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 My Year in Roadfood (2012)

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wanderingjew

  • Total Posts: 7411
  • Joined: 1/18/2001
  • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
  • Roadfood Insider
Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Wed, 01/2/13 7:06 PM (permalink)
ChiTownDiner


buffetbuster, food and surrounded by women...you are living life to the fullest!


 
How about being surrounded by women bathed in food- even better ! 
 
#31
    buffetbuster

    Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Thu, 01/3/13 1:46 PM (permalink)
    With few trips to the South and Texas, my best barbecue list was looking rather skimpy.  But, just this past weekend we ate at two excellent places for the first time and filled out the list nicely.
     
    Best Barbecue
     
    10) Bubba's Barbecue - Eureka Springs, AR


    We loved the basement atmosphere, the colorful exterior and the quirky sense of humor of Bubba's, but it is the 'cue we will remember most.  The sausage was a little spicy and drenched in Bubba's wonderful sauce.  Cousin Johnny was a big fan of the thick ribs and the pulled pork with plenty of crunchy outside meat.
     
    9) Short Sugar's - Reidsville, NC

    I made four seperate trips to the Tarheel State in 2012, which means this list will be heavy on North Carolina style barbecue.  It helps that I also love the stuff!  They serve the classic pork and slaw tray here, light on the sauce, heavy on piggy flavor.
     
    8) Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ - Hutchinson, KS


    Get here early because the lines are long and they typically run out of food by early afternoon.  We arrived just before noon and snagged the last of the spicy hot links.  I liked Roy's enough to write a Roadfood review.
     
    7) Flip's - Wilmington, NC

    We had to drive from Raleigh to Charleston last Saturday and decided to take the eastern route so we could visit Flip's.  This is a longer drive, but Flip's helped make it worthwhile.  Everything is made in house and we tried a good sampling of the menu.  The fried bologna sandwich, shockingly dark in color and dressed with slaw and chili, is known as a Flip's burger "all the way".  We both loved it!  The pork, moist with a slight smoky flavor was sauced with the fine vinegary sauce.
     
    6) Archibald's - Northport, AL


    Just finding Archibald's can be an adventure, but if you follow the smell of smoke, you will eventually find it.  And Archibald's just looks the way a Southern barbecue parlor should.  They didn't have the ribs available when I stopped in and said it would be another hour or so until they would be ready.  Since my schedule didn't allow that, I "settled" for the pork sandwich.  The meat is cut into thick slabs that hang well out from the soft white bread. The sauce is thin and more vinegary than sweet.  Next time, I will wait for the ribs, no matter how long it takes.
     
    5) Lexington #1 - Lexington, NC


    A long time favorite of mine, it wasn't quite as spectaular as on previous visits.  It was merely very, very good.  While I was sitting at the counter taking photos, the owner (Wayne Monk's son) took an interest in me and sent out some things for me to try.  The barbecue turkey was wonderfully smoky, but the pork straight off the pit was truly something amazing!
     
    4) Skylight Inn - Ayden, NC


    Pete Jones' barbecue is still packing them in after all of these years and for good reason.  I do like sauce on my Carolina barbecue, but this is that rare place that truly doesn't need any at all.  This is a great combination of both inside and outside meat.  And I love how you get it with the slaw and cornbread piled on top.
     
    3) LC's - Kansas City, MO


    LC's is the promised land for burnt ends.  We did try the ribs this year and they were perfectly fine, but it is those burnt ends that make us always return while in Kansas City.
     
    2) McClard's - Hot Springs, AR


    Along with the Brick Pit in Mobile, McClard's is my favorite barbecue parlor for ribs.  These beauties are big and meaty, with just the right amount of chew.
     
    1) Scott's Barbecue - Hemingway, SC

    Everything you have heard about this place is true.  And then some.  We drove a couple hours out of our way to eat here on Saturday, questioning whether it was going to be worth it.  Oh, was it worth it!  This is the moistest, smokiest pork I have ever had and the vinegary/peppery sauce made my nose run and my lips tingle.  I will definitely be back!        
    <message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 01/3/13 1:51 PM>
     
    #32
      mar52

      • Total Posts: 7609
      • Joined: 4/17/2005
      • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
      Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Thu, 01/3/13 3:03 PM (permalink)
      LOVE seeing all the different styles of barbecue.
       
      Officially jealous!
       
      #33
        The Travelin Man

        • Total Posts: 3699
        • Joined: 3/25/2003
        • Location: Central FL
        Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Thu, 01/3/13 4:47 PM (permalink)
        Skimpy year for barbecue, eh? How skimpy can it be when LC's gets beaten twice???
         
        #34
          buffetbuster

          Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Thu, 01/3/13 6:55 PM (permalink)
          TTM-
          One thing is obvious from looking at the list.  We should have eaten more barbecue while we were in Dallas/Fort Worth.
           
          #35
            ChiTownDiner

            Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Thu, 01/3/13 9:13 PM (permalink)
            Wheres the beef?
             
            #36
              CajunKing

              • Total Posts: 6317
              • Joined: 7/6/2006
              • Location: Live at Saint Clair
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              Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Thu, 01/3/13 10:36 PM (permalink)
              ChiTownDiner


              Wheres the beef?

              NOT in NC - Pork Rules there
               
              BB
              I agree about archibald's - most of my favorite southern pit places look alot like that
               
               
               
              #37
                buffetbuster

                Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 11:36 AM (permalink)
                It can't be all eating while on the road.  Here are some of my favorite tourist attractions from 2012:
                 
                Adams National Historical Park - Massachusetts

                 
                Appomattox Court House National Historical Park - Virginia

                 
                Arizona Capitol Museum - Arizona

                 
                Ash Lawn-Highland - Virginia
                 
                 
                Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum - Maryland

                 
                Buffalo Botanical Gardens - New York

                 
                Butterfly House - Ohio


                 
                Centennial Land Run Monument - Oklahoma

                 
                Cincinnati Museum Center - Ohio

                 
                Cleveland Botanical Gardens - Ohio


                 
                Des Moines Sculpture Park - Iowa

                 
                Eisenhower National Historic Site - Pennsylvania

                 
                Elvis Haircut Historic Site - Arkansas

                 
                Empire State Building - New York

                 
                Fair Park - Texas


                 
                Fenelon Place Elevator - Iowa

                 
                Field of Dreams - Iowa

                 
                Flagler College - Florida

                 
                Fort Sumter National Monument - South Carolina

                  
                Fremont Street Experience - Nevada

                 
                Gettysburg National Military Park - Pennsylvania


                 
                Golden Driller - Oklahoma

                 
                Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona


                 
                Great River Road - Wisconsin

                 
                Hearst Castle - California

                 
                Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum - Iowa

                 
                Hershey Museum - Pennsylvania

                 
                Hot Springs National Park - Arkansas

                 
                Jacksonville Zoo - Florida

                 
                Jimmy Carter Library and Museum - Georgia

                 
                Keeper of the Plains - Kansas
                 
                 
                Korner's Folly - North Carolina 

                 
                La Brea Tar Pits - California
                 
                 
                Loretta Chapel - New Mexico

                 
                Los Angeles Art Deco Tour - California

                 
                Mac-A-Cheek Castle - Ohio

                 
                Maryland Zoo in Baltimore - Maryland


                 
                Miami Beach Art Deco Tour - Florida

                 
                Mission San Juan Capistrano - California

                 
                Mission San Xavier del Bac - Arizona

                 
                Montpelier - Virginia

                 
                Museum of World Treasures - Kansas

                 
                National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum - Oklahoma

                 
                National Museum of the Air Force - Ohio

                 
                National World War I Museum - Missouri

                 
                Neon Museum - Nevada

                 
                Niagara Falls - New York

                 
                Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum - Oklahoma

                 
                Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - California

                 
                Pennsylvania State Capitol - Pennsylvania



                 
                Pro Football Hall of Fame - Ohio
                 
                 
                Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library - California

                 
                Sabino Canyon - Arizona

                 
                Saguaro National Park - Arizona

                 
                Santa Monica Pier - California

                 
                Shenandoah National Park - Virginia

                 
                Sixth Floor Museum - Texas

                 
                Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens - Ohio

                 
                Traveling Man Sculptures - Texas

                 
                Tryon Palace - North Carolina

                 
                Tulsa Zoo - Oklahoma
                 

                 
                United States Capitol Building - District of Columbia
                 


                Vizcaya Museum & Gardens - Florida

                 
                William McKinley National Memorial - Ohio

                 
                Zion National Park - Utah


                <message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 07/17/13 3:40 PM>
                 
                #38
                  Hepcat

                  • Total Posts: 374
                  • Joined: 10/6/2003
                  • Location: Toronto, Ontario
                  Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 12:40 PM (permalink)
                  Buffetbuster:
                   
                  Great thread! Excellent reports with fabulous pictures of food and best of all Japanese women!
                   
                  And man, does Archibald's ever look like my kind of place!
                   

                   

                  <message edited by Hepcat on Fri, 01/25/13 6:10 PM>
                   
                  #39
                    The Travelin Man

                    • Total Posts: 3699
                    • Joined: 3/25/2003
                    • Location: Central FL
                    Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 12:46 PM (permalink)
                    You just posted the Golden Driller to taunt me. 
                     
                    I think I know of one that is coming up! As a matter of fact, I would be disappointed if it didn't make your list.
                     
                    #40
                      mar52

                      • Total Posts: 7609
                      • Joined: 4/17/2005
                      • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                      Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 12:58 PM (permalink)
                      I'm now troubled that I can't think of what it might be unless it starts with an E and has train tracks running behind it. 
                       
                      #41
                        FriedClamFanatic

                        • Total Posts: 1503
                        • Joined: 7/14/2008
                        • Location: west chester, PA
                        Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 1:23 PM (permalink)
                        Ok.of the travel photos, Ashland wins...for obvious reasons!  But great non-food shots! Thanks for sharing
                         
                        #42
                          mr chips

                          • Total Posts: 4715
                          • Joined: 2/19/2003
                          • Location: portland, OR
                          Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 1:32 PM (permalink)
                          Lovely photos of the tourist sites. I went to Montpelier just after the public was welcome back but the before the restoration to more Madison era look. Gettysburg is a sacred place where we see fully the price for the sin of slavery, as Lincoln so aptly remarked. I am very  overjoyed to see all of the wonderful places you have seen.
                           
                          #43
                            mr chips

                            • Total Posts: 4715
                            • Joined: 2/19/2003
                            • Location: portland, OR
                            Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 1:33 PM (permalink)
                            And the food pictures are a delight.
                             
                            #44
                              buffetbuster

                              Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 2:42 PM (permalink)
                              The Travelin Man

                              I think I know of one that is coming up! As a matter of fact, I would be disappointed if it didn't make your list.
                              Not sure which one you are referring to, but that photo of you in front of one of the Traveling Man sculptures is priceless!

                               
                              #45
                                The Travelin Man

                                • Total Posts: 3699
                                • Joined: 3/25/2003
                                • Location: Central FL
                                Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 2:51 PM (permalink)
                                Honestly, there were a bunch of good ones in the "after lunch" group - and many which were shared, but the one to which I was referring was the World War I Museum in Kansas City. That was one of my favorites of the whole year. I also loved the Sixth Floor Museum....and the Traveling Man sculptures. I also like the shot you got from the Neon Museum. 
                                 
                                I had a few good ones this year, too - Donner Pass, Custer's Last Stand (where, I was disappointed to find, contained no custard stand), Mount Rushmore to name a few.
                                 
                                #46
                                  mayor al

                                  • Total Posts: 15075
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                                  • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                                  • Roadfood Insider
                                  Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 5:20 PM (permalink)
                                  I was happy to see the "Field of Dreams" movie site included. I don't know why but that location holds something extrasensory for me. I watch the movie every time I can, and get that 'hair on the back of my neck-raised' every time.  I mention this because ESPN had a story last night that a a sports-complex of ball fields and other athletic things will be built around the original farm-field, the feuding gamilies that owned the place have sold out and moved away. I look forward to a visit next summer.
                                   
                                  #47
                                    lleechef

                                    • Total Posts: 6259
                                    • Joined: 3/22/2003
                                    • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                    Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 5:39 PM (permalink)
                                    bb
                                    If you weren't already a professional Roadfooder I would suggest you become a professional photographer.  Truly beautiful pictures.
                                     
                                    #48
                                      CajunKing

                                      • Total Posts: 6317
                                      • Joined: 7/6/2006
                                      • Location: Live at Saint Clair
                                      • Roadfood Insider
                                      Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 6:02 PM (permalink)
                                      The Travelin Man


                                      Honestly, there were a bunch of good ones in the "after lunch" group - and many which were shared, but the one to which I was referring was the World War I Museum in Kansas City. That was one of my favorites of the whole year. I also loved the Sixth Floor Museum....and the Traveling Man sculptures. I also like the shot you got from the Neon Museum. 

                                      I had a few good ones this year, too - Donner Pass, Custer's Last Stand (where, I was disappointed to find, contained no custard stand), Mount Rushmore to name a few.

                                      Custer's..... Not Custard  Sheeesh #1 Son Next you will want the sixth floor museum to be on the third floor.    It was too bad you were one of the many that was under the weather in Nashville, I missed breaking bread and sharing with you.  I knew something was wrong when I got to the hot fish place and there was cousin johnny, you, ctd, WJ & BB and only 1 half eaten sandwich for you all to share.
                                       
                                      #49
                                        The Travelin Man

                                        • Total Posts: 3699
                                        • Joined: 3/25/2003
                                        • Location: Central FL
                                        Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 01/4/13 6:11 PM (permalink)
                                        Compared to the others, I was downright healthy.
                                         
                                        #50
                                          buffetbuster

                                          Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Mon, 01/7/13 11:13 AM (permalink)
                                          Favorite meal of 2012
                                           
                                          This is a category that I planned on doing last year, (the choice would have been a chicken dinner at Stroud's) but never got around to it.  Not going to make that mistake again.
                                           
                                          This year's winner is the dinner on the night of July 21st at the Pine Club in Dayton.  My sister has twin 15 year old boys and she has done a marvelous job of raising them by herself.  Alex and Andrew are smart, fun, kind and well-adjusted.  And man do they like to eat!  They have mentioned in the past their desire to go on one of my weekend trips and 2012 was the year we finally made that happen.  Because of their love of science (Andrew wants to become a physicist), we headed for the Dayton/Cincinnati area.  We spent hours exploring both the great airplane museum attached to Wright-Patterson AFB and the Museum of Natural History & Science in Cincy.  Lots of eating was done, including a very successful trip to Camp Washington Chili, where the boys ate everything I could throw at them.  We sampled 5-Way chilis, double decker sandwiches, cheese coneys and even goetta!  When gracious owner John Johnson came around to check on us, I had the three of them pose for a photo together. 

                                          That is Alex on the left, Andrew on the right.
                                           
                                          The Pine Club is open late,

                                          which would give me time to rest after the busy day and they are also less crowded then.  Besides, there is something fun, even adventurous about a late night dinner out.  So we got a little dressed up, (jeans, but with nice collared shirts) and headed out.  They don't take reservations, but when we walked in at 9:30PM, we got seated right away.  If you haven't been here before, you can't imagine how dark the inside is of the Pine Club.  They have an attractive bar between the two sides of the dining room and here is what the bar looks like. 

                                          It really is that dark!  This adds to the Midwest Supper Club ambience.
                                           
                                          At 50, my eyes aren't what they used to be, so I had to use the flashlight app on my phone to read the menu.  This is the first time I had seen the bone-in filet on their menu and I had to try it.  The boys asked me a couple of questions and decided the bone-in filets were what they wanted, too.
                                           
                                          Your meals here start with one of the better assortments of bread

                                          this side of Peter Luger's.  There was something for everyone and considering the last thing we ate was at least 5 hours ago (an eternity when you are 15), these disappeared fast.  Salads come with the meals and Pine Club has one of the better salad dressings I have had. 

                                          This is the "red and bleu" salad, which is simply iceberg lettuce with blue cheese and french dressing.  Those two dressings make a wonderful combination and I also prefer my salad with as little other toppings as possible, so this is just about the perfect salad for me.  Andrew also ordered it and loved it, but Alex went the more conventional way with one of the other made-in-house dressings.
                                           
                                          Our steaks were delivered to the table, met with a chorus of oooohs and ahhhhs. 

                                          These are just gorgeous looking steaks!  Because the boys have never been to a place like this, I showed them how to cut it open to make sure the steaks came out the way we ordered them (medium) and they were all exactly what we wanted.  Other than some yummy noises, the conversation halted for a while as we all dug in.  The complaint many have about the filet is that it doesn't deliver the flavor that other steaks can and I agree to that.  But this was still one amazingly flavorful steak.  It was lean, but not too much so, with that dark outside crust that I just love.  The boys were equally crazy about their steaks and there was nothing left by the time we were through.  Those onion rings you see in the steak photo are the thin, wispy kind that I prefer to the big, thick rings.  We also got some sides of mushrooms in light wine sauce

                                          and asparagus with hollandaise,

                                          just so I could tell their mother that we ate some green vegetables!
                                           
                                          After we were done and all three of us were completely stuffed, the manager stopped at our table to make sure we enjoyed our meal.  Needless to say, he was pleased to hear our glowing reports.  I asked a question about the bone-in filet and told him it was the first visit by the boys.  He excused himself and said he would be right back.  He then quickly returned with a cart with all kinds of different uncooked steaks on it.  He then explained to the boys (and me) about the different cuts of meats and where they come from on the cow.  He also answered all of our questions (and we had quite a few) and it was a real education for all of us.  Altogether, he must have spent 20 minutes with us, which was much appreciated.  By the time we paid the bill (cash only!) and returned to the hotel, it was already after midnight.  And the boys told me over and over how much they enjoyed their meal.
                                           
                                          Any dinner at the Pine Club is special.  I have been there five times now and every meal has been stellar.  But, to share this experience with my nephews and their very first visit to a real steak house, that is something I will always remember and why it was my favorite meal of the year.
                                           
                                          When we were out to lunch over this past weekend, we discussed where we are going this Summer.  When they said they wanted to go someplace with historical sites and great food, I immediately thought of either Philadelphia or Boston.  No matter where we go, it will be difficult to top the meal we had at the Pine Club.
                                           
                                          Honorable Mention:  New Year's Eve dinner at Magnolia's. 
                                          <message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 01/8/13 5:58 PM>
                                           
                                          #51
                                            lleechef

                                            • Total Posts: 6259
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                                            • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                            Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Mon, 01/7/13 11:49 AM (permalink)
                                            bb
                                            You are a good uncle!  We are supposed to be headed to Dayton in April so we will be sure to go to the Pine Club and get that bone-in filet.  It looks marvelous!
                                             
                                            #52
                                              ChiTownDiner

                                              Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Mon, 01/7/13 11:53 AM (permalink)
                                              That's a great story!  Nice job bb!
                                               
                                              #53
                                                Michael Hoffman

                                                • Total Posts: 17853
                                                • Joined: 7/1/2000
                                                • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                                Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Mon, 01/7/13 11:59 AM (permalink)
                                                Damn! Now she's ordering for me? Give 'em a ring and they take over your whole life.
                                                 
                                                #54
                                                  buffetbuster

                                                  Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Mon, 01/7/13 12:44 PM (permalink)
                                                  lleechef


                                                  bb
                                                  You are a good uncle!  We are supposed to be headed to Dayton in April so we will be sure to go to the Pine Club and get that bone-in filet.  It looks marvelous!
                                                  Just so you know, Pine Club opens at 4:00, but they don't start taking dinner orders until 5:00PM.  My advice is to get there at 4:00, claim a booth and have a couple of adult beverages.  If you get there at 5:00, you will almost definitely have a wait for a table.  Of course, in a place as nice as this, that isn't the worse thing in the world.  I hope you and Michael go.  You will love it!  Don't forget, cash only!
                                                   
                                                  Michael-
                                                  If you behave between now and April, maybe she will let you order your own steak!

                                                   
                                                  #55
                                                    ann peeples

                                                    • Total Posts: 8317
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                                                    • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                                                    Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Mon, 01/7/13 12:50 PM (permalink)
                                                    You bet, Mr.Hoffman. Ring equals love AND ordering.......
                                                     
                                                    #56
                                                      Michael Hoffman

                                                      • Total Posts: 17853
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                                                      • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                                      Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Mon, 01/7/13 12:55 PM (permalink)
                                                      Buffetbuster: It's against my nature to behave. So I'll probably end up with a bowl of Wheatena.
                                                       
                                                      #57
                                                        Michael Hoffman

                                                        • Total Posts: 17853
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                                                        • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                                        Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Mon, 01/7/13 12:56 PM (permalink)
                                                        ann peeples


                                                        You bet, Mr.Hoffman. Ring equals love AND ordering.......


                                                        Oh, Right. I forgot about that obey stuff.
                                                         
                                                        #58
                                                          ann peeples

                                                          • Total Posts: 8317
                                                          • Joined: 5/21/2006
                                                          • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                                                          Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Mon, 01/7/13 1:09 PM (permalink)
                                                          LOL! So does Bob....
                                                           
                                                          #59
                                                            buffetbuster

                                                            Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Tue, 01/8/13 9:54 AM (permalink)
                                                            Best Beverage
                                                             
                                                            10) Limeade - Sugar Bowl (Scottsdale, AZ)

                                                            The limeade at the Sugar Bowl is fresh squeezed and refreshing on a hot Arizona day.
                                                             
                                                            9) Dipsy Doodle - Wilton Candy Kitchen (Wilton, IA)

                                                            A trip to the Wilton Candy Kitchen is more about visiting with 90+ year old George Nopoulos than what you are about to eat and drink.  Still, they serve fine homemade ice creams and mixed right in front of you soda fountain beverages.  When I asked George what was in a dipsy doodle, he replied, "Whatever I feel like putting in it!"  I watched him mix in at least five or six different syrups, which gave this a nice fruity flavor.
                                                             
                                                            8) Date Shake - Oasis Date Gardens (Thermal, CA)

                                                            I have had several other date shakes before, but this was the first time trying it with another fruit flavor.  This is the date banana shake.  This combination eliminates most of the overwhelming sweetness from the typical date shake, but the date flavor still came through.
                                                             
                                                            7) Root Beer - Nu Way Cafe (Wichita, KS)

                                                            I was fortunate enough to drink homemade root beer in quite a few restaurants and drive-ins this year, but this was clearly the best.  Served in a cold mug and with a strong caramel flavor, we regretted not getting a second serving to go.
                                                             
                                                            6) Various Beverages - Swenson's (Akron, OH)


                                                            If you are like me, you leave Sonic Drive-ins wondering, why wasn't that better?  If you want to see what Sonics wish they could be, just pull up to a Swenson's, a small chain of drive-ins around the Akron area.  They make fine burgers and sides, but it is their beverages that make the biggest impressions.  The wonderful shakes are thick and there is always a nice variety of flavors to choose from.  The ones in the above photo are pineapple and pomegranate.  But, I especially love the Californias (ginger ale mixed with grape soda) and Floridas (ginger ale mixed with orange soda).
                                                             
                                                            5) Chocolate Banana Malt - Chink's (Philadelphia, PA)
                                                             
                                                            Chink's makes some of the better cheesesteaks I have had, but it is the imposing chocolate banana malt, made right in front of you on an old-fashioned mixer, that keeps me coming back.
                                                             
                                                            4) Lemon Milkshake - Lemon Drop (Anderson, IN)

                                                            I love most things lemon and this milkshake was so good, it had me wondering why you don't see lemon as a milkshake flavor more often.
                                                             
                                                            3) Fruit Smoothie - Orange Inn (Laguna Beach, CA)
                                                             
                                                            Orange Inn claims to have invented the fruit smoothie.  While I can't substantiate that claim, I can tell you that this is the best fruit smoothie I have ever had.  This one, known on the menu board as the Original Smoothie, is made with strawberries, bananas, dates, fresh juice, crushed ice, with bee pollen sprinkled on top.
                                                             
                                                            2) Mamey Batido - El Mago de las Fritas (Miami, FL)

                                                            El Mago may be best known as a magician with the fritas, but he doesn't do too bad with the the batido, either.  This Latin American drink, similar to the smoothie, is made with milk, fruit and ice.  The mamey is a fruit I was completely unfamiliar with and Roadfooder MiamiDon, who took us to this Little Havana landmark restaurant, described the mamey as tasting somewhere between a banana and a peach, which was spot on.  I loved this so much, I drank four more mamey batidos while in town, but the version here was clearly superior.
                                                             
                                                            1) Watermelon Agua Fresca - El Campeon (San Juan Capistrano, CA)

                                                            Mariton's melon (cantaloupe) drink was also a real pleasure to drink, but it was the watermelon flavor that really grabbed me.  This is just the juice of the watermelon itself, with plenty of small bits of the fruit floating around.  Simple and perfect!
                                                             
                                                            Honorable Mention:
                                                            1) Sweet Tea - Beacon Drive-In (Spartanburg, SC)
                                                            2) Horchata - Teresa's Mosaic Cafe (Tucson, AZ)
                                                            3) Mexican Hot Chocolate - El Farolito (El Rito, NM)
                                                            4) Root Beer - Triple XXX Family Restaurant (West Lafayette, IN)
                                                            5) Witch Doctor - What-A-Burger Drive-In (Mooresville, NC)  
                                                            <message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 01/8/13 10:52 AM>
                                                             
                                                            #60
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