My Year in Roadfood (2012)

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ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 16:25:52 (permalink)
Ok, again I am hungry......if you keep this up, BB, I will never shed a few pounds before the Mobile trip!
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 17:12:54 (permalink)
Bad news Ann.....   The best pies will be up next!
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 17:17:18 (permalink)
kaszeta

I always have a love for Ted's.  Most of my visits to either the Buffalo area, or Tempe AZ, result in a trip to Ted's.  Great onion rings, too.
What do you order there, the regular hot dog or the foot long?  I have always gotten the foot long in the past and I am curious about the difference in flavor of the wieners.  And 100% agreement about the onion rings! 

mayor al
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 18:02:06 (permalink)
Let me drop back a chapter to the regional awards. Your two photos of the different format for LOBSTER ROLLS was great.  While the cold version seems to (visually) hold more Lobster, I have always loved the hot Lobster Rolls. Warm Lobster chunks with melted butter dripping all over it. Messier to eat than the Mayo-glued cold version, but an outstanding way to enjoy Lobster (or crab). Your photos of the two  really told the story.
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 18:19:48 (permalink)
Thanks Al!  That's exactly what I was trying to do there.  And for the record, I am a cold lobster roll man, myself.  Just don't tell Michael Hoffman.
lleechef
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 21:30:11 (permalink)
buffetbuster

Thanks Al!  That's exactly what I was trying to do there.  And for the record, I am a cold lobster roll man, myself.  Just don't tell Michael Hoffman.

He's pouting in the corner now. 
 
ChrisOC
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 21:42:00 (permalink)
Oh man a wiz wit from Steve's Prince of Steaks.  If the good Lord made anything better he would have kept it for Himself!!
ChrisOC
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 21:42:00 (permalink)
Oh man a wiz wit from Steve's Prince of Steaks.  If the good Lord made anything better he would have kept it for Himself!!
ChrisOC
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 21:42:49 (permalink)
Why did that post x2?
will_work_4_bbq
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 22:08:02 (permalink)
Everything is fabulous!  Bravo, BB!  (ps I am now starving too!)
kaszeta
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/15 22:34:41 (permalink)
buffetbuster

kaszeta

I always have a love for Ted's.  Most of my visits to either the Buffalo area, or Tempe AZ, result in a trip to Ted's.  Great onion rings, too.
What do you order there, the regular hot dog or the foot long?  I have always gotten the foot long in the past and I am curious about the difference in flavor of the wieners.  And 100% agreement about the onion rings! 

To me, the footlongs always seem a bit blander than either the regulars or the all-beef jumbos.
 
My standard order is one all beef jumbo and one Rochester White:

If I'm not all that hungry, just two standard dogs.
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/16 08:23:33 (permalink)
Some of the best neon from 2012:
 

























 
































 


 
 
 

post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/29 20:28:35
kaszeta
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/16 09:00:05 (permalink)
Nice.  I always love neon (and have about 1/4 of those signs in my own photo collection).  The Apple Plan is one of my favorites, here's my near-identical shot:
 

 
(You truly get around... :) )
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/16 11:34:11 (permalink)
kaszeta
(You truly get around... :) )

Look who's talking!!!

Thanks for the photo from Ted's.  Now I know what will be my order next time in town!
rumaki
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/16 12:02:37 (permalink)
I love the neon!  The Nashville ones are happy memories for me. 
 
For a fantastic neon restoration, with Route 66 associations, I strongly recommend a visit to Mitchell, Illinois to see the fabulous sign at the Luna Cafe near Chain of Rocks bridge.  Here's a link that starts in black and white and fades to color.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dennisdixson/6271501572/
 
The place itself has lots of mobster and movie memorabilia, but it's not for every taste.
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/16 13:35:38 (permalink)
Great neon bb!  That frozen custard sign looks familiar...
 
I think my favorite was the wedge of cake.  The beautiful design made it very inviting.
 
Buddy
Rocky Enfield
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/16 14:42:24 (permalink)
BB,
 
I will be in Fort Wayne this weekend so you had better believe I will be stopping by Power's to try #5 on the hamburger list.
 
As I was reading your trip report it occurred to me that, in my humble opinion, you have surpassed  roadfood greatness and have become a supreme chronicler Americana.  Your pictures and narratives are top notch.
 
I enjoy and appreciate your trips reports very much!
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/16 15:01:25 (permalink)
Rocky-
I love hearing that you will be stopping in at Powers Hamburgers.  It is my favorite place for sliders and Mariton considers it her favorite burgers period!  But, I have heard many customers come in and order theirs "light on the onions".  If you like onions on your burgers as much as I do, you will hopefully enjoy it.  Please report back!  Warning, they are closed on Sundays. 
 
BTW, I have been trying to get to Elkhart for years to visit Heinnie's for years, but haven't been able to work it in.  Maybe this will be the year.  Is it worth the trip? 
 
Another place you may want to check out in Fort Wayne is Spyro's Pancake House, which will be a candidate for my top breakfasts of the year.
 
And I genuinely appreciate your kind comments.
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/16 15:14:26 (permalink)
Buddy-
Hey, thanks for taking us to a place with quality custard and a memorable neon sign!  That cake wedge photo is from Lexington Market in Baltimore, where they have a ton of great neon signs.
 
rumaki-
Nashville really is a wonderful town for neon.  There were a couple of other places we visited that had really good neon signs, but since it was daytime, you couldn't really tell.  I know Wendell Smith's, a.k.a. booze & biscuits, was one of them.  And thanks for the link to that great sign!
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/16 15:16:17
CajunKing
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/16 15:38:20 (permalink)
Hmmm Camp Washington Chili made your list twice... You would think you liked the place
It is a cool art deco style neon
 
there is something about the glow of a neon sign at night that beckons you to enter and enjoy.
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/17 11:25:36 (permalink)
CK-
Whoops!  It is fixed now.  Thanks for pointing that out.
Rocky Enfield
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/17 11:32:23 (permalink)
BB,
 
I would say that 90% of the time Heinnies is great (every restaurant has an off day now and then).  On the weekends the wait can be an hour or longer.  If you make it this way let me know and I will tip you off to some of our other local landmarks that I believe would be worthy of your interest.  That would include the place to get the finest donut I have ever had and Amish Crack, handmade chocolates and a few other items.
 
I would also enjoy joining you for a juicy steak at Heinnies. 
 
PS Love onions and when I spoke to the person that answered the phone at Powers they said thjey were open on Sundays.  Just to be on the safe side I will stop on Saturday .
 
If you like oriental food the next time you are Fort Wayne stop by Ma Hnin a Burmese/Thai restaurant on Calhoun just a mile south of Powers.  Auhtentic and excellent!  A tiny place and most of the time when I am there I am the only non-oriental in the place so I take that as a good sign.  The prices are sinfully inexpensive.
ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/17 11:56:03 (permalink)
The neon signs are epic, BB-at least they didnt leave me starving-but got me thinking!!!!
FriedClamFanatic
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/17 19:11:58 (permalink)
Lawd......preserve us!  These great write-ups and photos by BB, Wandering Jew and Kazeta put us all to shame. All we can do is comment.  But Lawd...thank you for putting these intrepid souls on the road more than they are home to tantalize our tastebuds.  Just now grant us the pocketbooks to go off to these wonderful sites and indulge in Thy bounty!
 
And Grant these 3 places near the kitchen at the big table in the sky...preferably near to an outlet so they can recharge their cameras!
 
 
 
 
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/17 20:32:32 (permalink)
As usual, my list of best pies are the strongest of any of the lists.  So strong that to name only 10 would be an injustice;  there was too much great pie eaten in 2012.  Here are pies 20-11 and I will complete the list tomorrow.
 
Best Pies 20-11
 
20) Bananas in Pajamas Pie - Pie Bird (Raleigh, NC)
 
Pie Bird offers some of the most creative and interesting pies anywhere, including one simply called crack pie.  But it was the bananas in pajamas that won our hearts.  This has an oreo crust, tiny slices of bananas, white chocolate, hazelnut ganache, whipped cream and cocoa powder.  Very complicated and very good!
 
19) Coconut Cream - Stoby's Restaurant (Russellville, AR)

It comes as no surprise that Arkansas, maybe the top state in the nation for pie, is well represented on this list.  We came to Stoby's for a chance to eat possum pie, but Cousin Johnny's coconut cream stole the show.
 
18) Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pie - Hammett House (Claremore, OK)

A big thanks to Roadfooder Howard Baratz for taking Cousin Johnny and I to this Oklahoma pie palace.  The three of us split four slices of pie, with not a loser in the bunch.  Unlike most peanut butter pies, this vertically impressive version wasn't overly rich or cloyingly sweet.  Howard and Johnny named it the best of the four, but since this is my list, I get to place it here.
 
17) Chess Pie - Sylvan Park (Nashville, TN)

A lousy photo of a great slice of pie.  Sylvan Park makes, for me, the gold standard chess pie.
 
16) Chocolate Pie - Pope's Cafe (Shelbyville, TN)
 
Pope's Cafe has had some up and downs in the last few years, but based on the excellent pies ChiTownDiner and I sampled last February, they are in an upswing!  We caught them at the perfect time as they were soon to close and our slices of pie was really a 1/4 pie!
 
15) Blackberry Cream - The Upper Crust (Kansas City,MO)

Located in the basement of an upscale kitchenware store, this place sells some really beautiful pies.  TTM, Cousin Johnny and I all selected a mini-pie and as usual, Cousin Johnny's choice was the clear winner.  I thought this would be a light pie by the name, but the sweet, fresh blackberries were in a wonderful, thick custard.
 
14) Pumpkin Pie - Nick's Kitchen (Huntington, IN)

Our visit to Nick's was during Fall, which was just the right time for pumpkin pie.  We loved the whipped, rugged texture and perfect blend of spices.  This was the best pumpkin pie I have ever had.
 
13) Banana Cream Pie - The Apple Pan (Los Angeles, CA)

You would think with a name like Apple Pan, that the apple pie would be the featured dessert, but it is the banana cream pie that stars here.  Real whipped topping, neatly stacked rows of fresh bananas and a wonderfully flaky crust.
 
12) Cherry Vanilla Pie - Orlean Market (Orlean, VA)
 
Orlean Market is small town general store that makes fine sandwiches, salads and chili.  We sampled a trio of desserts, including hummingbird cake and peach mango pie, but the buttery, flaky crust of the cherry vanilla pie was the big hit.
 
11) Black Cap Pie - Homemade Cafe (Pepin, WI)

In a case of Roadfood serendipity, I had just left the great Stockholm Pie Company to find a sign out front of Homemade Cafe advertising black cap pie.  Who could say no to that?  I grabbed a slice to go and was rewarded with deliciously sweet black raspberries on top of a light cream cheese filling.
 
The Top Ten pies tomorrow.....          
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/17 20:37:32
ann peeples
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/18 07:33:15 (permalink)
Oh, my.......
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/18 09:30:37 (permalink)
Finishing the best pies list, here are numbers 10-1.
 
10) Mexican Chocolate Pie - Pie Hole (Los Angeles, CA)

While the selection here at Pie Hole may be small, the quality of the pies makes up for it.  This pie had an interesting sandy texture, the not-too-sweet filling tasted of real chocolate, not sugar and the graham cracker crust was world class!
 
9) Lemon Pie - Chip's Barbecue (Little Rock, AR)

Chip's is a bbq parlor that is just as well known for their homemade pies.  The banana cream pie was a disappointment, but the lemon pie, with the real whipped topping and the bright, sunny lemon flavor was delicious!
 
8) Reese's Pie - Johnnie's Grill (El Reno, OK)

We loved the four seperate layers, which made this one of the most visually appealing pies of the year.  And to think I had been to Johnnie's twice before without eating their desserts.  We also really liked the chocolate surprise pie, which easily could have made this list.
 
7) Buttermilk Chess Pie - Hammett House (Claremore, OK)

This was my choice for the best of the four pies we sampled at Hammett House.  The rugged crust was extra thick, but still flaky.  And the filling had an unexpected cinnamon flavor, which blended well with the buttermilk tang.  A great slice of pie!
 
6) Coconut Custard - Woodruff's Cafe & Pie Shop (Moore, VA)

Loaded with toasted coconut in a creamy custard and owner/baker Angela Scott is a master of pie crusts.
 
5) Pineapple Cream - Vera's Diner (Vanceboro, NC)

As unassuming little restaurant in a small North Carolina town, the only reason I stopped in was because they mentioned homemade pies on the outside sign.  I grabbed a slice of their pineapple cream to go and ate it in my hotel later that night.  The airy meringue was excellent, while the custard filling had a strong pineapple flavor.  Next time in eastern North Carolina, I will be driving out of my way for a visit.
 
4) Peaches and Cream Pie - Pie Lab (Greensboro, AL)

Pie Lab (love the name!) is a community outreach project that turned into a pie shop in a small Alabama town.  This makes me want to support them no matter how the pies are, but the pies I tried were terrific!  The nutella pie was a pleasant change from the usual, but I was blown away by this peaches and cream pie, with sweet fresh fruit in a thick, creamy custard.  I already can't wait to go back!
 
3) Caramel Pie - Charlotte's Eats & Sweets (Keo, AR)

People flock to this tiny speck of a town just to line up for a precious seat at Charlotte's.  And while the regular food is fine, it is the pies that brings them here.  We noticed that just about every table was ordering their pies as soon as they sat down, so they won't run out of their favorite.  The caramel filling and crust are both exemplary, but it is that ethereal meringue that really makes this a special slice of pie.  While Johnny and I were eating our sandwiches, one of us bumped the table and we just watched our pies sway back and forth for the longest time.
 
2) Double Lemon Pie - Stockholm Pie Company (Stockholm, WI)

While the sour cream raisin pie here wasn't as earth shatteringly as good as I had hoped, this slice of pie more than made up for it.  I am a fan of most any lemon dessert and this strikes the perfect balance between sweet and tart.
 
1) Banana Cream Pie - Coffee Cup Cafe (Sully, IA)
 
With the perfectly light meringue and silky smooth banana custard, this sets the gold standard for banana cream pies.  Even if part of it fell off during photo taking!
 
I was disappointed in not making it to Farmer's Kitchen in Atlantic, Iowa in 2012 as their sour cream raisin pie has topped my list the last few years.  It was very sad to hear that the restaurant is closing due to the health of owners Mark Johnson and his mother Charlene.  I wish them the very best.    
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/18 09:57:20
ChrisOC
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/18 10:14:15 (permalink)
I don't see any Shoo-fly pie.
rumaki
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/18 12:20:50 (permalink)
What exactly is cherry vanilla pie?
 
 
buffetbuster
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Re:My Year in Roadfood (2012) 2013/01/19 02:12:59 (permalink)
ChrisOC-
Sorry, there was only one slice of shoo fly pie eaten in 2012 and it didn't make it into my top 20. There is a photo of it, from Katie's Kitchen in Ronks, PA, in the regional photos post.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2013/01/21 08:43:38
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