Helpful Reply2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination April 20th - 23rd

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Ralph Melton
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/13 18:28:58 (permalink)
I am impressed by your summary of Springfield. That's a convincing argument that there's a possibility for a good crawl to be had there.
 
I have held off on voting so far. I would probably go anywhere, but I think that the biggest criterion for deciding a destination is who is willing to commit to organizing it. (It was enough work that I'm not going to do it two years in a row.)
 
So I'd be much more interested in proposals of "I'd be willing to organize a crawl of X" than "how about going to X?"
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/13 19:09:01 (permalink)
Ralph,
My Roadhouse Bar-B-Que Sauce travels have afforded me extensive time in all the cities I've listed.  That travel has helped me build up a pretty sizable catalogue of good eats.  Not as big as buffetbuster's or ChiTownDiner's lists (or wanderingjew, or The Travelin man, sheesh, the list goes on...), mind you, but big.  In addition, 37 years of marriage to a Kansas City area native has given me a solid knowledge of that city (should it be chosen).  Thanks to multiple visits a year to see family and friends, plus the odd business trip, we've sussed out a lot of Crawl-worthy food and activities on both sides of the MO/KS state line.
 
The point is, I would be willing to play a big role in organizing a tour in any of the cities I'll be describing.  I'm sure with the help and input of some of our more traveled members (mentioned above) we can make any Crawl we choose a success.
 
Buddy
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ChiBears15
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/13 19:51:42 (permalink)
Jeff,
 
One thing to keep in mind.  I am pretty sure Shea's Gas Station Museum is closed.  I remember reading somewhere that the property has been sold and the historic items were auctioned off.
 
Danny
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/13 20:03:49 (permalink)
Just a suggestion for those who are attending from someone who isn't. Perhaps Sioux Falls South Dakota should be considered as a viable option. There's lamb chislic, beef chislic and if you get tired of that....there's deer chislic....All the Chislic that one man (or woman) can desire in an extended weekend..
 

#34
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/13 20:32:23 (permalink)
wj,
Any time you want to lead the charge, I'll follow you into Sioux Falls in a heartbeat!
 
Danny,
I'll be honest, I grabbed Shea's out of the internet ether only 'cause I needed another non-food/non-Lincoln example of things to do in Springfield.  Even without Shea's there's more than enough to keep us busy.
 
Buddy
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2016/06/13 20:34:41
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/13 21:22:47 (permalink)
Well, Buddy, there's gonna be that 12 hour or so window in Sioux Falls in the fall of  2017. Perhaps you can join us for a late night snack of lamb chislic at Jono's, and then a breakfast of burgers and broasted chicken at Bob's Cafe. Something tells me that may be your only chance.
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ChiTownDiner
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/13 23:41:38 (permalink)
Please include Gary, IN so Danny can come out of the closet on this one, after all, he gave up Pittsburgh for the Michael Jackson convention in Gary and rumor has it, Lisa & Michael were there also!  If only the black glove could talk...
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 01:11:28 (permalink)
I heard there's nothing worth eating in Gary except Pizza.
 
Buddy
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 08:40:21 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
I heard there's nothing worth eating in Gary except Pizza.
 
Buddy




LOL!
 
Buddy - seriously good write-up on Springfield!  You really deserve the Golden Quill Award!  I am not taking any shots til I see the completes works.  
 
Keep in mind regarding Pittston, Joe Rogo has the manpower to put a nice Roadfood Wing addition on his house and we can all stay there for free.  Additionally, wine tastings, food samplings, circus performers are all routinely visiting from Italy which adds a lot of color to a free stay.  No mileage points though!  
 
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 14:11:23 (permalink)
If joerogo can sell Pittston the way I sold Springfield, you can count me in!
 
Michael Hoffman
Damn! You make Springfield sound good, even to me. Although I'm not sure about those horseshoes. And it would be neat to meet The Doctor of Barbeque finally.


Michael, you and the Dr., would get along famously.  He is a real character and very outgoing.  As I've mentioned in other threads, he and I aren't on the same political page, but I wouldn't give up his friendship for all the seats on The Supreme Court!
 
Buddy
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2016/06/14 14:13:37
#40
Bonk
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 19:42:01 (permalink)
I REALLY liked having local guides in Pittsburgh (thanks again Ralph and Lori), and I think that's as important a factor as the allure of the city (do we have locals in any other city than KC?).
 
I'm definitely in and Cathy is definitely hooked now!
post edited by Bonk - 2016/06/14 19:44:00
#41
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 20:02:48 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
Now that the post-Pittsburgh Crawl discussion seems to winding down to a natural end (although I encourage anyone else with pictures and/or thoughts on the trip to continue posting them there), it seems like the right time to start talking about where to explore next year.  Over the Pittsburgh weekend, a lot of cities were mentioned, all with pros and cons.  I thought the best way to make a decision would be to evaluate the candidates based on what they had to offer both in terms of food and other pastimes.  Ralph Melton and icecreamchick, with input from buffetbuster and lleechef, did an outstanding job of balancing eating and interesting activities on this last trip.  Any future crawls should have the same goals in mind.
 
Let me say up front, I have my favorite candidates in mind.  I’ll do my best to be impartial in presenting them for consideration.  Certainly, the current favorite, Kansas City, is high on my list.  But if the point of these tours is to explore and discover, shouldn’t we also look at the less obvious choices.  After all, who thought we’d get one of the best meals of the Pittsburgh trip in the form of Barbecue served at The Italo-American Citizen’s Club?  It’s that sense of unexpected delight that should guide us in choosing future crawl locations.
 
With that in mind, I hope you’ll indulge me as I list the possible cities, starting with those least likely to be the big winner.  I won’t post them all at once in the hope that readers will give each contender fair consideration, but mainly because I haven’t finished writing the whole thing yet.
 
I’ll start with one of my favorite “dark horse” nominees, and the one I know I’ll take the most mocking for, Springfield, Illinois.  I know my state is home to some of the most corrupt, greed and ego driven politicians in the country.  But that doesn’t mean our state capitol isn’t without its charms.  The city is teeming with good eats possibilities and a long weekend’s worth of non-food activities.
 
On the food side, let’s start with (in honor of wanderingjew) central Illinois’ “regionally appropriate” dish; the Horseshoe Sandwich.  The Horseshoe is the workingman’s cousin to Pittsburgh’s Turkey Devonshire and the Louisville Hot Brown.  Start with a bottom layer of toasted bread, top that with the meat of your choice (the original Horseshoe used hamburger patties, but now you can get everything from sliced turkey to Buffalo chicken to bacon); a mound of French fries tops out the meat, and it’s all smothered in cheese sauce.  It is a huge pile of food, most closely associated with the end of a night of binge drinking.  One sandwich can be shared by two or more people.
 
The Horseshoe has gotten a bad rap over the years due to the use of second rate ingredients like frozen French fries and that glowing orange cheese sauce served on ballpark nachos.  The best versions use hand cut fries and a real Rarebit sauce.  The two places offering the best Horseshoes are The Corner Pub & Grill (recommended by wanderingjew) and Norb Andy’s Tabarin (no, none of that is a misprint).
 
Norb Andy’s is a historic Springfield bar.  It’s been around since before Prohibition and functioned as a speakeasy during that ugly era.  Entering Norb Andy’s, you walk down half a flight of stairs into a basement and back in time.  It is a rich atmosphere almost reminiscent of a colonial tavern.  The new owners have committed themselves to high culinary principles applied to working class pub grub.  It’s true they aren’t using fresh cut fries, but the institutional variety they’re using is first class, and cooked perfectly.  They also take the time to create an excellent Rarebit sauce.
 
The Corner Pub & Grill does use fresh cut fries and a house made cheese sauce, but lacks the historic ambiance.  Both are worthy considerations for Horseshoe Sandwiches.
 
Springfield’s other claim to Roadfood fame is the Cozy Dog Drive In, “birthplace” of the Corn Dog.  The Cozy Dog is a Route 66 landmark, started in 1946.  In addition to Corn Dogs, they serve very good squashed-on-the-griddle style Hamburgers, Chili Dogs, and Fries.  All of this while surrounded by an overload of Route 66 memorabilia.
 
Another local hotspot for the 1930’s style smashburger is Krekel’s Custard.  They have multiple locations around the city.  Not the best version of that burger in town, but lots of tradition and history and Frozen Custard, to boot.
 
For the best smashed Burger, we’ve discovered Fulgenzi’s Pizza & Pasta.  It’s sort of a full menu Italian fast food place.  We skipped all the other stuff and, based on a recommendation, got a double CheeseBurger.  It was everything you look for in that style burger.  Crispy, caramelized edges, juicy meat in the center, and the cheese adds just the right amount of extra richness to the whole thing.  Definitely our favorite in town.
 
Almost forgot about Springfield Chilli (again, not a misprint, that's how they spell it).  Not my favorite thing, but it’s a whole subculture in Springfield.  Dew Chilli Parlor and The Chili Parlor (formerly Joe Roger’s Chili Den Parlor) are the best known sources for this local peculiarity.  Springfield Chilli is a meat and bean affair, best known for the abundant layer of grease floating atop the bowl.  Don’t worry, it comes with plenty of crackers which do an effective job of soaking it all up.
 
My favorite food motive for stopping in Springfield is my good friend, The Dr. of BBQ.  Jack’s truck serves up some of the best and meatiest ribs I’ve ever tasted.  He somehow achieves that sweet spot of fall off the bone tenderness with just enough “chew” to let you know this is the real deal.  He also turns out some great pulled pork, brisket, and when the mood strikes him, rib tips unlike any other I’ve ever had.
 
When the sweet tooth grabs you, we’ll head over to one of the many Mel-O-Cream Donuts shops around town.  They specialize in those cakey style donuts; slightly crispy on the outside, dense and flavorful inside with a generous dose of frosting on top.  Great Chocolate donuts and Maple Fritters!  They’ll need to be an early stop as they close in the afternoon—some even earlier because they sell out fast!
 
For the Breakfast aficionados, there’s Sunrise Café, Charlie Parker’s and D&J Café.  All three are well reviewed here on Roadfood and they’re all approved by highly respected Roadfooder King T.  Other well regarded Breakfast possibilities include Shannon’s Five Star and Ritz’s.  Wish I could comment on these, but as most of you know, Breakfast is not the most important meal of my day.
 
Another discovery on our last visit was Carter’s Fish Market.  Nothing more than a walk up window in a limited parking lot with one picnic table, Carter’s serves some fantastic fish.  They feature Walleye, Catfish, and Buffalo; all served hot, crispy and moist, and in abundance.  Sides include “River Fries” (their version of home fries), fried okra, and cole slaw.  It’s a real treat to sit and eat while watching the steady line of folks come and go with their carry out orders.
 
There’s no shortage of Italian food in Springpatch.  Saputo’s is an old school semi-upscale Eye-Talian joint that caters to the town’s “elite”;  lots of pols and money guys rubbing elbows over a giant house salad and a plate of baked lasagna.  Gabatoni’s is more blue collar family style, serving good tavern style Pizzas, red sauce Italian, and a damn fine version of the Horseshoe.  Plus, if you're taste in art runs toward paintings of dogs playing poker, and almost every other activity you can think of, you'll love Gabatoni's decor.
 
Another favorite of mine is the Westwoods Lodge Pub & Grill.  They feature a number of wild game dishes including Deer and Elk Burgers, several Duck options and Frog Legs.  The décor is hunt club grandeur.  You might need to get used to all the mounted game heads staring at you while you eat, but it’s worth it.
 
That’s just a slice of what’s available in terms of good eats in Springfield.  The other draw is a plethora of Lincoln sites around town.  The Lincoln Home, Lincoln’s Tomb, The Lincoln Presidential Library, New Salem State Park; a preservation and recreation of the town Lincoln lived in when he moved to Illinois (think Colonial Williamsburg, only more rustic and frontier oriented), and the Old State Capitol where Lincoln served as a state senator.  There’s also the new State Capitol Building where our current state senators are driving the state to bankruptcy, the Dana-Thomas House (one of the best examples of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, brilliantly preserved and open to the public), and Shea’s Gas Station Museum, another Route 66 landmark.
 
As you can see there’s easily enough stuff listed here to do an extended weekend in Springfield.  In the coming days and weeks I’ll post summaries for Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and of course my home away from home, Kansas City.  Just remember folks, if we're going to keep this tradition alive, sooner or later, we'll visit all these places.
 
Hope you’ll give them all fair consideration.
 
Buddy




Wow, you make a helluva case for Springfield. I was looking at a trip to Bloomington (Ill.) last year and was interested in some of the places near there, too. 
 
Hotel expenses would definitely be lower in a less urban area like that as well.
#42
ScreamingChicken
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 20:44:06 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
Cleveland and Detroit would be worthy nominees.

For what, an EPA Superfund grant?
 
BuddyRoadhouse
I’ll start with one of my favorite “dark horse” nominees, and the one I know I’ll take the most mocking for, Springfield, Illinois.

No mocking from me.  I've eaten at the Dr.'s barbecue trailer before and his recommendation of Top Cat's for pizza was spot on, so I'd definitely be interested in exploring Springfield further.  Plus Springfield can be accessed through Ladd...
 
#43
joerogo
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 20:51:48 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
If joerogo can sell Pittston the way I sold Springfield, you can count me in!



Ooooo, a challenge!!!  Hope you like Italian Food!!! :)
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 20:55:19 (permalink)
I wasn't sure if I should list Top Cat's or not, but as long as you mentioned it, yeah, they've got some great Tavern Style Pizza.  If the boss is cooking that night, he can rustle up a mess of Jack Robinson Style Hamburgers
 
Just one more reason to consider little ol' Springfield.
 
Buddy
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 21:07:04 (permalink)
Cool stuff about Jack Robinson.  I'm not optimistic but just maybe that last standing building is still around...
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Michael Hoffman
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 21:13:40 (permalink)
joerogo
BuddyRoadhouse
If joerogo can sell Pittston the way I sold Springfield, you can count me in!



Ooooo, a challenge!!!  Hope you like Italian Food!!! :)


This is a challenge I hope you can handle. As it happens I like Italian food. Do you have any in your neck of the woods? Hey, maybe a side trip to some diner where they serve hubcap-size burgers.
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ScreamingChicken
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 21:15:09 (permalink)
I'm sure Joe has plenty of "Chef B" cans in the cupboard for those unexpected visitors!
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Michael Hoffman
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/14 22:19:11 (permalink)
One can only hope.
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/15 19:26:44 (permalink)
My next Least-Likely-to-Succeed-But-Deserves-a-Fair-Shake city is Detroit.  I’ll admit right up front, although I did business in Detroit for 11 years, my knowledge of the city is not quite as intimate as other potential Crawl locations.  However, we did discover enough worthwhile good eats to give us a running start.  That experience, plus the readily available information from various respected sources (hint: I could subtitle this essay, “King T’s Detroit”) could build us a solid tour.
 
I know Motown has seen better times, but there are still remnants of its greatness holding on, coexisting with a younger breed trying to breathe new life into the city.  When people express their fears to me about the urban crime and decay, I tell them, think of the Detroit metro area like a doughnut; the surrounding suburbs and Windsor, Canada are the doughnut; Detroit is the hole.  Not a very convincing sales pitch, I know, but hear me out.
 
On the old timers side there is The Coney Island Dog.  This is Detroit’s rendition of what the rest of the world calls a Chili Dog.  The thing that distinguishes the local dogs from others is the spice mix in the chili.  Detroit’s Coney Island tradition was started by Greek immigrants.  The spices used in the chili reflect that cuisine.  Cinnamon, cumin, and allspice are commonly found in the recipe, with basil and oregano making appearances as well.
 
The city’s two most famous representatives are Lafayette and American Coney Island.  There are dozens of other independent joints scattered all over the metroplex.  Frankly, not my favorite local food, but we should at least check out a couple of them to uphold our “regionally appropriate” tradition.
 
There are other, lesser known, local food favorites to be considered.  First is the smashdown style Burger.  The Telway Hamburger System was founded in 1944 in response to the growing popularity of White Castle.  The Telway architecture was similar to that of mystery muffin franchises, but the Burgers were (and still are) way better.  At one point there were dozens of Telway outlets all over town.   Over the years, the Telway Empire crumbled, although one or two still maintain the original name and method of preparation.  The rest were sold off, with many still in operation sporting the original classic diner décor and still making Burgers by mashing wads of ground beef over thinly sliced onions on a very hot griddle.
 
Listing all of the Burger places we could visit would be exhausting, but here’s a link to an article on a website run by Roadfooder extraordinaire, King T.  Titus visited all the places on this list and offers some very enticing pictures and descriptions.  If those Coney Dog guys don’t watch out, they could be replaced by skinny Burgers as the area’s iconic foodstuff.
 
Then of course, you’ve got Detroit Style Pizza, found at Buddy’s (no relation), Loui’s, Cloverleaf, and the aptly named Detroit Style Pizza Co.  Detroit style Pizza is defined by its square shape, soft airy crust, and the caramelized cheese around the edges.  The pizzas are baked in a square steel pan, originally designed to hold spare parts in the auto factories.
 
There’s also a Cheese Steak Hoagie culture in Detroit.  Lefty’s and Gabriel’s are two of the best known outposts.
 
After that, Detroit’s food scene is extremely diverse.  Mike’ Famous Ham Place has been around for more than 40 years.  The name says it all; this place is known for melt in your mouth, salty pig, piled high on a sandwich or served for breakfast with eggs and toast.  It is a classic little diner and totally Roadfood worthy.
 
Detroit’s ethnic food scene spans the globe.  Greektown is famous for its food and old world architecture.  Granted, a lot of the old shops have been replaced by the usual shopping mall suspects, but there’s still a solid Greek presence to be found there.  The Golden Fleece is a good example of “real” Greek-American cuisine. 
 
Detroit also has one of the highest Middle Eastern populations in the country.  There are fabulous restaurants all over the city and suburbs serving excellent Mediterranean food.
 
Other ethnic dining includes Belgian cuisine at Cadieux Café, the Polish Village Café, and Srodek’s Delicatessen in the Hamtramck neighborhood, and classic German food at the Dakota Inn Rathskeller.
 
Our tours frequently include top notch fried fish, sometimes found in sketchy neighborhoods.  Scotty Simpson’s Fish & Chips will provide that experience in Detroit.
 
Another Detroit local favorite is the Dinty Moore Sandwich Found at Nathan’s Deli.  Not canned beef stew between two slices of bread, but a triple decker of corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, lettuce and tomatoes on toasted rye (more props to King T for that description). 
 
The Eastern Market is a complex of “sheds” housing open air vendors offering everything from fresh meat and produce to prepared ‘eat on the go” foods.
 
On the newer side is Slows BBQ.  The owners took a chance on a once decrepit neighborhood.  Slows’ excellent ‘Que has helped revitalize the area without taking away its grit and character.
 
We also found a long stretch of good eats options in Warren, MI, just north of the city.  The main drag there is a hot spot for interesting dining and shopping opportunities.  Park your car at one end, walk down one side of the street for about six blocks, then cross the street and walk back up the other side, discovering what the city has to offer along the way.
 
On the non-eating activity side, there’s a compound of African culture anchored by the African Bead Museum.  It also features a series of outdoor art installations including N’kisi Iron House and the African Language Wall.  The Detroit Institute of the Arts is one of the country’s better art museums.  They are perhaps best known for their extensive mural installation by Famed Mexican artist Diego Rivera.
 
This just scratches the surface.  I’d need to do a little research if we wanted to cross the river into Windsor, Ontario, but early indications show that city to be a worthwhile stop.  There’s also the possibility of heading west to Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti for a day.  In fact, that could be a crawl in and of itself.
 
Next up, my favorite Rust Belt City: Cleveland!
 
Check back soon!
 
Buddy
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Michael Hoffman
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/15 19:43:08 (permalink)
You didn't mention my Detroit favorite, The Rattlesnake Club. There aren't too many places in Detroit where you can get your burger topped with foie gras.
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/15 20:28:42 (permalink)
Didn't even know about The Rattlesnake Club.  And that is why I will welcome input from anyone familiar with any of the cities I'm proposing. 
 
Buddy
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/16 08:26:39 (permalink)
With two cities down and another dozen to go....surprisingly, I'm taking Springfield over "The Hole"....ahhhhh, that's the feel of Pure Michigan!  
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/16 08:36:23 (permalink)
ChiTownDiner
With two cities down and another dozen to go....surprisingly, I'm taking Springfield over "The Hole"....ahhhhh, that's the feel of Pure Michigan!  




But Detroit has so much more in common with Chicago- especially the aayehccents
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/16 13:42:53 (permalink)
I think you just made some enemies in both Chicago and Detroit.
 
A dozen?!?  I count five.  Rogo can do Pittston on his own.
 
Buddy
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TJ Jackson
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/16 13:49:38 (permalink)
Another Detroit item
http://tomatoesapizza.com/
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Michael Hoffman
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/16 13:50:24 (permalink)
So, does that mean Gahanna's out of the mix?
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/16 13:55:50 (permalink)
There's still Sioux Falls.....give me the 12 hour window that we'll be there and I'd be happy to lead!
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/16 14:00:57 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman
So, does that mean Gahanna's out of the mix?




Write it up and we'll give it due consideration.  Gahanna Grill (as long as I'm not forced to eat one of those wretched Beanie Burgers) and the local Graeter's outpost make a good start.  Another 20 or so stops and you've got a tour!
 
wanderingjew
There's still Sioux Falls.....give me the 12 hour window that we'll be there and I'd be happy to lead!
 

 
12 hours?!?  That's barely enough time for ChiTownDiner to get in all his breakfast stops.
 
Buddy
#59
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
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Re: 2017 Roadfood Crawl Destination? 2016/06/16 15:10:19 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
Michael Hoffman
So, does that mean Gahanna's out of the mix?




Write it up and we'll give it due consideration.  Gahanna Grill (as long as I'm not forced to eat one of those wretched Beanie Burgers) and the local Graeter's outpost make a good start.  Another 20 or so stops and you've got a tour!
 
 

 
 
 




 
Easy. Starting with Wendy's, McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, Skyline Chili, Old Bag of Nails, Pigskin Brewery, Cap City Diner, Arby's, Moe's --- I could go on and on and on and ....
#60
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