Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's for dinner Grandpa?

So recently my wife gave me a great idea (most of my great ideas come from her…and the rest are inspired by her!) to start writing about some of the places we eat at on the road. When you travel, food is one of the most important aspects of your journey, (because without it, you would eventually die.) Okay, gas and guitar strings are also very important, but this blog is about food. Obviously Starbucks is a big part of our rolling diet, but we also tend to seek out BBQ joints, funky local places, Chipotle or Red Robin for lunch. I am a big fan of BBQ and the band will usually indulge me unless we’ve had BBQ four or five days in a row, in which case I can usually smell the mutiny over the smoked sweat smell! When I was with Buddy, BBQ was a ritual, especially in Texas. We did the Iron Works, Stubb’s, County Line or Sam’s in Austin, we did Virgil’s in NYC, as well as a bunch of places that are gone or that I just can’t remember now! That’s where I learned the difference between good BBQ and bad BBQ. My BBQ policy is simple; no chains, no b******t! I do make an occasional exception to the chain rule, but only if the chain is consistent. I eat at Whole Hog in Little Rock AR and Dreamland in Birmingham, but the original Dreamland in Tuscaloosa has let me down a couple of times, so now we go to Archibald’s in Tuscaloosa (the original location). I will not eat at Tony Roma’s, etc. In the past few months we’ve eaten at some crazy good places (and had some crazy great food!) Like Takashi Sushi in Salt Lake City UT, Central BBQ in Memphis TN, Snappy Lunch in Mt Airy NC where we had the pork chop sandwich to end all pork chop sandwiches, or Exxon Gas Station BBQ pork ribs in Jackson MS (thanks KMFP), Blues City Café in Memphis for catfish and tamales, Stage Deli in NYC for the GIANT (and expensive) Rueben, Leatha’s BBQ in Hattiesburg MS. The best resource I’ve found for food on the road is a book called Roadfood by Jane and Michael Stern. This book has yet to let us down. We’ve found killer Mexican food in Denver, Lobster Rolls in Maine, Breakfast in Louisville, Hot Dogs in Portland OR and the list goes on and on.
Today, we are in St Louis and we had to go to Goody Goody Diner www.goodygoodydiner.com I had the BBQ Burger with slaw, fries and a side of chili - $10.00 (diet’s going great, thanks for asking!) This place is the bomb! In business since 1948, they do all the old style diner food you would expect. Burgers, Breakfast stuff, they even do chicken and waffles (don’t knock it until you try it!) Their hours, during the week, are 6:00 am – 2:00 pm. We got there at 1:45 pm and the place was packed! The hostess seated us and she even liked my Chuck Taylors! (How ‘bout that Kempf!) The chili was great, spicy and meaty (oyster crackers and Tabasco on the side!). The burger was exactly what you want from something called the BBQ Slaw Burger, it was a delicious mess (4 napkins!)! They’ve had everyone from Al Gore to Cedric the Entertainer as guests and I can guarantee I’ll be back. Next time I’m getting the fried chicken though, because it looked awesome!
As for Chipotle www.chipotle.com it’s a burrito restaurant chain from Denver CO. I discovered them a couple of years ago and when Tyler was in the band, we we’re eating there at least 3 or 4 times a week! For one thing, the food is great, fresh and mostly organically raised fresh guacamole, salsa and chips. For another thing, when you’re on a budget (who’s not on a budget these days, but if you are a musician, it’s a given that you are on a BUDGET!), a huge burrito fills you up for the whole day, so you don’t have to spend all your money on food (especially when you’re in Denver and you need to go to Twist and Shout www.twistandshout.com an amazing independent record store!)! We’ve eaten at the original a couple of times on 1600 East Evans (got the t-shirt too!!) Chipotle is always good. My favorite stuff is either the Carnitas Burrito or the Barbacoa Burrito, chips with the guacamole and the hot salsa and then douse the whole thing in Chipotle Tabasco! $10.00 - $12.00 for that and a drink and you’re good to go.

1 comment:

Natalie Stovall said...

WOOO HOOOO!!! I LOVE me some Red Robin. Whiskey River BBQ Burger is the way to go :)
And yes to Starbucks and local BBQ joints. We've been getting our fish sandwich fill own in Panama City - and smoked Tuna dip... mmmm mmmm... brought back a couple of tubs of that stuff.
I have been wanting to try Chipotle forever! And now you've got me jonesing for it :) I can't wait now for that one. I miss getting good clam chowder from the northeast... but we'll be in Maryland tomorrow. Crabcakes here I come!!