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 Easter 2012

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Davwud

  • Total Posts: 503
  • Joined: 6/25/2006
  • Location: Toronto, On/Huntsville, AL
Easter 2012 Mon, 04/16/12 5:56 PM (permalink)
Hey Gang.
 
I’ll try to keep this shorter than my usual trip reports. They were getting longer and longer and……
 
Anyway, not as many cool places this trip down yonder. We were on a bit of a tight budget and ate at my SIL’s a number of times. Still, we did alright.
 
The crap. Macaroni Grill. I thought it was terrible. We ordered some sort of dinner for two thing which included two apps. We went with macaroni and cheese bites. They were about as good as Sonic’s (May even be the same) and it came with some sort of lemon butter that was not good. The other app, meatballs were dreadful. Odd taste to the whole thing. My main, fettucini alfredo with shrimp added tasted pretty good but wasn’t well executed. First of all, the 4 shrimp were different sizes. Two were pretty large (probably under 20/lb) and the other two were small (probably over 30/lb). The large were slightly over cooked so that meant the small ones were very over cooked. And it was a $4 up charge for them. The pasta ended up very gluey. Not good.
 
The better. We hit up Sonic for the first time in a while. I still like it. Chili/cheese tots were good and the foot long Coney was quite good.
We had to give the Taco Loco (Doritos taco) from Taco Bell a whirl. It was a step up from their usual taco but not that special. The nacho cheese flavour was mild but for the powder that was left on my lips. A good lip smack wasn’t bad.
 
The even, better. Skyline chilli on the ride home for some chilli/cheese Coney’s. Love ‘em.
We’ve been inundated with Del Taco commercials lately and decided to give the Toledo store a try. We found it to be quite good actually. It was taco day so we had orginal tacos (standard, TB/Old El Paso type done well) and crunchy shrimp. The battered shrimp were better on their own. The shrimp stood up to what was a good batter but barely. The shrimp taste was lost in the taco. However the taco as a whole was really quite tasty. Especially with their inferno sauce. The fries were amazing. Exactly the right amount of salt for me, great crunch and fluffy interior.
 
The really good stuff that we always hit. Among our favourites anywhere. Dreamland and Tater’s n Dawgs. Click the links if you want to read my reviews from previous visits. Read on if you don’t.
 
The best stuff.  from least loved to most loved.
 
Almost smack dab in the middle of Ohio on I75 is Criddersville. Right off the highway is the Dixie Diner.

A small place I’ve had my eye on for a while now. We decided to stop and I’m glad we did. That area is a dead zone for the most part so an upgrade on the usual chains is welcome. They have a very small menu which is augmented by a daily special. It was fried chicken day so we decided to split an order, a cheese burger and cheese sticks. The cheese sticks were of course prefab crap but we figured that going in. The burger was a bit of a shame. They take the time to get quality beef from a butcher in Wapakoneta and then make their own burgers. Here’s where it starts to go south. The freeze their home made burgers. Not tragic but also not really necessary. They then proceed to cook them to death. Which is really too bad because it was very flavourful. Just dry. The fries are frozen too but that’s fine. The house slaw was classic BBQ joint style and quite good. The fried chicken was outstanding.

Cooked to order it takes a bit longer but worth it. I like a herbier crust but it was crunchy and the chicken was nice and juicy inside. 
 
Big Cove BBQ in S/E Huntsville was awarded best BBQ in N. Alabama in ’09. It’s good. Not nearly the best though

We really liked some of the stuff and the potato salad was the best we’d had in a restaurant. It had a real unique flavour in it. I tried but couldn’t get the owner (James Taylor) to give up his secret. I’m wondering if the bottle of butter flavourted margarine I saw in the cooler is a tip off though. Best BBQ?? I don’t think so. The pulled pork was fine, big shards without sauce which is good on both parts. A bit on the bland side with no smoke taste which isn’t fine though. Same with the ribs. They were overcooked in terms of competition Q (juicy but falling apart) but I could care less.

The sauce matched well with both meats. Really brought out the piggy flavour. It’s like they were meant to be eaten together. I do not want that in anyway to be interpreted as a “It needed sauce to be good/good Q doesn’t need sauce” comment. I’d go again if I was in the area but since we have to drive by little Paul’s to get there and like it better. Also, from my SIL’s we can go to Chuckwagon in Fayetteville for some of the best Q I’ve had anywhere.
 
Tastebud’s in Wilmore, Ky is really quite cool. It’s a soda fountain in an old drug store in a tiny town in the middle of Kentucky.

About 30 miles outside Lexington it’s not worth getting off the interstate for but if you’re in the area (We were on our way to Perryville to see where Mrs. Sippi’s Gr, Gr, Grandfather fought during the late great unpleasantness) worth a stop. They do sandwiches and pizza predominantly. Both were outstanding. The chicken salad is great.  The pimento cheese sandwich was incredible and the pizza just as good.

With no kitchen they bring in a lot of stuff but do their best to make sure it’s high quality. Fresh pizza dough for instance. Not a boboli or Pilsbury tubed dough. They use a table top pizza oven. Cool setting and terrific food.
 
David Gibson’s is famous. The son of Big Bob Gibson he struck out with his brother and started a place in Huntsville.

After a fall out he went it alone. His Q is typical N/C Alabama style with chicken and white sauce being the signature piece. The sample platter was really good and as expected the chicken was certainly the star.

The brisket was very good and the pulled pork solid but nothing more. I thought the slaw was really lacking.
 
The Rootbeer Stand in Sharonville, Ohio is a gem.

The burger was good and the footlong was great. I was somewhat surprised that they use regular chilli and not Cinci style. Said chilli was nice on it’s own as well.

The home made rootbeer was fabulous. Not very sweet or carbonated it made it very smooth and not yucky aftertaste you get with typical stuff. It’s been mentioned on here and I concur, worth a stop.
 
A stop for breakfast at Stan’s in Colombia, Tn, is something we’ve been meaning to do for a while.

This place is in Mrs. Sippi’s pantheon of great places. The Hillbilly Breakfast hits all the high notes. Grits, great. Biscuits, perfect. Sawmill gravy, awesome. Ham, Yeow!! Red Eye Gravy, nice. Hashbrowns, fantastic.

The only complaint I have is they don’t make their own cream pies. Everything else on the menu is made in house except the pies.
 
The biggest eye opener was Green Acres in Birmingham. This soul food, take out only place was special good.

Most everything comes deep fried and as we were instructed, we ordered it all, “All the way.” That means, salt and pepper, hot sauce and, yes, ketchup. As odd as it seems, where the minimal sauce was, it was amazing. Everything. Well, except the pickled pigs foot. I hated it. A few words to the wise though, when you order wings keep in mind you get a fill wing. I ordered 10 thinking I’d get 10 pieces. I got 10 full wings or 20 pieces. It was a lot but I soldiered through. Also, the catfish sandwich is a whole, baby catfish (head and guts removed obviously) so it has bones in it.

I remembered how you pull bones from poached fish and it worked like a charm. Grab the spine at one end and lift up. The whole skeletal remains came right out. Mrs. Sippi was all about the gizzards and they were a hit. As stated, where they had sauce, awesome. If you like gizzards. I can take or leave them. It was a highlight meal.
 
So there you go, I’ll post links to my blog posts for the pertinent items here. Hope you enjoyed it.
 
DT
 
 
<message edited by Davwud on Mon, 04/16/12 6:19 PM>
 
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