Helpful ReplyHot!2019 Crawl Discussion - ***Minneapolis / St. Paul***

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wanderingjew
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 09:25:29 (permalink)
Davidsanders
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Updated list:

Cleveland already going this year - no
Savannah already visited in 2016 and visiting again in 2020- no
Charleston see Savannah-- no
Milwaukee already visited last year- no
Louisville already visited in 2016 but would consider a gain - possibly
St. Louis already visited last year but would consider visiting again- possibly
Austin  already going this year
Minneapolis already visited last year but would consider if we can incorporate hotdish and scandinavain specialties- possibly
Montreal already visiting in 2019- no
Augusta - maybe
Philadelphia definitely
Detroit last visit was 10 years ago- so definitely

I somehow forgot Minneapolis. Austin would be great, but a bit of a drive for most people. Plus airfare is expensive. I would be in favor of going though.

Montreal would be my dream choice. Added to the list for sure.

Danny



my responses above


I'm not sure I understand. Are these your votes for the doodle poll, or are you saying they shouldn't be included in the vote? 
 
 
 
 




I just provided a quick summary of my  take  the way Bonk did.
I would think they should all be included in the doodle poll and we can all vote accordingly.
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 10:51:31 (permalink)
ChiBears15
I think it is time to start discussing where the annual spring crawl should be next year. We will hold off on choosing the actual dates until after the summer.

While discussion of the possible destinations is a good idea, I think we should hold off on a decision until after the dates have been finalized:
 
1. Some people will bow out due to the dates.  Only those who know (as of now) they can be there should vote.
2. Some of the possible locations may have scheduled events that might effect parking, street closures, etc.
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2018/05/22 10:53:02
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 11:55:15 (permalink)
ChiBears15
I have my Canadian pollster nagle on standby ready to start Doodling on my orders.  Do we want to get the Doodle poll started already?  I was thinking we would discuss the locations here for a few more days, but it seems like most people already have their minds made up. 
 
Jeff, since you are the ultimate authority when it comes to these crawls, should I go ahead and launch the Doodle poll?  We will have three rounds of voting.  First, we will vote to get it down to five, then two, and then the winning city.
 
Jim, one of the fundamental rules of these Spring crawls is "anywhere but Rhode Island."
 
Danny




Orders? I am taking orders from the Big Wheel Kid now? Oy vey!
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 14:40:44 (permalink)
nagle
 
Orders? I am taking orders from the Big Wheel Kid now? Oy vey!


 "Oy vey"?!?  Sounds like some obscure French Canadian dialect.  Perhaps more prevalent in Montreal than other places in Quebec?
 
Buddy
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 15:23:36 (permalink)
Per a request from Davidsanders, here are reprints (with edits) of my past city summaries.  I know it's a long shot, but I still want to start with Springfield, IL.  I have to admit, I've lost some enthusiasm for the town since my dear friend Donald "Dr. of BBQ" Jackson passed away in February, 2017.  He was the source of most of my Springfield Roadfood knowledge, and with him gone I'm not sure I could organize a full Thursday to Sunday Brunch roster.  Still, there are so many Lincoln sites to fill the time, even with fewer food stops (not necessarily a bad thing, given the overload in KC and Nashville) we could easily fill the time with activities.
 
So, with that caveat in place, here's my Springfield pitch:
 
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 Corner Pub & Grill (recommended by wanderingjew) offers one of the better versions.  D'Arcy's Pint is another well respected Horseshoe purveyor.  We were partial to Norb Andy's, but they have since closed down.  I might need to do some first hand research into this particular regional specialty, but I think I'm up to the task.
 
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.
 
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.
 
If we really wanted to have a roadtrip inside a roadtrip, we could always head east of Springfield for the Smashed Crispy Burgers of Central Illinois Crawl, written up in King T's exceptional blog.  It'd be a long drive and a full day, but we'd eat true grassroots Roadfood at its finest.
 
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.
 
More to come!
 
Buddy
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 15:48:03 (permalink)
Lots of negative impressions of Detroit, and I understand where it's coming from.  But if we take the time to go beyond the bad press and seek out the real city, there are abundant Roadfood gems to be found in Motown and its suburbs.  There are still remnants of Detroit's 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.
 
Admittedly, this summary relies heavily on King T's Blog.  Titus has made some astounding Roadfood finds including traditional American grub, and more exotic fare that has become regionally appropriate, thanks to a large influx of immigrants who brought their traditional culinary treats with them.
 
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 the 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 decor 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 King T's summary of what he calls "The Detroit Slider".  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.
 
UPDATE: Since my original post, we've had the opportunity to visit another four or five Smashdown Burger places from King T's list.  Frankly, these little Burgers were so good I'm puzzled as to why they haven't overtaken the Coney Island Hot Dog as Detroit's iconic food.
 
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, Polish at 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!
 
Buddy
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 15:56:39 (permalink)
Thanks for doing this Jeff. It will be very helpful in the decision making process. 
 
Keith, I wonder if you want to do some kind of overview of Augusta?
 
David
 
 
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 15:57:24 (permalink)
Springfield's less than an hour from Litchfield (Jubelt's, Ariston Café), too.  Maybe those who badmouth the city are afraid of the chilli.
 
Incidentally, Shea's Route 66 museum is no more.  The contents were auctioned a couple of years ago and the last time I drove by the building looked like it was being dismantled/demolished.
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 16:16:59 (permalink)
Although it's been 10 years since my first and only visit-
For the Detroit summary 
Al-Ameer in Dearborn was a gem
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 16:24:01 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2018/05/23 06:12:47
Numerous Roadfooders besides me have sung the praises of Cleveland.  buffetbuster, wanderingjew, and ChiTownDiner have all had very positive dining experiences there.  I’ve been doing business in Cleveburg for close to 20 years, so I’ve had the opportunity to do a little exploration myself.  As we cast our votes, there's a certain sense of urgency surrounding Cleveland.  One of its star attractions may be added to the growing list of "gone but not forgotten."  More on that down below.
 
Cleveland is a real Rust Belt throwback.  It’s a combination of glitter and grit that threatens to take away Chicago’s title of "City of Broad Shoulders."  Actually Chicago gave up that title when Mayor Daley (the second one) turned our city into a theme park at the expense of taxpayers.  We are now more aptly referred to as “The City of Raised Pinkies.”
 
But I digress.
 
Cleveland stretches across the southern edge of Lake Erie, and much of its cuisine takes advantage of that lakefront position.  Lake Erie Perch is commonly found on menus, usually fried.  The dining scene also draws on a strong Eastern European influence.
 
Perhaps the best known Cleveland eatery, at least to Roadfooders, is Sokolowski’s University Inn.  Introduced to me by wanderingjew (I had to give him credit or he would have hunted me down next time he had a layover at Midway and given me a piece of his mind) several years ago.  They’ve been a regular and reliable stop every visit since.
 
Sokolowski’s has been around since 1923 and remains a family run business to this day.  It is set up as a cafeteria, serving a dozen or more rotating entrees every day along with dizzying array of side dishes.  You’ll be glad to eat there with several friends so you can sample a wider variety of their offerings.
 
The menu is more or less split between fish, Polish specialties, and American comfort foods.  As mentioned above, Lake Erie Perch holds a regular spot on the menu.  I’ve also enjoyed Baked Cod with a rich, buttery Ritz Cracker crust; Mussels in Garlic Broth, and Grilled Rainbow Trout.  When I visited last month I tried the Pan Seared Walleye for the first time.  It was fantastic!
 
On the Polish side, you can get Stuffed Cabbage, Smoked Kielbasa, Chicken Paprikash, and of course, the dish that made them famous, Sauteed Pierogis.  Meatloaf, Prime Rib, and Mac & Cheese (as an entrée or side) round out the comfort foods.
 
Sokolowski’s sits right on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, facing downtown Cleveland and Progressive Field (“The Jake” to us old-timers).  If we visit on a Friday night when the Indians are playing at home, we can finish our dinner, stroll into the bar and grab a cocktail, then step outside and watch the free fireworks show after the game.  It’s a glorious way to wrap up a cool spring night.
 
Which brings me to that dire warning at the top of the page: Nothing is certain as of this writing, but one of the Sokolowski siblings hinted to me on my last visit, that he's getting a little worn out by the grind.  This may add some urgency to choosing Cleveland as our destination lest we miss out on the Sokolowski experience.  There was a similar motivation in getting to Pittsburgh before Josza Corner was gone for good.
 
Another Polish hotspot is The Little Polish Diner, reviewed here on Roadfood.  I’ve never been because I work during the day whenever I'm in town and they’re only open until 6 or 7pm.  buffetbuster has visited on more than one occasion and holds them in high esteem.  Based on the pictures I’ve seen, the biggest drawback to visiting LPD is getting a group our size in the front door.  I’m sure if we choose Cleveland, we can work out the logistics of this tight squeeze.
 
An Eastern European feast can be had at another Roadfood favorite, Balaton.  I had dinner there last summer with Ralph Melton and icecreamchick.  This was our "Sampler For 2-4 People."  It was as delicious as it was overwhelming.
 

Cleveland is home to a multitude of Jewish Delis.  Jack’s, Corky & Lenny’s, and Slyman’s come to mind.  All serve the requisite giant sandwiches usually associated with these types of delis.  All feature the classic Deli ambiance, making the food taste even better.
 
Another Roadfood favorite is The Flat Iron Cafe down in “The Flats” part of town.  The Flats is where the group dance scenes were filmed for the theme song opening of The Drew Carey Show.  It used to be the hottest spot in Cleveland.  The trendy crowds have moved a few blocks east to the Warehouse District, but there’s still some action down by the river.
 
The Flat Iron has generated some discussion between myself and other Roadfooders (and by “other Roadfooders” I mean wanderingjew) over a perceived drop in quantity and quality.  Maybe my sense of taste was affected by the absent crowds who used to make it near impossible to get a table there on a Friday night.  Regardless of who is right, The Flat Iron is still good enough to be featured in a Cleveland Crawl.  Diners can expect piles of fried Lake Erie Perch and bowls of excellent Clam Chowder.
 
The city’s other “regionally appropriate” dish is The Polish Boy Deluxe.  This monstrous sandwich is an unholy mess.  It consists of a deep fried Polish Sausage nestled in a standard sized Hot Dog bun, topped with cole slaw and a pile of Fries, then doused in BBQ Sauce.  It is totally worth the sticky fingers, face, wrists, elbow, etc.
 
My personal favorite spot for the PB Deluxe is a tiny joint called Mt. Pleasant BBQ.  It is in the kind of neighborhood that has earned me a reputation for “take-your-life-in-your hands” dining.  Seriously though, it ain’t that bad.  I regularly go there between midnight and 1am and have never had a problem.  A daytime visit should be perfectly safe and welcoming.
 
Mt. Pleasant also serves up some tasty Ribs and Pulled Pork along with a mess of fried fish dinners.  Sides include the usual Soul Food favorites including Mac & Cheese and some of the best Collard Greens I’ve tasted (including the ones I make myself).
 
Not unlike The Strip District in Pittsburgh, we could spend half a day or more at Cleveland’s Westside Market and in the surrounding neighborhood.  The city did a first rate job of renovating this classic building.  Inside you’ll find a hundred vendors offering fresh meats and vegetables, baked goods, and plenty of ready to eat items.  You can walk through at a leisurely pace and graze on a wide variety of foods from many ethnicities and cultures.  Outside the market building is a thriving neighborhood full of shops, boutiques, and restaurants.
 
Like Chicago, Cleveland has several walkable neighborhoods with interesting things to experience and plenty to eat.  The area surrounding Sokolowski’s is called Tremont.  It is home to the house used in the filming of “A Christmas Story”, and has a high concentration of art galleries.  Food possibilities include Lucky’s Café, Edison’s Pizza Kitchen, and Tremont Scoops Ice Cream, to name just a few.
 
Like many other big cities, Cleveland has its Little Italy which is home to about two dozen restaurants.  It’s smaller than some other Italian neighborhoods, making it easily walkable.  We’ve eaten at Guarino’s and La Pizzeria & Gelato and enjoyed both.
 
For non-food activities, there’s the obvious choice of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  If that doesn’t suit you, the entire lakefront area has been rejuvenated in recent years.  The Great Lakes Science Center offers many exhibits, including the 618 foot freighter William G. Mather.  The Mather is a decommissioned ship that used to work The Great Lakes.  It is now docked on the lakefront and can be toured by the public.
 
Local microbrewer, Great Lakes Brewery offers tours of the plant.  Plus, they’ve now added a gastropub onto the operation.
 
Everything I’ve written up so far is more or less in Cleveland proper.  We haven’t even gotten into the suburbs yet.  I won’t go into that too much unless we actually pick Cleveland as our destination.  I will point to Bearden’s Burgers in the west burbs.  Very good Burgers in a classic Roadfood setting.  Good fun and good food.
 
St. Louis next, then we'll see if I've got time to do the Twin Cities and Milwaukee.

Buddy
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2018/05/22 17:07:33
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 16:30:06 (permalink)
wanderingjew
Although it's been 10 years since my first and only visit-
For the Detroit summary 
Al-Ameer in Dearborn was a gem


There is a large Middle Eastern population in and around Detroit, offering exceptionally good food at great prices.  They have become as culturally prominent in Detroit as Jewish Delis and Nordic food once was in NYC and Minnesota.  A Detroit Crawl featuring Coney Islands, Smashdown Sliders, Detroit Style Pizza, and Middle Eastern/Mediterranean fare could be a big hit.
 
Buddy
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 16:34:48 (permalink)
A 3 day Rogo led sub-crawl of Little Italy would be inviting.
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 20:39:53 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiBears15 2018/05/22 22:55:53
BuddyRoadhouse
Per a request from Davidsanders, here are reprints (with edits) of my past city summaries.  I know it's a long shot, but I still want to start with Springfield, IL.  I have to admit, I've lost some enthusiasm for the town since my dear friend Donald "Dr. of BBQ" Jackson passed away in February, 2017.  He was the source of most of my Springfield Roadfood knowledge, and with him gone I'm not sure I could organize a full Thursday to Sunday Brunch roster.  Still, there are so many Lincoln sites to fill the time, even with fewer food stops (not necessarily a bad thing, given the overload in KC and Nashville) we could easily fill the time with activities.
 
So, with that caveat in place, here's my Springfield pitch:

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 Corner Pub & Grill (recommended by wanderingjew) offers one of the better versions.  D'Arcy's Pint is another well respected Horseshoe purveyor.  We were partial to Norb Andy's, but they have since closed down.  I might need to do some first hand research into this particular regional specialty, but I think I'm up to the task.

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.

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.
 
If we really wanted to have a roadtrip inside a roadtrip, we could always head east of Springfield for the Smashed Crispy Burgers of Central Illinois Crawl, written up in King T's exceptional blog.  It'd be a long drive and a full day, but we'd eat true grassroots Roadfood at its finest.

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.

More to come!

Buddy




Springfield Blows period
#43
ChiTownDiner
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/22 20:42:54 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
Lots of negative impressions of Detroit, and I understand where it's coming from.  But if we take the time to go beyond the bad press and seek out the real city, there are abundant Roadfood gems to be found in Motown and its suburbs.  There are still remnants of Detroit's 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.
 
Admittedly, this summary relies heavily on King T's Blog.  Titus has made some astounding Roadfood finds including traditional American grub, and more exotic fare that has become regionally appropriate, thanks to a large influx of immigrants who brought their traditional culinary treats with them.
 
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 the 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 decor 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 King T's summary of what he calls "The Detroit Slider".  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.

UPDATE: Since my original post, we've had the opportunity to visit another four or five Smashdown Burger places from King T's list.  Frankly, these little Burgers were so good I'm puzzled as to why they haven't overtaken the Coney Island Hot Dog as Detroit's iconic food.

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, Polish at 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!
 
Buddy




City that blows #2....ugh
#44
joerogo
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/23 06:15:20 (permalink)
JRPfeff
A 3 day Rogo led sub-crawl of Little Italy would be inviting.

That's an easy one.  I pick one Italian restaurant each day and we eat for 8 hours in each one.
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ChiTownDiner
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/23 06:24:15 (permalink)
joerogo
JRPfeff
A 3 day Rogo led sub-crawl of Little Italy would be inviting.

That's an easy one.  I pick one Italian restaurant each day and we eat for 8 hours in each one.




Will they "extend" the table? 
#46
joerogo
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/23 06:32:06 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2018/05/24 06:44:28
ChiTownDiner
joerogo
JRPfeff
A 3 day Rogo led sub-crawl of Little Italy would be inviting.

That's an easy one.  I pick one Italian restaurant each day and we eat for 8 hours in each one.




Will they "extend" the table? 


Indubitably!
#47
Davidsanders
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/23 09:29:07 (permalink)
ChiTownDiner
BuddyRoadhouse
Lots of negative impressions of Detroit, and I understand where it's coming from.  But if we take the time to go beyond the bad press and seek out the real city, there are abundant Roadfood gems to be found in Motown and its suburbs.  There are still remnants of Detroit's 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.
 
 
Buddy




City that blows #2....ugh


Tell us how you really feel Gregg.
 
 
#48
Michael Hoffman
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/23 10:25:16 (permalink)
joerogo
JRPfeff
A 3 day Rogo led sub-crawl of Little Italy would be inviting.

That's an easy one.  I pick one Italian restaurant each day and we eat for 8 hours in each one.


Works for me.
#49
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/23 21:08:59 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2018/05/24 06:33:45
Might as well make my case for a Southern Illinois/Northern Kentucky BBQ Crawl.  As some of you may know, we made our way to Nashville via this route.
 
After a quick stop in Olney, IL to visit the white squirrel population



(the locals describe them as "Red Eyed Devils), we continued on to our first overnight stop in Marion, IL.
 
We got in late, so dinner was at the only 'Que place open, the local franchise of 17th St. BBQ (original location in Murhpysboro, IL next door to Carbondale).  I've made no secret of the fact that I'm fairly unimpressed with the 17th Street operation.  A lot of people see their three "Memphis in May" grand championship trophies and automatically think they're going to get life changing BBQ.  Unfortunately, the love and care that goes into preparing a few carefully chosen hunks of meat, specifically for a handful of judges, doesn't translate when you're prepping hundreds pounds of meat for hordes of customers every day.
 
Anyway, our BBQ was serviceable, with the best thing on the plate being the Smoked Chicken and the Sides.
 
The next day started off much better with breakfast/lunch (if only there was a word for that combination meal) at one of our favorite places, Triple E BBQ.

That's a Grilled Bluegill Sandwich up front with Pulled Pork bringing up the rear.  We were eating light, so only had a side of Southern Style Green Beans to go with them.
 
After that we headed into Shawnee National Forest, specifically The Garden of the Gods:




Other sites while driving around:



Sometimes a chance encounter with a fellow traveler starts off well, but then goes sour:



He said the growing amount of Hmong cuisine in Minneapolis/St. Paul wasn't as regionally appropriate as lutefisk and Hot Dish, but I set him straight.
 
Illinois comes to a triangle point down south, so it's an easy drive between the Indiana and Missouri borders.  After settling our differences with the hairy guy, we headed west to Vienna (pronounced locally as Vie-enna').  I spotted Ned's Shed just off the main road.

The Burger was just okay, but it's a cute little joint, maybe worth making a stop for a few minutes.  Right across the street is this vintage Standard Oil station:


A couple of guys were restoring the place the last time we passed through town, about 15 years ago.  I guess the project came to a halt, 'cause it looked worse now than it did then.  Too bad; I bet it'd look pretty cool if they finished the job.
 
Moving on, we headed to Jonesboro for another classic Greasehouse, Dixie Bar-B-Q:



That's a sliced Brisket Sandwich in the foreground and sliced Pork in back.  Slaw and a bowl of their excellent Beans rounded out the meal.  They've got a nifty way of preparing the meat.  After it's fully smoked, they slice it thin and toss it on a hot griddle.  The already flavorful meat gets a boost from the caramelization while picking up some very nice crispy texture notes around the edges.
 
After dinner we got to chatting with the third generation owner.  He showed us his old time pits in back and gave us a history of the place.  When he heard about the rest of our trip he recommended another 'Que Joint in Paducah, KY; Starne's.  We were headed to Payne's in Memphis the next day, but decided to make a quick side trip in Paducah.
 
Before crossing the Ohio River into Kentucky we dropped in on an old childhood friend of mine:


Metropolis, IL (population 6,283) may be totally inaptly named, but they take their comic book heritage very seriously.  In addition to the giant Man of Steel statue in the town square, there's another figure leaping from the side of the Superman Museum (more of a glorified comic book store, but still fun).  BTW, the name of the local newspaper...The Daily Planet, of course.
 
we waved goodbye to Lois and Clark and headed to our next BBQ meal.  Starne's is a cute little lime green building minutes off the interstate.  It's a classic lunch counter setting

serving up delicious BBQ Sandwiches and sides:

That's Choppped Pork in front and Smoked Turkey, cut from an actual breast, not a processed roll.  IIRC, the Slaw was my favorite kind; sort of a combination of mayo and vinegar base.  The well stuffed sandwiches, served on toast instead of buns, come wrapped in wax paper, folded with tight "hospital corners"; a real throwback style of service.
 
Our next stop was Payne's, but that'll need to go into the Nashville Trip Report.  This was just to give y'all a rough idea of the BBQ delights and natural wonders that could make up a Southern Illinois/Northern Kentucky Crawl.  The few places we hit are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Barbecue in that part of the country.  There's loads more waiting to be discovered.
 
Buddy
#50
ChiTownDiner
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/24 06:45:23 (permalink)
Davidsanders
ChiTownDiner
BuddyRoadhouse
Lots of negative impressions of Detroit, and I understand where it's coming from.  But if we take the time to go beyond the bad press and seek out the real city, there are abundant Roadfood gems to be found in Motown and its suburbs.  There are still remnants of Detroit's 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.
 
 
Buddy




City that blows #2....ugh


Tell us how you really feel Gregg.
 
 




I could draw a diagram...but you're gonna have to read between my lines...
#51
ChiBears15
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/31 21:06:53 (permalink)
Hey guys,
Be on the lookout for the Doodle poll. Please vote for your top three.

Thanks,
Danny
#52
nagle
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/31 21:41:27 (permalink)
ChiBears15
Hey guys,
Be on the lookout for the Doodle poll. Please vote for your top three.

Thanks,
Danny

I have created a Doodle Poll for next year's destination and sent a link to it to RoadFooders approved by ChiBears15.
For those I missed, please PM me.
 
John
#53
Davidsanders
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/31 21:53:04 (permalink)
ChiBears15
Hey guys,
Be on the lookout for the Doodle poll. Please vote for your top three.

Thanks,
Danny

ScreamingChicken said to vote for five in the first round. What should we do?
David
#54
ChiBears15
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/31 21:56:06 (permalink)
Vote for your top three please.
#55
JRPfeff
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/31 21:57:35 (permalink)
Does it really matter how many votes you get? ChiTownDiner will be changing them anyway.
#56
ChiBears15
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/31 22:05:20 (permalink)
JRPfeff
Does it really matter how many votes you get? ChiTownDiner will be changing them anyway.


A plan is in place to prevent this from happening. Don't worry.
#57
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/31 22:16:58 (permalink)
The plan is already in motion.  Your votes are secure.
 
Looks like we have a couple of strong leaders out of the gate.  Get your vote in ASAP so your favorite doesn't get left behind.
 
BTW, for those of you who have cast more or less than the requested three votes, please edit your entry.
 
Buddy
#58
will_work_4_bbq
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/05/31 22:57:33 (permalink)
I just sent a pm so I could get the doodle poll.  It might be tomorrow before I can vote!
#59
Bonk
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2018/06/01 20:25:02 (permalink)
No St. Louis or Montreal. I call foul!
#60
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