Helpful ReplyApril 25-29, 2018 Roadfood Crawl - MUSIC CITY, U.S.A.

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nagle
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/01 13:34:51 (permalink)
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...This morning I would like to propose (make the Executive decision) May 3 through May 6 , 2018. By happy coincidence it is also May 3-6 up here in Canada that week so we are in!

Buddy, when you have the opportunity could you please repost some of your descriptions of the various cities that were considered for the 2017 Crawl?



I'd be happy to reprint those city summaries along with a couple of new ones.  It'll need to wait until after the 4th of July, a day you apparently don't have on the calendar in Canada.  According to Canadian quizmaster Alex Trebek, you're celebrating some kind of 150th birthday event on July 1st, a momentous occasion marked by the consumption of Poutine Dougnuts at Tim Horton's.  I suppose that's safer than handling fireworks, but not by much.
 
Buddy


What's happening July 4th eh?
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/01 15:54:46 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby nagle 2017/07/01 17:47:29
Nagle,

Some Americans are completely ignorant of Canadian holidays. NHL free agency only comes once a year, eh.

Jashim
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/01 17:48:09 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby nagle 2017/07/01 17:49:26
nagle
This morning I would like to propose (make the Executive decision) May 3 through May 6 , 2018. By happy coincidence it is also May 3-6 up here in Canada that week so we are in!

Every so often the metric calendar aligns with ours.
 
I don't know if this will matter to the Selection Committee but the restrooms at the Circle K station on the northwest corner of Dirksen and Sangamon in Springfield should not be considered a destination.
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/01 17:48:40 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby JRPfeff 2017/07/01 18:30:20
Apparently there is a basketball free agency frenzy on as well. But I don't know nothin bout no NBA stuff.
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/01 18:06:57 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby JRPfeff 2017/07/01 18:30:30
nagle
Apparently there is a basketball free agency frenzy on as well. But I don't know nothin bout no NBA stuff.



Neither do any of us who follow actual sports.
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/12 18:33:21 (permalink)
A recent check of the Doodle Poll turned up a solid overall response and a definitive preference for the weekend of April 26th-29th (what's yer problem ChiBears15?).  So unless there's a radical upheaval between now and then, it seems like we've chosen our dates.
 
Now it's time to decide where we're going.  I'll start reprinting the city summaries I posted leading up to last year's choice of Kansas City.  Those options include Springfield, IL, Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis.  I'll also try to work on proposals for Milwaukee and the Twin Cities.  Other folks have nominated Nashville (TN & IN), Memphis, Louisville, and NOLA/the Gulf Coast Region as potential destinations.  I make no claims to any significant familiarity with those places, so anyone who is truly interested in adding them to the list should work on their own proposals.
 
With that said, here's the first summary:
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.
 
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.
 
(UPDATE: Norb Andy's may be out of business since I posted this last year.  If so there are still other candidates offering this local delicacy.)
 
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.
 
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.  And this is just a cursory list.  If we pick Springfield, there will be a great deal of research done to expand the choices.
 
More to come!
 
Buddy
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/12 18:37:39 (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.
 
UPDATE: Since the original post, we've had the opportunity to visit another four or five Smashdown Burger places from King T's list.  Frankly, I'm puzzled as to why this hasn't become Detroit's iconic food, as opposed to the Coney Island Hot Dog.
 
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!
 
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/12 18:47:04 (permalink)
The next “dark horse” candidate is of a slighter paler shade.  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.
 
The city 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 positioning.  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.
 
UPDATE: 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 when I’m visiting 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.
 
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).
 
Another personal favorite is a tiny Asian joint called Cuisine du Cambodge.  They specialize in Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Thai food.  Asian restaurants don’t typically make the cut in these Crawls, but I think Cuisine du Cambodge should change that.  The neighborhood and ambiance of CdC make it the Asian version of a Roadfood classic.  It’s just a wee space, slightly run down, but still cozy.  They serve huge mounds of unique, delicious, and comforting dishes.
 
We always start with the Cambodian Chicken Salad, consisting of a nest of finely shredded cabbage and fennel topped with crumbles of ground chicken, julienned garden veggies, and chopped peanuts, all lightly smothered in refreshing vinaigrette.
 
I’ve always been thrilled with any of the noodle or fried rice entrees, but my favorite is the Cambodian Crepe.  It’s an impossibly light and crispy pancake folded over and well stuffed with Shrimp, Pork, Carrots and Beansprouts, then topped with more fresh garden veggies, chopped peanuts and a special sauce.  It’s the kind of dish you can’t stop eating, yet never feel overly full once you’re done.
 
They also make a mean Vietnamese Iced Coffee.  Very tasty and refreshing, but you don’t want to drink it too late in the day unless you’re not planning to sleep that night.
 
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 which has been discussed elsewhere in this thread.  Very good Burgers in a classic Roadfood setting.  Good fun and good food.
 
One more to go in the initial batch of summaries.

Buddy
 
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/12 18:52:27 (permalink)
Next up on our culinary journey is St. Louis.  I have to admit, of all the cities up for consideration so far, St. Louis is my weakest link.  Not that it isn’t worth considering; it’s just the one city in which I’ve spent the least amount of time.  But even with that caveat, I have enough information, background, and personal experience to make the case.  I know of at least three other Roadfooders who can add to this list and create a sold weekend itinerary (or Spreadsheet, if you prefer).
 
The “regionally appropriate” foods in ol’ St. Looey include Toasted Ravioli, Gooey Butter Cake, St. Paul Sandwiches, St. Louis Style Pizza, Slingers, Snoots, and Frozen Custard.  There are lots more possibilities to consider and we’ll try to do that as this pitch rolls along.
 
Without doing any research other than to check out the Roadfood.com recommendations, we come up with nearly a dozen options.  For the Breakfast crowd, there’s Chris’ Pancake & Dining and Blue Print Coffee.
 
Midday dining could include Barbecue at Pappy’s Smokehouse or C&K Barbecue, classic diner fare at Connelly’s Goody Goody Diner and, famous fried chicken at Hodak’s.
 
Snacks and baked goods are in abundance with ice cream creations at Crown Candy Kitchen, handmade candies at Bissinger’s, baked goods at Natalie’s Cakes & More, and, home of the Gooey Butter Cake, Park Avenue Coffee.  And of course what better way to end the day than with a Concrete from Ted Drewes Frozen Custard?
 
Pulling from various trip reports by buffetbuster, ChiTownDiner, and others, we can add Gus’ Pretzel Shop, Fortune Express for those brave enough to try a St. Paul Sandwich (egg foo yong on white bread, slathered in mayo), and lots of places up on The Hill; Guido's Pizzeria & Tapas, Amighetti's, Lou Boccardi’s, Mama Toscano’s, and Charlie Gitto’s to name just a few.  There’s Carl’s Drive In and Eat Rite Diner for classic smashdown Burgers, and Year of the Dragon for a second St. Paul Sandwich option (although I suspect one will be more than enough).
 
South City Diner presents another breakfast and lunch option for Slingers (described as a diner specialty typically consisting of two eggs, hash browns, and a hamburger patty, or any other meat, all covered in chili con carne), Roper’s Ribs gives us an extra shot at Snoots (actually they’re cut more from the cheek area of the pig.  You’re not likely to get a slice with a couple of nostrils staring up at you).
 
There’s classic tavern fare at O’Connell’s Pub, including great Burgers and Roast Beef Sandwiches, and upscale breakfast at Winslow’s Home, and if we need a snack after that, we can pick up a few cherry fritters at the Donut Stop.
 
My own experiences include Bogart’s Smokehouse, but we need to get there early (yes, I recognize the irony in me saying that), ‘cause when they’re sold out they close up and there ain’t no more until the next day.
 
Non-food activities are a breeze in St. Louis.  The most obvious choice is that giant croquet hoop on the Mississippi River bank.  There’s also Union Station.  The locals did a magnificent job of restoring the building and converting it into a retail, dining and hotel space.  The big draw is the light show in the Grand Hall, enjoyed with a cocktail or two.
 
St. Louis is home to Forest Park, a dedicated green space bigger than New York’s Central Park.  On its grounds you’ll find the St. Louis Zoo, The Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, a botanical garden housed in a beautiful Art Deco building called The Jewel Box, The Muny Opera for taking in a Broadway musical under the stars, a Planetarium and several memorial structures remembering the city’s World’s Fair.
 
We could take a tour of the Anheuser Busch Brewery, visit the Scott Joplin House, and for the history and genealogy buffs there’s the Bellefontaine Cemetery just off the banks of the Mississippi.  The point is, there’s a ton of stuff to do in St. Louis to help walk off calories.
 
I'll continue working on proposals for Milwaukee and Minneapolis/St. Paul.  All other interested parties can make their pitch for whatever city they'd like to propose.  All serious summaries will be given equal consideration.
 
Buddy
 
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/12 19:26:30 (permalink)
Since I suggested May 3-6 a couple of days ago, there have been a couple of changes to the Doodle Poll so Buddy's suggestion of April 26-29 has my full support.

Let's eat.
#70
Davydd
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/12 20:41:26 (permalink)
I probably could make Cleveland since I will definitely be there before May 4 the week after and probably earlier.
#71
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/12 20:44:14 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby nagle 2017/07/12 20:59:57
We can keep both dates in our back pocket for now.  There are a couple of poll entries I'd like to confirm before we put an absolute lock on this.  Not that I suspect chicanery, more like an oversight.  As I understand it, even the people who need to plan months in advance for the vacation time still have another month before they need to commit.
 
Buddy
#72
Davydd
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/12 20:48:04 (permalink)
I'm not suggesting May 4. I have another event to attend that weekend in Cleveland but could extend earlier if April 26-29 is chosen.
#73
ChiTownDiner
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 09:14:44 (permalink)
(UPDATE: Norb Andy's may be out of business since I posted this last year.  If so there are still other candidates offering this local delicacy.)
 
TTM'ing ChiBears15 and CTD simultaneously sealed their fate...although perhaps their refusal to extend credit on open tabs to state legislators also played a part...their IOU's may be like a 401K with payment and withdrawals in about 10 years...
post edited by ChiTownDiner - 2017/07/13 09:25:04
#74
ChiBears15
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 09:26:36 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2017/07/13 09:49:25
ChiTownDiner
(UPDATE: Norb Andy's may be out of business since I posted this last year.  If so there are still other candidates offering this local delicacy.)
 
TTM'ing ChiBears15 and CTD simultaneously sealed their fate...although perhaps their refusal to extend credit on open tabs to state legislators also played a part...their IOU's may be like a 401K with payment and withdrawals in about 10 years...




I have the votes for Nashville, so Springfield is dead on arrival! 
#75
ChiTownDiner
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 09:28:43 (permalink)
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 HomeLincoln’s TombThe Lincoln Presidential LibraryNew 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.
 
Our new budget deal sold all of these to surrounding states or privatized them.  With Norb Andy's gone and my previous statement...the list is one shorter.  
 
Can't wait to start reading about my next favorite city...Detroit...right after I finish chugging my caster oil! 
#76
Davidsanders
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 09:48:08 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2017/07/13 09:49:42
Anyone interested in looking into Savannah for this crawl? Or Charleston? Not to be a snob, especially since I know how much Buddy loves the city, but it doesn't seem to me that Springfield is a city I would like to spend four or five days. 
 
David
#77
ChiTownDiner
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 09:50:12 (permalink)
Davidsanders
Anyone interested in looking into Savannah for this crawl? Or Charleston? Not to be a snob, especially since I know how much Buddy loves the city, but it doesn't seem to me that Springfield is a city I would like to spend four or five days. 
 
David




VERY HELPFUL! 
#78
ChiTownDiner
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 09:57:45 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Bonk 2017/07/16 13:43:14
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.
 
Ahhh Detroit...or The Hole as has been referred to by our trusty guide.  Let's all travel to The Hole...let's support an absolute failure as an American City...if I want gun fights, I can stay in Chicago...
 
And while I do love Buddy's (no relation) Pizza, and it would make my spreadsheet much easier to construct, 42 visits to the same place over 5 days is a bit repetitive!  
#79
JRPfeff
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 10:14:49 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2017/07/13 10:23:05
Seems like the Illinois Tourism Board is intent on filling their budget deficit on the backs of hardworking Roadfooders. I say No to that.

Making Roadfood Great Again.
#80
ChiBears15
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 10:15:33 (permalink)
Davidsanders
Anyone interested in looking into Savannah for this crawl? Or Charleston? Not to be a snob, especially since I know how much Buddy loves the city, but it doesn't seem to me that Springfield is a city I would like to spend four or five days. 
 
David




Is there a late night burger joint equivalent to Town Topic in either city?  If not, then I am a strong "NO" for Savannah and Charleston.
 
Danny
#81
Davidsanders
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 12:50:04 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2017/07/13 13:38:21
ChiBears15
Davidsanders
Anyone interested in looking into Savannah for this crawl? Or Charleston? Not to be a snob, especially since I know how much Buddy loves the city, but it doesn't seem to me that Springfield is a city I would like to spend four or five days. 
 
David




Is there a late night burger joint equivalent to Town Topic in either city?  If not, then I am a strong "NO" for Savannah and Charleston.
 
Danny


Well, we know there's nothing quite like Town Topic, and while I'm  not sure if there are any actual 24 hour burger joints in either city, there are a few late night possibilities
 
In Charleston:
 

Little Jack's Tavern, no. 23 on Thrillist for best burgers. (Town Topic is no.15)
http://littlejackstavern.com
https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/best-burgers-in-america-burger-quest
701 King Street
Charleston
Sun-Thurs 11-10
Fri-Sat 11-11
 
AC's Bar and Grill for burgers
467 King Street
843-577-6742
Mon-Sat 11-1:30 am
Sun 4 pm-1:30 am
http://acsbar.com
 
 
Tattooed Moose 
1137 Morrison Drive
11:30-2 am (kitchen open until 1 am)
http://tattooedmoose.com/home.html
 

Dave's Carry-Out (not for burgers)
42 Morris Street
Charleston
843-577-7943
Tues-Fri 11:30-3, 5:30-11
Saturday 5:30-11
https://www.yelp.com/biz/daves-carry-out-charleston
 

Callie's Hot Little Biscuit
476 1/2 King St
(843) 737-5159
Mon-Sun 8 am - 2 pm
Friday and Saturday also open 10 pm - 2 am
http://calliesbiscuits.com
 
 
In Savannah:
 

Crystal Beer Parlor 
301 W. Jones Street
Savannah
912-349-1000
Sun-Thurs 11-10
Fri-Sat 11-11
http://www.crystalbeerparlor.com
 
B Mathews Eatery
325 E. Bay Street
Savannah
912-233-1319
Mon-Thurs 8-9
Fri-Sat 8-10
Sun 9-3
http://bmatthewseatery.com
 

B & D Burgers
Southside:
11108 Abercorn St.
Savannah
912-927-8700
Sun-Thurs 11-11
Fri-Sat 11-12
 
Green Truck Pub 
2430 Habersham St.
912-234-5885
Mon-Sat 11-11
https://greentruckpub.com
 

 
Leopold's Ice Cream is open Sun-Thurs 11-11, Fri-Sat 11-12, but I think it's an hour earlier in the spring.
 
 
Charleston has two of the best barbecue places that I've been to, Rodney Scott and Lewis Barbecue (Texas brisket).
 
While I've had really good bbq in Savannah, it no longer overwhelms me. The shrimp, on the other hand, is fantastic.
 
I loved Southern Soul Barbecue on St. Simons Island, Georgia, but it's about 1 1/2 hours from Savannah, probably too long a drive for a crawl.
 
 
 


 
#82
JRPfeff
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 13:32:08 (permalink)
ChiBears15
Davidsanders
Anyone interested in looking into Savannah for this crawl? Or Charleston? Not to be a snob, especially since I know how much Buddy loves the city, but it doesn't seem to me that Springfield is a city I would like to spend four or five days. 
 
David




Is there a late night burger joint equivalent to Town Topic in either city?  If not, then I am a strong "NO" for Savannah and Charleston.
 
Danny

Why not the other Charleston?
#83
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 13:41:10 (permalink)
Charleston, Illinois?
 
BuddyRoadhouse
Midday dining could include Barbecue at Pappy’s Smokehouse or C&K Barbecue, classic diner fare at Connelly’s Goody Goody Diner and, famous fried chicken at Hodak’s.

Southern (Nashville-style hot chicken) opened 2 years ago and is right next door to Pappy's.  A couple of my coworkers ate there last night and reported quite favorably, so I'll be checking it out during one of my future trips.
#84
joerogo
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 13:43:13 (permalink)
If Detroit wins, can we hit Hungry Howie's??? " />
 
#85
ann peeples
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 14:33:26 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2017/07/13 19:03:00
Well, Joe-I am from Detroit...Explains it all!
 
#86
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 16:28:11 (permalink)
All you Springfield/Detroit detractors, go ahead and have your fun.  When I was growing up, Cleveland and Pittsburgh were the butt of every stand up comedian's jokes.  And now we've had one of our best Crawls ever in one, and are looking hard at a near future visit to the other.
 
CTD's comment about staying home in Chicago if he wants to see a gun fight is very telling.  If in fact everyone took the reports of Chicago's violence at face value, we'd have no tourists here at all.  The fact of the matter is, we live in one of the best cities in the world, and millions of tourists come here every year to appreciate it.  It isn't without problems and faults, but that is the nature of life.  Find me an ideal city with no crime, no poverty, no urban decay and let's go there.  It doesn't exist.  And if it did, it would be stone cold boring.
 
We just completed a highly praised tour of Kansas City.  A recent list in The Wall street Journal naming the Worst Cities in America included KC, along with many other places either under consideration for a Crawl, or places we've already visited, including St. Louis, Cleveland, Memphis, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and yes, Detroit.  Remember folks, we're not asking you to move to these places, just visit for a few days; experiencing a carefully selected slice of their local culture that meets the interest level of Roadfooders.
 
Let me also address Davidsanders observation about Springfield not being a city where we would like to spend four or five days.  If you'll recall, the Cincinnati Chili Crawl was officially just a one day event on a Saturday.  Thanks to CTD's diligence and Spreadsheet, we added an unofficial day on Friday with a welcome dinner Thursday night and a farewell breakfast on Sunday.  It wasn't until the next year that we added Friday as part of the "official" Crawl, and it wasn't until Pittsburgh that it became a Thursday through Saturday event, plus Sunday farewell brunch.
 
My point is, there's no written rule stating how long the Crawl should run.  The schedule should fit the offerings of each city.  We could have easily added a day in KC and Pittsburgh.  Another Chicago Crawl could last a week or more.  Some other cities might only warrant a couple of days.
 
I'm really sorry if I sound defensive. It's just difficult to accept when folks prejudge a place based on limited information.  To me, the spirit of Roadfood includes exploration, adventure, and open mindedness.  In most urban areas that means you're going to encounter some unpleasantness.  Maybe you don't recall but, we drove through some pretty crappy areas in Pittsburgh on our way to some really good Roadfood.
 
It's not that I'm pushing hard for Springfield or Detroit; I'll be happy wherever we go.  I just don't want to see any place automatically eliminated because of incomplete preconceived notions.
 
Buddy
#87
JRPfeff
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 16:46:08 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2017/07/13 18:42:44
BuddyRoadhouse
Find me an ideal city with no crime, no poverty, no urban decay and let's go there....
 

So that counts as one vote for Pittston.
#88
ChiBears15
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 17:38:30 (permalink)
My one vote goes for Detroit.
 
Final answer...!
#89
JRPfeff
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Re: Spring 2018 Roadfood Crawl 2017/07/13 17:58:38 (permalink)
ChiBears15
My one vote goes for Detroit.
 
Final answer...!

Buddy left Ann Arbor off of his rundown of Detroit area stops. It is worthy of a significant amount of time.
#90
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