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Photo TR: Jason's Roadfood Adventures


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It almost looks like you hit the Pike market on a good day. When I visited, it was so crowded that I went in, watched them throw a fish and walked out...ridiculously stupid crowded.


I also got a laugh out of the line for Starbucks that was about a mile long.


We left that area after about 20 minutes, went to a bar and watched the Melvins play...way more fun.

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I went down to Oktoberfest (in Cincinnati) and was VERY excited when I noticed Schmidt's and Hey Hey were there! Of course I took the recommendation and got the sauerkraut balls and I just HAD to try to Bahama Mamma from Schmidt's. I don't eat brats/metts often but I thought it was pretty damn good! I also did a photo shoot earlier in the day for Lala's Blissful Bites, a small bakery in downtown Cincinnati. They specialize in cupcakes! But the sweet potato bar is one the best things I've ever eaten.



Massive and delish!


Gotta give love to bourbon barrel ale

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^ Schmidt's is just awesome...not to hijack the thread here, but have you been to the Oktoberfest in Cincinnati and if so, is it any good?

Yup read my post above, that's where I was at. It's a great time with fantastic food beer and events.


Joey Chestnut was there to compete in the brat eating contest!~

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^LOL...I guess I need new glasses!


We went down to Oktoberfest in Columbus this past week & had a great time. It wasn't too shabby and definitely larger than any of the Oktoberfest celebrations around here (still no comparison to Munich though).


I wonder why they don't have a midway with rides like Munich? They certainly have the room (being at the Ohio State Fairgrounds) to be one of the largest in the country if they chose to!

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  • 2 months later...

Well, it's been another months-long hiatus, but I'm finally back for another round of Roadfood photos.


Good call on Schmidt's, PKI! I'd really like to get back there sometime. And the German festival sounds good, too!


In the meantime, we now return to Pike's Place and beyond in Seattle. Enjoy!


This place was pretty neat… and it smelled heavenly!


I bought a chocolate fish to get the salmon jerky taste out of my mouth.


In researching the market prior to our visit, this was one of my must-try stops.


Apparently crumpets aren’t hot-weather food. Who knew?


The place had a major “Alice in Wonderland” motif going on.


What time is it?


Groat time!


No, I mean crumpet time! The one on the left is a Vermont crumpet, with maple butter, cream cheese and walnuts. The one on the right is cream cheese with pesto. Both absolutely amazing!


My dad found the crumpets a little too frou frou for his taste and opted instead for a frozen yogurt cone from Shy Giant.


Cherry-chocolate chip, to be exact.


There were plenty of other places we would have liked to have stopped for snacks had we not already had dinner plans, including Three Girls Bakery.


Honestly, is there anything in that window that doesn’t look phenomenal?


Eventually, this is where all the food ends up….


Areas around the market also beckoned with fresh foods, novel items and unique décor, like these clotheslines in Post Alley. Apparently they originally were strung up in 1978 as part of some art installation. Those clothes have been drying for over 35 years!


Nearby, El Mercado Latino caught my eye.


Again, there’s nothing here I wouldn’t like to take home!


I settled on some chili-lime pork rinds, which proved to be very spicy, as well as a bag of plantain chips that came in handy later on in the trip when restaurants and gas stations were few and far between.


Around the corner, the Virginia Inn is one of Seattle’s most historical restaurants.


Biscuit Bitch is not.


Yes, please!


This place was almost enough to convince me to cancel our dinner plans at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Almost.


I settled for a Mezzo Mix, the only one I’ve ever had outside Atlanta’s World of Coca-Cola and Club Cool at Epcot.


Finally, it was time to bid Pike Place Market adieu.


Before heading to dinner, we stopped to check out the amusements at Pier 57. We didn’t eat there, but we found a couple of fun restaurant signs.



I bought a Peanut Butter Mountain Bar in the gift shop there. It tasted similar to a Cherry Mash (one of my favorite regional candies), only with peanut butter instead of cherry nougat.


The next morning, before heading to points south, we visited 13 Coins, a highly-rated restaurant near the offices of the Seattle Times.


Each table is inlaid with — you guessed it — 13 coins.


Well, the Food Network has rarely steered me wrong yet….


The booths here are very plush and stretch from the floor to the ceiling. The whole place was dark and “leather-ish.” It reminded me of something out of 1930s Hollywood.


This was the view on one side of our table…


…and the other.


The Night Owl Lounge was closed during our visit, catering exclusively to late-night diners. 13 Coins never closes… and it’s a lot better than Denny’s!


Based on a multitude of online reviews, I ordered the Joe Special, a conglomeration of seasoned ground beef, spinach, eggs and cheese that was really, really good. I also got a side of hash browns, which were amazing. The one letdown, foodwise, was the grilled biscuit. I was expecting something that tasted really special; instead, I got something that tasted really burnt. Unfortunately, we had a horrible waitress, who first didn’t realize we were even there (after about 15 minutes, the greeter walked by, noticed we still had menus and asked if anyone had ever come over to take our order), then screwed up my dad’s order, then pretty much forgot again that we were ever there. We practically had to beg for the bill.


Up next: a visit to Portland, OR!

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^That special really looks good, but sorry to hear about the burnt-tasting biscuit and lousy service. Perhaps you might have been better off going to the 'Biscuit Bitch' to get a really awesome biscuit?


Edit: I HAD to Google Biscuit Bitch...check out their awesome menu below. Although I was a little disappointed that they didn't have a 'Biiiitch Puhleeeeease' biscuit, I liked that you could order an "Egg Over Hard"!


If I make it out there to visit my friends that live in Seattle, we will definitely have to check this place out.


Biscuit Bitch menu

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  • 2 weeks later...

On this leg of the adventure, we head down to Portland, OR. Enjoy!


That evening, having eaten lunch at Wild Waves, we stopped by a Burgerville in Portland, OR. Burgerville is a very localized chain with several dozen restaurants, all in the Portland metro area.


More faux-’50s décor.


Burgerville prides itself on using only locally sourced ingredients. The burgers were good, the fries and onion rings were OK, but the shakes were out of this world. Chocolate for my dad, blackberry (seasonal only) for me.


And then it was time for dessert. This place has long been on my food-stop bucket list.


After a 10-minute-or-so wait in line, stained glass windows greeted us at the entrance. Those 10 minutes offered a very unique look at the city that is Portland.


The young gentleman offering to draw the people in line as dragons for a mere $5 each certainly was doing his part.


Pennies aren’t weird enough for Voodoo Doughnut.


This is the scene beyond those stained glass windows.


But this is what we’re really here for!


A display case offers a visual aid for ordering. And they even have vegan doughnuts. Weird!


At Voodoo Doughnut, you can order doughnuts by the box…


…or by the coffin!


Creepy stone-face man says, “Hurry up and choose your doughnuts so I can get back to being weird!”


And the winners are…


Two random iced doughnuts for my dad and a signature voodoo doughnut for me! He’s filled with jelly so it looks like he’s bleeding while you eat him. The pretzel stick doesn’t represent a cigar; it’s supposed to be a stake through the doughnut’s heart. Apparently the baker was so busy being weird that he missed. (You know, the more I think about it, maybe “weird” is really just a euphemism for “high.”)


I tried an apple fritter, and we both got one of Voodoo Doughnut’s famous maple bacon bars. I’ve had these from other places, and they were always OK. Voodoo’s struck just the right balance of sweet and salty. I thought it was the best doughnut of the trip.


The next morning, we headed out for Pine State Biscuits, with two locations in Portland (not to mention a booth at the Portland Farmers Market). Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us, one of those locations closed shortly before our vacation, so we spent an unfortunate amount of time cursing the GPS and trying to find a restaurant that no longer existed. Once a friendly (weird!) local set us straight, we made our way over to the one that was still in business.


After standing in line for about 15 minutes (fairly typical at Pine State, I understand), we were greeted with a menu board and a list of rules.


This is pretty much it for the indoor seating area, though patio and sidewalk seating was available. We were fortunate to find an open table.


This would be the Reggie Deluxe — a breaded, fried chicken breast with bacon, gravy and cheese on a freshly baked biscuit — and a side of hash browns with ham, onions, mushrooms and cheese. I thought it was the best breakfast of the entire vacation. (My dad disagreed, largely because we had to stand in line for it.)


From there, it was off to do some sightseeing. First on the list: Candy Basket Chocolates.


We were hoping to schedule a tour of the Candy Basket factory. Unfortunately, they were not available the day we were there. However, we had another reason for visiting: behold the famous 20-foot chocolate waterfall!




The factory store is a candy lover's paradise!


It’s decorated with all measures of candy and candy-making equipment.



I liked this Popeye chocolate mold the best.


My purchases were rather modest, but good! They included a small box of Clodhoppers (chocolate-coated cookie crumbles)…


orange sherbet squares (I’m not even sure how to describe these — they were kind of like orange-flavored white chocolate, but the consistency was more like solidified cake icing that melted on the tongue)…


And a big bag of assorted taffy to take home to Kelly, with unique flavors including cheesecake, carrot cake and birthday cake.


After a few more tourist traps, it was time for lunch at Otto’s Sausage Kitchen, also in Portland.


The sausage-surrounded pig means it’s good!


While Otto’s does have a very small area for ordering hot foods to go, it’s predominately a German specialty grocery store.


This is more along the lines of what we came for.


We had to go outside to get it. No frills here; an Otto’s employee cooks up sausage fresh from the store on a home grill modified from an old oil barrel. Drinks are available from a nearby cooler.


Don’t forget the mustard buffet!


“Sausages of distinction”? We’ll see about that.


Truthfully, they were pretty average.


But sausages weren’t our only reason for coming to Otto’s! I also wanted to try some of the store’s homemade jerky. Honestly, it, too, was just OK. While it was a cut above gas station jerky, it was very tough and kind of reminded me of a cross between regular jerky and a Slim Jim.


Oh well. If nothing else, Otto’s is still a great place to have your wild game processed and fish smoked.


Up next: More Portland and a descent into the wilds of northern California!

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Burgerville. Their quality has declined some over time, but their items have a distinct flavor to them, plus as you found, they have some great regional items you won't routinely find at the bigger chains.


And I'm never not craving a voodoo doll donut.

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^ Is Dick's still on Broadway in Seattle? And also down near the Seattle Center as well?

Best part of getting stuff (for myself) from Dick's was late at night, when the bars closed

and everybody was heading home. The humanity there at that time was truly eclectic, LOL!

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is seriously one of my favorite threads! The Reggie Deluxe looks absolutely amazing! I could also spend hours at the 20 foot waterfall. I'd be like a tourist at niagra falls! Thanks for more amazing updates!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks, all! I've never been to Dick's, but it sounds like a place to check out if I get back to Seattle.


And speaking of Seattle... this update contains the last of the photos from my 2013 Pacific Northwest/Northern California trip. Enjoy!


On the way back to our hotel after Otto's, we passed Annie’s Donuts, which was on my list for breakfast the next day. We decided to get a jump on things and stop in.


The interior was very ’70s.


The selection was pretty large.


We’ll see about that….


Our assortment included a regular glazed, chocolate frosted, sour cream, buttermilk (that’s the one without a hole) and two raspberry fritters, for which we had high hopes. I really liked mine, but my dad thought his was just OK.


Unfortunately, I pulled a muscle in my back either the day before our vacation started or the day we left, and it got progressively worse as we went on. By the time we made it to the Rheinlander for an authentic German dinner that evening, I was in considerable pain.


They really did up the “German” exterior.


Inside, too!


My dad, having not gotten his fill of sausages at Otto’s, opted for a German sausage platter.


I, on the other hand, ordered a sampler that included sausage, cabbage, hot German potato salad, two types of schnitzel…


…and a Bavarian pretzel!


Like Otto’s, the Rheinlander also had a mustard buffet… granted, a slightly more refined version.


Though we opted for indoor seating, we spied a few diners enjoying their meals on the patio on the way out.


After a visit to a somewhat sketchy immediate care center the next morning to get some pain medication for my back (I got a discount for paying for my prescription up front, in cash…) and a truly amazing afternoon at the Enchanted Forest (if you think Challenge of Mondor is trippy, try it on oxycodone!), we stopped for dinner at Big Stuff Barbecue in Cottage Grove, OR.


Based on all the signs and bumper stickers we saw, there is a tremendous amount of civic pride in Cottage Grove. The walls of the restaurant were decorated with vintage photos from the region.


The hand-cut fries were pretty good.


The beans were OK, as well. I tried the pulled pork sandwich, while my dad got a brisket sandwich. Both were pretty good, though if I had to do it again, I would have gotten my sauce on the side; it was hard to taste the flavor of the pork whatsoever with so much sauce on top.


Outside, a series of freshly painted Coke murals decorated adjacent buildings.


This really was a nice little town.


After setting up camp (OK, renting a hotel room) in Crescent City, CA, for the night, we spent the next day touring the California Redwood Trail. On the way to Rohnert Park, from which we would leave the next day for San Francisco, we pulled off the highway in Cloverdale, CA, in an attempt to find someplace for dinner and stumbled upon Pick’s Drive-In.


Unfortunately, it was closed for the day.


A bit further down the road, we discovered Zini’s Diner.


Zini’s was a very bare-bones restaurant located in a strip mall, but its food proved to be quite tasty.


I started with a bowl of clam chowder.


My dad, having regretted not getting the turkey dinner at the Rheinlander a couple days before, made up for it here.


I opted for the bleu cheeseburger.


When it comes to dessert, my dad is always on the lookout for peach pie, though it tends to be a rarity. Not at Zini’s!


I, on the other hand, opted for the chocolate crepe, which was good but very rich.


No new Roadfood for us the next day, as we skipped lunch to fit in tours of the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa and Lucasfilm and the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, then had dinner at In-N-Out Burger, which already has been covered in this thread. On our way back to Seattle the next day, we passed the Del Norte County fairgrounds and decided to stop for a short break. Why?


Farmers market! By this time, we had been driving for awhile and were looking for an excuse to stop and stretch our legs, so why not?


We really didn’t expect to buy anything, but when I saw this stand, I was intrigued. Apparently it’s so popular that it has to advertise the days it will be at the farmers market (first and third Saturdays).


So I took the bait and ordered a breakfast burrito.


The result? Amazing! Far better than the ones I get at Sonic.


As we approached Seattle many hours later, I started looking on my iPad for potential restaurants for the final meal of our trip. The Pick-Quick Drive-In in Fife, WA, sure sounded good!


The outdoor dining area was very picturesque…


…and much better than the alternative across the street!


It took us awhile to place our order due to a rather lengthy line, and it took even longer for our number to be called when the food was ready. But when we got it… wow! The burgers were great, and the shakes were tremendous. Mine was butterscotch.


Up next: a return to the Delmarva Peninsula for some ethnic fare, pizza, ice cream and even cheesecake!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Time for another update! After my big summer trip, I spent most of the rest of 2013 at home on the Delmarva Peninsula... but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of good restaurants there! Here are a few of them.


On the way back from a day trip to see Kelly's grandfather in August, we stopped by the Vanderwende Farm Creamery in Bridgeville, DE.


The building itself is unassuming...


...but the pasture out back guarantees all the milk, cheese and ice cream inside is fresh!


Cookies and cream for me.


Here are the rest of the flavors.


After Hopkins Farm Creamery (reviewed earlier in this thread), Vanderwende's is my favorite ice cream stop in Delaware.


Kelly’s birthday was a couple weeks later, and to celebrate, I took her on a mini restaurant tour. In late 2012, the Irish Penny Pub opened in the strip mall across the street from my office in Salisbury, MD. I’d eaten there a couple times, and it was decent. I mentioned earlier Kelly’s fascination with Irish restaurants, so we started her birthday restaurant tour here.


I know it looks dark in this photo, but the restaurant itself is really nice inside, with old barrels (or reasonable facsimiles thereof) converted into tables, as well as a number of booths, regular tables and a bar.


A friend of mine who frequents the restaurant recommended trying the Irish egg rolls, stuffed with corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, onions and cheese. I had never tried them before, so why not?


They were awesome!


I opted for the Reuben with pub fries, which, up to this point, had been my go-to here.


Kelly ordered a “build your own” burger with bleu cheese and bacon on a pretzel roll. She insisted I try a bite. Holy cow! I’ve never gotten anything else here since, and I usually come back about twice a month. It’s seriously the best hamburger I’ve ever had that I didn’t make myself. If you’re ever in the area, I strongly, strongly suggest you stop by and try one. (Kelly got onions on hers, but I prefer mine without.)


That evening, after dinner at a Bahama Breeze franchise in Christiana, DE, we made our final stop of the day for dessert at Shuckers Pier 13 in Dover, DE.


The interior is rather homey.


I mean, this is the service area, for crying out loud!


But despite the restaurant’s name, we weren’t here for seafood. Doing some online research, Kelly determined that Shuckers was the closest place to our home that served our favorite cheesecake from Junior’s in New York (discussed earlier in this thread)! Mine was original…


…while Kelly lived a bit more dangerously with a combination cheesecake and chocolate cake.


I took this photo of the locally famous Kirby and Holloway Family Restaurant sign on the way home. The restaurant opened in the 1940s and was a landmark in Dover... until it burned down five months after this picture was taken.


A week later, I had some time to kill between appointments in Salisbury, MD, and decided to grab some lunch. Paul’s Pizza was right across the street from my next stop, so I figured I’d give it a try. The restaurant had recently opened in a building that formerly contained another pizza parlor, Route 12 Pizza.


The interior was festive.


Beach-themed, even.


The pizza was pretty tasty, but the crust was a lot crispier than most “New York” pizzas I’ve had. There definitely was no folding happening here!


The bad news is, this particular restaurant closed down late last year and has been reborn as another eatery. The good news is that Paul's Pizza is still around, having reopened in a nearby shopping center.


In early November, Kelly, Lauryn and I decided to take a day trip to Newark, DE, to attend the Delaware Saengerbund’s annual German Christmas Festival.


The band and dancers were great, but they took up a lot of space. This place was wall-to-wall people, and there was absolutely no chance of getting a seat. No one who was lucky enough to have one was about to give it up for any reason.


Of course, the biggest reason we were here was the food! It was served cafeteria style. Each of these ladies staffed a chaffing dish, and if you wanted some of what she was serving, you’d say so. Then, at the end of the line, you paid for whatever was on your plate.


This was some of the best German food (and hands down the best sauerkraut) I’ve ever had! There’s spaetzle, sausage and a German meat patty covered in the finest gravy these lips have ever tasted. Too bad I had to eat it standing up in the lobby, off the top of a baby grand piano.


For dessert I snagged a piece of hazelnut cake. Unfortunately, it didn’t really taste the way I expected it to. When I think of hazelnuts, I think of something like Nutella. This tasted more like sour-ish fruit… which I guess is probably what it was supposed to taste like, but it was a surprise.


It took me a long time to make my way across the room to the German candy and cookie vendor, and it took the couple running the candy and cookie booth even longer to ring up my order, but I did end up with an assortment of confections, both for myself and for Christmas gifts, by the time they were done, including these pfeffernusse cookies.


They were subtly sweet, almost like stale spice cake with 10X sugar icing… but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!


Up next: some 2013 leftovers in Lancaster, PA, and New York City!

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As always, thanks for reading! I promised a couple 2013 leftovers before we head into the 2014 Roadfood adventure... so here we go!


In November, I took my sister on a bus trip to New York, a place she's always wanted to visit, as an early Christmas present. While there, I purchased some roasted chestnuts from a street vendor.


For those who have never seen the inside of a chestnut, here it is! And for those who have never tasted one... well, they're just plain awful. At least these were. Maybe they're an acquired taste. I can't imagine why anyone ever would have written a song about them.


For several years, a friend of mine has spoken the praises of Ellen's Stardust Diner in New York. I told my sister about it, and she was very interested in checking it out.


Here's a look at the inside. It's a little cramped, but they make good use of the space available.


Very retro!


Did I mention it's very retro?


Along the walls are plaques honoring New York's past Miss Subways winners.


But the real reason to visit Ellen's Stardust Diner is the singing waitstaff!


They day we were there, they sang everything from Elvis to One Dimension.


My sister was less than impressed... though some of the songs were OK.


The same can be said for the food. Not altogether impressive... but OK. My sister tried a quesadilla...


...while I got loaded waffle fries.


Kelly, Lauryn and I rounded out 2013 with what has become our annual Thanksgiving weekend trip to Lancaster, PA. Our first day there, we stopped by Dienner's Country Restaurant, where Kelly's grandparents took her as a child.


Dienner's is actually a small buffet... but what it lacks in size it makes up for in taste!


Here's my first plate. Clockwise from top is sour beef, ham, sauerkraut, filling (the Amish word for stuffing), macaroni and cheese, and what I thought was the restaurant's best dish, hot buttered noodles.


The desserts were good, too, but the chocolate cobbler at the left was the only one I was able to finish completely. I was so full that I just kind of tried a bite of everything else.


The next day, we visited the Wilbur Chocolate Co. in Lititz, PA (an earlier trip there is posted in this thread), to do some Christmas shopping. We ended up parking near this little bakery and decided to stop inside.


Well, of course, we couldn't leave empty handed! The cupcakes were good -- not great -- but I'm a firm believer that there's no such thing as a bad cupcake!


Up next: Pushing forward into 2014, with stops throughout Pennsylvania, New England, upstate New York and Wildwood, NJ. All aboard!

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