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Photo TR: Jason's Roadfood Adventures


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Good choice, Larry! When I went to Ted's a few years ago, I just got a basic steamed cheeseburger (I think it might have had ketchup on it... not sure), but bacon looks like the way to go. If I ever go back, I'd like to try one that way.


Continuing on my Cincinnati adventure, my next stop was just down the street from Jungle Jim's, en route to Coney Island. Enjoy!


I have two friends with ties to Cincinnati—one grew up there, the other has parents-in-law there. One extols the virtues of Skyline Chili, while the other maintains that Gold Star has the best chain chili in the city. After Jungle Jim’s, it was time to find out.


Though they’re made from exactly the same ingredients (spaghetti, chili and cheese), I preferred Skyline… but Gold Star wasn’t bad, either.


After a visit to Coney Island park, where apparently either Elvis or the Beatles were playing at the adjacent amphitheater, given the throngs of people swarming there and making exiting the parking lot extremely difficult, I made my way to this place. Once I found parking on the street, I had to walk a ways back to the restaurant.


Terry’s Turf Club is the name, and if you live in or near Cincinnati, you’ve heard of it.


I think the bottom sign came from a carousel. No idea about the top one.


Inside, the place was jam-packed! Once again, traveling alone had its benefits. There was a 45- to 60-minute wait for a table; the doorman sat me at the bar at what turned out to be the last seat in the place. There are no “real” lights here; all interior illumination comes from the restaurant’s vast collection of neon signs. And apparently this is Cincinnati’s hipster hangout for 20-somethings because I was, by far, the oldest person in there (besides the doorman).


This was my view for dinner. I have no idea what “burger hi-test” is, but I appreciated the irony of the Ex-Lax sign.


Above — and the only way to see this is to sit at the bar and look directly up; I almost missed it myself — was what appeared to be the intricately painted paneling and cut-out trim from a pre-school or kindergarten classroom, depicting nursery rhyme characters.


I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with fries and garlic-peanut sauce for dipping. It was phenomenal! And large, too. I literally couldn’t fit my mouth completely around it. I had to kind of take a bite down from the top, then up from the bottom. The guy next to me asked for a knife to cut his in half. The bartender gave him a knife, called him a girl, then took the knife away after the burger was cut.


I was fortunate enough to have a Skyline Chili right next to my hotel. I was full from Terry’s, but I didn’t want to leave Cincinnati without trying a Coney dog. For those who aren’t familiar, Coney dogs are miniature hot dogs covered with traditional Cincinnati chili (minus the spaghetti).


There really is a hot dog under there!


The next day, I started the long drive home. I timed my travels to reach Wheeling, WV, just in time for lunch so I could check out the eateries at the historic Centre Market.


Let’s step inside, shall we?


My main reason for stopping at the Centre Market was Michael’s Beef House. Pictures I’ve seen of the roast beef sandwiches from here looked really good, and it came highly rated.


Had the roast beef on this sandwich been hot and fresh instead of cold and dried out, it might have lived up to those expectations. Sadly, it did not.


I hoped I would have better luck at Coleman’s Fish Market.


The deluxe fish sandwich — Coleman’s specialty — was pretty good. Ironically, the leftover horseradish sauce from Michael’s tasted better on this than it did on the roast beef (the tartar sauce that came with the fish was OK, as well, but nothing special).


I chose Oliver’s for dessert because I had read they sold butterscotch pie, a specialty of my grandmother’s late sister-in-law.


It turned out to be more of a butterscotch meringue — and I’m not crazy about meringue, but I gave it a try anyway. The meringue turned out to be the best part; the butterscotch kind of tasted like Styrofoam pudding.


I also bought a couple interesting-looking cookies from the little bakery booth across from Oliver’s. Unfortunately, they looked a lot better than they tasted. The only taste the blackberry thumbprint had was the jelly; the cookie had no flavor whatsoever. The “ranger cookie” on the right was kind of a coconut oatmeal cookie, and it had a faint coconut flavor, but not much else.


My final food stop of the day was Chubby’s Barbeque in Emmittsburg, MD. I had been wanting to try this place for awhile, and it was one of the reason I chose this particular area to spend the final night of my vacation.


That’s me!


Why, yes, yes, I do! But today, I’m interested in something special….


Chubby’s is one of the very few restaurants in this part of the country that offers smoked pork belly! I’ve had this at barbecue competitions, and it can be really, really good. Chubby’s was a little dry and tough, but still OK. The beans were just OK, as well, but the fried potatoes and onions were something else! The other dishes I saw coming out of the kitchen looked and smelled good, as well; I’d like to get back here and try some of them eventually.


Chubby’s has a full complement of house-made sauces. These made the pork belly go down even easier.


But the best part of the visit was Old Dominion root beer on tap! I used to enjoy bottled Old Dominion in college, but haven’t been able to find it anywhere near where I live. I’d say the draft version is right up there with Frostop as far as my favorite root beer of all time. Refills weren’t free, and I still had two of them.


The next day, I had planned to have lunch at Andy Nelson’s Southern Pit Barbecue in Cockeysville, MD. However, I made better time than I had anticipated and had nearly an hour to kill before the restaurant opened, so I decided to kill some time at the Pennsylvania Dutch Market a few doors down. It turned out to be a very fortunate detour.


Besides some great Amish foods I bought for myself and as gifts for various family members, I stumbled upon a doughnut stand near right by the main entrance (sorry; I can’t remember the vendor’s name). These weren’t just any doughnuts; they’re right up there with Krispy Kreme! Crispy on the outside, soft as pudding inside, they were all amazing. This is the traditional glazed, which I ate immediately upon taking the photo.


The Oreo cream was my after-lunch dessert. Again, simply amazing!


I had the cherry fritter as a late-night snack after getting home that night. It was good, but the cherries were a little tart for my taste. Next time, I’d like to try apple (or maybe blueberry, though I suspect that might be slightly tart, as well).


Finally, Andy Nelson’s had opened. Its namesake was a football player for the Baltimore Colts in the 1950s.


I was elated when I saw they had burnt ends on the menu! For the uninitiated, burnt ends are the fatty ends of a piece of beef brisket, left over after the brisket is sliced. They are cut into cubes of about one inch each and at one time were considered scraps. However, people are slowly waking up to how good they really are; they’re my personal favorite type of barbecue meat. Most restaurants don’t serve them, not only because of their reputation, but because they’re in short supply; you get only two orders of them from each full-sized brisket.


Unfortunately, because of that, many restaurants that offer them tend to “fudge” the true boundaries of what a burnt end really is and start cutting into the brisket itself to stretch the quantity, which was the case here. The “not-really-burnt-ends” are at the top and were just OK. The pulled pork at the bottom, however, was really good, and I would order it again. The restaurant’s ribs, for which they are known (and which I planned to order before the burnt ends intervened), also looked and smelled good, and I would like to go back and try them.


Next up: a return to the great Roadfood state of Pennsylvania!

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^Andy Nelson's is not far from my house. The pulled pork is amazing. For ribs, however, you need to drive south a bit on the same road and visit The Corner Stable. The sign on the building that says "Best Ribs In Baltimore" does not lie. In fact, they're the best I've ever had.



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^Thanks, Dave; Good to know! I remember one time while I was at college in Towson, my roommate, his girlfriend and I were supposed to go there, then they got into a big fight about something or other, so we ended up cancelling. I never got the chance to go again, and never really thought about it, to be honest, until now. I'll have to add it to the list.

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  • 2 weeks later...

^Except he wasn't just playing a role! It was all good natured, in any event.


In October, Kelly, Lauryn and I spent a weekend in Pennsylvania, attending the semi-annual Philly Non-Sports Card Show (which is held in Allentown, not Philadelphia) and stopping by Hershey's Chocolate World to pick up some discounted candy for the annual safe trick-or-treating Halloween block party I chair. Of course, we stopped by some Roadfood restaurants along the way. Enjoy!


Back on page 6, I mentioned that I got a slice of coconut custard pie from Wert's Cafe in Allentown and intended to come back at some point to try more of its specialty items. Witness Wert's amber birch beer and onion rings!


The birch beer looked like beer, but tasted like... well, birch beer. The onion rings, which everyone seems to rave about online, were kind of disappointing. I had to cover them liberally with salt and dip them in ketchup to make them taste like anything more than crunchy Styrofoam. What they lack in flavor they make up for in abundance; between the three of us, we were able to finish only about half of them.


The Wert's Famous Cheeseburger and deep-fried pierogies, however, more than lived up to expectations! The burger was stuffed with sauteed mushrooms and onions on the inside, making it extremely moist and giving it a great flavor. Add some Velveeta cheese on top, and it was a really good burger.


I had asked for mayo on the side, but didn't need it at all; instead, I converted it into a makeshift dipping sauce for the pierogies (which upped their calorie count to roughly 1,000 each).


Lauryn's never met an ice cream she didn't like, and as far as she was concerned, rainbow sherbet was just as good as true ice cream. I got another slice of the wonderful coconut custard pie, and Kelly opted for a giant eclair (not pictured).


After leaving Hershey the next day, we made our way to Abbottstown, PA, for the exclusive purpose of dining at Hofbrauhaus.


The decor was "Pennsylvania German," if that make sense.



The cheese spread they gave us to start was really good. I also was impressed with the variety of the bread-and-cracker basket, which included several varieties of Keebler bread sticks and melba rounds. I didn't even know they made those anymore.


My meal came with soup, so I chose the goulash (which came out blurry, unfortunately). It was just kind of OK--something of a hearty, spicy vegetable soup.


Kelly and I were intrigued by the potato dumplings, so we decided to split an order. They were pretty plain in and of themselves, but the gravy added a decent flavor.


Kelly got the sausage sampler with spaetzle and hot German potato salad. If we ever go back to Hofbrauhaus (and we'd like to), this is what I plan to order.


Which isn't to say my meal wasn't really good! I opted for the wiener schnitzel a la holstein, which is a pork schnitzel with a fried egg on top. Mine didn't come with gravy, but I did ask for some on the side. As with the mayo at Wert's the day before, it turned out to be unnecessary (but pretty good, nonetheless).


This was some of the best spaetzle I've had. Kelly said the same thing about the German potato salad, but I didn't share her opinion. I like mine a little sweeter, and Hofbrauhaus' was very tart.


Of course we got dessert! Between us we split a slice of peanut butter pie (bottom), German apple cheesecake (center and a special that day) and pumpkin cheesecake (top). We all agreed that the pumpkin was superior.


Up next: Restaurants of the Disneyland Resort (which isn't exactly Roadfood, but I think it will fit well in this thread).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just before Thanksgiving, we took a family vacation to Disneyland. Kelly put me in charge of planning the restaurants. Personally, I think I made some pretty good choices. Results below!


After getting the resort around 1 p.m., our first stop was Disney California Adventure. More importantly, our first stop at DCA was Cars Land. Even more importantly, our first stop in Cars Land was the Cozy Cone Motel (sign seen here after dark because it's more impressive that way). After 10 hours in airports, airplanes and shuttle buses, we were famished!


For the uninitiated (since I do send non-theme park enthusiasts to this thread every once in awhile), the Cozy Cone isn't really a motel... it's a restaurant. More accurately, it's a series of five snack stands made to resemble the cone motel from the movie "Cars," which itself was based on the modern remnants of the Wigwam Village motel chain.


The detail here is really outstanding. There are probably more road cones used in the decor than on a standard Pennsylvania highway. And that's saying something!


Even the seating area is cone-themed!


It has even more atmosphere at night. And for the record, I stayed at one of the Wigwam Villages last summer--the details in this reinterpretation are 100 percent dead on, right down to the size and position of the side windows.


First meal at the Disneyland Resort: chili cone carne!


Om nom nom!


We each got a Red's Apple Freeze, which most of you know is kind of like a frozen apple juice with marshmallow-flavored topping. The average online review of these concoctions goes something like this: "When Jesus comes back to Earth, this is what the holy grail will be filled with." Personally, I thought it was OK, but probably not something I'd get again. We also chose to share a "pop cone." The flavor of the day was dill pickle, and though I didn't think it tasted anything like pickles, it was indeed excellent.


While Kelly and Lauryn were finishing up, I took a whirlwind tour of some of the other Cars Land structures, including Flo's V8 Cafe (again, seen here at night for added impressiveness).


Lots of Googie fixtures inside, including this tire iron chandelier.


Fun fact: Though they have it on display, you can't actually buy a cup of oil at Flo's V8 Cafe.


Doc Hudson's former office serves as the restaurant's seating area.


Why his "former" office? Because it's been converted into the Hudson Hornet Racing Museum.



After taking in all three rides in Cars Land, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure and a quick spin through the Blue Sky Cellar, we arrived here for our dinner reservation.


Oh yeah!


For those who aren't familiar (again, non Disney, non-theme park enthusiasts), the Carthay Circle on which this restaurant was modeled was the theater where "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" premiered in 1937. Everything is incredibly ornate, starting with the entryway, which includes framed memorabilia from the night of the premiere.





The lounge area is impressive. Though we had reservations, we were asked to find a table and wait here for about 15 minutes. It quickly became apparent that this was a ploy to upsell us drinks and appetizers. It was the only irritation about the whole experience, which was otherwise an 11 (on a scale from 1 to 10).


However, the wait did give me some time to walk around the lounge area and take in the detail, including this case of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" cels that supposedly hung in Walt Disney's home.


After passing on drinks and appetizers three times, our name was called, and we were led into this ornate elevator.


When the doors opened, the attendant led us down a hallway that opened into the grand dining area.


The restaurant is divided into several areas. We were led through another dining room and into a side area, where we were the only diners present at first (a couple other tables joined us before we were through). Here's the menu...


...and the bread plate. I have to say that the service here was unbelievable. Every time we got up, our napkins were refolded and placed at our setting when we returned. The servers were fanatically attentive (in a good way). And the price really wasn't much more than any other table service restaurant at Disneyland.


I had been looking forward to trying the Carthay House biscuits ever since I first read about them online. Unlike the Red's Apple Freeze, the reviews turned out to be 100 percent accurate--these things were amazing! And they were probably the "worst" part of the meal!


For those who don't already know, these are no ordinary biscuits! About the size of golf balls, the thin, crusty outside gives way to reveal a molten filling of ham, cheese and other savory goodness. The mango butter dipping sauce provided with them was fine, but I preferred them plain.


Because we were there for the World of Color dining package, we were obliged to order either an appetizer or dessert with each of the adult entrees. The biscuits (which we shared) took care of my commitment. Kelly opted for the fall seasonal soup, autumn squash, and let me have a couple bites. It was absolutely phenomenal!


Kelly also got a rose water soda, which you can see peeking through on the left. Imagine a drink that tastes like a rose smells (really!), and you've got it. It was good... or at least different... but the best part, in my opinion, was the sugar-glazed edible rose petal garnish (seen on the plate in the upper right-hand corner), which had the texture of crystallized ginger, but was very sweet instead of spicy.


Between appetizers and entrees, the Pixar Play Parade started outside. Lauryn got up to watch through the glass doors of the balcony right behind our table, and the server came over to ask if we would like to go out on the veranda for a better view. Heck yes we would!


The balcony also provided nice views of Condor Flats...


...and Buena Vista Street. (Another balcony on the other side offered a view straight down Buena Vista Street; the dining area it was attached to was empty, and I peeked out on the way back from the rest room.)


When we got back to our table, our main courses (and folded napkins) were waiting for us. Lauryn opted for the steak and fried macaroni and cheese from the kids' menu. She proclaimed the steak the best she's ever had (though I can't recall her ever having had steak before, so take that for what it's worth). She had already filled up on biscuits, so I ended up with one of the fried mac-n-cheese balls. It was good!


And then there was the cavatapi with braised lamb. Kelly and I both chose this as our entree, and to be honest, I was slightly disappointed that the pappardelle pasta with chicken meatballs that I had read about here on TPR had rotated off the seasonal menu... but the disappointment didn't last long! As good as that dish may have been, there is absolutely no way it could have been better than this! It was the best dish I have ever eaten on Disney property (and I've had some really good meals at Epcot...) and elevated the Carthay Circle to my favorite restaurant at the Disneyland Resort.


Up next: More food on the other side of the esplanade!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our first day (on this trip, anyway) at Disneyland. Enjoy!


Lauryn was in a foul mood that morning, stopping to cry three times before we made it to the castle. Once in Fantasyland, I told her I bet I knew what would put her in a better mood and proposed a churro break. She informed me that churros looked disgusting, and she had no intention of eating one ever.


So I got one for Kelly and one for myself, and Kelly suggested Lauryn try a bite of hers. As you can imagine, Lauryn immediately started begging us to buy her one of her own. The churro vendor laughed, said he saw that coming a mile away and handed us the third churro, which he had waiting.


And as a postscript, we went to a winter carnival earlier this weekend, and Lauryn saw a sign for churros at one of the vendors' booths. She got very excited and started yelling, "Disneyland sticks! Disneyland sticks!" Long story longer, they weren't anywhere near as good as the real "Disneyland sticks."


For lunch that day, we ate at Redd Rockett's Pizza Port in Tomorrowland, which serves one of my favorite dishes, chicken fusilli pasta. However, since I already have photos of RRPP from a previous vacation, I didn't bother to take any. So instead, please enjoy this picture of cabbage, also taken in Tomorrowland.


It goes especially well with the Vas Peas served in Fantasyland.


That evening took us to beautiful New Orleans Square, by far my favorite "land" at the original Disneyland.


And Cafe Orleans is still my favorite restaurant at the original Disneyland (it had been my favorite restaurant at the resort, period, until our experience at the Carthay Circle the evening before).


I was surprised at how quickly we were seated. We wouldn't be as lucky the next night.


Lauryn ordered the pirate sipper, accompanied by her best impression of Captain Hook.


I got my favorite Disneyland beverage, a mint julep.


I told Kelly we would need to place two orders for the pommes frites, as I could eat one practically by myself. Again, until our meal at DCA the night before, this was my favorite dish at the Disneyland Resort. When they came out, Kelly took one look and said we had made a big mistake and should have just ordered one. By her third fry, she (jokingly) suggested perhaps we should have ordered three!


At my suggestion, Kelly ordered the Monte Cristo. She loved it, but couldn't finish it all, so I ended up with the last piece. It was just right; I like the Monte Cristo, but the portion size here is always way too big for me (even when I weighed 100 pounds more than I do now).


Besides the pommes frites (I didn't really eat a whole basket by myself, btw...), I got the French onion soup, which was good, but not great.


After dinner, I took Kelly and Lauryn to one of my favorite spots at Disneyland, the quiet, serene, never-crowded (even when the park is filled to near capacity) Court of Angels... only to find that it had been turned into an outdoor merchandise location. I'm not one of those "Everything at Disneyland must be preserved exactly the way Walt left it forever!!!" nuts, but I'll admit I was a little disappointed.


On the way out later that evening, we passed by the Jolly Holiday Bakery, which was new since the last time I had visited. We didn't eat there, but it looked fairly nice.


During our morning churro stop the next day, the Abominable Snowman from the Matterhorn was turning the popcorn cylinder!


For lunch, I had scheduled a stop at Rancho del Zocalo, a restaurant I had passed by many times, but never eaten at.


The main reason I suggested it this time is because Kelly and Lauryn are Mexican food addicts... but any restaurant with Zorro on top of its entryway can't be too bad!


I was really impressed by the interior. It really did resemble a quaint Spanish inn... with Coke products.


Apparently, people live above where we eat. I hope today isn't garbage day....


Kelly really liked her citrus fire-grilled chicken, and I really, really liked the carne asada steak and red chile enchiladas!


Lauryn was pleased with her tacos, and even the tortilla chips were surprisingly good. However, the best thing we got from this restaurant, as great as everything else was, was the tres leches cake! Kelly thought it was OK; I thought it was outstanding.


"Om nom nom!"


If you've never eaten at Rancho del Zocalo, there's one more thing you should know... its windows are a great place to get pictures of Big Thunder Mountain! Had I known then what I do now, I might have made a more concentrated effort to take a couple shots of Rainbow Ridge, as well... oh well.


Up next... the thrilling conclusion of our meals at the Disneyland Resort!

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^Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by Carthay. I'd heard it was supposed to be the Blue Bayou of DCA. While Blue Bayou has an amazing atmosphere, the couple times I've eaten there, I thought the food was just sort of "meh" and grossly overpriced, even by Disney standards. Carthay Circle, on the other hand, was priced just slightly above, say, Rancho del Zocalo, and it was some of the best food I had this year, theme park or otherwise. Plus it had an impressive atmosphere.


Last part of the Disneyland Resort posted below. Enjoy!


After lunch, it was time to head to the Jingle Jangle Jamboree at Big Thunder Ranch.


The main (and only, really) reason we came here was that I wanted to see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. But it turned out to be a really fun little area that (thankfully) people seemed fairly unaware of or uninterested in.


Case in point: free (free!) games and coloring for kids, and characters walking around with absolutely no lines or glued-to-the-hip handlers. It was so laid back that Goofy actually walked over, grabbed a coloring page and sat down to color with the kids... and no one bothered him! It was like, "Hey, Goofy's here. That's cool. Can someone pass me the red crayon?"


Of course, the reason the Jingle Jangle Jamboree is included in the food thread is... Mrs. Claus' Tasty Treats! We were still full from Rancho del Zocalo, so I didn't try any, but the Monte Cristo Bites on the menu were awfully tempting...


...and Country Bear approved! The neatest part of the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show was when two of the Country Bears came out and joined them on stage for the finale. After the show they wandered around the area, and after a few photo requests, just like Goofy, no one really bothered them. Gomer waited in the food line with park guests, and it was like he was just another tourist from Idaho or something. I've been going to Disney parks for years, and I've never seen anything like it.


Later in the afternoon, I crossed the final "must-do" Disneyland food stop off my list, the Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland.


The menu is limited, but usually really good.


Except this time it wasn't so much. The jalepeno cheese-filled pretzel was fine, but the Banyan beef skewer, I thought, tasted like chicken. I took it back to the counter and asked if maybe they had given me the wrong thing, but the woman assured me it was beef. I showed Kelly, and she said it *could* have been beef... she guessed. Either way, I loved the sauce just as much as I always have... I just wasn't too crazy about the mystery meat.


Kelly wanted to stop at the candy shop on Main Street on our way across the street for our final visit to DCA. I usually don't pay too much attention to the theming in these shops, but as I waited for them to walk around, this old music machine really caught my eye. I visited a museum earlier this year that specialized in these types of machines and even had one that supposedly was formerly used at Disneyland.


Kelly got into the holiday spirit with a Santa Mickey cupcake.


Lauryn and I opted for chocolate-covered red velvet Mickey Mouse cake pops with marshmallow ears. I chose traditional...


...while she went for the Mickey-head sprinkles. Both were delicious.


Over at DCA, I did some browsing along Hollywood Boulevard while waiting for Kelly and Lauryn to ride the Tower of Terror and came across this pretend candy store...


...and some of its "not for sale" confections.




After their Tower of Terror ride, Lauryn didn't feel that great, and Kelly had been complaining all day that her feet hurt, so they decided they would just rest for awhile, then go back to the hotel and call it a vacation. I hit a few more DCA rides, then meandered over to the World of Disney at Downtown Disney... where I ran into Kelly and Lauryn!


My plans were to do some gift shopping, then have dinner at the newly opened Earl of Sandwich, one of my favorite food stops in Orlando. Kelly and Lauryn said they would join me, but wanted me to scout it out first since it was at the other end of Downtown Disney and they didn't particularly want to walk if they didn't have to, especially in the rain. When I got there, the line was out the door and around the corner, and they were predicting about an hour wait. Pass!


By the time I got back to their bench, the rain had stopped, and Kelly suggested going back into Disneyland and trying Cafe Orleans again since we had enjoyed it so much the night before. Only this time they were all booked up, so we ended up shoulder-to-shoulder with roughly 10,000 other guests next door at the French Market.


Even though the food at the French Market is served cafeteria-style, we still had a 20- to 25-minute wait in line (which, like Earl of Sandwich's, snaked outside and around the building). Inside, decorations were themed to the nearby Haunted Mansion Holiday.


According to Kelly, I kind of looked like this wreath by the time we found a table and sat down. We carried our trays around for 10 minutes--and asking Lauryn to carry anything for that long without spilling it is asking for a miracle to begin with--looking for an open table. Hardly anyone was eating--they were saving tables for people who had just joined the now-30-minute line.


After getting verbally abused by a gentleman who claimed he had "dibs" on a table (to save for the next half hour before anyone else in his family showed up, of course) from which people were leaving, I found a nearby table that was being "saved," informed the "saver" that we would be eating there, and that was that. Turns out he wasn't even saving the table for that particular restaurant; he was holding it so his friends could join him and have a place to sit while waiting for their reservation to come due next door at Cafe Orleans!


Long story short: I hate people.


The at the French Market was, as I recalled from several years prior, good, but not great. I got shrimp pasta and an apple tart, but wasn't as hungry as I thought I was; I didn't come close to finishing either.


I don't remember what Kelly and Lauryn had to eat for dinner, but they shared this coffin-shaped chocolate cake for dessert.


Two interesting things happened at the conclusion of this meal. We saw another couple wandering around with trays just as we had been, so we invited them to join us since we had a couple seats free. They thanked us profusely and told us we were, by far, the nicest people they had met at Disneyland.


As we were getting up, Kelly accidentally bumped the chair in back of her with the one she was sitting in. The lady sitting there yelled, "Watch it! You almost knocked me off my chair!" Kelly, having grown increasingly tired of what she dubbed the "California attitude" we encountered throughout much of the trip, apologized, then said to me, "Wow, if I had known all this time I could just hit them and get away with it, this vacation would have been a lot more fun!"


After dinner and a train ride back to Main Street, Kelly and Lauryn really did leave to go back to the hotel to prepare for our 4:30 a.m. departure to the airport the next day. Meanwhile, I made my way back over to DCA and got in the 35-minute single rider line for Radiator Springs Racers (where I got rained on again and encountered some more of that lovely "California attitude"). Afterward, I took a few more food-related photos on Buena Vista Street, including the very nicely done Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe.


At the Julius Katz and Son store, I found this old-fashioned candy machine full of "Imagineered" candies.


Almost all of these relate to Disney's earliest cartoons and "Alice" comedies.


Graphically, this one was my favorite. If (when?) they get around to reproducing these boxes to actually sell with candy, I would buy this one. At the very least, I suspect each of these will eventually become pins and be sold as a limited-edition set for around $75. Because, you know, that's what Disney does.


OK, notice above that I said "almost all" of the candies related to Disney's earliest production efforts? Not this one! I literally laughed out loud and absolutely had a smile on my face for the rest of the night when I noticed this particular faux candy box.


A lot of people know a lot about Walt Disney, but this is a reference only the geekiest of Disney history geeks (like me) would get, and I couldn't believe they went to the trouble of including something this obscure that probably only .00000001 percent of park guests who even noticed it would understand.


Walt and Roy Disney's father, Elias, didn't have anywhere near the financial success of his sons, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Unfortunately, he had a habit of investing in fly-by-night schemes and ideas in hopes of bettering his family's financial standing. One particularly bad investment was in the O-Zell Company, a Chicago-based producer of jams and jellies (with ill-fated intentions of expanding into carbonated beverages). He reportedly lost $16,000 on the deal. Still, it's part of the Disney family's history, and the Imagineers chose to immortalize this obscure little detail from a century ago in the form of this faux candy box.


Anyway, I've said too much. Next up: the final Roadfood of 2012!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Unfortunately, I didn't get to travel much during the holidays this year... but there's still plenty of Roadfood to be had! Six days before Christmas, I partook of my final Roadfood of the year, both on the same day and both in Salisbury, MD, within a few miles (one within walking distance) of my work. Enjoy!


In the '50s and '60s, this building used to house the Polar Bar, a popular restaurant and high school/college hangout. Flash forward to the mid-2000s and DeVage's, a popular sub shop, bought it and moved out of its original strip mall location and into this standalone building. Why is that important?


Because as part of the deal, DeVage's also acquired the locally famous Polar Bar doughnut recipe!


Each year, I help distribute dozens of these doughnuts as part of a goodwill campaign. And they are good!


Ready to see what's inside?


Boom! My favorite flavor is peanut butter, followed closely by orange, cherry coconut and original glazed. They have over a dozen (maybe 18?) in all, and they're especially good early in the morning when they're fresh out of the fryer. But then, what doughnut isn't?


That afternoon, after a long morning of doughnut deliveries (and some actual work, as well), I made the very short trip to Sage Diner for lunch.


This is one of those places that was about 15 different restaurants over the course of five or six years when I was growing up. Finally, sometime when I was in high school, the Sage moved in, and it's been there ever since. There's a second location in Eastern Shore Virginia, as well. The reason for its longevity?


It's good! This place has a menu approximately 692 pages long, and I've never had a bad meal here. On this particular day, I chose a ham and cheese omelet with home fries. More often, I opt for the "Businessman's Lunch" of an open-faced Reuben with fries, chicken noodle soup and a dish of rice pudding with cinnamon and whipped cream... all for about $8. My favorite thing at the Sage, however, is its sweet potato waffle. Yowza!


Anyway, that's it for 2012! What's on the horizon for 2013? Well, if the weather holds out, we're talking about an upcoming weekend trip to the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads area... where the possibilities are endless (or at least more than we could rationally take in over the course of two days). Until then!

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You did an amazing job in 2012! I'm really really jealous of all your roadfood adventures. The doughnuts looked really good, and I liked the different flavors like orange and peanut butter. We tend to just got the normal ones here. Doughnuts are definitely my top five food. Can't wait to see more in 2013

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^Thanks, Joey! Glad to know you're enjoying it.


The last time I checked in, I mentioned that I would soon be heading to the Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads area. Well, we did that... but plans changed quite a bit from the trip's inception, and instead of basing our adventure in Norfolk, as we originally had intended, we ended up in Williamburg to attend our first ever sci-fi convention! It was unique, to say the least, but we enjoyed it enough that Kelly has already decreed we will be attending again next year, and Lauryn has already instructed Kelly to begin creating a Renaissance zombie costume for her. (For what it's worth, Kelly is interested in exploring some sort of steampunk outfit. I, on the other hand, plan to stick with jeans and a sweatshirt.)


That said, the convention took away some of the time I had set aside for visiting restaurants. Plus there were other setbacks. The restaurant I was looking forward to the most went out of business unexpectedly a week before our trip (after nearly 60 years of operation--it figures). And we had such a hard time finding parking for another eatery I had hoped to stop at on the way back that we just said "screw it" and went to IHOP instead.


So all told, we ended up at exactly one Roadfood restaurant on our weekend trip, and that was an off-hours, between-meals stop I insisted upon. But it was good! Enjoy!


First Roadfood of 2013: Doumar's Barbecue in Norfolk, VA.


Of course he did.


Guy didn't sign the wall at this place as he did the restaurants we visited in Maine, but he did autograph a poster for them.


Doumar's has both traditional drive-in curb service and an indoor dining room.


Given that temperatures were in the high 30s, we opted for indoor seating.


Doumar's' claim to fame is that its founder also allegedly invented the ice cream cone at the 1904 World's Fair.


Now, if you follow this thread regularly (like Joey), you may be wondering the same thing I did: How can Doumar's claim its founder invented the ice cream cone when E.B. Hobbs in Salem Willows, MA, claims its founders invented the ice cream cone? The answer is actually pretty simple (and spelled out on a brochure I picked up at Doumar's): There were three parties involved in inventing the ice cream cone: the Hobbs founders (who provided either the ice cream or the cone--that part's a little fuzzy), the guy who provided whichever component the Hobbs founders didn't, and Mr. Doumar, a souvenir paperweight vendor who came up with the idea of getting all these crazy kids together in the first place.


At any rate, Mr. Doumar got out of the paperweight business, took the ice cream cone idea to Coney Island after the fair, invented this four-cone waffle press and then spent the rest of his life franchising Doumar's Ice Cream locations to family members throughout the East Coast. The Norfolk location, built in 1949 (but opened earlier, in a different building), is the last one left.


With all that history, you would think we would have gotten ice cream cones... but alas, we were more interested in the shakes. My cherry, on the left, was OK (I also sampled a hand-mixed cherry soda, which was pretty horrible). Lauryn said her banana, on the right, was great; I'll take her word for it since I generally don't like banana-flavored foods. Kelly's orange freeze, on the other hand--orange juice with orange sherbet, topped with whipped cream and a cherry--was out of this world, and I'm definitely getting one for myself the next time we're at Doumar's (and there will be a next time). It also was the only one any of us could drink through a straw--for the most part, what Lauryn and I got were big glasses of soft-serve ice cream.


Kelly and Lauryn both got cheeseburgers to go with their shakes. I tried a small bite of Kelly's--it was the best of the three cheeseburgers I sampled that weekend, but still just OK.


The barbecue, on the other hand, was great! Not quite competition level, but still very, very good. And the slaw on top was just enough to accent the porkiness of the sandwich without getting in the way. I definitely plan on ordering this again.


Thanks, Doumar's! We hope to see you again soon!

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^In that case, I have another treat for you!


Long time readers of this thread might recognize this restaurant -- or at least the building that it's in. Fat Daddy's BBQ opened in 2012 in the structure vacated by La Placita, noted earlier on here as one of my favorite restaurants. As much as I still miss La Placita, I'm always game to try new barbecue restaurants. Unfortunately, this one opened just as I began my quest around this time last year to lose 100 pounds, and given the performance of other restaurants at this location, I feared I might not have the chance to sample its offerings.


Well, earlier today, that year-long wait ended... and the food was well worth it! Enjoy this short (but tasty) report!


With the exception of the addition of a bunch of flags and a new sign, this part of the building looks pretty much the same as it did when La Placita was here.


This part doesn't! Like Gaston, Fat Daddy uses antlers in all of his decorating.


But when the food's this good, the decor really doesn't matter. I'm not a huge fan of Carolina-style pulled pork (I prefer red sauce over the vinegar-based Carolina sauce), but I really liked Fat Daddy's version. The fries were hand cut and fresh, and the homemade peppery red sauce on the table was great, as well. The restaurant also makes its own lemonade, which struck the perfect balance between sweet and tart. I had two glasses, and the waitress was nice enough to offer a Styrofoam cup so I could take the remainder of the second with me to sip on the way home.


I'm back on the diet train next week, once my week-long vacation from work ends, but hopefully I'll be able to make Fat Daddy's an occasional treat in the future... assuming it continues to avoid the curse that befell its predecessors and the doors remain open!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

It’s springtime again, and that means it’s time to revive the roadfood thread. Enjoy!


In April, I was sent to the Baltimore area for a morning-long work conference. Afterward, I contemplated going back to sample the ribs at Andy Nelson’s Southern Pit Barbecue, but then I remembered that when I posted my Andy Nelson’s report, Dave advised that it was The Corner Stable that actually had the best ribs in the Baltimore area. Since that’s just down the street from Andy Nelson’s (and lunch was on the office that day, assuming I turned in my receipt), I decided to give it a shot.


I think the phrase that best describes the interior décor is “Dark with Christmas decorations… in April.”


Though I didn’t particularly need an appetizer, I couldn’t not try the pulled pork fritters. They were OK, but I didn’t particularly care for the sauce they came with. And then it hit me: What if that was the same sauce they used on the ribs?


Unfortunately, it was. I like sweet ribs, but these were just a little too sweet for me, and they had an aftertaste… I want to call it “vinegary,” but I’m not sure that’s exactly right… that I didn’t like. Of course, that doesn’t mean I didn’t finish the entire plate….


So in summation, I wouldn’t necessarily call these “Baltimore’s best ribs,” but apparently I’m in the minority. As this framed letter notes, the ribs are imported from Denmark, which I found a little strange, as well, but hey, pig meat is pig meat!


For dessert, I drove a little further up the road, back to the Pennsylvania Dutch Market, to pick up some of those amazing doughnuts. This time, they also offered fried pies! The most unique flavor was called “snit,” a combination of apple butter, apple sauce and spices that apparently is quite popular on the Amish church dinner circuit. How could I not try one? It was… different. A little tart, but not bad. I’m excited to go back and try different flavors (apple, cherry, blueberry, strawberry, etc.) in the future.


Speaking of pig meat, I once again attended the annual Pork in the Park in Salisbury, MD. It’s been covered in this thread a couple times already, and I didn’t really eat anything different there this year than I have in the past, so I won’t repeat the details. However, this year’s 10th annual event did feature one unique event that I thought may be of interest: a chicken wing eating contest with Joey Chestunt and Sonya “Black Widow” Thomas! That’s them in the center-ish. Unfortunately, I was busy running a beer tent on the other side of the pond from where the stage was, so this slightly blurry zoomed-in photo was the best I could manage.


In early May, I surprised Kelly and Lauryn with a weekend trip to Niagara Falls. Kelly doesn’t have a passport, and taking Lauryn across international borders is… let’s just say not worth the hassle… so we were limited to the New York side. Which, as it turned out, was fine, especially since they were able to see all they wanted to see from the “Maid of the Mist” boat ride (and I’d already seen it years earlier, thanks to TPR). On the way, we stopped for dinner at Nick Tahou’s Hots in Rochester, NY.


This is the inside. I thought the vintage candy machine against the back wall was really cool. Not pictured is the only other patron in the restaurant at the time walked in, a homeless lady sitting next to a garbage bag filled with all her worldly possessions, ranting into a cell phone.


So what is this “garbage plate” thing, anyway?


Well, it’s a layer of homefries, topped with a layer of macaroni salad, topped with a layer of Texas hot wieners, topped with a layer of onions, topped with a layer chili. I really liked it. Kelly took two bites and declared it the most disgusting thing I ever made her eat. Lauryn refused to touch it.


Curious, I also tried a Rochester white hot with the works (i.e. mustard and onion). I liked it even better than the garbage plate! Unfortunately, Kelly declared this the unabashed low point of the trip. The clientele who walked up to the counter after us seemed to underscore that this was a “ghetto” hangout… until a very preppy high school softball team came in as we were leaving. Kelly said the bathroom “looked like a murder scene from ‘Friday the 13th’.” Lauryn refused to eat anything in the restaurant, including a candy bar from the machine. Obviously, they don’t know good roadfood when they see it.


Fortunately, things went a lot better at our next stop, Parkside Candy in Buffalo, NY.


The current location of this candy and ice cream shop opened in the 1930s, and nothing much has changed inside since then. A portion of the baseball movie “The Natural” was filmed here.








The big draw at Parkside Candy is sponge candy, a confection not found much in the United States outside upstate New York region, but very popular elsewhere in the world.


From the outside, it looks like an ordinary chocolate.


The inside, however, reveals its unique filling. For those who aren’t familiar with sponge candy, it’s kind of like a square of super-hardened cotton candy enrobed in chocolate, and it more or less dissolves upon coming into contact with your tongue. If you’ve ever had a Cadbury Crunchie bar, that’s pretty much it (though the Parkside version didn’t really get stuck in my teeth the way Crunchie bars tend to).


Coming up: more Niagara Falls-area restaurants and two kinds of fried crab meat.

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Congrats on making it to Nick Tahou's! Definitely a rite of passage. Having said that, please know that Rochester is about 1000 times less grungy than that part of the city.


Always awesome to see new updates, this thread is probably my favorite on the entire site, roller coasters and all.

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