The most memorable local eateries along the highways and back roads of America
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums EatingTours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider
Forum Themes:
Welcome !

 My Year in Roadfood (2012)

Change Page: 12345678910 > | Showing page 1 of 10, messages 1 to 30 of 271
Author Message
buffetbuster

My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 10:02 AM (permalink)
With only trip left this year (we are spending New Year's in Charleston, SC), this seems like a good time to start the year in review.  And since I know we won't be eating any hamburgers this weekend, we will start with that list.
 
Best Burgers
 
10) Shake Shack - New York, NY


If you would have told us ahead of time that a burger from such a big chain would make the list, I would have never believed you.  But, we were blown away by this burger.  We weren't even planning on eating here, but we walked past it on the way to Papaya King and couldn't resist.  I think it was cousin Johnny's idea to order the double SmokeShack burger, which comes with applewood smoked bacon, incredibly flavorful chopped cherry peppers and shake sauce, whatever that is, all on a grilled, buttered bun.  We weren't all that impressed by the custard, but we will definitely be back for that burger!
 
9) Jack's North Hi Carry Out - Wichita, KS

This place would earn our love just for the great story of a young man in his 20's buying (with help from grandma) a closing old-fashioned burger stand.  But that wouldn't matter if Jack's didn't put out a great burger and they do.
 
8) The Summit - Ojai, CA

The owners here have an admirable dedication to quality.  They told me they get their fresh ground beef delivered to them everyday and how fussy they are about how the burger is grilled.  And it shows in just how delicious this Western Bacon Cheeseburger turned out.  Thanks to Chris & Amy for finding this gem.
 
7) Ranchman's Cafe - Ponder, TX

The Travelin Man and I ate quite a few burgers during our Easter weekend in the Dallas area, but the burger here at Ranchman's was head and shoulders the best.  Nothing fancy, but this is one of those burgers that you think to yourself, this is what beef is supposed to taste like.
 
6) Meers Store - Meers, OK

The Meers Store is such a fun, interesting place, it is easy to look past the fact they put out a terrific burger.  Using the beef from their own private herd of Texas longhorn cattle, the burger is very lean, but still tastes great.  That this restaurant in the middle of nowhere packs them in tells you something.
 
5) Powers Hamburgers - Fort Wayne, IN

My favorite sliders!  But, they put so many carmelized onions on the burgers, they will fill you up like a regular sized burger.  The tiny building is an art deco beauty!
 
4) El Mago de las Fritas - Miami, FL

A big thanks to Roadfooder MiamiDon for acting as our guide to this Little Havana landmark.  The fritas is the Cuban spin on the hamburger and they reportedly use chorizo in the fresh ground beef to give it a distinct flavor and top it off with made in house potato sticks.  We can't wait to go back to Little Havana for more fritas!
 
3) J & W Grill - Chickasha, OK

I have eaten quite a few onion burgers in El Reno and I think J & W Grill has them all beat.  They can trace their roots back to El Reno and here the fried onions infuse into the beef until it practically becomes one.  As an added bonus, J & W has great lunch counter atmosphere.
 
2) Hank's Hamburgers - Tulsa, OK


This list is dominated by Oklahoma for a reason.  At this point, I am ready to name Oklahoma the best state in the country for burgers.  Cousin Johnny and I split this four patty bohemoth known as the Big Okie burger.  This was so good, we were still talking about it for days afterwards.
 
1) Bobcat Bite - Santa Fe, NM


After a one year absence from the top spot, the king is back!  I had a much better experience here in 2012 than I did in 2011.  Though there was some concern, since it was my first visit since they changed to a more substantial bun, the new bun did indeed stand up to the juiciness of the meat much better.  And the green chiles, high quality beef and cheese combination is still perfection.  
 
Honorable Mention:
1) K. LaMay's Steamed Cheeseburgers - Meriden, CT
2) Owl Cafe - Albuquerque, NM
3) Triple XXX Family Restaurant - West Lafayette, IN
4) Robert's Grill - El Reno, OK
5) Marty's Hamburger Stand - Los Angeles, CA     
<message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 12/28/12 10:08 AM>
 
#1
    JRPfeff

    • Total Posts: 2368
    • Joined: 12/1/2006
    • Location: Pewaukee, WI & Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 10:15 AM (permalink)
    buffetbuster,
     
    Great start, I am drooling!
     
    You could publish a book of your trip reports and pictures and I would buy it.
     
    carolina jim
     
    #2
      wanderingjew

      • Total Posts: 7384
      • Joined: 1/18/2001
      • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
      • Roadfood Insider
      Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 10:19 AM (permalink)
      Great start Buffetbuster
       
      Gasp!  I thought the best burgers were in LA????   (sarcasm smiley?)

      There's no doubt that Oklahoma is probably one of the best burger states (along with Nebraska, Montana) being in the heart of beef country....
       
      I'm taking notes for my trip through Oklahoma in July with those beautiful burgers that you have posted...
       
      #3
        buffetbuster

        Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 10:37 AM (permalink)
        WJ-
        If you are spending some vacation time in Oklahoma in 2013, than I am thinking you will have a great burger list for next year's review.  Okies are crazy about burgers and they know how to make 'em!
         
        JRPfeff-
        Spending so little time in Wisconsin (just nipped the extreme Southwest corner) hurt this list, but I promise to make up for it in 2013!  Thanks for what you said.
         
        #4
          lleechef

          • Total Posts: 6223
          • Joined: 3/22/2003
          • Location: Gahanna, OH
          Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 11:24 AM (permalink)
          I'm glad the Bobcat Bite Green Chile Cheeseburger is No. 1!!!!!  Trying to talk MH into leaving now for Santa Fe!  But they all look delicious! 
           
          #5
            phlmaestro

            Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 12:04 PM (permalink)
            Yum! I always look forward to your year-end report.
             
            Philly finally got a Shake Shack this year and those burgers more than lived up to my expectations. So I'm pleased to see that you had them on your list.
             
            One of these years I'll talk my wife into going to Oklahoma or rope a friend into it.
             
             
            #6
              buffetbuster

              Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 12:25 PM (permalink)
              phlmaestro

              One of these years I'll talk my wife into going to Oklahoma or rope a friend into it.
              I think Will Rogers would have enjoyed this pun!  Lucky Philly on having a shake shack in town.  Hopefully it makes its way to the other end of the state soon.  Which burger do you order when you go?
               
              lleechef-
              Looks like the distance from Mobile to Santa Fe is only 1,224 miles.  Maybe that will help!
              <message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 12/28/12 12:28 PM>
               
              #7
                lleechef

                • Total Posts: 6223
                • Joined: 3/22/2003
                • Location: Gahanna, OH
                Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 12:35 PM (permalink)
                bb
                Piece of cake!  Um, or should I say burger.
                 
                #8
                  Michael Hoffman

                  • Total Posts: 17815
                  • Joined: 7/1/2000
                  • Location: Gahanna, OH
                  Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 12:39 PM (permalink)
                  Great. So now I have to drive from Mobile to Santa Fe. Oh, well, if it'll get lleechef off my back -- and get me a green chile cheeseburger.
                   
                  #9
                    buffetbuster

                    Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 12:40 PM (permalink)
                    JRPfeff

                    carolina jim
                      You may want to make sure there is no copyright infringement on your new handle.  Or, at least get written permission from The Man himself! 

                     
                    #10
                      ChiTownDiner

                      Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 12:54 PM (permalink)
                      Nice start...your annual list is a lifetime for many!  How many catagories can we expect?
                       
                      #11
                        Pancho

                        • Total Posts: 915
                        • Joined: 10/20/2004
                        • Location: Madison, WI
                        Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 1:06 PM (permalink)
                        Great report and pics! I'm heading out to the Blue Moon for a burger thanks to you! I also really like Nick's in Brookings, SD. Here's a blue burger from the Moon...(soon to be my lunch).
                        http://www.google.com/img...=1t:429,r:33,s:0,i:195
                         
                        #12
                          buffetbuster

                          Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 2:03 PM (permalink)
                          That's a great looking burger Pancho.  There are somany really good burger joints in and around Madison.  I visited Nick's in Brookings for the first time just last year and came away very impressed by the place.
                           
                          #13
                            mr chips

                            • Total Posts: 4715
                            • Joined: 2/19/2003
                            • Location: portland, OR
                            Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 2:08 PM (permalink)
                            Great start.Looking forward to much, much more.
                             
                            #14
                              Pancho

                              • Total Posts: 915
                              • Joined: 10/20/2004
                              • Location: Madison, WI
                              Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 3:18 PM (permalink)
                              buffetbuster


                              That's a great looking burger Pancho.  There are somany really good burger joints in and around Madison.  I visited Nick's in Brookings for the first time just last year and came away very impressed by the place.
                              Same here...I was on a 5K solo motorcycle trip and skipped breakfast in New Ulm, MN just to be hungry when I got there. Dick, the owner, served me and was amazed that I downed three double cheeses in about 15 minutes. "Wow, you must have been hungry". Best burgers of the trip until I arrived at the renowned spot in Santa Fe.

                               
                              #15
                                phlmaestro

                                Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 4:04 PM (permalink)
                                buffetbuster


                                phlmaestro

                                One of these years I'll talk my wife into going to Oklahoma or rope a friend into it.
                                I think Will Rogers would have enjoyed this pun!  Lucky Philly on having a shake shack in town.  Hopefully it makes its way to the other end of the state soon.  Which burger do you order when you go?

                                Buffetbuster: I don't like dressing/special sauce or mayo on burgers, so I go with their basic quarter pound burger and get it topped with cheese, pickles, raw onions, ketchup and mustard. I tried it once with bacon and didn't think it was as good as without the bacon.

                                 
                                #16
                                  carolina bob

                                  • Total Posts: 3420
                                  • Joined: 1/1/2005
                                  • Location: Chicagoland
                                  Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 4:21 PM (permalink)
                                  buffetbuster


                                  JRPfeff

                                  carolina jim
                                    You may want to make sure there is no copyright infringement on your new handle.  Or, at least get written permission from The Man himself! 

                                   
                                  Nope, I don't have a copyright on the "Carolina" name thing but I sure wish I did, seeing that some kind of monetary remuneration might have come out of my having one.  
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  #17
                                    mar52

                                    • Total Posts: 7597
                                    • Joined: 4/17/2005
                                    • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                                    Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Fri, 12/28/12 5:03 PM (permalink)
                                    Outstanding pictures of beautiful burgers!
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                    #18
                                      strongy78

                                      • Total Posts: 64
                                      • Joined: 5/17/2005
                                      • Location: San Diego, CA
                                      Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Sat, 12/29/12 1:31 AM (permalink)
                                      Awesome top 10.  Those Powers Burgers got me drooling.  I love grilled onions...that picture is amazing and those burgers look great!
                                       
                                      #19
                                        ann peeples

                                        • Total Posts: 8317
                                        • Joined: 5/21/2006
                                        • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                                        Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Sat, 12/29/12 10:38 AM (permalink)
                                        Fabulous! Yep, BB, we need you back in Wisconsin this year! Maybe I will get to break bread with you twice in one year....
                                         
                                        #20
                                          CajunKing

                                          • Total Posts: 6317
                                          • Joined: 7/6/2006
                                          • Location: Live at Saint Clair
                                          • Roadfood Insider
                                          Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Sun, 12/30/12 7:01 PM (permalink)
                                          BB
                                          My mom is now in a nursing home in Fort Wayne, so looks like LOTS more Powers Burgers and Nick's Kitchen visits in my coming days & months.
                                           
                                          Your burgers made me drool
                                           
                                          Jack's, Hank's and Bobcat make me drool even more.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            buffetbuster

                                            Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Wed, 01/2/13 7:43 AM (permalink)
                                            ann peeples

                                            Yep, BB, we need you back in Wisconsin this year! Maybe I will get to break bread with you twice in one year....
                                            Ann, that reason alone is enough to get me back to Wisconsin this year.  Of course, the butter burgers, frozen custard, kringles, fish fries, hoppel poppel, etc. don't hurt! 

                                             
                                            #22
                                              buffetbuster

                                              Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Wed, 01/2/13 7:45 AM (permalink)
                                              CK-
                                              Sorry to hear about your mother being in a nursing home in Fort Wayne.  I hope she is doing well.  That is a significant drive, isn't it?  When you get to Powers Hamburgers, please report back.  I feel very confident you will not be disappointed.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                joerogo

                                                • Total Posts: 4463
                                                • Joined: 1/17/2006
                                                • Location: Pittston, PA
                                                Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Wed, 01/2/13 8:33 AM (permalink)
                                                buffetbuster, Spectacular Photos!
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  buffetbuster

                                                  Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Wed, 01/2/13 9:14 AM (permalink)
                                                  As much as I enjoy creating these end of the year lists, it tells only part of the story of why I love Roadfood and traveling so much.  This year, I am hoping to do something a little different and write about some of my favorite experiences in 2012.  And there will be no ranking of these.  Each and every one will be something I will remember for, hopefully, the rest of my life.
                                                   
                                                  My girlfriend Mariton has family in Japan that she is very close to.  Her 21 year old cousin Maki graduated from college and as a graduation gift, her and three of her friends were given a two week trip to the United States.  The first week was spent on a cruise and the second week brought them to Pittsburgh to visit Mariton and the rest of her family.  Mariton asked if I would help entertain them, which sounded like fun.  From left to right, this is Junko, Mari, Mariton, Maki and Miki.

                                                   
                                                  While here in Pittsburgh, we went into the city for a dinner at a tapas restaurant, where we celebrated Mari's birthday, followed by a showing of a Broadway musical in town.  Afterwards, I decided there was no way they could come to Pittsburgh without visiting Primanti's for the famous sandwiches with cole slaw and fries on top.  Not knowing if they would like them or not, I played it conservative and just got three sandwiches for the six of us to share.  Here is an action shot from my phone. 

                                                  I was shocked that the girls went crazy over these.  They wolfed them down so fast, I had no choice but to order more.  And those disappeared just as fast.  I wonder if the owners of Primanti's should open up a Tokyo location?
                                                   
                                                  Mariton also asked if we could take them on a weekend trip, so they could see more of the country.  We talked over several different destinations and settled on going to Washington, DC.  There is precious little good food between Pittsburgh and DC, but I do like Weaver's Family Restaurant in Hancock, MD.  The regular food is okay, nothing special really, but they do make their own breads, pies and other bakery items.  After our meals, I ordered three different slices of pie for us all to share.  Maki's three friends, who were making their first trip to the US and spoke very little English and used Maki as an interpreter, had never seen pie before.  Can you imagine?  After they took lots of photos of the pies, they dug in slow at first, picking up steam once they recognized the different flavors.  The banana cream was especially a big hit.  This may have been the first time in my life I have ever enjoyed watching other people eat pie more than eating it myself!
                                                   
                                                  Once in DC, we had a wonderful time visiting the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian and taking a tour of the US Capitol.  That first photo was taken right outside of the Capitol Building.  There was also posing for photos (and there was almost nonstop posing for each others cameras!) outside of the White House and the Washington Monument.  It seems safe to say the ladies were having a good time!

                                                  Truthfully, their favorite part of the time in DC was the shopping, which they did for 4+ hours.  This allowed me to do some eating on my own and to take a much needed nap.
                                                   
                                                  Dinner ened up being late at night.  Maki asked where were we eating.  The other three girls might not know very much English, but they did know the words Texas and barbecue.  This made them visibly excited, which made me happy, because I was never exactly sure of what they would like and not like.  Our dinner was at Hill Country Barbecue.  While certainly no match for the great barbecue parlors in and around Austin, for what they are, I think they do a nice job.  And this turned out to be their favorite meal of the trip.  They ate so much that I twice had to go back up to the counter for more barbecue, once for ribs and once for brisket.
                                                   
                                                  After our Sunday tour of the US Capitol, it was time to drive back to Pittsburgh.  But, I asked them if they were hungry enough for one more meal.  When I said the word hamburger, Miki yelled out "HAMBURGER!  All of the girls had a conference in Japanese, but after another shout of HAMBURGER from Miki, we were headed to nearby Tune Inn.  For late March, the weather was surprisingly warm, so we ate outside.  They were not as enthusiastic about the hamburgers as they were about some of the other foods, but from the photos they did seem to enjoy them. 

                                                  BTW, it wasn't until later than I found out that Miki's nickname was Dyson, as in vacuum cleaner, because of her appetite!
                                                   
                                                  I have always enjoyed meeting and talking to people from other countries.  And to be able to act as tour guide for these wonderful young ladies was a real privilege.  They were all so fun, sweet and open to new things (especially food) that the language barrier turned out to be no issue at all.  All of the girls thanked Mariton and I over and over for the trip, but it felt like I should be thanking them because it may have been the most fun weekend all year!      
                                                  <message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 01/2/13 9:52 AM>
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    ScreamingChicken

                                                    • Total Posts: 4715
                                                    • Joined: 11/5/2004
                                                    • Location: Stoughton, WI
                                                    Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Wed, 01/2/13 10:01 AM (permalink)
                                                    Now that is a really neat report!
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      mar52

                                                      • Total Posts: 7597
                                                      • Joined: 4/17/2005
                                                      • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                                                      Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Wed, 01/2/13 2:45 PM (permalink)
                                                      What fun!  Thanks for including us in the enjoyment.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        will_work_4_bbq

                                                        • Total Posts: 399
                                                        • Joined: 1/11/2006
                                                        • Location: Birmingham, AL
                                                        Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Wed, 01/2/13 4:32 PM (permalink)
                                                        I love it!  How lucky to have the opportunity of entertaining them!
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          lleechef

                                                          • Total Posts: 6223
                                                          • Joined: 3/22/2003
                                                          • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                                          Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Wed, 01/2/13 4:44 PM (permalink)
                                                          Very COOL!!!
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            ChiTownDiner

                                                            Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) Wed, 01/2/13 6:34 PM (permalink)
                                                            buffetbuster, food and surrounded by women...you are living life to the fullest!
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            #30
                                                              Online Bookmarks Sharing: Share/Bookmark
                                                              Change Page: 12345678910 > | Showing page 1 of 10, messages 1 to 30 of 271

                                                              Jump to:

                                                              Current active users

                                                              There are 0 members and 1 guests.

                                                              Icon Legend and Permission

                                                              • New Messages
                                                              • No New Messages
                                                              • Hot Topic w/ New Messages
                                                              • Hot Topic w/o New Messages
                                                              • Locked w/ New Messages
                                                              • Locked w/o New Messages
                                                              • Read Message
                                                              • Post New Thread
                                                              • Reply to message
                                                              • Post New Poll
                                                              • Submit Vote
                                                              • Post reward post
                                                              • Delete my own posts
                                                              • Delete my own threads
                                                              • Rate post

                                                              2000-2014 ASPPlayground.NET Forum Version 3.9
                                                              What is Roadfood?  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright 2011 - Roadfood.com