Well our summer trip has come and gone and to put it bluntly, we ate like Vikings. Lots of good food, good places and good people. Probably one of the best trips we've had from a food standpoint.
As I usually do with these longer trips I'll post the journey in one thread and our stay in Huntsville in another.
Anyway, we went "Through the mountains" as we call it. That means crossing at Ft. Erie/Buffalo and heading down through Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia before hitting Tennessee and finally Alabama.
Without further adieu, I present our trip in food.
Our first stop was in Erie Pa. I'd heard about these Greek Style Hotdogs at a place called New York Lunch and it's been on my "To do" list for a while. It was finally time. New York Lunch is a little lunch counter right in the middle of town. The building dates back decades and seemingly they haven't been visited by a renovator or maybe even a health inspector lately either. It's a dive in the truest sense.
That said, the "Greek" Hotdogs are really quite tasty. The chili sauce is pretty loose, somewhat like Cinci chili but certainly not as intense. I did sense a bit more of a traditional chili note in there too.
A fellow patron highly recommended breakfast there. They do simple bacon and eggs type stuff and there ain't nothin' wrong with that. Sadly, the burger with Greek sauce wasn't all that good.
Erie also affords you the opportunity to visit one of only 2 US War of 1812 ships still around today. The USS Niagara.
The other being the USS Constitution in Boston.
Next up was a stop over in Pittsburgh. We've driven through countless times and we decided that a stop in town would be in order. As was a stop at Nadine's Bar. We saw Nadine's featured on D3 the day after we started putting our trip together. It looked too good to pass up.
Mrs. Sippi is trying to figure out a way to ditch me and marry the Open Face Roast Beef Sandwich w/ Mashed Potatoes. She loved it that much.I risked life and limb to secure a taste and it was indeed excellent.
We also got Meatball and Fried Baloney sandwiches which, while fantastic couldn't compete.
PNC Park is just as beautiful as advertised.
While staying at La Quinta you get breakfast. Sometimes it's pretty servicable. Others, it's not. This was one of those second type breakfasts. Fortunately while walking the hound I noticed Eggs 'n At across the street from our hotel. It looked pretty busy so we thought taking a chance would be a pretty safe bet. It was.
They do the old standards of course which Mrs. Sippi jumped on. Proclaiming her Sausage and Eggs to "Hit the spot." I opted for the Corned Beef Hash. I'm fairly new to CBH and fully figure I haven't had the best one I'll eat yet. Not that there was anything wrong with this one. Again, just a good solid offering.
They get bread brought in every morning from a local bakery and it was fantastic. Well worth the extra cost for real bread.
Off on our way we hit the open road where our first stop would be the famous Ritzy Lunch in Clarksburg, WVa. This little lunch counter has also been around for decades and may possibly have the best hotdog chili I've had. Just the perfect balance of meat, gravy and spices.
The also make a phenomenal sandwich called a Giovanni. I'm told it's a local specialty and I just absolutely loved this one. It's a burger patty smothered in sauteed onions, sweet and hot peppers and yellow and white processed cheese. It came grilled cheese style and I could've eaten a half dozen or so. It was phenomenal.
They also do chili cheese fries. One of the interesting things is the chili, being pretty loose, made for a rather soupy dish. It worked well if you looked at the glass half full. Rather than a runny, soupy mess, what I found was a chili cheese potato soup at the bottom. Yummy.
Clarksburg is also the home of General Stonewall Jackson.
That night was stopped in Knoxville where we ended up at Dead End BBQ. This place is a bit of a local legend however I have to say it's reputation exceeds itself. A couple red flags were waved as we pulled into the driveway. First off, no pig outside. Secondly, too new. I'm sure the great Q places were once new but it seems like you really want a place with character.
I wouldn't say the food was bad because it wasn't. Sadly, very little was any better than good. One thing that certainly stood out was the smoked sausage. They serve it sliced on the plate but where I think it would shine is sliced, fried and along side some over easy eggs.
Mrs. Sippi said their tea was dreadful and we both thought the sauces quite good.
One last stop before our arrival in Huntsville. The well known Country Side Cafe outside Chattanooga in a little town called Ooltewah. Well, it's at the intersection of 2 country roads in the middle of nowhere actually. The food was really good but not in the pantheon of great Meat n 3 places.
I opted for the meatloaf. I was asked if I wanted gravy on it and of course I did. When it arrived I thought the addition of gravy was weird. It had a tomato sauce baked on it rendering the gravy redundant. I soldier on though and found that ultimately the two worked together. I wouldn't order it that way again but it was interesting and a very tasty option.
I read a blog review of the burger place across the road and it deemed it very good.
Thus endeth the journey to.
As usual the road home was much less interesting. We're usually on a bit of a mission to get back asap. Our first lunch stop was at Sonic. I still think they make an above average coney. Dinner that night was supposed to be our usual Skyline in Dayton however construction, detours, traffic jams, more construction, more detour, detours on our detour route due to more construction meant we didn't arrive in at our hotel until 11pm. It was a long day. We did split a bag of Doritos in the car for dinner. BTW, the new Enchilada Supreme flavour is awesome.
Our final meal on the road was lunch in Dearborn at the legen-wait-for-it-dary Miller's Bar. Whenever a list of the best burgers in the US is drawn up, Miller's is on it. They do simple flat top burgers of ground round served on simple buns with Velveeta.
A couple of really cool things are they serve their burgers on wax paper only. They have no menues as there are only a half dozen options or so. They're also on the honour system as well. Just tell them what you had and they tell you what you owe.
As for the burgers...ya, they're THAT good.
So there you have it. Our journey to and from Huntsville for our summer vacation.
<message edited by Davwud on Sun, 07/22/12 11:22 AM>