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kayb

Road food

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On 9/7/2017 at 10:01 PM, kayb said:

I looked and didn't see an appropriate topic for this post, so I made one. "Road Food," of course, was made famous by Jane and Michael Stern on public radio, but we've all been out on business or pleasure travel and happened up on marvelous food in the most unlikely of places. Here's a place to post same, and I'll start off with my stop this morning.

 

I had been on a business trip that took me to LA -- that would be Lower Arkansas -- and spent last night in Monticello, in the southeastern quadrant of the state. I commend to you, by the way, the Trotter House BnB there, where they fed me breakfast that would have sufficed for me and a friend.

 

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I set out withh a couple of stops planned, but no real schedule, and decided on a whim I wanted tamales to bring home. So I betook myself east and south to Lake Village, in the far southeastern corner, to Rhoda's Famous Hot Tamales and Pies.

 

And they are, in fact. Famous, that is. At least in the Mid-South, where people might grant you could get good tamales across the Mississippi River in Greenville, MS, but if you want pie, you need to cross the bridge and go to Rhoda's.

 

I pulled in about 10:30 a.m. Miss Rhoda's daughter, who has taken over most of the cooking duties, was slinging pots and pans in the kitchen, and dishing up cabbage cooked with ham, sweet potatoes and fried chicken for the day's lunch. She stopped to fish me three dozen tamales out of a massive pot on the stove, and pack them in their cooking liquid in a No. 10 can that had probably held that day's sweet potatoes. Meanwhile, her mother, Ms. Rhoda herownself, hollered at me from around the corner, where she and a gentleman friend were tying tamales, three to a bundle, with strips of corn shuck.

 

"Where you from, baby?" I'm from Jonesboro. "Whooo, that's a long way. You come all the way down here to get some of Rhoda's tamales?" Well, sort of. I was in Monticello on business, and while I was that close, I wasn't going to miss getting tamales to take home. Can't get good tamales in Jonesboro. "Honey, I know dat's right. Y'all got them Meskin tamales up there." (I did not promise this post would be politically correct. Sorry.)

 

We visited for a few minutes, all the while Ms. Rhoda's gnarled and bent fingers flying as she'd pluck up three tamales, stack them in a pyramid, grab a length of husk, slide it beneath the stack, and cinch it not-too-tight. Tamales went in a pot on the floor. We had gotten through people we both knew up and down the Delta when Ms. Rhoda's daughter called me back to the other side of the room. "Baby, I got yo' tamales." And in fact, she did, foil over the top of the can, the whole things wrapped in a few pages of the Chicot County Advertiser. Forty bucks, and well worth it.

 

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"What kind of pie you got today?" I asked hopefully. 

 

"Lemme look." She pulled open the oven door. "Lessee, I got pecan, chess and egg custard. I got apple and peach. I got coconut cream. Won't be ready for about 15-20 minutes."

 

Sadly, I didn't think I had 15-20 minutes, nor did I need to bring home an entire pie. Had I had, I would have been faced with the Hobson's choice of chess or pecan or coconut cream.

 

My tamales, still in the can, are in the fridge. Tomorrow, I'll parcel them out, wrap them in plastic wrap, and freeze them. Then I'll go to the grocery store and get cans of cheap no-beans canned chili and boxes of Saltine crackers, and be sure I have plenty of cheddar cheese to grate for the top, and we will binge on tamales. And I will wish I had egg custard pie.

I go through Lake Village when I go home.  I will definitely be on the lookout.  Where in Lake Village are they located?  I have not found much on the stretch after leaving Pine Bluff.  There was a place in Eudora that had great soul food but I can't find it anymore.  Really good greens with wonderful pot liquor.  


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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3 minutes ago, joiei said:

I go through Lake Village when I go home.  I will definitely be on the lookout.  Where in Lake Village are they located?  I have not found much on the stretch after leaving Pine Bluff.  There was a place in Eudora that had great soul food but I can't find it anymore.  Really good greens with wonderful pot liquor.  

 

It's on St. Mary's Street, east of 65 about two-three blocks. Next to the junkyard. And very nearly indistinguishable from it.

 

Don't miss the pie.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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1 minute ago, kayb said:

 

It's on St. Mary's Street, east of 65 about two-three blocks. Next to the junkyard. And very nearly indistinguishable from it.

 

Don't miss the pie.

 

will do, I love the pies at the Pie Shop in Del Valls Bluff.    In these parts, I recommend the pie from Coleman's in Okmulgee.  


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Just now, joiei said:

will do, I love the pies at the Pie Shop in Del Valls Bluff.    In these parts, I recommend the pie from Coleman's in Okmulgee.  

 

I have sad news. The pie lady from DeValls Bluff has passed on.

 

I mourned her. That was a regular stop. Always thought Craig's was overrated -- but not the Pie Shop.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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Took the family on a whistle stop Road Trip to the Coast for a little bit of R&R and, as it turned out some delicious food. 

I'll start, as one usually does, with breakfast, nothing fancy, nothing that deserves posting but hey, I'm still getting my family used to my need to photograph everything before they try it :D.  


Bacon Egg Wrap with BBQ Sauce                                                                                                  
 

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Sausage Roll for me - It was very good because of its simplicity (I like to think myself a meat in pastry connoisseur) the ones from our local bakery are trying to be fancy, laced with vegetables and chia seeds - it's a sausage roll, I know it's not healthy, I don't want it to be! 

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The next discovery was from a little hut next to the bay called "The Snack Shack" we had been told to check it out by the owners of the home we rented. It doesn't look like much but it delivered.   

The Menu.  It pretty much covers everything, seafood through to Service station fare (I'm looking at you chicko roll). I love that there are two options for the seafood basket, fresh or frozen - I do wonder how many/if any people order the frozen. 

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Fish Counter - sorry its not clearer, I was trying to be subtle. 

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And then dinner. Calamari and Prawns for Mr. and Whiting for me. 

 

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My Whiting came with a lot of salad... A lot.  

 

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Our final discovery was for breakfast by the bay in a different Cafe. It was OK, the main things that weren't great had nothing to do with the establishment and just the environment - like flies, so, many flies. Although 35 minute wait for coffee was a little stressful first thing in the morning. 

My husband chose the 'Happy Mans Breakfast' I guess he was happy about it? 

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Small man had a babycino to accompany his sausage and bacon because sometimes frippery is fine and cute. 

 

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View from the cafe to the road the food was consumed beside to make sure it fits the topic :D

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And finally to finish my post. My Breakfast. Eggs Benedict. I have been saying I'm going to have eggs benny for years and years and always get something else, usually blaming spinach being present or salmon, todays menu had options so it was eggs benny time. Confession - I have probably only been wanting to try Eggs Benedict because it was the food de jour for a while, the internet was filled with pictures of oozy poached eggs, still is. Thing is - I don't like egg yolk and I have never had a poached egg. I'm a boil til dead, fry til bounce kind of girl. But some how, I was sure, eggs Benedict was going to cure me of all this, I was to be converted and be able to take photos of the oozy eggy money shot!!!

 

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I was not. 


Edited by CantCookStillTry formatting, formatting everywhere (log)
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I will confess to envy at the eggs benny, money shot or no. I'm an oozy-yolk kinda girl....

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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20 hours ago, kayb said:

I will confess to envy at the eggs benny, money shot or no. I'm an oozy-yolk kinda girl....

 

My one, my only.... 

You have no idea how sad I am I didn't like it! Mr.CCST did remind me, while laughing because he was right, that I don't like broth, soups without enough bits to make them stew, smoothies and generally liquid or 'runny' food. But I was so sure Eggs Benedict was going to cure me :(

 

 

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Had to make an unexpected trip to Little Rock this week, which included a shrieking preschooler having to be physically restrained while his ears were suctioned. After that, I felt like I deserved a treat, so we went to Big Orange, a local chain, for lunch.

 

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Maytag blue cheese burger, with caramelized onions and pepper jelly. Went a long way toward assuaging the trauma of the morning.

 

Big Orange is part of a Little Rock restaurant group that includes a couple of those, a couple of pizza/pasta places (Zsa Zsa's) and a couple of Mexican places (Local Lime). Very, very good fast casual dining. They source all their ingredients locally, buns from a local bakery, grass-fed beef from area farms, etc. There were tomatoes, good tomatoes, on the burger, but they made it too hard to handle, so I took them off and ate them separately. The sweet potato fries came with chipotle ketchup, which was GOOD.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I did not realize this was happening between Jane and Michael Stern, but I guess after the movie "Ambulance Girl", I shouldn't be surprised. (Which I own.) I'm sad to see that they are no longer married. At least they are rich now. I really thought they might pull out of the tailspin, but apparently not. Roadfood site is pretty much ruined, but at least they are rich now.

 

Here is a You Tube of both of them in their older years, not so appealing as either was when they were younger, but who the hell is? :)

 

You can go backward or forward in the first link, which is Jane's Diary, if you wish.


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Bumping this up because I'm taking out on a four-state road trip tomorrow morning and wondering where is great to eat along the way. Headed out tomorrow to Lake Barkley State Park in Kentucky, where I'm sure the dining will be fishy things, on which I grew up (that's pretty much my home 'hood in that part of the world, though my actual location growing up was maybe 60 miles south of there). Then it's on to the mountains of East Tennessee, up in the corner where TN, NC and VA meet, for a couple of days, and then up to Lexington, Virginia, for three days in the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley. I may find some time to road trip north up the valley, not certain. Lexington, a quick internet perusal indicates, has a couple of what look like reasonably good dining establishments, but I'm grateful for any tidbits any of you might toss my direction as to where one might want to eat in  between points A, B and C or once I get to any of 'em.

 

I'll check in from the road as I can, and will update on any outstanding meals. Probably just do it on here, as I don't expect there to be enough for a full blown blog. 

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Anybody ever use roadfood.com?  Just wondering if it’s worth perusing.

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2 hours ago, kayb said:

Bumping this up because I'm taking out on a four-state road trip tomorrow morning and wondering where is great to eat along the way. Headed out tomorrow to Lake Barkley State Park in Kentucky, where I'm sure the dining will be fishy things, on which I grew up (that's pretty much my home 'hood in that part of the world, though my actual location growing up was maybe 60 miles south of there). Then it's on to the mountains of East Tennessee, up in the corner where TN, NC and VA meet, for a couple of days, and then up to Lexington, Virginia, for three days in the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley. I may find some time to road trip north up the valley, not certain. Lexington, a quick internet perusal indicates, has a couple of what look like reasonably good dining establishments, but I'm grateful for any tidbits any of you might toss my direction as to where one might want to eat in  between points A, B and C or once I get to any of 'em.

 

I'll check in from the road as I can, and will update on any outstanding meals. Probably just do it on here, as I don't expect there to be enough for a full blown blog. 

Our on-site guide is to look for cars.   Trucks.    The old mid-century lure of finding where the road-warriors eat.    It works in France.   It also works when on the ground after a cross country flight, whether small towns or coasts.   


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22 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Our on-site guide is to look for cars.   Trucks.    The old mid-century lure of finding where the road-warriors eat.    It works in France.   It also works when on the ground after a cross country flight, whether small towns or coasts.   

 

That could steer you right into a Perkins or an Old Country Buffet

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, gfweb said:

 

That could steer you right into a Perkins or an Old Country Buffet

Yup.    I guess it's easier in France....       But seriously, anyplace you have to gauge the territory, have a sense of the kind of food you're looking for.    Like in Reading, PA, we found a very authentic Mexican hole in the wall directly behind the downtown outlet malls.    Who'd have thought it, but it sang to us as we walked to our car.    We could have just as likely pulled into one of the south of town faux Amish diners.    But didn't.


Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)
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Just off I-81 in the little town of Draper is the Merc, open for breakfast and lunch.  A little bit cutesy, but the kitchen does a nice job.

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@kayb, If you are a coffee drinker, don't miss Lexington Coffee Roasters.  They are consistently great and occasionally phenomenal with their single origin roasts.  For that matter, your route could take you close to Floyd as well.  If it does, check out Red Rooster Coffee Roasters.  For some strange reason, all the best coffee in Virginia seems to come from the hills.

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If you do make it further north, then I would encourage you to stop in Staunton.  Ian Boden's "The Shack" has been on my list for a long time. Zynodoa is another one worth taking time for.  The Shack is more eclectic, but both spots have excellent cooking with a focus on local ingredients.  On a more casual basis, try Byers St Bistro.  Finally, you shouldn't miss ice cream from "The Split Banana."  I never would have guessed that Sticky Rice would be an amazing ice cream flavor.

 

I wish I knew Lexington and south better, but as you can see, I can give some good arguments for taking a day to come further north!

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You'll be passing through my old stomping grounds while you are in VA.  I went for one semester to the University of VA, Clinch Valley Campus (couldn't stand the isolation) and Mr. Kim, Jessica and I lived in Roanoke for a few years.  I don't have any current recommendations for you (I agree with @donk79, though - if you can manage to get to The Shack, it is supposed to be remarkable) but I hope you'll report on your trip.  You will certainly have a beautiful drive.  If it works into your timing travel north on Rt. 11 rather than I-81.  So much prettier and a good road.

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So, I happened to be in Staunton this evening, and decided to pop into the Shack, and see if they had a table free for a walk-in.  Best food decision I have made in a long time.  I kept looking at this as the place that I should check into given the right occasion.  I will now say that any occasion is the right occasion.  Wonderful hospitality, terrific food and drink, and for a price comparable to Olive Garden (which my wife and daughter love). 

Drive north, I say!  Drive north!

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Thanks for the recommendations, @donk79 and @Meanderer and @Kim Shook. Will take Staunton under advisement, and will definitely look up the Coffee Roasters place.

 

Food today was average-to-below. I stopped in Trenton, Tn at the Cotton Cafe for lunch. Typical small town grill menu, ie, anything they can cook on a flat top. I had the hamburger steak platter. 

 

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For what it was, it was good. HB steak was hand flattened on the grill, and had a nice crisp to the outside but was still juicy inside. Fries (I have a fondness for crinkle cut frozen fries) hit the sweet spot of crisp outside and creamy inside. I would have enjoyed some salad or slaw to round it out, but such was not available. I was offered bread and declined. 

 

Dinner, at the state park lodge where I'm staying, was served banquet style to about 50. It was pretty awful. A half-inch-thick slice of "prime" rib (it was far from prime) was cooked to a uniform dry grey throughout. An unrecognizable section of chicken (I think it was half a thigh and half a breast) had more juice than the beef, but had flabby skin and little flavor. A twice baked potato was badly overdone. A veggie medley of squash, broccoli and green pepper was about as boring as it could possibly be.

 

Dinner was somewhat redeemed by a wedge of passably good chess pie, although for some reason it was garnished with a dollop of whipped topping and a tired strawberry half.

 

We shall see what they do for breakfast.

 

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13 minutes ago, kayb said:

 

We shall see what they do for breakfast.

 

Hoping for better!

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Well. I'm back, and trying to recover. There were no tremendously exciting meals, but a few decent ones.

 

En route from Western Kentucky to East Tennessee, I stopped off in Glasgow, KY, at Yancey's Gastropub on the town square. I could have done with a salad, but there were none on the menu, which was heavy on specialty burgers and other sandwiches. I settled on the "shareable board" or cheese and charcuterie, which was on the small plates menu. If what I got was small, I'd hate to see large.

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The meat and cheese were grocery store versions, but there was a huge amount of them. This was enough to make three decent sized sandwiches. The spread on the left is pimiento cheese (not bad, but mine is better), and on the right was alleged to be pepper jelly, but it tasted like no pepper jelly I ever tried. It was a blend of roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes, with some spices, spreadable but left somewhat chunky. I wasn't certain if i liked it or not.

 

The next day we went to Poblano's, a cut above your average Mexican place. Highlight of the meal was a superb black bean dip, pureed smooth, that I will be trying to recreate. Entrees were fresh and flavorful, well seasoned but not fiery. No photos because I forgot.

 

No photos of meals in Lexington, either, as they were work meals and not conducive to photography. Monday night, as there were few options open, we went to Sheridan's Livery, where I had a seafood salad with salmon, shrimp and scallops. Healthy portions of each, and they were all excellent. We were going to go to Staunton to go to The Shack, as @donk79 suggested, but it's not open on Monday OR Tuesday. We wound up at the Southern Inn, which was quite good. Igate from the appetizer menu, and had pimiento cheese sandwiches between fried green tomato slices and fish tacos. Fish was skimpy in the tacos, but good flavor.

 

Long slog home Wednesday and Thursday (800 miles), so nothing exceptional.

 

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Pit stop at the Flaggy Rock Cafe in Carmila. Mid North Qld.

Steak Pie (Curry Pie looked Identical). 

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Mint Chip Ice Cream

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Share Snausage Roll. All Beef. Still subpar to Gregs. 

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