After awhile last year, I got so far behind in posting TRs that I planned eventually to start two threads on the site, "Jason's 2010 Amusement Park Adventures" and "Jason's 2010 Non-Amusement Park Adventures" as sort of catch-alls into which I could post photos when I had the time. Turns out I was busy enough that those threads never got made. Then I had another idea of just posting the food portion of the trips into a catch-all thread for those who enjoy that sort of thing... and that didn't happen, either.
Long story short, the food truck thread on the homepage this weekend rekindled the idea in my mind, and since I had this afternoon off, I decided to organize my food photos from 2010. Now, nearly a year after it was conceived, the thread is becoming a reality. Enjoy!
My 2010 Roadfood year began almost concurrently with the start of the new year itself, as my fiancee, Kelly, and I drove to Baltimore to pick up her daughter, Lauryn, from her annual holiday visit with her father. On the way to the airport, we stopped by Giolitti's in Annapolis, MD, where Kelly and her grandmother sometimes dine during visits to that area. It came highly recommended!
Their wine selection is huge!
The deli section of this Italian food store was fairly small, but as with so many other things in life, quality matters more than size.
I got a meatball sub and a skimpy portion of potato wedges (OK, maybe size does matter sometimes...), both of which were really good. In fact, the first time I tried the food from here was when Kelly brought me one of their subs the night she picked me up from the airport after the 2009 TPR West Coast Tour.
Kelly let me try some of her Italian sandwich and pasta salad, which were even better than my sub!
The star of the show, however, was this tiramisu! It made the Olive Garden version seem like a cheap dessert picked up at a gas station.
I was off for a week without pay in March due to state furloughs, so it was ironic that I ended up just two blocks from work (a 40-minute drive) during that time to check out a new local pizzeria, Specific Gravity, in Salisbury, MD.
Our group took up most of the restaurant!
The story behind this place is pretty interesting. The owners also own an upscale restaurant across the street, as well as several other restaurants in the county. When they tried to open a brew-pub in the city, however, their permit was denied. Their solution: start the brewery one town over, just across the state line. It became an instant success and now generates A LOT of tax revenue that Salisbury lost out on. However, the owners still wanted the "pub" part of the brew pub in the city, where the largest population center is, so they came up with Specific Gravity. It's mostly a beer store that just happens to sell a limited menu of pizzas and fries.
Truthfully, I didn't think the pizza was all that great.
The fries, however... OMG! This is the barbecue version. They come in five different varieties. My favorite is key lime.
After being forced to stay inside most of February during the three largest blizzards to hit the Delmarva Peninsula in my lifetime--all occurring within a two- week span--it was nice to get out and officially start the 2010 road trip season with a pilgrimage to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Our first stop was Dinosaur Land, one of my favorite cheesy tourist attractions from years ago (if I ever get around to posting a photo TR, be sure to check it out). In researching the trip beforehand, I saw several recommendations for Mr. B's Barbecue in White Post, VA, so of course we had to stop.
Kelly and I came up with a name for this statue that I'm not sure I can say on here (or anywhere). For the purposes of TPR, we'll go with Lauryn's version: burnt piggy.
The potato wedges were good. The ribs... eh. I'm not a big fan of oversauced meat to begin with, and I've tasted much better sauce than Mr. B's.
However, Kelly really liked her barbecued chicken, so I guess there's no accounting for taste.
At least once each year, Kelly and I get together with our friends Jeanette and Adam for half-price garlic steak in the off season at Ristorante Antipasti in Ocean City, MD.
The meal begins with a dish of olive oil with roasted garlic cloves and fresh bread for dipping. Our preference is to mash up the cloves and stir them into the oil so you get a nice garlicky taste with every bite. Most of the time we ask for seconds, as the garlic steak takes a LONG time to cook.
Speaking of the star attraction....
The steaks are a little over two inches thick. After wheeling them out on a cart, the server sets them upright and carves them at the table.
This is the end result. Each steak is large enough to feed two people, plus leftovers. It's melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
I tend to pick at the little scraps of meat left on my bone. Adam, a former pro football player, is known to gnaw his until it's 100 percent clean.
Jeanette brought a friend! Her sugar glider, Franklin (named after the patriot on the bill she used to buy him), lives in her bra. You'd think that would be a hassle, but apparently he's very well behaved. She fed him scraps of bread and a teaspoon of water.
The second quarter of roadfood goodness began just down the street from our apartment, when I saw this sign on my way home from work one Friday night.
Smokin' for Jesus! It turns out the owners of this house sell pulled pork sandwiches in their yard every other Friday in the summer. On the weekends in between, they participate in barbecue competitions throughout the region. This particular week, they switched to Saturday because that Friday was Good Friday. That was good news for me, considering I'm rarely around on Fridays due to work.
As a certified barbecue judge, I don't make this statement lightly: This was the best pulled pork sandwich I've ever had! They had homemade sauce on the side to go with it, but the meat didn't need it at all. Kelly and I took ours and dined at a nearby park.
However, our big roadfood stop of the day came that evening, when we made our way to Nage in Rehoboth Beach, DE.
Our meal began with the restaurant's homemade bread and dill butter, which was delicious!
Up next was the restaurant's signature French onion soup. We may not have opted for soup with our meal, but we had a prix fixe coupon, and this was included. I'm glad it was! It was really good.
The entire reason we came, however, was Nage's prime rib burger. While at World Famous Ted's Restaurant in Meriden, CT, for a round of its popular steamed cheeseburgers in 2009, we saw a framed article on the wall written by Bobby Flay for Food Network Magazine, listing his favorite burger in each state (Ted's was No. 1 in Connecticut, obviously, or it wouldn't have been hanging in the restaurant). When we found out that the best burger in Delaware--at Nage--was only 40 minutes from our house, we knew we had to try it! I don't know that I'd call it the best burger I've ever had, but it certainly didn't disappoint!
The next weekend was Pork in the Park! Held each year in Salisbury, MD, this is the Kansas City Barbeque Society's second largest barbecue competition, drawing more than 100 entrants annually. As not only a certified barbecue judge, but also a member of the board of directors of the organization that handles the beer concession, I get to judge each year!
This is a peek inside the judges' tent (my friend Buddy is at the center of this table). Once the food comes out, no photography is allowed. As my friend and fellow judge Travis likes to say, this is where the world's best barbecue chefs go out of their way to cook their best food, then choose the best of that best food to be served directly to you. In other words, it's just about the best pulled pork, ribs, barbecued chicken and brisket you're ever going to put in your mouth... if you can get in.
It's estimated that by the time you judge your allotted 24 entries, you'll have consumed two to three pounds of food--and that's just taking one bite out of each item, the minimum required for judging (you get to take the rest home). Afterward, the order of the day is a BIG drink to help vanquish all the salt and then maybe a little something sweet. I chose this warm crepe filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream, caramel sauce and pine nuts. It was every bit as good as it sounds.
The next day, I got to the festival grounds early to help re-open the beer trucks and grabbed a sandwich from this vendor. None of the vendor food is as good as the competitor food, but it wasn't half bad, either. The barbecue sundae advertised on the sign, by the way, is a plastic cup with layered pulled pork, baked beans and coleslaw, eaten with a plastic fork. This place says it's the "home" of the concoction, but in reality, approximately 2/3 of all the barbecue vendors actually offer it.
The next weekend, we hit the road again for a trip to Six Flage Great Adventure. After a day of coasters and assorted flat rides, we made our way to the Circus Drive-In in Wall, NJ, which came highly recommended on several websites.
I've got to say that if I saw this while driving down the highway during the day, it would completely freak me out. At night, lit in half-burned-out neon... it was just surreal. And I don't even have a clown phobia!
We chose to dine in our car, but after the carhop took our order, I did make a foray into the main building to take a look around.
They kept the theme going through and through!
This was open for general seating, though I would imagine it can be rented for children's parties.
Oh. My. God. OK, so first of all, the Circus gets extra points in my book for serving all sandwiches with both fries and onion ringy dingy ding-a-ling dings. No need to choose! I got the Siamese twin burger, which was two quarter-pound patties with cheese, pickles and barbecue sauce. It was pretty good. The fries were also good, but nothing to write home about. The onion ringy dingy ding-a-ling dings... the absolute BEST I've ever had! And the coleslaw? Let me ask you: Have you ever tasted coleslaw with horseradish? Neither had I... until that moment. It has spoiled all other coleslaw for me forever!
Kelly and I are hoping to work in a stop for lunch at the Circus when we drive through New Jersey on the way back from our honeymoon this summer just to get some more 'ringy dingy ding-a-ling dings and 'slaw.
If there was any disappointment at all with the Circus, this was it. I've seen amazing pictures of the drive-in's carousel sundae online--a dish of vanilla soft-serve topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry, ringed with a half dozen animal crackers, with a cocktail umbrella canopy on top. Unfortunately, the place was just about to close by the time it came for us to order dessert, and I think they got a little rushed and sloppy.
The next day, we tried for an early lunch at Stewart's Hot Dogs, also in Wall, before heading back to Six Flags for a few hours to get in some re-rides. Unfortunately, when we got there, we found that it was closed... for good. Kelly suggested we try the Roadside Diner next door. Turns out she couldn't have picked a better place.
If the interior of this 1940s-era diner looks familiar, you probably recognize it from the cover of Bon Jovi's "Crossroads" album. The restaurant had an autographed photo of the singer inside, and Kelly was excited that she got to eat in the same diner he did. She was even more excited when I looked it up online when we got home and found out it had been the setting for the album cover shoot. Bruce Springsteen also shot part of a music video there.
Lauryn and I agreed that the blueberry pancakes were yummy. I even enjoyed the homefries--and I'm not usually a big fan of that style.
Of course, being in New Jersey, I treated myself to a side of Taylor Pork Roll. Mmmmm!
We had some fun with this auto parts dinosaur in the parking lot.
Lauryn! (OK, we told her to do it....)
I purposely didn't include most amusement park food in this TR because I figured that was more suited for park TRs (most of which are still waiting to be written). However, I had to make an exception for Six Flags Great Adventure's birthday cake funnel cake. Just look at it! powdered sugar, ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, sprinkles and M&Ms atop a mound of deep-fried batter? God bless America!
Om nom nom!
The next weekend, we went back to Salisbury for an event my friend Buddy co-chaired with the local health department and YMCA, Safe Kids Day. After helping him with the festivities, we stopped by a local restaurant I hadn't been to in awhile: Taylor's BBQ.
The barbecue here is what Travis calls "schwag barbecue," meaning it's oven-baked instead of smoked. It still tastes pretty good to me--though it is oversauced.
No matter. Despite its name, the main draw at Taylor's isn't the barbecue... it's the homemade pies! The line for these at Thanksgiving and Christmas winds out the door and down the sidewalk.
This one's my favorite: peanut butter cream!
Little did we know that two weeks after the Taylor's stop, our lives would be thrown into disarray when Kelly suddenly and unexpectedly was laid off. We had already been planning a trip to Knoebels, and since by the time Kelly got the bad news we had already missed our 24-hour cancellation-with-refund window for the hotel, we decided to go anyway. It turned out to be just what we needed.
On the way, we stopped by Dutch Haven Shoofly Pie Bakery, which has specialized in the regional treat since the 1940s. It was pretty funny; Kelly said there was a place on the way she wanted to stop that had great chocolate shoofly pie, and I said there was a place on the way I wanted to stop and take a picture of because it had a giant windmill on the front. When we got there, they turned out to be one and the same!
If you've never had a chocolate shoofly pie, I feel very sorry for you.
We had a lunch stop picked out in advance: the 1960s-era Red Rabbit Drive-In in Duncannon, PA.
This place was literally in the middle of nowhere--this was the scene on the other side of the parking lot. It came up so suddenly in the middle of forests and farmland that we sped right by it on our first pass and had to turn around.
We placed our order at the window, then partook of some of the drive-in's vintage pinball machines while we waited.
So what's a "bunnyburger"?
It's a cheeseburger with the works on a poppy seed bun. It got rave reviews on several sites, but I thought it was average at best. We also got a ham barbecue sandwich, which was unique, but surprisingly bland. Kelly and I split the sandwiches so we each could try both. I'm glad we went to the Red Rabbit... but I don't think we'll necessarily go out of our way to eat there again.
There was an Amish lady selling baked goods at one of the picnic tables, so I got this pie-like thing, and Kelly and Lauryn split a whoopie pie. Unfortunately, they were also extremely bland. I would almost bet they were sugar-free.
Fortunately, we had plenty of great Knoebels food after that! On the way home, we tried to stop by an Amish buffet Kelly had been to before and enjoyed, but since it was Sunday, they were closed. Instead, we opted for Jakey's Amish Barbeque, for which we had picked up a coupon the day before at Dutch Haven (they share a parking lot and possibly owners). We got in shortly before closing and missed the barbecue buffet they advertised, but fortunately, they were still happy to serve us from the menu. There wasn't anything else open for miles!
The pulled pork had a good flavor--definitely not oversauced, which was a good thing.
Kelly got a burger, which she really enjoyed. Lauryn also gave her chili high marks.
I was overseas for the TPR UK Tour for a good chunk of June, but I got back just in time for the Salisbury Jaycees' annual sushi night at Dadamibang Sushi and Karaoke Bar in Salisbury.
Everything here is amazing! There are about 50 different rolls and sashimi to choose from. And it's less than $20 per person! Did I mention this place is literally four doors down from my office? And they offer a lunch buffet, too?
This was plate No. 1 (of about five that evening).
That wraps up the first half of 2010. Third quarter coming soon!
Kelly and I celebrated my birthday in July with a few days' vacation in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. On the way there, we made a detour through Winston-Salem, NC, to see the world's last Shell gas station shaped like an actual shell. I'll post a photo if I ever get around to the "Jason's Non-Amusement Park Adventures" thread I've had planned for awhile. I found these at a gas station (the Shell one isn't functional anymore) in the area, and they were delicious!
We were fortunate to hit our first stop in Pigeon Forge just as rush hour began, meaning we got to wait out the gridlock eating dinner instead of sitting in our car. This is the Applewood Farmhouse Grill, which we learned about through Erik and Smisty's thread. (Actually, we planned a good portion of our trip around that thread.)
Our booth was right next to the bird atrium.
As promised in the Erik and Smisty report, we got free apple fritters and a cider-juice cocktail as appetizers. Either this was the only food there I thought was worthy of taking a picture of, or we were so hungry that the rest of it was gone before I thought about taking my camera back out. Either way, this is the only food shot I have from this place.
This was across the street from our hotel. We didn't eat there... but man, what a creepy sign!
A few years ago, I did a self-guided rib tour of Memphis, but I never got to Corky's. I was excited to find out they had not one, but two outlets of the regional chain in this area.
See? Original Memphis barbecue!
First you can eat a pig... then you can ride one!
For just $1 more than the menu price for a rack of ribs, I upgraded to all-you-can-eat ribs! It was well worth the extra Washington. Having said that, as good as these were, most of the ribs I had in Memphis were even better, so Corky's was a fortunate miss on that trip.
I'm a history buff, so when we found out there was a highly recommended restaurant in an old mill complex on the National Register of Historic Places, there was no question it would be on our agenda. What I didn't know, however, is that it would turn out to be our best meal of the trip!
We traveled to the restaurant after visiting the nearby Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, which was a delight all on its own. The shakers on our table were made by artisans on the premises.
We began our meal with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes and Parmesan. Now, I'm no fried green tomato expert, but these were far and away the best I've ever had.
And then came the main courses! Kelly got a chicken and almond quiche with strawberry salad, both of which were out of this world. We shared the bowl of jalepeno corn pudding on the side.
My pulled pork sandwich wasn't quite up there with Holy Hogs, but it was pretty close! I'm not a big fan of the Carolina-style barbecue sauce it came with, but the pork was so moist, it didn't need sauce anyway. I dipped my French fries in it.
We were absolutely stuffed by the time we were through, so I skipped the slice of coconut cream pie I had my eye on, and we walked around the complex for awhile before heading off on another adventure. A few hours later, however, we returned for a late dessert at the Old Mill's creamery, which was also recommended by Erik and Smisty.
In fact, when I got home, I discovered they had this exact same shot in their TR.
While we're talking sweets, a couple minor deviations from the roadfood plan. First, we got to see candy being made at the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen. We bought gifts there, but since I didn't actually try any of the candy, I can't really comment on its quality.
Sir, I like the way you handle that candy!
This trip also marked the first time Kelly ever tried a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut.
It's like sweet, greasy crack in a box.
For our last meal in Gatlinburg, Kelly wanted to check out No Way Jose's Mexican Cantina.
Catch of the day!
The chips were my favorite style, and the queso seemed pretty authentic.
The carnitas looked good... but they were really just OK. I've had much better closer to home.
On the way home the next day, after lunch at a Waffle House in Virginia, we stopped for one last roadfood dinner at the Market Street Public House in Denton, MD, which was recommended by a co-worker.
The roast beef and brie sandwich was awesome! Kelly really enjoyed her chicken wrap, as well. We've been back since and always have a good meal there.
At the end of July, we traveled with some friends to Wilmington, DE, to catch a Wilmington Blue Rocks minor league baseball game. The stadium's parking lot has an outlet of the Pennsylvania/Delaware regional Iron Hill Brewery chain, which was where we opted for dinner.
The cheese steak egg rolls were great! I'd order them again any day.
The pulled pork sandwich, on the other hand... was pretty bland. I mentioned earlier that I don't really care for Carolina-style barbecue sauce on pork, but I emptied the whole ramekin-full of it on this sandwich just to give it some flavor. Couple that with the horrible service we received (we're 99 percent sure our waitress was high), and Iron Hill isn't high (no pun intended) on the list of restaurants I'd like to return to any time soon.
^Funny, I've had nothing but good experiences at iron Hill (Lancaster & Phoenixville ones) and have never had anything to eat that I didn't like. I suppose my "don't get BBQ unless you're at a BBQ place" rule has saved me from that sandwich, though. I'll make sure I keep avoiding it. Iron Hill also has my favorite beer EVER in the Raspberry Wheat.
Keep posting the pics, as I am a huge fan of food pictures. Ice Bat may post some from his eating journeys later this week...
Always trying to keep YOU entertained! Now with more Ice Bat!
The world would be a better place if Dave programmed our iPods - Derwood
^^Good God, I can only imagine what an Ice Bat roadfood TR might look like!
In early August, my father and I realized a trip we had planned for years to Utah and Monument Valley, with plenty of side trips--including an evening at Lagoon--along the way. Of course, we made sure to hit up a number of roadfood-style joints along the way. Enjoy!
We made the mistake of flying in on a Sunday, not realizing that a number of businesses, including restaurants, in the Salt Lake City area are closed on Sundays. Oops! Fortunately, we were able to sustain ourselves at a couple fast food joints that opened from something like noon to 6. The next day, on the way back from the Great Salt Lake, we found this place, the Iceburg Drive Inn.
I tried the pastrami burger, which is exactly what it sounds like--a cheeseburger with a slice of pastrami on top. It was pretty good! This was also my first experience with the Utah fry sauce I'd heard so much about--basically a mixture of ketchup and mayo. So I guess that means Tyler would only half-hate it?
On the way out, we both decided to try a highly touted Iceburg shake. I got birthday cake flavor, which was being advertised in connection with the restaurant's 50th anniversary. Believe it or not, this is a "small"! It turns out that a "milkshake" here is more or less like a giant cup of soft-serve ice cream anywhere else. Even after 45 minutes or so, this thing hadn't melted enough to be sucked up through a straw.
That evening, after a visit to Arches National Park, we searched for a good restaurant in Moab. Unfortunately, since we stayed a little longer than we had planned at Arches, a lot of places were shutting down for the evening by the time we got into town. We made it into the Branding Iron just before closing.
Everything on this plate was average except the fry bread, which I thought was excellent (my dad didn't like it, though). After a long day on the road and another 90 minutes or so before our final destination for the night, however, it tasted pretty good at the time! I found Chocodiles at the gas station across the street, as well, which was a nice surprise. I don't think I'd had one in about a quarter century.
We had some time to kill the next day before our late afternoon tour of Monument Valley, so we took a detour to Four Corners, the only spot in the United States where four states meet. It's on a Native American reservation in the dead center of nowhere. Talk about a dump of a tourist trap! The small monument was nice; everything else looked like something my grandfather might have built out of scrap wood and assorted trash in his backyard over the course of a week or so.
The reason Four Corners makes it into this particular TR is the Indian fry bread I tried from one of the ramshackle booths. It wasn't great, but it was sustenance. They had other food there, as well, but with no visible means of refrigeration, I was more than a little leery.
A couple hours later in the small town of Mexican Hat, we pulled into one of the only three open businesses we saw during the entire stretch of highway from Four Corners: the Mexican Hat Lodge...
...home of the swingin' steak! Unfortunately, the hotel restaurant didn't open until later that evening, so we never did find out exactly what a "swingin' steak" was.
Instead, we ended up at this place, which I think was called "Sally's." The faded sign is kind of hard to read on the photo.
Inside, the walls were covered with dollar bills from people traveling from different states, as well as currency from all over the world.
The photo makes this burger look pretty good, but in actuality, it wasn't that great. But this far outside civilization, I guess we were pretty lucky there was hot food to be had at all.
At the advice of our guide at Monument Valley, we stopped by the Twin Rocks Cafe in Bluff on the way back to our hotel in Blanding. No idea how it got its name....
The soups were pretty good, though to be honest, I can't remember now what kind they were.
The food here wasn't half bad. We both got the beef brisket. The muffins were wheat germ, which was a new experience for me.
The next day, on our way back to Salt Lake City, we checked out Hole 'n' the Rock, which is a former restaurant and home carved into the side of a mountain, complete with plenty of tourist kitsch.
I picked up some regional candies at the gift shop, all of which relate in some way to former TPR trips. I tried a Rocky Road on the West Coast Tour and had an Idaho Spud for the first time on the UK Tour snack exchange. The Big Cherry was almost exactly like the Cherry Mash, one of my favorite candy bars, which I also picked up on (but had tasted before) the West Coast Tour.
On the advice of a Salt Lake City visitors' magazine we picked up at our hotel, we stopped for lunch that day at Tony Caputo's Market.
The Italian sub with olive relish was out of this world!
However, our main reason for visiting this particular market was to try some Utah-made Creminelli dry-cured sausage.
This stuff is amazing! Supposedly, it's the only completely dry-cured sausage currently being made in the United States. Turns out they sell it at a little market just a couple hours from my apartment. My fiancee gave me three links of it for Christmas.
Afterward, also on the advice of the visitors' magazine, we made our way to Les Madeleine's to try a unique bread/pastry called kouign aman, sort of like a caramel-covered cross between a buttery croissant and a baguette. Apparently, this place is one of only two bakeries in the United States that makes them. Unfortunately, they were all sold out for the day, so we left empty handed.
That evening we ventured out to Woody's Drive-In, a restaurant down the street from our hotel that we initially stumbled upon that first Sunday we were in town, when it was closed.
The inside is done up in more of a '50s motif than any restaurant actually had during the '50s.
Hmmm... I wonder if they carry Coke products.
Garlic burger? Sounds good to me! Zucchini fries? Not so much.
We both got the garlic cheeseburger with bacon and cheese fries, and it was all 100 percent amazing! Honestly, we could have done with just one order of fries betwen us; we had no idea that a "large" equated an entire plateful!
I also had my second lime ricky of the trip here (the first was at the Iceburg). For the uninitiated, this regional drink is a combination of grapefruit juice, lemon-lime soda and lime juice served over crushed ice. I also sampled a local brand of cream soda here, but I can't seem to remember the name of it, and I didn't take a picture, unfortunately.
I'd heard great things about Hires Big H Drive-In. I really wanted to save some room to try a hot dog and root beer there, but since this was our last night in Utah and the plate of fries from Woody's basically filled me up to my limit, 'twas not to be.
Unlike Woody's, which pretends to be a remnant from the '50s, Hires Big H really is one!
We both got root beers and nursed them on the way back to the hotel. As full as I was, I will say this was probably the best root beer I've had in my entire life! I wish we could have sat down inside and gotten ours in a frosty mug instead of a to-go cup. But hey, you can't have everything, right?
Up next: The adventure returns to the Mid-Atlantic, where late summer seafood and early fall festivals await!
How have I missed this thread! Awesome! Can't wait to see the updates! I've only eaten at a few of places in your report. We ate at a Corky's on the 2009 Deep South Trip, and it was very good. We also ate at Hole in the Wall, but I don't remember it. Of course I've also had Krispy Kreme! I only like the glazed when it's hot, otherwise, I don't like their doughnuts. We don't have them in Reno anymore so I ate 9 one morning on the 2010 Middle America trip when they were close to our hotel. Awesome report!
^Thanks! It's almost as much fun to reminisce as it was to eat (emphasis on "almost").
This portion of the TR begins with a feast that wasn't exactly roadfood... but it wasn't bad, either! The local Jaycees chapter I belong to hosted a crab feast in August. Not a bad way to begin closing out the summer!
Late August through mid-October is festival time on the Delmarva Peninsula, and we visited our share, starting with the annual Sharptown Firemen's Carnival in Sharptown, MD. This was the line for oyster fritter sandwiches!
Fortunately, the line was much shorter for my personal favorite local fair delicacy.
Just look at them! There's nothing quite as good as a properly fried pair of soft crabs on Wonder bread.
Of course, Kelly and Lauryn might say the same thing about a properly fried funnel cake... especially if it's topped with chocolate! I didn't take a picture, but Lauryn's consumption of her share of this was particularly humorous. She scooped out the middle and ate every millimeter of funnel cake with chocolate on it, leaving the outer edge as if it were burnt pizza crust.
And speaking of pizza, the Sharptown Carnival offered up its close cousin... rizza! A side note about the carnival itself: it features a mixture of new-ish rides and a bunch, mostly of the kiddie variety, left over from the 1930s and '40s. There are some real gems still in operation there. I'll post photos and perhaps video if I ever get the chance.
For Kelly's birthday in September, we visited Chincoteague Island, VA. There are two popular ice cream shops there: the Island Creamery and Mr. Whippy. Many prefer the former, but for me, it's all about the one with the best mascot... and you can't get much better than a Scottish tam-wearing soft-serve smiley-faced ice cream cone!
Yep... it's that good!
We used to go to Chincoteague at least twice a year to visit my father's aunt until she passed away about 10 years ago. We never visited this place, so I assume it's new in the last decade.
This kind of offers an overview of the "atmosphere" here.
An on-site smoker is typically a sign that the barbecue *may* be good. But one never really knows until the final presentation.
The service may be excellent... but on the day we visited, it was kind of slow. Or maybe the flies and mosquitoes just made it seem that way.
They had lots of outdoor games to play while waiting.
Witness the "dining room."
This was the final product. "Oversauced" doesn't even begin to do it justice. Beyond that, I didn't really think the sauce was that good, and there was zero chance of tasting the meat at all. I was pretty disappointed. But hey, you never know until you try.
Later in the month, we visited the Nanticoke Indian Festival in Millsboro, DE. Gotta love the signage!
I particularly enjoyed the pumpkin fry bread. It was sweet and cakey, not flat and crispy like what I got from Four Corners.
While cruising around after the Indian festival, we stumbled upon another community festival, co-hosted by the Oak Orchard Community Church and Indian River Volunteer Fire Department in Oak Orchard, DE.
We actually liked this one a lot better than the Indian festival. Since this is a food thread, I won't bore with details on community yard sales, balloon sculptures, fire truck rides, etc., and instead get right to the good stuff: *free* pulled pork sandwiches and French fries!
Free cup cakes and sodas, too!
We spent a lot of time at the festival after lunch trying to rebuild our appetite for dinner at nearby Serendipity Restaurant.
This was a really cool place.
It's right on the water, too.
Can you spot the blatant copyright infringement on this menu? I think you can....
The Buffalo chicken cheesesteak was *really* good!
The sweet potato fries were OK. Not sure I'd get them again, but not sure I wouldn't, either.
I didn't think the pizza, which they're known for, was half bad, either, but I only had a bite, so I may not be the best judge.
However, it comes with Lauryn's seal of approval, so I suspect it's safe.
We didn't have room for dessert, but Serendipity's selection looked amazing!
And that's not even counting the candy apples. Granted, a few of them looked a little melty due to the last gasp of late summer heat... but that's nothing a good spoon and a healthy appetite couldn't fix!
Roadfood activities took a hiatus in early fall due to work and other obligations, but we were back in full swing by the last weekend of October, when we headed to Dover, DE, to pick up supplies for my annual safe trick-or-treating Halloween block party. Kelly had read a magazine article about a special restaurant there called W.T. Smithers, and there was no way we weren't giving it a try.
The restaurant is a lightly converted old Victorian home, which was pretty cool. However, what really drew our attention to this place was...
...the Al Burger! That's an 8-ounce Angus beef patty between two grilled cheese sandwiches, topped with three fried eggs, six strips of bacon and cheese. How much cheese, you ask? Between what's on the burger and what's on the grilled cheeses... would you believe 15 slices? (I know--I'm surprised I'm still alive, as well.)
No, we didn't really give Kelly's 6-year-old daughter a 5,000-calorie burger (I'm guesstimating here). But once again, she rated the pizza highly!
Up next: We round out 2010 with a holiday trip to Pennsylvania.
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