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Road Trip III... Clubber Langs Revenge I-90


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Ok.. Sorry for jumping the gun on my other road trip to Seatle and then across Numero 4.. What happen was we were always planning on driving across in August, but we discovered another route, so we decided to do this one too..

We are leaving in less then two weeks for this one and have only made a small map of our route.. I hear that I-90 runs parellel with US-20 which is a 2 lane road.. So in the interest of time we are going to be most likely driving along 90 unless there are places to see..

Thank you for all of your suggestions along these two roads ...We always love the advice we get from everyone here..


First Road Trip

Second Cross Country

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Well, you could always try posting queries in the respective forums of the areas you'll be crossing.

I get to Vegas once a year for a convention and can only recommend "chi-chi" joints. Three years ago I had dinner at Lawry's Prime Rib off the Strip. It has art deco decor (which I love) and the wait staff is extremely attentive. The prime rib I had was fork tender. Like Ruth's Chris' Steakhouse, everything is pretty much a la carte.

If you're on Atkins and looking to eat a lot of meat, there's a Brazilian Grill in the Mirage that will feed you meat until you drop.

The Steak House in Circus Circus is supposed to be as incredible as the Circus Circus Buffet is inedible. The Sunday buffet in the Steak House is supposed to be great, too.

The World Buffet at the Rio (across the freeway) is good. I can make a meal of the Mongolian "BBQ" by itself. There's also an expensive seafood version of the World Buffet there but I would pass on that.

If you're looking for low-end, there's a Fat Burger on the Strip with most excellent burgers.

If you're looking for high high-end, there's a lot of celebrity chef restaurants in Vegas now. Emeril (his Fish Shack in the MGM and Delmonico's in the Venetian), Bobby Flay, etc, all seem to have Vegas joints. I seem to recall another Chef recently opening there (Keller?).

When leaving Las Vegas, if you will be heading north up 15, be careful when 15 briefly dips into Arizona before you get to St. George, Utah. I believe the speed limit drops to 55 when you cross into Arizona and there are highway patrol eager to write speeding tickets. :cool:


“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”


Tim Oliver

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Tell me about 15. Since i have family reading my trips I dont really add the whole story.. But for now i will leave this one.. On the last trip i passed a cop doing 105.. I knew he nailed me and it was just a matter of time.. So once i decided i was caught i kept it at 105.. And i saw a sign that said exit in 2 miles.. So i figured by the time it would take the cop to get to 105 i would be off the exit right? Wrong..I screetched off the exit doing a lot.. The cop was right behind me.. Apparantly he thought i was a runner.. He had all of our luggage out on the road searching for drugs.. He asked me why he shouldnt take me to jail for felony speeding.. I acted really stupid and told him we were very lost and looking for the Hoover Dam.. It was a rental and I was use to the petal, the car drives so much smoother then my old clunker, Yada yada yada.. I sent a 270 dollar check to like Tomahawk CourtHouse somewhere and my insurance never went up thank g-d..

edit to add.. Normally for a road trip i allow myself to get one ticket.. It was terrible getting that one like 40 miles into a 3000 mile trip.. Hopefully my luck will be better on this one..

edit again: it was Mocassin courthouse by the way..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 1:

So after spending a week in Vegas, we were on our way. First driving north up 15 and then driving east to New York on route 80.. We really lucked out this trip.. After repeatedly hearing that we were not able to rent a convertible, or the price was astronomical, we asked the rookie counterman at National.. Luckily, the manager wasn't available, he decided to make a split decision and gave us the car for an additional 20 bucks a day.. Lovely..

So we headed out around 6 pm with hopes to sleep in Salt Lake City that evening.. Our first stop was fairly short into our drive.. We stopped at an Indian Reservation, the tribe escapes me, about two hours outside of vegas.. The place we went to was a huge liquor store that had some slot machines, some fireworks, and rows and rows of cigarettes.. A real great place to take the kids.. As we were walking out, i noticed a little hut that had some interesting food items on it.. Various animal patties,indian tacos.. I opted for an Elk burger and a MGD..

I like this picture.. You can see a guy standing next to me in the reflection as well as the old woman who is inside the truck... Notice how the sign says Elk burger and chips.. Now i got confused.. The term chips when following an animal could mean testicles.. But happily chips were just chips..


I get a kick out of seeing Elk on my Styrofoam package..


The elk burger is extremely gamey.. It was tough and chewy.. I have had elk before either in fajita and steak form.. This was not my favorite form..


Next to it was a buffalo jerky guy.. Good jerky.. Lasted us till about Wisconsin..


A Utah sunset..


So we drove on for some time until we hit Salt Lake City.. We arrived around 1 am.. We both have never been here and did not know what to expect.. It was a really pretty and clean city.. I had always heard stories that Salt Lake was a dry city, but was surprised to see a bar scene going on.. Unfortunately, there was a lawyer convention in town and every hotel and motel was booked..

We drove on to Logan Utah.. A place right by the University of Utah about 30 miles off of 15 to reach the town..I went to turn around in a parking lot i noticed a sign for Beto's Taco Stand.. Opened 24 hour.. I remember on my last trip across country the horrible mexican food i had in Utah.. But this, this was much different..


As we entered the restaurant, we did not run in to the typical Utahian i was expecting to see.. These were Mexican thuggish looking guys.. All wearing the same color bandannas low on their forehead, and they were not too friendly..

Looking at the specials menu i knew this place was going to be great.


So now its 4 am and I am kind of hungry.. I order the cabeza and lengua taco..

Here is the lengua or tongue.. Cooked perfectly, served with this spicy carrot salad on the side that was just delicious.. I dont know what i enjoyed more.. But both were terrific.


Cabeza or Brain? Tasted like shredded meat.. Really flavorful.. I also wanted to comment on just how good the corn taco was.. It was fresh and not to mealy. Really just perfect..


Carnita.. Either the lengua or this were my favorite.. You can just see the crispy pieces of fat.. Sooo delicious.. A beautiful thing... Note: I only ordered this one because the gang of bandana thugs were mulling around my car.. I dont know if they were waiting for us per se, but as long as I am sitting at a 24 hour taco place, they can wait all day, cause i aint going anywhere..


edit to add: picture of above: To Patrick: tortilla had feet worthy of your finest macaroon.

Around 5 am, we made it to our destination.. A Comfort Inn..

Day two: Coming up... Montanna..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Daniel -

Some advice regarding the potential avoidance of future speeding violations: no matter how fast your car can go, it isn't faster than police radio....

Umm, yeah, that one comes from experience.

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Very, Very cool Daniel! Those plates set a standard for me. I guess the hombres grandes know where the good cooking is.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Day 2:

We wake up in Logan Utah around 8am.. We start out driving down the towns main drag.. We are noticing a lot of really cute places.. There is a soda fountain, closed unfortunately, there a bunch of good looking mexican places, and there is a place called Logan Hamburger.. It looks like your average rundown boxy place, but alas it too was closed.. So we head back over to Beto's.. To our surprise the same guy working there the night before taking our breakfast order..

We went with a chorizo, egg, potato, and cheese burrito..


The chorizo was terrific, not too spicy and really flavorful. The potatoes werent seasoned enough and took away some of the flavor in the really potatoey areas.. But all in all a solid breakfast..


I must say the 30 mile drive from Logan to 15 in the daytime is awesome.. So we hit 15 and drove through Idaho and into Montana.. Montana is absolutely gorgeous.. We were driving on a sunny clear day and you could see forever.. Rolling hills covered by 8 different shades of green, snow capped mountains in the distance, purple wildflowers, and the smell of fresh sage everywhere..Unforgetable.. We parked the car in the middle of a field and tried to take it all in..

This picture obviously cant do it justice..


The car..


So after our stop, we were on our way to Butte...I must preface this story with telling you a little about Montana's speeding history.. (There use to be no speed limit, the police had the right to determine what they felt was a dangerous speed.. So the police wouldn't bother you if you were going 100 and below. The supreme court said that the law was too ambiguous, which probably some jerk decided to contest his 110 mile an hour ticket and ruined it for the rest of the state..) Anyway, so noticing the speed limit is 75 mph, i set my cruise control for just a tad bit over.. To my shock I was being trailed down by a cop in a 4x4 with sirens blazing.. While sitting on the side of the road I see a cowboy hatted and booted cop step out. I thought i was done for.. But it turns out the guy was real nice.. He hands me a piece of paper with my information on it and a number at the bottom of it. He tells me I am going to need to pay this ticket immediately.. At first glance I see $400.00 and think i am screwed.. I dont have four hundred bucks on me i tell him, "its fordy dollars, not four hundred: the cop tells me, "and its good for the whole day" The whole day? Have i just purchased the ability to speed through the rest of Montana for $40 bucks.. I guess so.. What a great place..

On to Butte.. A small mining town.. The place has an air about it.. You can see traces of what it once was.. You can almost feel the ghosts of the people and the action that once filled the streets.. But it is all gone now..

We pull into a place called Matt's.. The sell fried porkchop sandwiches, make there own ice cream, and have great burgers and hand cut fries.. This place has been open for ever and it should be..


We ordered a peanut burger and a fried pork chop sandwich with cheese.. We also got a chocolate malted milk shake and a vanilla root beer float.. The pork chop was a beautiful piece of meat.. It was perfectly breaded and fried.. I had it with cheese mustard pickles and onions.. My first pork chop sandwich and it was fantastic.. The malted milk was served with the extra in the metal mixing container and was enough to fill your glass three times.. The burger was awesome too. .It was charred and had a great grilled flavor. The peanuts were a great addition..


As we were at the counter happily eating our lunch we started speaking with this older couple next to us.. It turns out the man was the ex-mayor of the town I got pulled over for speeding in.. He asked me to get the ticket and he wanted to see what cop pulled me over because he had hired the entire police force.. "Ah, that guy, he is just trying to make a name for himself" the man told me.. A forty dollar speeding ticket is boosting ones rep in Montana, too funny.. We told them we were driving through and trying to eat at good places, such as Matts.. They told us of two more places to eat in town..

One place was John's Pork Chop..


This place is supposedly where the pork chop sandwich came to Butte.. But i was really surprised at how commercial it was.. Firstly, the patty was too perfect.. It was a perfect disc, which makes me think it was processed.. The one at Matts was a real deal chop.. Still good, but it seemed loveless.. Also didn't have the onions and lettuce that Matts has..


This next place, we were really excited to try.. This place was an old miner spot.. This place would sell these pastries filled with beef, onion, and diced potatoes filled with gravy to hungry miners.. Let me tell you, one of these things could last you all day..

This place is really cute.. We met Nancy, as well as Nancy's best friends daughter who also worked there..There were pictures on the wall that follows grandchildren and former workers families and graduations and weddings.. It had a real homey atmosphere..


As nice as Nancy was.. I have to say i was really not into this Pasty.. I felt pressured to finish this whole thing regardless if i didn't like it, or regardless of the fact that one of these things is capable of keeping a miner full all day and this is meal number 4 for me and its like 2 pm.. Ok.. now i am really full..


Note: In Butte there was one more place that supposedly had the best pork chop sandwich that Nancy suggested, but i was done at that point..

We drove about a 100 miles or so and was at my girlfriends brothers house in Bozeman, MT.. It was beautiful town and seems a lot more vibrant and upbeat then Butte.. After spending some time with them, we were on our way to have dinner at a place up the road.. We arrive at Sir Scott Oasis Club.. This place is exactly what i was looking for.. A local steak house.. There was a bar with a few poker machines, it had a dinning room and a covered area in the backyard..


We sit down and start looking over the menu.. Its awesome, huge steaks, broasted chicken, great sides.. Broasted chicken you ask? That's something deep fried in a pressure cooker.. I wish i had the strength to have tried it..

I order myself a 22 ounce ribeye.. Which comes with a salad, broasted potatoes, some of the best garlic bread ever and an ice cream Sunday for dessert..


This steak was one of the best steaks i have ever had.. Seasoned with salt and pepper and then cooked over a broiler. I was full when I ordered it, but was gnawing on the bone by the end.. Served medium rare it was just beautiful.. This was what i was hoping to find in Montana.. And them taters, think of potatoes wrapped with fried chicken skins, dipped into sour cream..


Homemade ice cream served with a homemade chocolate sauce..


Add two 22 ounce beers.. Total of just that meal.. $22.50..

We walked out of Sir Scotts to see the sunset.. Does it get any better then this?



That night we drove till 4 am again.. We drove to the boarder of South Dakota. . DAy 3 coming up...

Edited by Daniel (log)
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]Day Three:

Day three started early again.. We had been driving around the previous night trying to find hotel rooms again.. Apparently it was the anniversary of the Battle At Wounded Knee.. So there were recreations and festivals happening all over the place.. Rooms were booked everywhere.. We lucked out and got the last room at the Western Hotel..

We awoke in Wyoming and drove into this little town called Story.. The population was something very small.. We came upon a small general store. It was called Waldorf A Story.. In the back there were about 6 tables and outside on the porch there was about another six. We ordered an egg sandwich on toasted sourdough bread with unmelted cheese bacon, onions, and tomatoes.. It was also served with biscuits with a white sausage gravy..

The bread was awesome.. One of the better egg sandwiches i have had.. I liked the unmelted cheese, added a texture..


Great biscuits and gravy.. Little pieces of sausage in it..


So this is where Christmas Trees come from.. Wyoming


We drove into South Dakota.. We were excited to see Sturgis.. I have heard of this place due to Bike Week.. Once a year thousands of bikers converge on this small little town.. As we were driving around we saw tons of biker bars, places that advertised extreme fighting matches, and other fun stuff.. I was hoping to get into my first bar fight here. But alas, everyone was just too intimidated by me.

We came across a place advertising St. Louis BBQ.. It was called Bobs


Well if Louis style bbq consists of over cooking a bunch of ratty ribs in an oven.. Then drying them out in the sun for a couple of days before slopping some over sweet sauce over the mess, then Bob is the master.. This meal was just g-d awful..


After barely eating our meal we went to the Harley Shop.. Lots of cool stuff..


After leaving Sturgis, we took a beautiful ride up through the Black Hills.. There was some really gorgeous scenery.. We stopped at a look out point.. This gave us a view of some dam.. In fact it was so pretty i had to jump in.. The water was extremely clean.

gallery_15057_1425_986541.jpgDriving down from the Black Hills on our way to the Needles, we came across a sign for Grumpy Jack's BBQ..


We parked around back and had to take a look at what they were cooking.. I asked to take a photo and a big guy said "only if you put me in the photo" Could this smiling man be Grumpy Jack? With hands the size of briskets, I dont want see him too grumpy..


The place had only been open for five days.. In the restaurant were hanging t-shirts from some of the places we had visited on previous trips.. There was Salt Lick, Arthur Bryants, Rendezvous, and other shirts.. So it was a good sign that the guy at least tried good bbq.. Since he was only open for such a short time he was still getting his recipes down.. All that was available was butt. .It was really good.. Smokey, he used a smoked tomato and vinegar based sauce to go with it.. I wish he had more things available.. In the smoker was brisket, ribs, and pork butt all not ready yet.. He seems knowledgeable and really enthusiastic, I hope to try it again, he is going to be really good...


So we drive up a Mountain through Needles State Park.. Its a awesome ride along cliffs, surrounded by wilderness and mountains with views that go forever..

After this trip and driving through mountains most of the way, you can really see how important the invention of dynamite was.. This is just one example of how roads are built right through mountains and massive rocks..


Picture of these peaks of rock jetting through the trees.. It was beautiful.


We arrived at Mount Rushmore.. It was coolier then i thought it was going to be.. As far as National Monuments go, this was one of the least commercial, and hassle free tourist places .. The only cost is an 8 dollar parking fee..


We then also were supposed to see crazy horse.. You can tell this sculpture was designed with a more "modern" philosophy.. First it is hidden behind a mountain, so you need to pay 20 bucks just to look at it.. Then there is a bus ride involved there are also long lines, and I am sure a whole bunch of other annoyances.. Whatever, I will go see the presidents and let them finish this thing first..

After driving down the mountain we came upon a restaurant that served donkey.. It was really great, you got to pick out your donkey from the field. Some of the most flavorful donkey i have ever eaten..

How much chloroform does it take to knock out a donkey?


Just kidding.. My vegetarian sister actually wanted me to add a picture of me being nice to an animal.. There ya go Amy.

So driving down the road we began to see advertisements for this place called Walker Drug.. This place is basically a huge road side attraction.. It has a museum, giftshop, restaurants, and just weird things to entertain you.. At this point I was exhausted.. I needed something to wake me up.. Drank 3 nickle coffees and a few donuts.. Good donuts.. Better coffee..

What? How much farther do we have?


Good donuts.. Better coffee


Day three will continue

Edited by Daniel (log)
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We drive into the Badlands.. Named by the Native American land bad because nothing grew there... It was breath taking looking at these massive rocks.. Just seeing such incredible terrain like nothing I have ever seen.. I had no idea this existed...

We take a dirt road for a long time.. Before we know it there is absolutely nothing around us.. The sun is beginning to set and sky starts turning the most amazing colors I have ever seen.. My photos didn't catch it, the colors I have no words to describe.. Like a electric light rose.. It was just amazing and watching it bounce of rocks and sand.. All the white dandelion seedlings waving in the field sparkling from the sun, it was just the prettiest thing i have ever seen.. It made me dizzy and light headed..


While the sun was setting we walked into the cedar pass lodge.. Which was on a reservation.. We ordered Indian Tacos..


The tacos were pretty good.. The star of the meal was the fry bread.. The taco meat which was buffalo was mixed with like a Jose Ortega spice mix.. It was good certainly, but that fry bread was unreal.. Crispy, sweet, and airy.. I am excited to make the recipe at some point..

Here it is..


After driving for some time, we couldn't find a hotel room.. There was some other thing going on and no rooms were available.. We ended our day at 430 am sleeping in the parking lot of a cafe in a tug of war over a robe from the venetian, which made a great blanket..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Another great adventure it appears.

I had a different experience with a state trooper out west. In Wyoming as I recall.

I was doing 85 down the interstate. The trooper pulled up along side me, slowed down to 85, motioned for me to slow down and then zoomed away doing 95 or so.

Almost made me want to move to Wyoming.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."



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Another great adventure it appears.

I had a different experience with a state trooper out west.  In Wyoming as I recall.

I was doing 85 down the interstate.  The trooper pulled up along side me, slowed down to 85, motioned for me to slow down and then zoomed away doing 95 or so.

Almost made me want to move to Wyoming.

Yes, the police in those states are great.. They arent there to make money off of people speeding.. Its really just so unenjoyable when a state uses it police force as radar jockeys.. I didnt see one cop in Wyoming..

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Daniel, thank you for this; I've got goosebumps. I miss the States so much sometimes. Such beautiful land, and eating one's way around is surely among the most delicious of experiences known to humankind...

Glad you like it.. Still have a couple of more days to write up.. Where are you now that you are missing the USA.

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Yet again another great post Dano.

Where does all the food go dan? :cool:

Btw, "My vegetarian sister actually wanted me to add a picture of me being nice to an animal.. There ya go Amy. " was Hilarious!

Thanks again for the great pics and stories!

Edited by Theven (log)
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[...]We awoke in Wyoming and drove into this little town called Story.. The population was something very small.. We came upon a small general store.  It was called Waldorf A Story.. In the back there were about 6 tables and outside on the porch there was about another six. We ordered an egg sandwich on toasted sourdough bread with unmelted cheese bacon, onions, and tomatoes.. It was also served with biscuits with a white sausage gravy..

The bread was awesome.. One of the better egg sandwiches i have had.. I liked the unmelted cheese, added a texture..


[...] Is that "American Cheese Product"? :raz:

Just a little ribbing. Carry on!

Michael aka "Pan"


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Haha.. Pan, i am so confused by your post.. I dont understand your joke.. However, maybe using ribbing was my problem.. MMMMM ribs.. Thanks for reading Pan

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Normally our DPS are pretty good with the outside folks. The only thing that makes them ornery is our massive problem with meth lab scum.

You really lucked out this year, Daniel. This is our wettest year in over 10 years--Tsunami after-effects, I guess. Glad you liked our state.

Good thing you had that better pork chop sandwich before you went to Pork Chop John's. They were all sold about two years ago and the food is now Sysco versions of what it once was.

Indian Tacos are my favorite. My all-time favorites are the Green Chile Popovers[what they are historically called by the Az N/As] at the Gila River Art and Heritage Center by Sacaton AZ beside the I10.

I wish you could've tried out the pitchfork fondue at the Feedlot Steakhouse outside Billings at Shepherd. That would've had you trading in your baseball cards for seconds.

Enjoy your trip! Love your pics. :cool: Use a lot of sunscreen, ya hear? And try to stay under triple digits on the dial. :rolleyes:

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Haha.. Pan, i am so confused by your post.. I dont understand your joke[...]

Not a joke, just a lighthearted jab. I have actively disliked "American cheese product" for as long as I can remember. But there's no accounting for taste. :wink::biggrin:

Michael aka "Pan"


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Day 4: In Minnesota..

I awake from a dream to hear the engine revving: my foot is on the accelerator. Its 8 am and I am remarkably refreshed.. It was one of the better night sleeps i had while on this trip.. The seat of my Seabring is a lot more comfortable then most of the beds I have seen.. As I start to drive I notice one of the weirdest lawn statues..If this has any importance or meaning to someone, I apologize.. But can someone tell me what this is...


At this point we are in Minnesota..

We drive for a while until we hit Wisconsin.. We see a sign from the road advertising butter burgers.. I am not too positive what a butter burger is and unfortunately the real butter burger places in milwaukee were all closed on Sunday..

So we head into a place called Culvers.. I didn't know it was a chain until we were already eating.. Anyway the place was clean, staff wore ties, and was very friendly..


A butter burger is essentially a burger cooked in butter.. It was extremely tasty..Had a charbroiled taste as well as the taste of butter.. It is a really good fast food place.. Serving high quality fast food.. Served with fried cheese curds and gravy it was really good..


Next stop was Madison, Wisco.. I must say the mood of the road change rather quickly once we hit Wisco.. First of all you have ever pickup truck towing a boat driving 20 miles an hour in the left lane.. And there were about 40 troopers just waiting for someone to drive 5 miles over the speed limit.. I am assuming it was because it was at the end of last month and they were trying to make their quota.. I have had friends that went to college here and didn't realize how beautiful the campus was.. It looked like a great city and a lot of good places to eat.. We were surprised to see a sign for Real Chili.. This is a place that has been opened in Milwaukee for years now.. I was really happy to hear that the owner is the only one who makes this famous chili.. He drives about 2 hours and locks the rest of the staff out while he cooks..


We ordered the hottest chili served on top of spaghetti.. With beans, cheese and onions.. The chili is some of the best i have ever had.. It was extremely meaty and spiced well.. I would put this against anyone's chili..


We also got tatertots.. With cheese and chili.. Excellent.. The tots were fried perfectly..

They dont close till very late.. I couldn't imagine any drunk college kids ordering this next semester.. The kids at Wisco have a great surprise waiting for them..

This picture is dedicated to Jason Perlow..


My classy friend Mr. G, phoned me from the Country Club to tell me about State Street Brats.. Voted best brat by someone and just a well loved local spot.. Thank you for your help and for the time you took away your duck and goose soiree ..


Got the famous red brat.. Added sour kraut and mustard. It was crispy and really flavorful.. Excellent sandwich..


Then we were on our way to Milwaukee.. Before we hit it, we stopped right outside for some custard.. This place is called Kopps.. Its a space aged looking place, they sell burgers as well.. We went strictly for the custard thinking we were going to three places for butter burgers..

It was like people of the future trying to recreate the 50's..


Oreo Custard.. This was extremely creamy.. It was the best custard i have ever had.. It was just awesome..


Next we tried to stop at a few places that have the great sloppy butter burger.. But they were all closed.. We went on to Leons Frozen Custard..


Here we got a turtle sunday..

Toasted salted walnuts, with butter pecan custard, with caramel.. This is also amazing.. I am thinking the best Sunday i have ever had..


We went to a place called Elegant Farmer.. It was a cute little farm house that sold award winning cheese, ciders, and other things you would expect to find.. One thing that was outrageous was their apple pie.. Baked in a brown bag which made the crust extremely hard it was superb.. Covered with caramel it was one of the best apple pies I have ever had.. On the way to the Farmhouse we got a little lost.. We pulled up to a biker at a light and I was reluctent to ask for THE "Elegant Farmer" cause it didnt sound too tough.. So i asked him if he knew where the "pie place was" He surprising turned around and was like "do you mean the Elegant Farmer" its right down the street.. It was pretty funny..


Look at the moisture soaked up by the bag..


The crust was so hard the fork couldnt break through the crust.. But once the shell was broken it was moist and workable.


Sad to go with just a few places under our belt we were on to Chicago..

We arrived at Chicago around 1 am Sunday Night. We were on a hard core mission.. We wanted to eat at three rib places and a Italian Beef Sandwich.. Looking back I am happy a Al's and Honey 1 were closed.. This way i have a reason to come back.. Actually, i am leaving for Chicago on the 4th of July and might have to go back..

So after driving through a really disgusting neighborhood.. I mean people on the street getting arrested, homeless, prostitutes, real little kids running around we arrive at Lem's BBQ.. A place not in the greatest areas either.. We arrive and park in the lot.. We walk in side to see a small counter and the rest of the area completely covered in 4 inch thick bullet proof glass..


We get order hot rib tips and decide to try a rib in the place.. Despite the neighborhood being really scary, we love these ribs so much we decide to eat them on the trunk of our car in the lot.. As we are happily eating these smokey, spicy, crunchy, juice rib tips, we are oblivious to our surroundings.. Next thing you know we see the dealer of the block come over and start selling "shorts" or empty packs of newports out of his car to three different people.. Honestly, it was a relief to know there was a drug dealer right by us, this guaranteed we werent going to be robbed at least.. Knowing a crack dealer doesn't let robberies happen, thus causing the police to come to his block..Anyway, in the future i wouldn't recommend people hang out here at 1 am..

Here are these amazing ribs.. Some of the best ribs I have ever had.. They were smokey and covered in their sauce. It was like a hot sauce and bbq sauce combined.. Served with fries on the bottom it was awesome...


Here is a picture of the trunk of my car a full day later.. It was hard not to lick the car..


As we were leaving, one of the crack buyers tried to befriend us.. Was asking me if i could give her money so she could order me more ribs. "I can have them pack it for you special, i can make it so they pack the fries separate so they dont get soggy for the plane.. " Haha.. She was really good.,

Next we drove on to Leons.. Another 24 hour rib place.. This in a worse neighborhood.. Also there was a long line and besides one bus driver, the rest of the people were highly polluted..

restaurant sign


Here is the food.. It was really horrible compared to Lem's.. The bbq sauce they used was worse then the stuff out of the ketchup packets that just say bbq sauce on it.. These picture looks like the food is covered in a red slime.. This place is certainly not worth getting killed for..


We drove on and ended our night at 530 am this time because of the time change.. We thought it was 400 and as we were getting off the road the toll takers clock said 5.. Day 5 up next..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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just wanted to let you know this is currently my favorite thread! :biggrin:

Those pictures are incredible, now this is REAL FOOD!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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Wow - Crack Neighborhood ribs, now that takes some dedication. (not that I haven't endulged in a crack neighborhood steak dinner, but that is another story)...

I love this thread, and all of your roadtrip threads.

hehe also you are damn lucky to have a girlfriend who appreciates this kind of endulgence and risky ;)

By any chance, does she have a sister?

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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Day 5:

Started a lot better then day 4 did.. I had an actual bed and everything.. We were on our way back to New York.. We arrived in Pittsburgh around 1 pm.. We went right down to their little Italy.. We were a little disappointed with how run down it looked, but there still looked like some cool places..

We started at the Enrico Biscotti Company..


We got an almond, an anisette, and a coconut macaroon.. Everything was just ok.. The macaroon was exceptional..


Next we walked around this Italian Market, called the Penn Macaroni Company.. This place had a lot of things i cant get in New York.. The best thing was Caputo OO flour from Italy.. This is the type of flour that is used at DiFarras, my favorite pizza place... I have been looking for this flour for 6 months.. They had the 50 lb bags and also broke it up into 5 lb bags..


Next we went to a place called Jimmy and Eddy's maybe.. I can definitely say there was a Jimmy.. Jimmy, the owner was a tough looking guy who had this huge cigar stuck in his mouth.. Reminded me of Carmine Galante. From meeting him, to talking to him while he made my sandwich, this huge thing did not move from his mouth once.. I would have taken a picture, but lets just say I dont think Jimmy likes his photo taken. As we left and needed a place to eat he told us to go into a place down the street.. "If anyone gives use trouble, tell them Uncle Jimmy said it was ok"

The sandwich was on a soft chewy italian bread..The proscuitto was domestic and cut too think.. The roasted peppers were some of the better ones i have ever eaten.. Had a couple of Yuenglings which went really well..


Next stop IL Pizzaioli..I have been wanting to go here since someone reported on this place in the New York forum.. It was in Mt Lebanon.. A really pretty town, with really expensive looking homes..

We ordered a pizza with proscuitto.. The sauce was San Marzano, the cheese was excellent.. The proscuitto was not.. It was thrown on after the pizza was cooked and it was a thick hammy domestic kind.. The pizza crust happened to be exceptional, crunchy chewy, airy.. I didn't have the strength to order the Bianco.. But looking back i regret it..This place had potential..I think i just got the wrong thing..

Nice Top


Great bottom


Wood burning oven.. You would think in PA there would be tons of coal burning ovens no?


Just about 100 miles down the road we came upon the much talked about Denny's Beer Barrel Pub.. Famous for its 15 and 6 pound burger challenges.. This place is a real local place.. The locals were drunk talking about how tough it would be for them to drive home.. There were some more subdued people there as well..


The menu at this place is huge.. There are 30 types of wings you can get.. From wings covered in a bacon cream sauce, to mexican wings.. They also had besides the huge burgers and endless list of half pound options.. They had any type of bar food you could imagine and it all looked awesome.. I would say this place is like the French Laundry of barfood.. It was extensive and delicious..

These wings were some of the best wings I have ever had.. The sauce was homemade and really spicy.. There was chunks of bacon as well as jalepenos in it.. The wings fried to perfection.. This place is worth going to just for the wingers..

Just look at all the spices on these things.. I ordered the second hottest.. They might have been the best wings i have ever had if not tied..


I know I know.. My friends will give me a hard time for not undergoing the challenge.. But to me once someone expects you to do something, its not worth doing.. Hehe.. Plus what scarier then not finishing a 6 pound burger is actually finishing a 6 pound burger.. So i went the smallest burgers they had.. This buy the way is no little dish..These were ok.. Didn't like the ez cheese spread.. The onion rings and onion fries were awesome..

Sorry i dont have a better picture


Overall I would say Denny's Beer Barrel Pub has set the gold standard for bar food everywhere..

We drove straight through after that and arrived in NYC pretty late.. We were happy to be home.. Considering we are doing another cross country trip in about a month we are looking forward to the rest... I have done the southern, middle, and now this route.. I must say that this route was the most beautiful out of the three.. I also learned more about the country on this trip. I have never been to any of these places before and loved seeing some of the remains of the Wild West.. It was also some of the more untouched country.. I could actually imagine what someone hundreds of years ago would have seen by just removing the small strip of road i was on.. The more I travel around this country, the more I realize how lucky we are and how I could be happy living anywhere in America.. It makes me realize just how short life is and how its sad that there isnt enough time to actually experience living in all these great places..

Thanks for reading this everyone, i really love the fact that people are enjoying it..

Total miles- 3782.

Total Calories- A lot..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Wow - Crack Neighborhood ribs, now that takes some dedication.  (not that I haven't endulged in a crack neighborhood steak dinner, but that is another story)...

I love this thread, and all of your roadtrip threads.

hehe also you are damn lucky to have a girlfriend who appreciates this kind of endulgence and risky ;)

By any chance, does she have a sister?

Hey thanks brudda.. I'm telling you, Lem's BBQ is worth it.. And i know how lucky I am to have her . Besides being the organizers of all our destinations she is a great co-pilot.. And when i say co-pilot i mean she still hasnt gotten her damn license.. :biggrin:

Edited by Daniel (log)
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