My Year in Roadfood (2011)

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buffetbuster
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My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 11:53 AM
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Can I join in on the year in review fun, too?
 
I only have one more trip left this year and that is this weekend in the Carolinas.  While the bbq and dessert lists will have to wait, it seems reasonably safe to start with some of the other lists.  First up:
 
BEST BURGERS

10.  Crown Burgers - Salt Lake City, UT

The specialty of the house here is the Crown Burger, which puts a large pile of pastrami on top of the beef.  You can watch the burgers being charbroiled over an open flame and there is something special about that salty pastrami/beefy flavor combo.  Some trusted Roadfood friends have also eaten here and didn't care for it, but this burger really worked for me.
 
9.  Motz Restaurant - Detroit, MI


We sat mesmerized at the counter, watching all the beef and onions meld together.  These were the best sliders we ate all year.
 
8.  Solly's Grille - Milwaukee, WI

An old favorite, that we were fortunate enough to make it to twice in 2011, including on the Roadfood bus tour.  As I've said in the past, with the overabundant amount of butter on these butter burgers, these aren't for everyone.  But in this case, it really is the more butter the better!
 
7.  Giant Drive-In - Lake Oswego, OR

An old fashioned place with an almost endless variety of burgers to choose from, we were thoroughly charmed by Giant Drive-In.  We split their signature huge burger known as the Filler, which included bacon, cheddar cheese, ham, a fried egg, pickle, onion slices, tomato and lettuce, along with two beef patties on a sesame seed bun. 
 
6.  Chris Madrid's - San Antonio, TX

The pictured burger is the tostada burger, which puts refried beans, cheddar cheese and Fritos right on top.  An excellent combination!  As much as I enjoyed this, my girlfriend Mariton called it the best burger she has ever had.  But, then again, that may have been the mango margarita talking!
 
5.  Miller's Bar - Dearborn, MI

Yeah, this one shocked me.  I had been to Miller's Bar before and thought they had a very good burger, but nothing special.  And there is nothing too exotic about the cheeseburger, just high quality fresh beef and lots of cheese.  It was undoubtedly just the perfect circumstances; it was late at night, neither one of us had eaten for hours and we both had a serious burger craving.  Whatever it was, we walked out of Miller's that night very satisfied!
 
4.  Bobo's Drive In - Topeka, KS

The beef patties are very thin and flat, with a definite crunchiness to it and I am a big fan of this style of burger.  Next time, I am going for the Spanish Burger.
 
3.  Terry's Turf Club - Cincinnati, OH

The quality has taken an exponential leap, because this was a fantastic burger!  Although they do offer some creative options, like burgundy wine with wild mushrooms and truffles, we went simple with just cheddar cheese and grilled onions.  The beef was so juicy, it disintegrated most of the bottom bun.
 
2.  Bobcat Bite - Santa Fe, NM

In a huge upset, my all-time favorite Roadfood restaurant let me down.  There was just something off the day I ate here.  Maybe it was that co-owner Bonnie Eckre wasn't there.  For sure, the bun was overtoasted to the point of it being hard.  Regardless, this is the perfect combination of meat, cheese and green chiles and it was still a joy to eat.  Unfortunately, that wasn't enough for it to keep the top spot.
 
1.  Peter Luger - New York, NY

After hearing about the famous burger at Peter Luger for years, I was rather disappointed when a very ordinary looking burger was brought to me.  But, from the very first bite, I knew I was in the presence of greatness!   The beefy flavor of this burger was so incredible, I failed to take even one bite of the steak being shared by my group.
 
Honorable Mentions:
1. Casino El Camino - Austin, TX
2. Bud's Bar - Sedalia, CO
3. Stanley's Hamburgers - Central Falls, RI
4. Workingman's Friend - Indianapolis, IN
5. White Cottage - Woodstock, VT 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 06/26/12 1:06 PM>

ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 12:20 PM
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Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!

wanderingjew
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 12:27 PM
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Nice start Buffetbuster
 
Glad to see that Stanley's is an honorable mention
Sorry to hear that Bobcat Bite let you down. I'm still hoping to try one- 

KenK
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 12:47 PM
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Will you be finishing up the High Plains drifters thread any time soon ?  Back in July, you said there was more to come. Then on November 30, you teased us once again, saying there was more to come.
 
Being from Colorado, I loved that thread. And have been with great anticipation the completion of the entire thread.  It was one of your best, in my humble opinion.
 
Thank you for this opportunity to remind you.  Please keep up the great work !

ScreamingChicken
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 12:52 PM
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Those burgers look great!  Is that cheese on top of the one from Chris Madrid's?  It sort of has a mustardy appearance but on first thought that doesn't seem like a condiment that would go well with the other ingredients.
 
Brad

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 12:52 PM
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KenK-
Thanks for the kind words and especially, the reminder.  Let's see what we can do about finishing that High Plains Drifters thread before the year is over.
 
Brad-
That is indeed cheddar cheese on the tostada burger.  Seems like an odd combination, but it really does go well together. 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 12/27/11 1:13 PM>

MiamiDon
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 3:04 PM
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Nice, Buffetbuster
 
You know what the look of the Peter Lugar burger reminds me of?  The burgers we had at Le Tub

valboy
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 5:59 PM
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Hands down............the Peter Luger burger has to be the best one ever!

lleechef
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 6:01 PM
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buffetbuster, sorry Bobcat Bite disappointed a little.  It was definitely the best burger of 2011 for me!!!!!  But they all look delicious.

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 6:42 PM
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MiamiDon-
Interesting thought, I can definitely see some similarities.
 
lleechef-
I am just so glad that your experience at the Bobcat Bite was so wonderful.  Considering how many times I have been there, they were due to have a (slightly) off day.  Even so, it still finished #2!

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 12/27/11 7:22 PM
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Thank you.

billyboy
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Wed, 12/28/11 7:51 AM
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Great list, BB.  So happy to see Peter Luger's on there considering how much I have touted it over the past 2 years.  Can't wait to see the rest.  Have a great New Year's!

ChiTownDiner
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Wed, 12/28/11 9:39 AM
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Nice list, nice photo, excellent memory!

Michael Hoffman
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Wed, 12/28/11 10:47 AM
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I can say only that even the worst green chile cheeseburger at Bobcat Bite is going to be the best burger I'll have in any year. Sorry yours wasn't up to snuff. That place spoiled me for cooked ground beef on a bun.

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Wed, 12/28/11 3:52 PM
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TOP 10 BREAKFASTS
 
10.  Otis Cafe - Otis, OR


Otis Cafe is an old favorite that never disappoints.  The top photo is the German Potatoes, which onions and white cheddar cheese on top of perfectly crispy hash browns.  Believe it or not, that is only a half order.  Since Otis Cafe makes all of their baked goods in house, I went with the cinnamon roll french toast.  Follow it up with a slice of marionberry pie and you have a fine way to start your day.
 
9.  Cisco's - Austin, TX



The morning before, I went to the much better known Juan in a Million and wasn't impressed.  The next day at Cisco's, I had a decidedly better breakfast.  It started with one of the best plates of migas I have ever tasted, which came with some wonderful ranchero sauce.  Next was a breakfast taco, bacon and eggs in a fresh tortilla.  Plus a couple of warm, soft biscuits, which were then covered in the honey provided on the table.
 
8.  Chutzpah - Fairfax, VA

While Mariton and cousin Johnny enjoyed fine plates of eggs, home fries, corned beef hash and blintzes, I went a more adventurous route.  The above dish is called Eggs Benedict Chutzpah Style, which puts the poached eggs and maple ham on top of potato latkes.  Inspired and delicious!
 
7.  Johnny's Ham King - Detroit, MI


Johnny's is a greasy spoon and I mean that in the best way possible.  My four egg ham and cheese, plus the mountain of hash browns filled up the dinner plate and fueled me all day.  What got into Mariton, I don't know, but my petite girlfriend ordered the hungry man woman breakfast, which comes with three eggs, hashbrowns, ham, bacon and sausage, all for under $6.00!  We both appreciated the fact that the ham gave plenty of porcine flavor, without the usual oversaltiness.  As an unabashed ham lover, Johnny's is my kind of place.
 
6.  Teresa's Mosaic Cafe - Tucson, AZ




This place had me at hello.  Literally.  I was the first customer to walk in that morning and all the employees, who seemed to be family members, warmly greeted me, while eating their breakfast.  And then each one repeatedly came to my table, to make sure everything was okay and engage me in conversation.  A more friendly restaurant, I can't possibly imagine.  But the reason they are on this list is for the food.  The Huevos Rancheros was exemplary, the chorizo was flavorful without being greasy and freshly made warm tortillas to mop up the excess salsa.  To wash it all down, a horchata.
 
5.  Barney Greengrass - New York, NY

(Sorry about the lousy photo.)  The eggs novie at Barney Greengrass is another old favorite that I hadn't eaten in many years.  That cured salmon and eggs combination is magic!
 
4.  Garcia's Kitchen - Albuquerque, NM

Garcia's is a small chain around Albuquerque, but pure Roadfood.  And what a memorable breakfast I had.  The carne adovada was mildly hot, but provided maximum chile flavor.  The chicharrones (small squares of fried pork) made a fine substitute for bacon.  Made here tortillas were perfect for chile sopping.  And best of all, hot, fresh sopaipillas, soon to be drizzled with honey.
 
3.  Silver Skillet - Atlanta, GA



Clearly, the best Southern breakfast of the year.  My country ham with red eye gravy packed a powerful punch.  And the biscuits here are first rate.  But, our favorite item was Mariton's pork chops, one fried and one grilled.  And to follow it all up, a slice of world class lemon ice box pie!
 
2.  Polly's Pancake Parlor - Sugar Hill, NH


The bread for the toast is made here and you can top it with either mixed fruit marmalade or the fantastic pure maple spread.  There are lots of combinations of different pancakes you can order and what specifically we ate has been long forgotten.  But the pancakes really are delicious, served as hot as possible (if you order six, they give you three at a time and then bring you the other three straight from the griddle) and of course, real maple syrup.  The atmosphere is also undeniably charming.
 
1.  Goldy's Breakfast Bistro - Boise, ID

(Once again, sorry for the poor photo)  My top three Roadfood breakfast joints have been Hob Nob Hill in San Diego, Pancake Pantry in Nashville and Hominy Grill in Charleston.  Well, there is a new sheriff in town and it's name is Goldy's!  This wasn't just the best breakfast, but it was on the short list of best all around meals.  Instead of ordering one big item, I went with smaller sizes of three items.  The huckleberry pancakes featured fresh, local, in season huckleberries in perfectly fluffy pancakes.  The waitress guided me to the Basque chorizo, which was spicy and incredibly flavorful.  Best of all, was the 1/2 order of Eggs Benedict, which featured far and away, the best Hollandaise sauce I have ever had.  One of the reasons it is so good, the waitress told me, is that they make it in very small batches (they usually have to make it as many as 15 times over the course of a morning), to keep it as fresh as possible.
 
Honorable Mention:
1.  Goody Goody Diner - St. Louis, MO
2.  Niecie's - Kansas City, MO
3.  Florida Avenue Grill - Washington, D.C.
4.  Beth's Cafe - Seattle, WA
5.  The Dory - Gloucester, MA
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 12/29/11 8:54 AM>

mar52
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Wed, 12/28/11 4:46 PM
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What an interesting assortment of burgers and breakfasts.
 
Your pictures make me salivate.

MetroplexJim
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Wed, 12/28/11 4:58 PM
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My goodness!  Mrs. Metro and I have to get out more!
 
(Go, Steelers!)

Root-Beer Man
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Wed, 12/28/11 5:39 PM
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Having had only one of the burgers, (Terry's Turf Club) I'd say you missed a bet on not getting a sauce. I've tasted the Burgundy (it was pretty good) but my favourite was the Mango Curry on a medium rare burger. Terry's is a treat and a place I'd eat at every day if it was close enough. I'd sure like to try that green chili burger, tho. Great choices!

wanderingjew
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Wed, 12/28/11 7:46 PM
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Garcia's makes me want to get in my car right now and drive all the way to Albuquerque.

Foodbme
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 12/29/11 12:29 AM
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While it would be nice, you don't need to go any further on my account. I can survive of Breakfast food for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner!

leethebard
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 12/29/11 7:14 AM
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What a super line up...love eating breakfast on the road...I'd thrill over any one of these great breakfasts!!

ScreamingChicken
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 12/29/11 8:36 AM
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The Eggs Benedict Chutzpah breakfast looks really tasty...I could go for a big plate of that right now!
 
Brad

ChiTownDiner
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 12/29/11 8:53 AM
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I'm liking that Johnny's Ham King spread...very impressive! 

Foodbme
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 12/29/11 1:41 PM
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Eggs Benedict Chutzpah Style???????
With HAM already????
Oy Vey!!!!!
I'm Fahutzed!!!

ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 12/29/11 8:25 PM
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Your breakfast choices are awesome!!!I like your sense of adventure!

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 12/30/11 12:40 PM
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Thank you so much for all the nice comments!
 
I have so much in the way of favorite signs, it will have to be broken up into smaller groups.  Here are my favorite tip jars in 2011.
 




buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 12/30/11 12:48 PM
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Hot Dog Art!

















 
That last one will probably be a favorite with MiamiDon.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 01/9/12 10:26 AM>

wanderingjew
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 12/30/11 12:56 PM
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I love that last tip sign- 
 
Here's a hot dog sign to add to your repertoire
(I'm home for lunch so I can post photos)
 


buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 12/30/11 1:01 PM
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Even better than hot dog art.....pie art!!!
 

















 
That last one is hanging in the Milwaukee Art Museum.  Just another great reason to like Milwaukee!
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 01/9/12 10:27 AM>

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 12/30/11 1:08 PM
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That's a nice addition WJ!  They are on my hit list for next time in Chicago.

John Fox
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Sun, 01/1/12 7:35 AM
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Thanks, buffetbuster. I enjoyed your report and pictures. That Peter Luger's burger sounds good. I especially enjoyed the Hot Dog Art. I was at the Moonlight House of Weiners last week while visiting my daughter. Weiners at 10 AM right after breakfast.

chewingthefat
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Sun, 01/1/12 11:44 AM
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Buffetbuster, you we're born for your food vocation, all of us live vicariously thru your food travels, pics, and discriptions,. Thanks, happy NewYear, bring it on in 2012!

karilyn
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Mon, 01/2/12 8:58 AM
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I'm glad I joined in on your Roadfood trip on a full stomach - the pictures were killing me, I'm dying for breakfast and a burger now!  Thanks for sharing that . . . I can't wait to see what 2012 brings to your plate.  Happy New Year!

kaszeta
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Tue, 01/3/12 8:01 AM
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Thanks, this reminds me I need to do my own 2011 review in the next few days (and unlike 2010, I realized that aside from one two day trip to Ireland, all my pics are from the US this year).

mr chips
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 12:15 AM
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I enjoyed your reports

Sundancer7
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 6:34 AM
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Does everyone on Roadfood believe that BB enjoys pie more than WJ or TM  I will never forget the pic that the Mayor took of TTM and Mrs. Saunders sitting at a table with hundreds of slices of pie surrounding him.
 
I am sure that when the Glee club gets together in Nashville, one of the stops will have to include pie, perhaps even multiple stops.
 
Roadfood ought to give awards for the best pie pics, food pics, most food travel and Roadfood person of the year.  If they did that, I would hate to be on the selection committee as many contribute so well.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 2:16 PM
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Man can not live by pie alone.....

BEST DESSERTS (NON-PIE DIVISION)
 
10.  Jack Pandl's - Milwaukee, WI

The specialty dessert here is the Schaum Torte, a wonderful combination of custard, meringue and strawberries.
 
9.  Crab Claw - St. Michael's, MD

This hard to find, multiple, thin layered cake is actually the official state dessert of Maryland.  And we drove all the way down to Crisfield to try it.  As it turns out, the best version we found was at the Crab Claw.  Our waitress told us that the cakes are made everyday on Smith island and delivered to them fresh.
 
8.  Balaton - Cleveland, OH

A wonderful Hungarian cake, the Dobos Torte looks like it could be Smith Island cake's European cousin.  I particularly love that hard carmel shell on top.
 
7.  Kopp's - Milwaukee, WI

In multiple visits to Kopp's this year, I was repeatedly disappointed in their special flavors of the day.  But, this is Kopp's after all, so even their so-so flavors will be delicious.  My favorite for the year was the Bunny Hop, available on Easter Sunday, which tasted just like a marshmallow cream Easter egg.
 
6.  Wayside Restaurant - Berlin, VT

Grape Nuts Pudding is a wonderful New England dessert that tastes of egg custard and nutmeg.  I had it at four different restaurants in 2011, but the version at Wayside Restaurant was best.
 
5.  Durgin Park - Boston, MA


The entrees and sides at Durgin Park are fine, but it is at dessert I think that they really shine.  I love their version of Indian Pudding and have never found it's equal.  Another favorite is the Apple Pan Dowdy, which is part deep dish pie, part cobbler or crisp.
 
4.  Dip's Country Kitchen - Chapel Hill, NC

I'm not as big a fan of Mama Dip's Restaurant as many others, but during a Sunday brunch during a Glee Club get-together here, the banana pudding blew me away.  Heavier on the vanilla wafers than most, it was fresh and not too sweet and just about perfect.
 
3.  J.R.'s Ribshack - Panama City, FL


During a weekend in Florida's panhandle, we visited J.R.'s on the recommendation of esteemed Roadfooder CajunKing.  We liked the bbq just fine, but it was the excellent desserts that caught our attention.  The banana pudding could not have been more different than the one at Mama Dip's, because this was light on the wafers and heavy on smooth, dreamy custard and cut up slices of banana.  We actually liked the mostly breading peach cobbler even better.
 
2.  Norma's Ocean Diner - Seaside, OR

Anytime you are in Oregon, you have to eat marionberry desserts and this Marionberry Cobbler was spectacular!  A solid block of cobbler, covered with lots of marionberries and topped off with vanilla bean ice cream from Tillamook.  My girlfriend, who is not ordinarily a dessert eater, especially went crazy over this dish.
 
1.  Zingerman's Creamery - Ann Arbor, MI

Part of the Zingerman's empire, which includes excellent Roadfood restaurants such as Zingerman's Deli and Zingerman's Roadhouse, the creamery is where you want to go for first class cheese and gelato.  We sampled delicious flavors like chocolate chip cherry sorbet and ginger, but it was the dark chocolate that we loved most.  Made with Scharffenberger cocoa, it provided incredible intense chcolate flavor.  I am embarrassed to say just how many times I went back in for more scoops.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 01/5/12 2:25 PM>

wanderingjew
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 2:35 PM
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Buffetbuster
 
Glad to see Durgin Park and Kopp's on your dessert list. That hungarian cake at Balaton looks really good
 
Unfortunately I wish I could share your enthusiasm about the Smith Island cake at the Crab Claw. I thought it "looked pretty" but was "pretty ordinary"

The Travelin Man
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 2:39 PM
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You know it's a good dessert year when Kopp's places 7th!  

Ivyhouse
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 3:07 PM
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Interesting list.  I have a weakness for sweets, and these look yummy.  The only time I have had Indian pudding was at the Publick House in Sturbridge, Mass.  I didn't really want to have ice cream on it, so I asked for maple syrup (seemed like a better match to me).  They gave me a very generous, gravy boat portion of real maple syrup.  I really like the combination of the warm rich pudding and the maple syrup.

leethebard
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 3:10 PM
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oooohhh, that banana pudding!!

leethebard
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 3:11 PM
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oooohhh, that banana pudding!!

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 3:35 PM
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The Travelin Man


You know it's a good dessert year when Kopp's places 7th!  

And no Ted Drewes either, though that is mostly because my photos from there were lacking.

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 3:37 PM
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Ivyhouse-
And I've never had the Indian Pudding without the vanilla ice cream.  The combination of flavors with each bite is a big part of the experience.  Having said that, I sure would like to try it with maple syrup instead sometime.  How could that possibly not taste great?

kaszeta
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 4:05 PM
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It's fun when I can place that grapenut pudding as being from The Wayside before even reading the caption.  Haven't been there for a while, however.

ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Thu, 01/5/12 10:33 PM
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Jack Pandl's is in my history. I lived down the hill from there, went to school with the kids, and spent many prom dinners there.When we had to sell Mom and Dads house( when she had to go into assisted living), the neighbors took me to lunch at Jack's. Wonderful food, and ths schaum torte was as good as ever. BB-you were in my stomping grounds!!

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 8:29 AM
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kaszeta-
That is impressive that you recognized Wayside's grape nuts pudding just from the photo.  I know it was the lumpiest version I ate all year.
 
ann peeples-
When Mariton, TTM and I ate at Jack Pandl's that night, we were the only customers there.  Although it was late, this had me a little concerned about the amount of business they get.

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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 9:17 AM
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buffetbuster


The Travelin Man


You know it's a good dessert year when Kopp's places 7th!  

And no Ted Drewes either, though that is mostly because my photos from there were lacking.

I wondered about that, but wasn't going to publicly ridicule your choices.  But, I would have lent you my photo with the girl "two-fisting" the concretes.

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 9:26 AM
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TTM-
I have plenty of those photos, which I plan on using later in the report.  Just none of the custards itself good enough to use.  Thanks for the offer, though.

ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 10:21 AM
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Pandl's has kind of become a "blue hair" restaurant. Ladies having lunch and early bird diners.

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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 10:47 AM
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ann peeples


Pandl's has kind of become a "blue hair" restaurant. Ladies having lunch and early bird diners.

I thought about going  to Pandl's when I was in Milwaukee this past June but it was trashed so badly on Yelp and Urbanspoon I decided against it
  
 

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 10:55 AM
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WJ-
I can definitely see why the young, hip crowd wouldn't be attracted to Jack Pandl's, but both of my meals there were very good or better.

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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 10:58 AM
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Sounds like any reference to Pandl's that includes "hip" should also include "artificial" or "replacement"...

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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 11:11 AM
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buffetbuster


WJ-
I can definitely see why the young, hip crowd wouldn't be attracted to Jack Pandl's, but both of my meals there were very good or better.


Buffetbuster
 
I couldn't agree with you more, you know how much I laugh off some of the reviews of Durgin Park or the No Name
for the exact same reason, but many of the reviews were referring more to the quality of the food with key words like "gone downhill" or "not what it used to be" and even questioned if there was a "change in ownership" or "cutting corners" because of the economy. If I recall the reviews on travelhero which usually attracts "older" less trendy
reviewers, werent' much different.
 
I'll certainly give Pandl's a try if I should ever return to Milwaukee, I just didn't have enough time for a meal there the last time around.

ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 11:54 AM
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Lunch time is a good time to go-same entrees on the dinner menu, but for less....

buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 2:25 PM
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Looking back at 2011, it is very clear that I didn't eat nearly enough hot dogs, so my list isn't as strong as it should be.  Still, there are some quality wiener joints here.
 
BEST HOT DOGS
 
10.  Moore's Country Store - Lynchburg, VA


An odd place that has a tree growing through the roof, I was first tipped off to this place by a Southwest Airlines flight attendant.  They offer chili dogs, with different heat levels, including one that it is a real scorcher.  The cool, sweet slaw (along with some finely chopped onions, plus mustard) make the perfect partner for the hot chili sauce.
 
9.  Weenie Beenie - Arlington, VA

Weenie Beenie is one of the best places in the Beltway area to get a half smoke.  These hot dogs come split and grilled, topped with the condiments of your choice.  The one in the photo is a chili smoke, with mustard, onions and chili.  The smoky flavor of these wieners really comes across.
 
8.  Wiener's Circle - Chicago, IL


We came here as part of the 2011 Roadfood bus tour and the Chicago dogs have to be some of the best in the city.  Those cheese fries were awfully good, too.
 
7.  Crif Dogs - New York, NY

This place earns bonus points for the fun, unique atmosphere and that I was taken here by Mr. New York City himself, billyboy!  Bill picked out the Crif Dog, which is chili, mustard and onions, while I went with the Tsunami Dog, which has bacon wrapped with teriyaki, pineapple and onions and we then shared them.  For both of these, the wieners are deep fried, giving it an unusual crucnhy texture.  Delicious!
 
6.  Nick's Original Coney Island Hotdogs - Fall River, MA 


I came here with fellow Roadfooders wanderingjew and Chris Ayers.  One of the great things about being part of a group is that you get to sample more different foods and still preserve precious appetite.  The bad thing is that you may only get a small portion of something you really like.  The regular coney dog was good, but it was the fine bean dog that gets Nick's on this list.  This was the first time having baked beans on a hot dog and it worked for me.  My only regret, since all I got was a third of the bean dog, was not ordering one or two to eat all myself!
 
5.  Tom's Hot Dogs - Panama City Beach, FL


The original Tom's Hot Dogs location is in downtown Panama City, but stumbled across the one in Panama City Beach and ate there.  The recipes somehow (it was explained to me by two different people, which just confused me more) can trace their roots back to the late great Pete's Hot Dogs in Birmingham.  We tried all kinds of different combinations, but the slaw dog, with the homemade slaw and mustard was our favorite.  Much to our surprise, they also offer that Columbus, GA favorite, a scrambled dog!
 
4.  Clare and Carl's - Plattsburgh, NY

Hot dogs are very popular in this northern New York city and are called Michigans.  Of the three places we visited, we liked Clare and Carl's best.  As soon as we pulled up, a car hop was on us immediately, so we just ordered through him instead of going inside.  We loved the thick, earthy chili, plus the finely chopped fresh onion.
 
3.  BK's Carne Asada & Hot Dogs - Tucson, AZ

Hard to believe that in a weekend in Tucson, I was only able to eat at one Sonoran hot dog joint.  Luckily, it was a good one.  The Sonoran dog in the photo is wrapped in bacon and topped with onion, tomato, jalapeno sauce, mustard and mayo.  What's not to like about that?
 
2.  Ted's Hot Dog's - Tonawanda, NY

I have been going to Ted's for over a decade and I swear, it just keeps getting better.  You put onions and the addictive homemade hot sauce on top of a quality wiener, chargrilled for maximum flavor and you have an unbeatable combination.
 
1.  Charlie's Pool Room - Alpha, NJ

After not visiting here for almost two years, glad to know that CPR still puts out world class hot dogs.  Their signature hot dog, the mealie, comes with perefectly arranged peppers and Grandma Fencz's secret Hungarian hot sauce.  I could eat these all day.  Even my hot dog frowner girlfriend, ate four mealies while we were there.  And a big part of the CPR experience is sitting down and relaxing with Joe and John Fencz, who will treat you like long lost friends, even on your first visit.  We ended up being here for 2 1/2 hours!
 
Honorable Mention:
1.  Gus's Restaurant - Plattsburgh, NY
2.  Dogmatic - New York, NY
3.  Texas Tavern - Roanoke, VA
4.  McSweeney's - Plattsburgh, NY
5.  J.J.'s Coney Island - Fall River, MA
<message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 01/6/12 2:34 PM>

Sundancer7
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 3:58 PM
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BB:  Great hot dog shots.  All looked good to me especially the Chicago dog.
The hot dog is the best quick food that there is.  As always great reporting and great pics.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

kaszeta
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 4:12 PM
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Two hot dog comments:
 
1. I've driven by Clare and Carl's a gazillion times but never stopped.  I should.
2. I've only been to Ted's in Tonawanda once, but going to the one non-NY Ted's location in Tempe, AZ is a cornerstone of my trips home to Arizona (here's an all-beef jumbo and a white hot, both with onions, mustard, kraut, and pickles):

 

Foodbme
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 4:47 PM
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kaszeta


Two hot dog comments:

1. I've driven by Clare and Carl's a gazillion times but never stopped.  I should.
2. I've only been to Ted's in Tonawanda once, but going to the one non-NY Ted's location in Tempe, AZ is a cornerstone of my trips home to Arizona (here's an all-beef jumbo and a white hot, both with onions, mustard, kraut, and pickles):



I'm a big Ted's - Tempe Fan and you GOTTA add their Hot Sauce to those dogs next trip. 

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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2011) - Fri, 01/6/12 5:11 PM
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I really enjoyed your hot dog reviews.  Ted's Hot Dogs have always been a favorite in my family.  We have eaten there many times.................a great story  about one of my daughter's wedding nights.  They had a very large wedding reception at at local hall in Syracuse.  The meal was all Ukrainian foods with lots of champagne  (many bottles stolen by groom's  family and taken home)........but that is another story. 
 
Anyway, their honeymoon destination was  Niagara Falls  but reception lasted so long that they drove only as far as northern Buffalo area and checked in at a hotel.  They were too tired to keep the reservations that they had for a very lovely restaurant  My daughter suddenly remembered Ted's Hot Dogs...........so ther new husband went  there and got hot dogs and frys and that was their  wedding night dinner.
 
Every year, they return to Niagara  Falls for their anniversary   and every year, they eat at Ted's Hot Dogs.

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