The Flatlanders have landed safely. Our assessment of the day matches the ChickenDude's. Depot Restaurant was the highlight of the day. I almost wish we'd been able to focus on it, rather than moving on. We ordered Biscuits and Gravy, HashBrowns with Onions and Cheese, Corned Beef Hash, and an omelet that included a pile of Home Fries. Everything was really tasty, but I'd like to see what they can do with a stack of Pancakes, Waffles, or French Toast.
All three Spud based items were especially good, prompting Pie Diva to say, "Man, the people in Richmond really know how to prepare Potatoes!" The Home Fries consisted of Russets, shaved razor thin, then griddled to get a fantastic crust on the surface. They had a rich buttery flavor different from the other two dishes. The Hash Browns were a classic version; a crispy outer crust surrounding a light, fluffy/creamy interior. The Onions and the Cheese just made it that much better. The Corned Beef Hash had a similar texture profile and had the added benefit of Corned Beef (duh).
One of the biggest motivators for adding The Depot to the list was what we assumed
would be its charming diner ambiance. They didn't disappoint. This is an old school Diner in every way. From the long counter with stool seating to the cozy booths along the front, to the slightly exposed kitchen area worked by a master Grillman; it was all spot on. Got some nice action photos of the short order chef slinging hash and other morning fare. If the site ever makes it easier to post pictures, I'll be sure to share.
Dog & Suds was a pleasant throwback. The Chicago Style Hot Dogs were very good in spite of the use of pickle chips instead of spears. The "Char-co Burger" was okay. Better than its McDonald's equivalent but not by much. The house brand Root Beer, served in a real frosty glass mug was exceptional.
We made a couple of quick stops at a honey shop and a high end candy store before heading up north to a Wisconsin apple orchard. When we got there we learned they'd been cleaned out of field apples the weekend before and only had pre-picked remnants left. No matter. A gallon jug of Apple Cider and some outstanding
Doughnuts made us feel better about the whole thing. Contrary to what you might expect, these were not
Apple Cider Doughnuts, but rather some of the lightest, fluffiest Cake Doughnuts we'd ever tasted. The Sugar & Cinnamon version was the favorite, the vanilla iced with coconut was a close second.
Also fun; watching the Algerian Goats and the huge tom turkey as they teased a young German Shepard from the safe side of a wire fence.
The only weakish
link of the day was our last official
stop, Red's Steak & BBQ. The food was good but not great and lacked the wow factor of the other places we visited. Two filets were ordered medium rare. Both were overcooked by a far distance. The had a nice crust and good flavor (IMO), but were tougher than they should have been.
We also ordered a couple of Pulled Pork Sandwiches which were allegedly "smoked in-house". I'm not sayin' they weren't
smoked, I'm just sayin' the house they were smoked in must have been very far away because we couldn't smell any smoke in the restaurant, or find any discernible smoke flavor in the Pork. Still, not a bad sandwich with some decent bark and decent Pork flavor, but I would have a tough time classifying it as "Barbecue".
The ChickenChomper ordered his name sake dish, half a smoked rotisserie Chicken. It looked good from where I sat, and he didn't make any faces indicating disgust, so I'll assume it was at least "Okay" if not "Pretty Good".
We parted ways after that, with the Cheeseheads going home and the FIBS making one last unscheduled stop at The Texan BBQ
in Algonquin, IL. We'd passed by the joint two weeks ago in the course of the Fox Valley Taqueria Tour
. We used to patronize The Texan fairly regularly some years back, but hadn't there in a long while. ChiBears15 had never heard of the place so, as long as it was more or less on our way home, we decided to stop in.
Admittedly, we were starting to feel the effects of a full day of grazing so a Three Meat Sampler (Brisket, Pulled Pork, and Sausage), shared between the three of us, was just right. There was considerably more smoke flavor present in these meats as compared to what we had at Red's. We also tucked into some very nice BBQ Beans, a good tangy cole slaw, some fine Mashed Potatoes (they were supposed to be Garlic
Mashed Potatoes, but we couldn't taste any Garlic therein). ChiBears15 also went after a cup of Brunswick Stew and ruled it "very good".
We had a few Fall Color Photo Ops along the way, officially making this a Darned Good Tour. Thanks to ChiBears 15 and ScreamingChicken for their efforts in putting this day together. We all had a great time and appreciate your work.
See you all at the next Supper Club/Friday Fish Fry/Steakhouse gathering on Friday November 11th, wherever it may be.
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2016/10/16 22:26:08