Helpful ReplyHot!My Year in Roadfood - 2017

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buffetbuster
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2017/12/21 15:15:14 (permalink)

My Year in Roadfood - 2017

It's that time of year again....
 
We only have one trip left, as we will be in San Antonio for New Year's.  Since I feel fairly certain there will be no burgers on the itinerary, might as well as start the year in review.
 
10. The Nook - St. Paul, MN


I have so far been ambivalent on Minnesota's juicy lucy burgers, but what they serve at The Nook is clearly better than the other contenders I have tried.  Better quality beef, grilled onions and hot pepperjack cheese makes the big difference.  Despite experience eating these previously, I took too big a bite and hot cheese went flying past my head.  
 
9. Dakota Drive In - Hankinson, ND

This double decker with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and 1000 island dressing was a real mouthful, although the logic of one burger patty with cheese and one without escapes me.
 
8. Apple Pan - Los Angeles, CA

Man, I really love this place!  That hickory sauce gives it a wonderful smoky flavor.
 
7. Band Box Diner - Minneapolis, MN

Just like any Roadfooder, I appreciate a greasy spoon, although this one was especially greasy.  Still, the burger itself was terrific.  Perfectly toasted bun, the burger sits on a layer of cole slaw and is topped with shoestring fries.  Such a delicious combination!
 
6.  Lost River Drive In - Arco, ID

After spending the morning exploring Craters of the Moon National Park, we were starved by the time we exited.  Not expecting to find anything until we hit the cities of Blackfoot or Pocatello, we hit the brakes when we saw this small restaurant had a jam packed parking lot.  It is charcoal grilled for maximum flavor, plus thick bacon, fresh lettuce and tomato on a nicely toasted sesame seed bun.  
 
5. Hillsboro General Store - Hillsboro, NM

A quaint little place in the middle of nowhere, Hillsboro General Store has been around since 1879.  This El Gordo burger is an eight ouncer with green chile, mushroom and bacon.  More beefy than juicy, this burger is worth driving well out of the way for.
 
4. Kingsman - Cayce, SC

I remember when Michael Stern posted the review for this place, I practically licked the screen of my laptop.  Known as The Palmetto Burger, this is a ten oz. beauty made of ground rib-eye, topped with bacon, fried jalapenos and creamy homemade pimento cheese.  This burger is big enough that a formidable steak knife comes with it.  Only an overtoasted bun, keeps this from being higher on the list.
 
3. Hi-Ho Tavern - Dilworth, MN


Did not see this one coming.  This is one weird place as this tavern seems to cater to parents with kids, as they serve all kinds of ice cream treats and have a game room for kids to play.  A slim tavern style burger that delivers flavor akin to a much thicker patty, I could have eaten about a dozen of these.  Cousin Johnny's deluxe cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and mayo looks more impressive, but I loved mine just the way it was.
 
2. The Owl Bar - San Antonio, NM

Driving past San Antonio last year, I had lunch at Buckhorn Tavern.  Since we were driving down I-25 just at 8:00 in the morning this time, we made The Owl Bar our breakfast.  This burger comes with a generous amount of green chiles and these chiles have a serious bite to them.  This might be my favorite burger anywhere if it wasn't for.....
 
1. Santa Fe Bite - Santa Fe, NM

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss....
 
By the way, while we were here, we could see owner and burger cook extraordinaire John Eckre working on a maintenance issue behind the bar, so he did not make our burgers this time.  He has obviously trained his staff well.
 
Bonus Burger: 
Mos Burger - Yotsukaido, Japan

Yup, it's a chain.  But after 10+ days of eating delicious Japanese food, I was ready for a burger.  And this double teriyaki burger was just what I needed. 
 
Honorable Mention:
1. Crown Burgers - Salt Lake City, UT
2. A & B Drive In - Truth or Consequences, NM
3. Swenson's - Akron, OH
4. Carl's Drive-In - Brentwood, MO
5. Cecilia's Café - Albuquerque, NM
#1
kozel
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/21 15:22:33 (permalink)
I enjoy these Cliff, thanks.
It has been a while but I used to travel to San Antonio once in a while. The locals that hosted us always recommended this place.
http://www.jacala.com/
And, from what I hear you deserve congrats. All the best to you and Mariton.
Chris & Deb
post edited by kozel - 2017/12/21 15:26:55
#2
leethebard
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/21 15:33:42 (permalink)
Gorgeous...gorgeous. Thanks for posting...
 
#3
chickenplucker
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/21 15:46:19 (permalink)
Great start. The burgers look incredible.
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Michael Hoffman
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/21 17:26:48 (permalink)
Oh Boy!
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JRPfeff
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/21 17:43:17 (permalink)
Awesome. I love ChiBears15's pseudonymous photo essays.
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Root-Beer Man
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/21 18:51:46 (permalink)
That's a load of nice looking burgers. Even the one smashed one from Owl Bar looks decent. Can't wait to see what's coming!
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mar52
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/21 20:29:33 (permalink)
Someone's a big tease!   WOW!
#8
will_work_4_bbq
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 06:56:27 (permalink)
Makes me hungry for a burger!!!
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ChiTownDiner
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 07:28:25 (permalink)
I was curious what your number 1 burger would be...
 
From the looks of this...not a bad one in the bunch!  
 
I hope you received "permission" to begin this end of year summary...after all, it wasn't advertised!  
#10
RodBangkok
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 07:29:09 (permalink)
Mos Burger is my only choice here for a chain burger, fresh ingredients and their sauce is unique, don't think you got there sauce with a teriyaki version.  As always thanks for the great report/post!
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buffetbuster
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 07:38:29 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2017/12/22 08:00:02
ChiTownDiner
I was curious what your number 1 burger would be...  


Who knows, it might even be your #1 burger!
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buffetbuster
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 07:39:11 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby JRPfeff 2017/12/22 07:44:45
JRPfeff
Awesome. I love ChiBears15's pseudonymous photo essays.

I think that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me here!
#13
buffetbuster
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 07:41:22 (permalink)
kozel
I enjoy these Cliff, thanks.
It has been a while but I used to travel to San Antonio once in a while. The locals that hosted us always recommended this place.
http://www.jacala.com/
And, from what I hear you deserve congrats. All the best to you and Mariton.
Chris & Deb


Much appreciated Chris.  Don't be surprised if we get down your way some weekend this year and I hope we can get together.  And thanks for the tip about Jacala.  It is now on the list.
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ChiTownDiner
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 08:00:40 (permalink)
buffetbuster
kozel
I enjoy these Cliff, thanks.
It has been a while but I used to travel to San Antonio once in a while. The locals that hosted us always recommended this place.
http://www.jacala.com/
And, from what I hear you deserve congrats. All the best to you and Mariton.
Chris & Deb


Much appreciated Chris.  Don't be surprised if we get down your way some weekend this year and I hope we can get together.  And thanks for the tip about Jacala.  It is now on the list.




There's a list...who knew?
#15
bigbear
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 10:01:54 (permalink)
Thanks. Great stuff.
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MetroplexJim
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 10:21:27 (permalink)
Oh boy, an early Christmas present!
 
Thanks, Cliff!
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buffetbuster
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 11:16:47 (permalink)
This was originally looking like a poor year for bbq in my world, but multiple trips to Texas and the South scratched my bbq itch.  There is a possibility we may drive over to Lockhart or Luling next weekend, but here are my favorite bbq joints from 2017:
 
10. Salt Lick - Driftwood, TX


I was fully prepared not to like this place, since it has morphed into a chain.  And seriously, what kind of bbq parlor makes their own wine?  We ordered 1/2lb. each of the brisket, pork ribs and sausage.  The brisket was ordinary at best, but both the ribs and especially the sausage were quite good.  This was our last stop during a long weekend in Austin for Mariton's birthday and when we got to the gate, it was right next to the airport location of Salt Lick.
 
9. Salt & Smoke - St. Louis, MO

Our order was the combination platter.  The pork was forgettable, the ribs just fine, but the sleeper on the plate was the flavorful, thick cut fried jalapeno and cheddar bologna.  Thanks to ChiTownDiner for clueing us in to this delight.
 
8. Freeman's Bar-B-Q - Beech Island, SC


When I walked in the door, the owner was dressed in a Carolina Gamecocks shirt and hat.  Considering they are the arch rivals of my Clemson Tigers, I jokingly asked if Clemson fans were welcome, too.  He did not seem amused.  At least he didn't kick me out, as we would have hated to miss out on that tender chopped pork and delicious hash over rice.
 
7.  Stiles Switch - Austin, TX


Since this was our fourth meal of the day, including third bbq, we didn't go overboard on the ordering.  Truthfully, the brisket was disappointing, but that peppery sausage known as Spicy Switch with a snappy casing was outstanding.
 
6. Miss Myra's Pit Bar-B-Q - Birmingham, AL

That wonderful white bbq sauce is truly a smoked chicken's best friend.
 
5. Terry Black's BBQ - Austin, TX




First of all, there is something thrilling about watching them slice up your meat right before your eyes.  And this young lady was especially fun.  We ordered pork ribs, brisket and the regular sausage with all three being well above average.  This place is run by the nephews of the great Black's BBQ in Lockhart and they have learned their lessons well.
 
4. Hite's Bar-B-Que - West Columbia, SC



Hite's is one of those places that we knew was going to be special as soon as we pulled into the parking lot.  They use a heavier mustard sauce here with minimum sweetness that works really well with the chopped pork.  My Filipino wife, who counts lechon as one of her favorite meals, went crazy over the fried skin and especially that rib cut.
 
3. Big Boy's Smokehouse - Columbia, SC


As great as Hite's looked from and smelled from the outside, Big Boy's Smokehouse was the exact opposite.  Located in a non-descript strip mall near the interstate, if it wasn't for the rave Roadfood review, we might have turned around and left.  But by the time they opened their doors at 1:00 on the Sunday afternoon, there were a good 25 or so customers lined up outside.  That oh, so tender chopped pork with the sweeter gold mustard bbq sauce was a revelation.  Even the hash, a dish I typically enjoy as long as I don't think too hard about what is in it, had great piggy flavor.
 
2. Cattleack BBQ - Dallas, TX




Cattleack's is open very limited hours (Thursday and Friday only for lunch, plus the first Saturday of each month) and is known for their long lines, but arriving just after noon, we waited only about 20 minutes.  For this food, I would have waited much longer!  We ordered one beef rib, fatty brisket, lean brisket and Hatch chile and cheese sausage.  I never did get any of the fatty brisket, since my wife and her aunt devoured our half pound immediately after photos were taken, but even the lean brisket was incredibly luscious.  And that beef rib looked like it came from a brontosaurus.  The one decision I would like to have back was the choice of sausage.  Having just returned from New Mexico, I was probably missing chiles too much. Although the Hatch chile and cheese sausage was delicious, it is more of a novelty, compared to the sample of the incredible spicy Texan sausage I was given after placing the order.
 
1. Perry's Pig - Augusta, GA



Exempting New Mexico, this was the best thing I ate in 2017.  The bbq chicken was terrific, but it's that pork sandwich topped with crunchy cracklins that made us swoon.  That combination of textures and flavors is unlike anything I have had before and have been dreaming about ever since.  Our experience here was made even better since we were joined by pluckr, one of Roadfood's all-time good guys.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2017/12/23 08:45:01
#18
phlmaestro
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 17:22:36 (permalink)
Enjoying this, as I do every year.
 
I included Stiles Switch in my Texas trip report last year and also found their brisket to be disappointing. It was somewhat tough. But their pork ribs and one of the sides I had made it a worthwhile stop.
post edited by phlmaestro - 2017/12/22 17:24:02
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joerogo
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 17:45:08 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2017/12/22 20:33:44
buffetbuster
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I was curious what your number 1 burger would be...  


Who knows, it might even be your #1 burger!


You sayin we should expect a ChiTownDiner year end list?  That would be a Fine accomplishment! 
#20
ChiTownDiner
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/22 20:34:15 (permalink)
That's one Fine Christmas Party...still waiting...
#21
buffetbuster
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/23 08:47:36 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2017/12/23 12:24:27
ChiTownDiner
That's one Fine Christmas Party...still waiting...


The Top 10 BBQ list is now complete.
#22
ScreamingChicken
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/23 09:01:25 (permalink)
ChiTownDiner
That's one Fine Christmas Party...still waiting...

Cut him some slack.  He probably had a few more Ovaltines than usual and is moving a bit slow this morning.
 
Great stuff so far but I'm really looking forward to the Top 10 Vegan Restaurants!
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buffetbuster
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/23 09:06:06 (permalink)
Bonus BBQ:
 
On the way to the airport before we flew home from Japan, Mariton's aunt and uncle took us to their favorite restaurant in Yotsukaido, a bbq restaurant I couldn't read the name of. 

They bring you stacks of containers with thinly slice beef and pork. 

and you do your own grilling,

although I was happy to let Erika and Hiroshi take care of that.  It was fun experimenting with the different sauces on the table.

 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2017/12/23 09:09:13
#24
buffetbuster
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/23 09:08:38 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
Great stuff so far but I'm really looking forward to the Top 10 Vegan Restaurants!

Why don't you sit at your computer and wait?  It should be up any second now.....


#25
JRPfeff
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/23 10:14:43 (permalink)
buffetbuster
ScreamingChicken
Great stuff so far but I'm really looking forward to the Top 10 Vegan Restaurants!

Why don't you sit at your computer and wait?  It should be up any second now.....




Way to go Olson. You had to go and rile the buffetbuster.
 
Wonderful stuff Cliff. It took me a while to remember you were not in Kansas City for the crawl. I will post my Best of list as soon as CTD and CB15 complete theirs.
#26
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/23 10:43:13 (permalink)
Cliff it was great meeting you and Mariton at Perry's Pig. But now you have me craving a sandwich with cracklins and hot sauce. That may happen today. Merry Christmas..
#27
nagle
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/23 12:08:46 (permalink)
ChiTownDiner
buffetbuster
kozel
I enjoy these Cliff, thanks.
It has been a while but I used to travel to San Antonio once in a while. The locals that hosted us always recommended this place.
http://www.jacala.com/
And, from what I hear you deserve congrats. All the best to you and Mariton.
Chris & Deb


Much appreciated Chris.  Don't be surprised if we get down your way some weekend this year and I hope we can get together.  And thanks for the tip about Jacala.  It is now on the list.




There's a list...who knew?


It's no spreadsheet, but there is a list.
#28
Ahi Mpls.
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/23 13:06:46 (permalink)
Talk about burying the lead!
   Mabuhay!
Kongrats!
   Ang galing ninyo!
I am sure that I butchered that in a big way...but, I am so happy for you both.
Matzo Tov. 
snicker.
Happy Merry Everything to you all.

Oh, and yes, that beef rib. Oh...that beef rib.

#29
buffetbuster
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Re: My Year in Roadfood - 2017 2017/12/23 15:37:02 (permalink)
Ahi, you get an A for effort from me and an A for execution from Mariton!
#30
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