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Everything posted by printersdevil78

  1. I agree that the Bar-B-Q Shop's sandwich looks best. I had my first pulled-pork-on-toast experience last month, and I was surprised that the crunchy texture really did add to the sandwich. Did you actually get to see pigs dance? Too bad you missed Rendevouz; that was my favorite restaurant in Memphis when I was there a few years ago. Blues City Cafe was pretty good, as well; I especially liked their fried pies.
  2. While Blue Bayou is, as Wes said, the place to impress at Disneyland, it may be difficult to get in if you don't have reservations, and reservations can be hard to come by if you don't make them a few weeks (up to two months) in advance. It's also fairly pricey. If you aren't able to get in there, a nice alternative is the Cafe Orleans, right next door. Even if you experience a wait there, I've never gone more than 20 minutes or so before getting a table. The outside dining provides a sidewalk cafe-like experience perfect for people watching, with a view of the Rivers of America, and you may even luck up on some jazz entertainment from the nearby streetmosphere performers. Or, if you go in the evening, try to plan your meal shortly before Fantasmic starts and stay for the show during dessert. The restaurant offers some of the same menu items as Blue Bayou at a slightly reduced price, if I remember correctly. Bonus: Both Blue Bayou and Cafe Orleans are just steps away from the largely forgotten Court of Angels, just behind the shops near Pirates of the Caribbean. If you're looking for some alone time in a romantic atmosphere, steal away back there for awhile, perhaps with a couple of cool beverages from the nearby Mint Julep Bar (by the train station). It's my go-to spot at Disneyland for getting away from the crowds. The only other time I've ever seen anyone else back there (including times when the park was filled to capacity), was when a photographer was using it as a backdrop for a couple's engagement photo. Big Thunder Trail is also good for getting away from the crowds, and though I think the Court of Angels is more picturesque, the dimly-lit Trail does offer its own special atmosphere at night.
  3. But... I thought there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime. Do they know it's Christmastime at all?
  4. Wow, that park has the best signs and structures ever! Too bad it was lacking in other ways. Thanks for sharing!
  5. ^Nice! Although that does explain why I had to put in a claim at UPS today for a package that apparently was lost somewhere in New Jersey about two weeks ago. Big Mike goes on vacation, and the whole place goes to pot!
  6. I took the Pirate’s Flight sign photo on opening weekend. Maybe it’s gone already? Unfortunately, I probably won’t be back to check until Fright Fest. As for Beech Bend, I didn’t take any interior photos of the Haunted House (I generally don’t take any on-ride photos unless it’s specifically spelled out that it’s allowed), but here are some views of the outside from last month. The exterior doesn’t really seem to have changed much, based on photos I’ve seen.
  7. Larry, I’m not sure if this photo of Zero-G at Beech Bend is good enough for the index, but it’s the only one I could find in my pictures from my recent visit there. Also thought you might be able to use this photo of the new Pirate’s Flight sign from SFA. In addition, some ride closing/re-opening updates I noticed while going through the index just now: Avalanche at SFA is no more (it wasn’t there last year, if I remember correctly). The Haunted House at Beech Bend, however, has re-opened, and it looks pretty good inside.
  8. ^^Throughout my travels, I’ve noticed that just about every root beer place uses an orange-and-black or orange-and-brown color scheme (there are some more examples coming up in the thread). I have no idea how those became the official colors for root beer, but it seems to be nearly as universal as striped poles for barber shops.
  9. In early June, I completed a nine-day, 10-state driving vacation that took me to amusement parks, roadside attractions and restaurants in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. During that time, I managed to gain no fewer than 14 pounds! Here’s why. Not counting a Hardee’s breakfast sandwich that morning (all diet bets were off for this trip), my first stop of the vacation was Cumberland, MD, for… Coney Island hot dogs? Oh noes! Fortunately, Curtis’ was the place I had intended to go to all along. I didn’t even know that other Coney Island place existed until I ended up parking in front of its now-empty shell. “When Johnny was marching off to war… we were making Coney Island sauce!” Check out the menu. I had actually been to Curtis’ a few years earlier. Beneath the piece of cardboard listing Cherry Coke is a portion of the sign that reads “Cherry Smash,” a Virginia-based soft drink that was quite good. I was sad to see they had taken it off the menu. Apparently the change took place shortly after my last visit; the waitress said Curtis’ was the only restaurant in the area that was still stocking it, and the company stopped sending delivery drivers all that way for a single order. My regular order at Curtis’: two with sauce, hold the onions. They were as fantastic as I remembered. I also got to see the cook (but alas, failed to get a picture) line a quantity of them up his arm and dress them in bulk. Fun stuff! Several hours and several antique stores later, I pulled into Huntington, WV, where my first stop was the Frostop Drive-Inn. Check out the giant root beer mug on the roof! It rotates. Much like A&W, Frostop was once a drive-in hot dog and root beer chain that later bottled its brew for sales in stores. Today, only a few individual restaurants remain. It looks just like the one on the roof! The hot dog was great! The chili actually tasted just like its counterpart at one of my favorite hot dog joints, Ann’s Dari-Creme in Glen Burnie, MD, which I’ve written about elsewhere on TPR, if not in this thread. The slaw (a traditional hot dog topping in West Virginia) could have been a little better, but it was still good. And the carhop was very friendly, welcoming me when she found out it was not only my first time at a Frostop, but in Huntington, as well. Let’s talk about this root beer for a moment. It was quite probably the best root beer I’ve ever had! Very sweet, with a strong hint of vanilla, served in a chilled mug. What’s not to like? Next up on the hot dog trail was Stewart’s Hot Dogs. There are several branches of this very local chain in Huntington, but this little orange stand is the original. In fact, it’s so small, I accidentally drove by it during my first pass. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not related to the Stewart’s bottled sodas or the Stewart’s Original drive-ins of New Jersey. As good as Frostop? Let’s find out. OK, the root beer was really good, if not quite as good as Frostop (and not served in a frosted mug, obviously). The dogs were… not great. I really liked the coleslaw, but the chili just kind of tasted like “glop,” and the dogs were nothing special. The onion rings were 99 percent grease, and I ended up leaving most of them behind. Honestly, I probably would have gone with the one-dog, one-root beer order here as I did at Frostop had I not had a coupon for the extra dog and onion rings. My last stop before checking into the hotel after a long day: Jolly Pirate Donuts… And gyros! Retro packaging! The doughnuts here were pretty good overall. The glazed wasn’t half bad… …while the apple fritter was great! I saved mine for breakfast the next morning. Up next: Hillbilly Hot Dogs! You won't want to miss this one.
  10. Great report! I've never seen the Rolo walk-around before, so that was a treat (no pun intended). Thanks for posting.
  11. After a few months’ hiatus, the Roadfood thread returns! But this time, the reason for the delay is more than just my usual busy-ness. In late January, I started a major diet and, save for a few weekend trips, vacations and special occasions, I really haven’t gone to many Roadfood-style places. In fact, with the exception of my weekly bar trivia night and a few work-related events, I really haven’t dined out much at all this year. The good news is, a couple months ago, Kelly decided to make it a “family diet,” and in the past couple months, she and Lauryn have lost weight, as well. Then a few of our friends joined in… so we have kind of a “Biggest Loser” thing going on. That said, I do have some fun places to report on… and they’re 100 percent scrapple-free! Enjoy! I’m not sure how this place has escaped the Roadfood thread thus far, but Thrasher’s French Fries is an Ocean City, MD, tradition dating back to the 1920s. This was the “crowd” when I stopped by during a visit to the boardwalk the first week of January to take a photo to enter into one of Big Mike’s contests. In the summer, the line can stretch for what seems like a mile. However, there is a dirty little secret: Besides the main location pictured here, there are other Thrasher’s locations further down the boardwalk that almost never have lines… and the fries there are just as good, no matter what anyone tells you. This is a “small” (sizes go all the way up to a popcorn-style bucket) with sea salt and vinegar, the way God intended Thrasher’s fries to be eaten! The only items served besides fries are Pepsi and Diet Pepsi, poured into cups from two-liter bottles. And don’t even think about asking for ketchup. It’s not available at Thrasher’s, and the Boog’s Barbecue restaurant next door (owned by and named for Baltimore Orioles Hall-of-Famer John “Boog” Powell) has signs sternly warning patrons that its ketchup is not to be used on Thrasher’s fries… or else. In early March, Lauryn started talking about how much she wanted to visit New York. I have no idea what prompted this sudden urge to see the Big Apple, but I suspect it was because the main characters from “iCarly” or “Big Time Rush” or “Victorious” or some other interchangeable show probably went there. Kelly and I started talking about a visit… then the next day at work, a friend of mine who runs bus trips told me she still had tickets available for her next trip to New York a few weeks later if I knew anyone who was interested. It was kismet! Kelly wanted to spend the day taking Lauryn shopping in the Times Square area, and I reluctantly agreed… provided I got to choose the restaurants. First up: John’s Pizzeria. I came thisclose to changing my mind once I realized that Shake Shack was right across the street (and the grill smell coming from there was amazing), but since I had been denied a chance to visit John’s once before during a group holiday trip when the wait proved to be too long, I had incentive to see what I had missed out on. Next time I’ll visit Shake Shack to see what I missed out on this time! How many pizza joints have you been to with a ceiling like this? This particular branch of John’s (with several locations throughout the city) was built inside a defunct church! The view from our table. Not too shabby! Stained glass windows on the other side. But forget about the view… this is where the magic happens! On Scott’s Pizza Tour last year, I learned that the best pizzas come from coal-fired ovens like this. Lauryn had a bad experience with pizza last year (she will forever associate tomato sauce with the flu), so she doesn’t particularly care for it anymore. However, she is a garlic bread fiend. Personally, I thought John’s’ variety was a little bland, but she enjoyed it, which is what counts. Ladies and gentlemen, this pepperoni-sausage-garlic-cheese, coal-fired, thin-crust pizza from John’s is quite probably the best pizza I have eaten thus far in my life. Kelly said the same thing… and we’ve eaten a lot of pizza! Maybe it’s because it was the first “junk” food I’d had in more than two months at that point. Maybe it really was that good. I don’t know. But to this day, I still have dreams about that wonderful pie. Originally, I wanted to go to the Carnegie Deli for dinner. However, in researching the trip, Kelly decided it was too far to walk. Plus, she really hates crowded, chaotic places, and neither of us was sure how well Lauryn would do in that type of atmosphere after getting up at 4 a.m. and spending the day walking several miles through New York. I wasn’t sure how long our wait would be, and I read a lot of mixed reviews online. Ultimately, we decided it would be best to skip it this time and try something else. When I read about Junior’s, it sounded like the perfect substitution. How can you have a Brooklyn-themed restaurant without featuring Ebbets Field? “Forget Ebbets Field… where’s the food?” Our meal began with complimentary sour pickles, beets and coleslaw. I had read good things about the matzo ball soup, so Kelly and I each got a bowl. They were huge! I really wish we had just got one to split; it was a meal unto itself. I got the half corned beef, half pastrami sandwich. It looks good here… but in actuality, it was pretty dry. I’ve had better. Kelly went for the pastrami burger with fries and onion r.ings, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Lauryn got the same thing, only without the pastrami and r.ings. The onion r.ings were the size of doughnuts! That’s not an exaggeration. Full as we were, we weren’t about to leave without sampling a slice of Junior’s’ famous cheesecake. They’re even sold on QVC, according to my mother. We got a piece to split three ways. Om nom nom! At the Toys “R” Us in Times Square, I picked up some bacon-flavored jellybeans and cheese-flavored fried worms. The worms tasted like… nothing, really. The jellybeans, on the other hand, were absolutely horrible! Kelly got mad at me after she ate one on the way home. I still have most of them left… though I did palm some off to the kids who attended Lauryn’s birthday party last month (they got mad at me, too). In April, my friend from whom we bought the New York tickets called and let me know she had a few empty seats left on her bus trip to the 100th anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., that she was willing to give away, lest they be wasted. Lauryn was spending her spring break with her father in Kentucky, and Kelly wasn’t really interested, so I went solo. After the massive parade, I made my way to the Sakura Matsuri street festival. I was looking forward to sampling authentic Japanese cuisine… …like Big Macs! Um… let’s go with whatever this guy is making instead. The lines for the Japanese food vendors were insane and not even remotely organized. You would stand in one line for 20 minutes only to find out it wasn’t a line at all, but a dead end. In the end, it was more of a “next person who shouts their order is the next person who gets waited on” deal. This pork bun was OK. Not really worth waiting 45 minutes for, but… OK. I had better luck at the pre-packaged, grab-and-go booths. I’m not really sure what these things were, but they were incredible! Far and away the best food I had at the festival. Unfortunately, I pushed my luck too far. As a fan of “Lost,” I certainly wasn’t going to pass up on the opportunity to try an actual fish biscuit! It was filled with bean paste, and didn’t have much taste. I’m not sure what those things next to it were called, but they were kind of like a dense marshmallow-flavored dough coated in chunky Karo syrup, if that even makes sense. By the time I finished all three skewers, I felt pretty sick. That was the last “cheat” day until Memorial Day weekend, when I made a special trip to Bethlehem, PA, to see Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica perform during “Luau at Levitt” at the Levitt Pavilion at the SteelStacks arts and entertainment complex. This was the snack bar inside. Apparently the Just Born candy company, maker of Peeps and Mike and Ikes, is a big sponsor. These were the benches! I opted for the outdoor catering, which was a bit more luau-themed! Roast pig sandwich with mango chutney (pineapple salsa also available), taro chips (listed as “homemade,” though they obviously weren’t) and a mai tai… now that’s living! That’s all for this installment. Stay tuned for more!
  12. Nice! Congrats, Robb! This sounds much more promising than the behind-the-scenes tour of the apple fries kitchen. Yeah, I'd watch that!
  13. Thanks again, Larry! Since the Grimaldi's on Front Street was one of the two restaurants I had to cut from the itenerary due to logistics (Peter Luger was the other; I'll get there eventually), that's especially good news. We're talking about doing both Totonno's and Grimaldi's at Coney now... with Nathan's thrown in for good measure, naturally.
  14. Thanks, Larry! It's a happy accident that the Cyclones are out of town during our visit, but I'll take it. The museum and sideshow are both on my list, as are Luna, Deno's and Nathan's. Thanks for the heads up on the coupons, as well; I'll check the site. The only place around here that sold Nathan's hot dogs (a TCBY near my work) took them off the menu in January, so I'm looking forward to getting my fix!
  15. Hoping I can get some advice from our resident New Yorkers or those who have visited Coney Island recently. Kelly is planning a birthday trip for me there next month, and we're trying to figure out how easy it will be for us to find parking. It looks like there are a few garages in the area, but it's hard to tell whether these are hourly, residential, etc., and how quickly they may get filled up on a Saturday. I've seen a few websites that state all-day parking is available at MCU park for $20 when the Cyclones are away (which they will be the weekend we're planning on being there), but many of those listings seem to be out of date. Is this still a viable option, and if so, would it be better than the garages? Also, I know Coney has cleaned up its act as of late. While most of the stuff we're looking at doing is within a one-block radius of Luna Park, I'd like to have lunch or dinner at Totonno's, which is about half a mile from the park, according to Google Maps. Some of the restaurant review sites I've been on have described the neighborhood as looking a little "rough." Will it be safe for us to walk that half-mile during the day, or should we consider another means of transportation for that short side trip? As always, thank you for any help.
  16. I know just the person who could turn this park around: www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=62618
  17. Wow, this all looks amazing! Thanks for sharing it with us. I booked tickets last week for a Disneyland visit in November, and this is making me want it to hurry up and get here! I thought the inaugural version of DCA was OK, but what they've done just blows the original park out of the water! I told Kelly it will be like visiting a brand new Disney park for me. The picture of the monorail crossing the bridge just confirms that more--if you had shown me that photo and I didn't know it was California Adventure, I never would have guessed that was the former Golden Gate Bridge area. And Cars Land just looks insane! I'm starting to worry now that the three days I booked won't be enough for us to fully cover both parks (Kelly and Lauryn have never been to Disneyland, so we'll need to place a large focus there, as well).
  18. Wow, I spend all weekend slinging chicken for charity (huge fundraiser at the Delmarva Chicken Festival), and now I come back to Ducky Madness! For my draft pick, I'll take Duke for the NCAA championship. By the way... nicely played, Mr. Bebe. I do admire your style!
  19. It's a pizza peel (which I thought was spelled "piel" until I Googled it just now)! Man, I wish I was over there right now. This is the trip I was planning to go on this year until circumstances happened. Glad everyone's having fun. Thanks for posting!
  20. Very jealous of your meals from Sarge's and Shake Shack! They're both on my "want to do" list for NYC. Glad you got to go to John's; we tried their Times Square-area restaurant (in an old church; look for photos soon in the Roadfood thread), across the street from Shake Shack, and their sausage and garlic pie was probably the best pizza I've ever tasted! As always, thanks for sharing!
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