple days as they ended up sending him to McCook, Nebreska to finish out his tour. I knew it was a shot in the dark but I asked if he managed to make it here- and he repliied, yes, we went there almost every day!
 
So here it is!
 
1- Sehnert's Bakery McCook NE  (aka The Bieroc Cafe)
 

 

 

 
Unfortunately since he is a vegetarian, he didn't have the opportunity to try their famous Cabbage or Kraut Burgers
 

post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/12/26 17:45:56
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/26 18:04:40
Dale Dale Dale.....Dale Dale.  You need to try the regionally appropriate food of Rhode Island.  You can get Bracciola in Pittston.  When at Andino's, you need to order the snails fra diavolo.
 

wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/26 18:14:53
joerogo

Dale Dale Dale.....Dale Dale.  You need to try the regionally appropriate food of Rhode Island.  You can get Bracciola in Pittston.  When at Andino's, you need to order the snails fra diavolo.



 
Joe,
 
If there's anything that I can define as regionally appropriate in Rhode Island - it's Italian food, Italian food, and oh yes, Italian food.
 
Snails you say??
 
Oh, did we have snails
 


 
(photo courtesy of Buffetbuster)
 
Snail Salad of course !
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/26 18:33:42
Most Over the Top Roadfood Dish
 
I had the opportunity to enjoy and in some cases loath some really over the top regional roadfood items. Some were really really good, some were pretty decent, some were not bad or just "OK", unfortunately there are a few where "too much of a good thing" just isn't good  or just didn't "seem right" and then others were just downright gross and horrendous.
 
However if there is one that truly deserves the # 1 prize it's this, and for those who are wondering this
falls into the "pretty decent" category. However I think this was also the dish that put me "over the edge" during my Chicago "Chow down" with Chi Town Diner this past June
 
 
1- The Triple D - Wiener and Still Champion -  Evanston IL
 



 

 
I included a cross section photo of this monstrous masterpiece. 
A couple of hot dogs, dipped in corn batter, deep fried  topped with chili and merkts cheddar
 
Defibrillator anyone?
 
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/12/26 19:08:57
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/26 20:38:54
Lucky Horseshoe
 
Every once in a while I'll discover a couple of regional roadfood specialties that I don't care for. Sometimes it will take more than one try to determine if I went to the wrong place, however after three tries I usually give up and realize I just don't like that particular item.  For example it took 3 tries before I found that Breaded Pork Tenderloins are worth coming back to, on the other hand I realize that the Iowa speciality "Loose Meats" aka "Maid Rites", "Charley Boys" or "Taverns" are just not my thing and I'd rather sink my teeth into a juicy Iowa chop (the jury is still out on North Dakota Fleischkuechle) 
 
When I first tried the Springfield IL specialty, the horseshoe at the Springfield Family Restaurant back in 2006 I wasn't impressed, I then tried it again this past June at the D & J Cafe- better but it still don't blow me away. I returned once again in September.... This time I returned to some place  new and traded in ham for more exotic roast pork, dumped those frozen crinkle cut fries for fresh cut and the white cheese sauce really took things to a new level..
 
Corner Pub and Restaurant- Springfield IL
 

 
Not the best item I've had all year but it's now certainly worth coming back too!
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/26 21:42:46
Like that last dish, but count me in as one Italian  (through and through) who can't stand snails!!!!!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/27 08:21:01
leethebard

Like that last dish, but count me in as one Italian  (through and through) who can't stand snails!!!!!


Buffetbuster and I never had snails prior to our experience at Andino's and I've been living in Rhode Island for 11 years. It certainly has a chewy texture, and I'm still on the fence, I would certainly order it elsewhere to see if its any different.
 
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/27 08:28:43
And here I was thinking the main reason you enjoyed Andino's so much was because of the company! Andino's really is a terrific restaurant that needs revisited many times.
 
Keep it coming WJ!
joerogo
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/27 08:40:01
leethebard
Like that last dish, but count me in as one Italian  (through and through) who can't stand snails!!!!!

 
How about scungilli?
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/27 08:50:15
wanderingjew

Most Over the Top Roadfood Dish

I had the opportunity to enjoy and in some cases loath some really over the top regional roadfood items. Some were really really good, some were pretty decent, some were not bad or just "OK", unfortunately there are a few where "too much of a good thing" just isn't good  or just didn't "seem right" and then others were just downright gross and horrendous.

However if there is one that truly deserves the # 1 prize it's this, and for those who are wondering this
falls into the "pretty decent" category. However I think this was also the dish that put me "over the edge" during my Chicago "Chow down" with Chi Town Diner this past June


1- The Triple D - Wiener and Still Champion -  Evanston IL







I included a cross section photo of this monstrous masterpiece. 
A couple of hot dogs, dipped in corn batter, deep fried  topped with chili and merkts cheddar

Defibrillator anyone?


This is one of those dishes that looks better in person...maybe!  All due respect to Guspas...who was not in that particular day...
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/27 17:58:59
Seven Superb Sides, Snacks and Such
 
Since my best of list pays tribute mostly to full meals, sometimes the sides and between or after meal snacks  really shined. Yes there were certainly other sides that really caught my attention in 2011, however if the entire meal deserved accolades then they will be duly noted in the appropriate awards section.
 
1- Potato Salad- Ropers Ribs St Louis MO 
 

 
This eggy potato salad really made up for that the fact that this bbq joint temporarily ran out of bbq
 
2. Sauerkraut Balls- Hey Hey Bar & Grill Columbus OH
 

 
 My first experience with "Kraut Balls", in fact that's all they serve, my only regret is that I didn't order the larger size .
 
3. Corn Pudding- Thelma's Chicken and Waffles Roanoke VA
 

 
My last experience with corn pudding at Surrey House in Surry VA , was that it tasted too much like creamed corn. This corn pudding actually had a thick pudding like texture which brought it to a new level. This was definitely my favorite part of the meal.
 
4. Farfel and Kishkes- Second Avenue Deli  New York NY
 

 
(cell phone photo)
I went to the Second Avenue Deli twice this year- both day trips, both times after the Yankees game.  I'll let you in on something, the Second Avenue Deli won't  be on my Standby's list, not because it wasn't good but because as a rule of thumb Standby's have to skip a year before they're eligible again and I went last year. Anyway,  I've never had their kishke's (stuffed cows intestines) or  farfel (mushroom and barley in schmaltz) - this is true Jewish soul food.
 
5. Mac n Cheese-  McKoy's Smokehouse Charlotte NC
 


 
 
One of the few things I really enjoyed on my guilt trip to Charlotte this past July. This is probably some of the best Mac n Cheese I ever had- in fact other than the corn bread it was the best part of the meal.
 
6. Cheese Curds- The Old Fashioned Madison WI
 


 
These  cheesy curds  of goodness were "State Fair" worthy - 
 
7. Baked Beans- Union Oyster House Boston MA
 


 
A bowl of baked beans usually doesn't blow me away, but these dark, molassesey rich beans bowled me right over and dare I say were  better than Durgin Park's




post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/12/29 09:13:26
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/27 19:24:18
Man.  What a year.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/27 19:48:31
1/2 a dozen eye openers of 2011
(that's breakfast for everyone else)
 
6-3 are in no particular order 2 and 1 are actually second best and best
 
6- Peanut Butter Roll Sehnert's Bakery McCook NE
 


 
 
Not a full breakfast, however this is definitely the best pastry I had all year- I had to get here early to ensure that they didn't run out- skip the cinnamon icing and replace it with peanut butter.
 
5. Stuffed Ham St Mary's Landing Charlotte Hall MD
 




Corned Ham Stuffed with cabbage, kale, onions and pungent spices. 
 
4. Banana Walnut Pancakes- Pamela's Milvale PA
 


 
Crepe style pancakes loaded with banana, walnuts and whipped cream .  Syrup would be inconsequential
 
3. Country Ham with Red Eye Gravy The Roanoker Roanoke VA
 


 

 
 

 
There's nothing more special that a classic southern breakfast, the rugged country ham served here is thinly sliced, not too salty and goes perfect with the eye twitching red eye gravy.
 
2. Cheese Frenchee Shirley's Diner Omaha NE
 

 
Grilled cheese sandwich, slathered in mayo, dipped in cornflakes and deep fried. Sometimes being over the top can be a good thing and this cheese frenchee was no exception. Certainly not usually a breakfast item, but I did have this for breakfast- if I didn't- this would have been easily slotted as an honorable mention of 2011.
 
and the # 1 Roadfood Breakfast meal of 2011 is....
 
Mixed Grill Gab n' Eat- Carnegie PA
 

 
Pittsburgh is a breakfast city, and although Gab N' Eat  is usually considered a notch below Deluca's or Pamela's the Mixed Grill can stand up with the best  of them.
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/12/27 19:51:22
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/27 19:48:37
I sure do enjoy WJ's and BB's trips.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/27 19:53:40
Sundancer7

I sure do enjoy WJ's and BB's trips.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

So do I, Paul.
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/28 08:00:24
Thanks Paul and Gregg
-Top 10 Non Pie Desserts are slated for tonight.
after that there will be three more categories to conclude Saturday
with a bonus category after new years.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/28 08:13:55
Hey, looks like Pittsburgh represented itself rather well in the breakfast category!!!  I have been wavering back and forth on whether or not I should write an official Roadfood review for Gab 'n Eat.  If it wins your best eye-opener, then maybe I should get my butt moving on it!
 
Stuffed ham for breakfast.....doesn't that sound good!
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/28 20:54:33
Top 10 Non Pie Desserts of 2011
 
1. Honey Sesame Peanut Ice Cream - Ted & Wally's Omaha NE
 

(cell phone photo)

Ted and Wally's are infamous for their off the wall flavors such as Travelin Man's favorite, French Toast, well, Honey Sesame Peanut is just another oddity added to their repertoire- it was just like an entire Thai meal in an ice cream cone.
 
 
2. Cranberries and Cream Ice Cream- Ted & Wally's Omaha NE
 



It's no wonder that Ted and Wally's is one of my favorite ice cream shops in the countr, when something as simple as Cranberries and Cream can taste so good.
 
 
3. Indian Pudding- Durgin Park Boston MA
 


 
Take some steaming hot cream of wheat, add some molasses, ginger and a dollop of cool ice cream- there's probably more to it than that. But I think all four of us that shared this fine bowl of Indian Pudding on a cold January Evening will agree that this is something special.
 
 
4. Grasshopper Fudge Frozen Custard- Kopp's Frozen Custard Glendale WI
 



Pure unadulterated minty moo with gobs of fudge- can it get any better than this?
 
 
5. German Apple Streusal  Frozen Custard- Kopp's Frozen Custard Glendale WI
 


 
with Apple pie crust and filling- yes it possibly can!
 
6. Banana Pudding  Galax Smokehouse Galax VA
 


 
Not the first time Galax Smokehouse has appeared on the the best of list, and it will not be the last. This is some of the finest nanner pudding I've ever enjoyed.
 
7. Banana Fudge Concrete- Ted Drewes St Louis MO
 


 
Thick enough to almost guarantee that it won't fall out if you turn the cup over (just ask Cajun King!)
 
 
8. Grapenut Pudding- No Name Boston MA
 
 


For a restaurant that gets more than it's share of criticism, they sure dish out a fine bowl of Grapenut Pudding...
 
 
9.Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Dave and Andy's Pittsburgh PA
 


 
I wish I could remember the name of this flavor- but all I remember is that it was creamy  and dense and full of moist brownie.
 
 
10. Carrot Cake- Sokolowski's- Cleveland OH
 


 
This could truly be the icing on the cake- This is the reason why I rush through my meal whenever I visit Sokolowski's to get to this- one of the most decadent carrot cakes I've ever enjoyed.
 
 
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/12/29 09:12:03
leethebard
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/29 07:16:49
Wow...gained ten pounds just looking!!!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/29 08:20:25
As much as I love Thai food, the thought of Honey Sesame Peanut ice cream doesn't really appeal to me.  I give you credit for being adventurous and it obviously paid off.  All the rest of the desserts look wonderful and the Grasshopper Fudge from Kopp's makes me want to lick the screen!  Nicely done!
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/29 08:30:10
Oh, and I found a photo.  The ice cream at Dave & Andy's is simply called Fudge Brownie.
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/29 08:56:14
I loved that carrot cake...fabulous!  I'd give the Thai ice cream a shot...
wanderingjew
Sirloin
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/29 09:04:51
Buffetbuster
 
Thanks for the info on the correct name of the Ice Cream Flavor at Dave and Andy's
 
For someone who is adventurous as you, you might be pleasantly surprised by the honey sesame peanut ice cream at Ted and Wally's. Remember, as adventurous as I am, I still can't do pie for breakfast or two full slices of pie at one meal!
Williamsburger
Cheeseburger
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/29 09:44:53
I don't think I've ever eaten snails you have to cut up.
C.
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:What Wooed Wanderingjew- The Best of 2011 2011/12/29 09:59:58
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...
 
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