Happy New Year everyone.
So our Christmas trip to the in-laws has come and gone and as is my custom now, I’m here to report back for a full debriefing. It’s a bit late I’ve been a bit busy.
We had plans to meet a friend in Ann Arbor for lunch but an extended visit with the border guards nixed those plans. We ate on the run instead.
That night was stayed at a Drury Inn in Indy. They have a complimentary happy hour with both drink and food service. On the menu for the evening were hot dogs and nachos. The dogs were actually pretty good. Not sure what make but really quite serviceable. The taco meat seemed as though it was made by Taco Bell but since I have a soft spot in my heart for TB that was okay. Not exactly fine dining but a couple of dogs with taco meat, liquid cheese, onion and jalapenos actually made for a tasty dinner. Especially when washed down with a few bourbon and cokes.
They also provide a complimentary breakfast. The biscuits and gravy were good if nothing special.
The second leg of the journey saw us stop at a local legend. Big Bubba Buck’s Belly Bustin’ BBQ Bliss in Munfordville, Ky.
This place is special. First of all it’s scary divey. Second, and most importantly, the food is fantastic. Catfish and Que are their specialties. Mrs. Sippi’s catfish fingers were crunch on the outside and melt in your mouth succulent on the inside. My sample plate had really good pulled pork but I would’ve preferred it not sauced. Great ribs (not sauced) but lose points for being baby backs and fabulous pork loin.
The house sauce was nothing special but paired really well with the piggy goodness. The banana pudding for desert was first rate but the black berry and apple cobbler was outta this world good. Good cinnamon profile which I really like. We were so stuffed we didn’t bother eating dinner.
In and around Huntsville we really got down to business. Some stops at some of our favourites.
Taters n Dawgs for an awesome bacon double cheeseburger.
We took our niece to the Taco Bus where I had Barria (beef braised with chilis) that was excellent.
The burritos and tacos were also great.
Dreamland is as much a standard as the visit itself. Once again a great rack o’ ribs and good sides to boot.
As if a trip to Jack Daniels wasn’t highlight enough a stop at Chuckwagon Diner for some of the best Que you’ll find anywhere was the icing on the cake.
We took my FIL to Greenbrier Restaurant to check another entry in my 20 tastes of Huntsville mission. This dumpy roadhouse in the spec of a town Greenbrier is a local landmark. In business for almost 60 years. [image]%3Ca%20href=" alt="" />The hushpuppies were every bit as good as their billing and the Que was good but sadly lacked a good smoke punch that I love.
The red sauce had a smoky hint and was excellent on both the chicken and ribs.
Speaking of the 20 tastes of Huntsville a take n bake pizza from the local grocery chain made the list and for good reason.
It punches well above it’s weight class. It may be a bit better than a Costco pizza but slightly more expensive as well. Tired it once and liked it so much I grabbed another one.
We went to a Mexican place (A la Chi Chi's) who's name I forget. The food was....fine. We sat down and noticed the guy at the next table had a Margarona.
It was really good but sadly the entertainment was so bad and loud it chased most of the family out. I thought it was so bad it was awesome. Who else does Elvis, Lady Ga Ga, Journey, Alabama and others.
Other highlights were had at my SIL’s house. She’s a good cook but never seems to find the time. We ate there a few nights and as always it was terrific.
There was however one low light. My FIL equates quantity with quality and as such had asked a few times to go to Olive Garden. At first we resisted but sometimes you have to lean into the strike zone and take one for the team. It. Is. Awful.
Anyway, after a great Christmas and dinner we were ready to head home. First stop, Puckett’s Grocery in Leiper’s Fork again. We ran into a bit of Southern Aristocracy.
Mrs. Sippi’s Chicken Fried Steak was really good. My ribs were excellent. I also loved the beans. They had a great pimento note.
Ya, they were Baby Backs but they were some of the best I’ve had.
Our standard dinner on the way home is a stop at the Skyline Chili in north Dayton. Easy on and off the highway.
The next day we revisited the idea of stopping in Ann Arbor like we had planned on the way down. No guest at lunch though. The Maize and Blue Deli is a staple among UM students.
There’s a large mural that’s autographed extensively. Among the signatures are Tom Brady, Micheal Phelps and Bo Schembeckler. Mrs. Sippi tried to recreate a sandwich from her days at Ole Miss and the Rebel Deli but wasn’t able to get it right. What she did come up with was a fantastic smoked turkey and gouda sandwich.
My Triple Play Rueben was awesome. Really heavy on meat so it wasn’t as balanced as others I’ve had but the mixture of corned beef and pastrami was excellent.
They make great cookies and ridiculous brownies as well.
So there you have it. Our Christmas vacation in food.
Happy New Year y'all