WE DROVE HOW FAR?

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Michael Hoffman
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2013/06/22 11:27:36 (permalink)

WE DROVE HOW FAR?

So, OK. It was good. No, it was better than good. It was outstanding. But, c'mon, 1,217 miles for some barbeque? Yep, that's what we did on our summer vacation.
 
OK, we did manage a few other meals, but the original object was a trip to Emmitsburg, Maryland for a visit to the famed Chubby's  Barbeque, which has made it into two Roadfood books. Even without the other stops, and the visit to the battlegrounds of Gettysburg and the memorial to Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania,  it was worth the drive.
 
First, let me extend my thanks to Greymo for suggesting the cream of crab soup (and we did bring our own spoons). It was wonderful, and I was fortunate to be permitted a sort of fair share of it by lleechef, who tried to hog the other shared stuff, especially the amazingly wonderful smoked beans loaded with pulled pork. The other shared items were the chili, the collard greens, the pit beef, pulled pork, brisket, smoked corned beef,  smoked pork belly and the garlic fries. lleechef kept the ribs to herself (allowing me the tiniest taste, just as she did with her ribs at the Brick Pit last February in Mobile). Chubby's proprietor Tom Caulfield does really good things with food. And he and his lovely wife Sue were extraordinarily gracious hosts.
 
I wish it were possible for us to get to Chubby's often enough to be able to fill up each time on the individual items, especially the chili, which was one of the best I've ever tasted (no beans, thank goodness, and with a nice bite the way a great bowl of red is supposed to be), and that marvelous cream of crab soup.
 
On the way back from Chubby's the next day we stopped in Somerset, Pennsylvania at the Roadfood-reviewed Summit Diner. For a resident of diner-deprived central Ohio it was a monumental pleasure; a return, so to speak, to my East Coast roots. And the diner did not disappoint. How could a place with a Little Deuce Coupe painted on the wall next to our booth, and paintings of a pink '59 Caddy convertible and a black '58 Chevy Impala disappoint? While I had a western omelet and home fries it was the offer of Sriracha that made the eating memorable. lleechef decided to go with the SOS, which was real chipped beef in a cream sauce over toast.
 
That night we met buffetbuster and Mariton at the Pittsburgh incarnation of Mobile's Wintzell's Oyster House. lleechef has already described our dinner in the Wintzell's Oyster House in Pittsburgh! thread. As always, it was a pleasure to spend some time with them -- and the food wasn't bad, either.
 
The next day, Friday, we drove to Pittsburgh's Strip District to meet my grandson for lunch at Wholey's. Why is it that landlocked Western Pennsylvania is the place to go for really great fish sandwiches? leechef and I had the cod while my grandson, who could eat a whole whale at one sitting if he put his mind to it, had this humongous sandwich, fittingly enough called the Whaler.
 
All in all it was a terrific trip with four Roadfood places visited.
#1

23 Replies Related Threads

    pnwchef
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/22 12:13:13 (permalink)
    Michael, happy to see you and Lisa had a great time.
    #2
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/22 12:16:03 (permalink)
    It was great. We were hoping you'd be able to make the Chubby's visit when we were there.
    #3
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/22 13:05:12 (permalink)
    I tried scrapple for the first time at Summit Diner, having first learned about here here on Roadfood
     
    I also had the Big Bopper - last item shown here: http://www.urbanspoon.com...973/menu_photos/263468
     
    #4
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/22 13:07:37 (permalink)
    I saw that on the menu. I almost had the hot roast beef sandwich instead of the Western.
    #5
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/22 13:09:00 (permalink)
    I am so terribly envious!  My youngest got married over Memorial Day and I flew up to DC for the wedding, fully intending to visit Chubby's on a side trip. 
     
    But, as her wedding was south of Charlottesville, the only Roadfood destinations I could fit in were Crozet Pizza, and three of my NOVA 'faves:  Willard's BBQ, Mario's, and Weenie Beenie.  With most of my "business" south of DC and my teaching schedule necessitating a Monday flight back to DFW (to say nothing of my need to play golf a few times on real golfing grasses with wind < 20 mph!) I never found the time to make the 160 mile r.t. north to visit Chubby's.
     
    Glad you enjoyed the Summit Diner.  When I was in grad school @ U.Va. we almost always avoided the PA Tpk. and "went the back way" between my parents' home in New Wilmington and C-ville.  That was 40 years ago!  I'm glad to hear that they are still going strong.  Lord, I wish Dallas would get a real diner; all we have down here are glorified CFS joints.
     
    As to Western PA and their truly worthy - nay, legendary - fish sandwiches, here is my best guess as a native old enough to remember "meatless Fridays" in the elementary school cafeteria:  Roman Catholics. 
     
    Even though Western PA was "settled" in the 1700's primarily by Scot/N.Irish (many of whom had Geo. Washington as their landlord!), with the founding of Carnegie Steel and the booms in the related industries of coal mining and coke production, it became populated largely by immigrants from France, Italy, Poland, Hungary, and Romania who came in "to do the jobs Americans wouldn't do".  (A coal miner in France, my great-grandfather brought his family here in 1896 upon hearing that miners were able to mine standing up in the hugely thick Pennsylvania Vein; two decades later he was dead at 45 from "black lung").
     
    As obedient Catholics these immigrants "made do" with the locally available freshwater fish:  primarily bass and, later, blue-gill spawned and raised in local hatcheries.  Michael, you mentioned "land-locked"; yes!  And "land-locked" before planes or even refrigerated rail.  I don't know which of our beloved "ethnic groups" started frying the fish but I do know for certain that the French and the Italians cook better than the Scots!  Most likely, it started in the Church kitchens, then commercialized because those fish sandwiches taste so damned good, even to this Presbyterian whose mother packed him a ham sandwich every Friday.
     
     
     
     
     
     
    #6
    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/22 13:38:03 (permalink)
    I only hit the Summit once, on a way to a wedding in Pgh.  It must have been an off day or off time (was after 3PM), because I was seriously under-whelmed.  Nice décor, nice service, but the food was lukewarm at best (burger and fries as I recall).  Even my coffee was not the hottest.
    #7
    mr chips
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/22 15:32:36 (permalink)
    Thanks for sharing, Michael. sounds like a wonderful trip
     
    #8
    Bonk
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/22 15:49:27 (permalink)
    TJ Jackson

    I tried scrapple for the first time at Summit Diner, having first learned about here here on Roadfood

    I also had the Big Bopper - last item shown here: http://www.urbanspoon.com...973/menu_photos/263468


     
    TJ -- Since you live in Cinci, how similar is scrapple to goetta?

    #9
    lleechef
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/22 17:06:55 (permalink)
    It was a great trip!  All the food was wonderful.  It was also nice not to travel exclusively on interstates and the PA Turnpike (which is still as nasty as ever).  We drove part of the Lincoln Highway (US 30), some of US 15 and got off the Pike in Belle Vernon, PA to take Route 51 to get to Wintzell's.  When I was a kid we would take Rt. 51 to Elizabeth, PA to visit my great-grandparents.  The road is the same, narrow and congested but I was surprised to find a few restaurants still standing nearly 50 years later. 
    The visits to the Gettysburg battlegrounds and the flight 93 memorial were solemn.  Heroes in fields more than a century apart.  At both places I never saw anyone on a cell phone and folks spoke in whispers. 
    #10
    Greymo
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/22 17:26:41 (permalink)
    lleechef

    It was a great trip!  All the food was wonderful.  It was also nice not to travel exclusively on interstates and the PA Turnpike (which is still as nasty as ever).  We drove part of the Lincoln Highway (US 30), some of US 15 and got off the Pike in Belle Vernon, PA to take Route 51 to get to Wintzell's.  When I was a kid we would take Rt. 51 to Elizabeth, PA to visit my great-grandparents.  The road is the same, narrow and congested but I was surprised to find a few restaurants still standing nearly 50 years later. 
    The visits to the Gettysburg battlegrounds and the flight 93 memorial were solemn.  Heroes in fields more than a century apart.  At both places I never saw anyone on a cell phone and folks spoke in whispers. 


    Gettysburg is one of our favorite places to visit.  We feel humbled every time we go there and there is always something new to learn.  Our family has signed up to light the candles on the graves this year, again, for  the cemetery .   This has taught my grandchildren so much ; to be respectful and thankful  for everyone in the military and to appreciate every soldier that has  fought for their beliefs.
    We are looking forward to doing this on this coming weekend, and also looking forward to eating at Dobbins  and Chubby's!
    post edited by Greymo - 2013/06/22 17:30:03
    #11
    EdSails
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/23 00:46:38 (permalink)
    Sounds like an awesome and delicious time!
    #12
    ann peeples
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/23 07:37:09 (permalink)
    What fun!
    #13
    agnesrob
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/23 08:37:44 (permalink)
    Sounds like you had the perfect trip! Good food and good company!
    #14
    lleechef
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/23 11:32:49 (permalink)
    Yep, it was awesome, fun and perfect!  Even the weather cooperated.....never saw a raindrop, temps. in the high 70s and no humidity.
    Speaking of the Lincoln Highway (US route 30) I read in this morning's paper that the Lincoln Highway's 100th anniversary is this year (also the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg).  Two processions of Model T's, Model A's and other cars are setting out this weekend from NYC and San Francisco to the midpoint of Kearney, Neb.  The tour from NYC will pass through Bucyrus, OH, about 60 miles from us, Tuesday and Wednesday.  We are planning to go and spend the afternoon one of the two days.
    Of course, there is food involved.  Bucyrus is known for their brats so a stop at Carle's Bratwurst is a must! 
    #15
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/23 21:48:25 (permalink)
    Bonk
    TJ -- Since you live in Cinci, how similar is scrapple to goetta?

    Very similar texture
     
    Much stronger taste, and not one I liked much
     
    Then again, I have little doubt that had I been raised in that area rather than Cincinnati, I'd like scrapple
    #16
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/24 09:05:06 (permalink)
    The only thing that would have made that trip better would have been to see a Bucs game @ PNC and enjoy "the pride of New Castle":  Augustine's Pizza.
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM2AfkDGbFM
    http://www.augustinespizza.com/
    #17
    lleechef
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/24 11:21:32 (permalink)
    We plan to take in a Bucs game at PNC later this summer.  I will have a slice of Augustine's pizza for you MJ!!!!
    #18
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/24 12:24:18 (permalink)
    lleechef

    We plan to take in a Bucs game at PNC later this summer.  I will have a slice of Augustine's pizza for you MJ!!!!


    Thanks, Lisa. 
    Still can't believe that you spent four years in my dry hometown successfully avoiding it! 
    It is very much like Alice's Pizza on Neshannock, just west of our one traffic light was/is.
    #19
    love2bake
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/24 12:59:18 (permalink)
    lleechef

    Yep, it was awesome, fun and perfect!  Even the weather cooperated.....never saw a raindrop, temps. in the high 70s and no humidity.
    Speaking of the Lincoln Highway (US route 30) I read in this morning's paper that the Lincoln Highway's 100th anniversary is this year (also the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg).  Two processions of Model T's, Model A's and other cars are setting out this weekend from NYC and San Francisco to the midpoint of Kearney, Neb.  The tour from NYC will pass through Bucyrus, OH, about 60 miles from us, Tuesday and Wednesday.  We are planning to go and spend the afternoon one of the two days.
    Of course, there is food involved.  Bucyrus is known for their brats so a stop at Carle's Bratwurst is a must! 

    Holy mackerel--I've driven from SF to Kearny, NE, and cannot begin to imagine how uncomfortable that would be in an old-timey car!  Not to mention how long it would take them to get over those mountains and through those passes.  Yikes.
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    Davydd
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/24 13:20:38 (permalink)
    When we were on the Alaska Highway last year they were celebrating the 70th anniversary of its completion with a drive of old WW2 jeeps and trucks and many veterans who had worked completing the 1400+ mile highway in 8 months time. Most of those guys had to be in their 80s and 90s. We were on our way back and they were coming up the highway. It was quite a sight that stretched for miles.
    #21
    buffetbuster
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/24 15:37:43 (permalink)
    Michael-
    It is impressive that your grandson can eat an entire whaler fish sandwich on his own.  That is one massive sandwich!
    #22
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/24 17:01:00 (permalink)
    buffetbuster

    Michael-
    It is impressive that your grandson can eat an entire whaler fish sandwich on his own.  That is one massive sandwich!

    Ha! That guy probably could have eaten two of them. When he was still growing I used to buy 48 ounce porterhouse steaks for him. He'd finish his and then ask whether I was going to finish my strip steak.
    #23
    lleechef
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    Re:WE DROVE HOW FAR? 2013/06/24 20:17:22 (permalink)
    Davydd

    When we were on the Alaska Highway last year they were celebrating the 70th anniversary of its completion with a drive of old WW2 jeeps and trucks and many veterans who had worked completing the 1400+ mile highway in 8 months time. Most of those guys had to be in their 80s and 90s. We were on our way back and they were coming up the highway. It was quite a sight that stretched for miles.

    I have driven the Alaska Highway and it is beautiful but I never saw anything as awesome as you did!

    #24
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