Helpful ReplyHot!Our Year in Roadfood - 2018

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will_work_4_bbq
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 07:27:15 (permalink)
Happy New Year to you also!  Every one of these burgers is amazing!  Makes me wish I was making burgers today instead of traditional pork, greens, and black-eyed peas!
nagle
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 09:25:37 (permalink)
buffetbuster
Happy New Year everyone!
 
Unfortunately, Mariton has not been feeling well since we have been in New Mexico, so we ended up cancelling our dinner reservations for last night.  But, that did give me time to download burger photos.
 
Hopefully, the Top Ten Burgers will get posted tomorrow, but here are some really good burgers that didn't make the list:
 
Apple Pan (Los Angeles, CA)

 
Brooks Sandwich House (Charlotte, NC)

 
Bud's Bar (Sedalia, CO)

 
Bun Huggers (Flagstaff, AZ)

 
Burgermaster (Bellevue, WA)

 
Company Burger (New Orleans, LA)

 
Crown Burgers (Salt Lake City, UT)

 
Dino's Bar (Nashville, TN)

 
Green Gables (Hudson, IL)

 
Greene's Hamburgers (Farmington, MI)

 
Hires Big H (Salt Lake City, UT)

 
Lion's Tap (Eden Prairie, MN)

 
Litton's (Knoxville, TN)

 
Matt's Bar (Minneapolis, MN)

 
Mazo's (Milwaukee, WI)

 
Morris Neals Handy Hamburgers (Cleburne, TX)

 
O' Connell's Pub (St. Louis, MO)

 
P. Terry's (Austin, TX)

 
Philipps Grocery (Holly Springs, MS)

 
Sid's (El Reno, OK)

 
The Spot (Carpinteria, CA)

 
Stanley's (Central Falls, RI)

 
The Stand (Phoenix, AZ)

 
Starlite Coney Island (Flint, MI)

 
Sunrise Café (Springfield, IL)

 
Tony's Burgers (Cathedral City, CA)


 
Tucker's Onion Burgers (Oklahoma City, OK)



These didn’t make the cut!? WOW!

Happy New Year Cliff. I hope Marion is feeling better.
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 11:18:35 (permalink)
buffetbuster
Happy New Year everyone!
 
Unfortunately, Mariton has not been feeling well since we have been in New Mexico, so we ended up cancelling our dinner reservations for last night.  But, that did give me time to download burger photos.
 
Hopefully, the Top Ten Burgers will get posted tomorrow, but here are some really good burgers that didn't make the list:

 
Happy New Year to you, too, and I hope Mariton feels better soon.
 
buffetbuster
Green Gables (Hudson, IL)


So was Hudson an actual destination or did you stumble across Green Gables when you stopped at the Casey's General Store to use the bathroom?
 
All the trips I've made up and down 39 and never knew about Green Gables until now...good to know for future reference!
MetroplexJim
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 12:13:45 (permalink)
My goodness, I wish I had had even a few as tasty-looking as your 2018 'also rans'!
 
(Of course, given that we live in a "Burger Capital" maybe we should be a little more adventuresome!)
buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 12:35:29 (permalink)
will_work_4_bbq
Happy New Year to you also!  Every one of these burgers is amazing!  Makes me wish I was making burgers today instead of traditional pork, greens, and black-eyed peas!


Thanks Lynn!  What you are making sounds much better than any burger!
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 13:26:54 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
 
buffetbuster
Green Gables (Hudson, IL)


So was Hudson an actual destination or did you stumble across Green Gables when you stopped at the Casey's General Store to use the bathroom?
 
All the trips I've made up and down 39 and never knew about Green Gables until now...good to know for future reference!




ChickenBoy,
There's a cluster of Smashdown Burger joints in that area, documented here by Roadfooder extraordinaire, KingT.  When in Springfield, I'd skip Krekel's and head to Fulgenzi's Pizza & Pasta.  Ignore that part of the menu suggested by the name and order a Double CheeseBurger.  Thank me later.
 
buffetbuster,
Let me echo the sentiments of others; if that's the list that didn't make the cut, I can hardly wait to see the winners.  I'm fairly confident I know one of the Burgers that made the list.  I've been to Dino's Bar, Greene's Hamburgers, Lion's Tap, and Matt's Bar and loved them all.  If the top ten are better than all of those, they must have been a knee-buckling experience.
 
Buddy
phlmaestro
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 15:47:51 (permalink)
buffetbuster
Happy New Year everyone!
 
Unfortunately, Mariton has not been feeling well since we have been in New Mexico, so we ended up cancelling our dinner reservations for last night.  But, that did give me time to download burger photos.
 
Hopefully, the Top Ten Burgers will get posted tomorrow, but here are some really good burgers that didn't make the list:
 
Apple Pan (Los Angeles, CA)

 



What an amazing-looking list of near misses. It's got a few places on there I've been wanting to get to for a while, including the Apple Pan. Looking forward to the Top 10.
Davidsanders
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 16:51:34 (permalink)
buffetbuster
It's that time of year again...
 
I have always titled this My Year in Roadfood, but now that we are married and Mariton went on every trip except for one, Our Year is much more appropriate.  And it is definitely a collaborative effort, especially on the photos.  For instance, we were sitting in Acme Oyster House in New Orleans on Saturday when she got up to use the ladies' room.  When she came back, she had great photos of oysters being chargrilled in the kitchen and the shuckers in action behind the bar.  I definitely married the right woman!
 
Every year the review starts with the best burgers.  But, we still have one more trip left, New Mexico over the long New Year's weekend.  There are plenty of green chile cheeseburger candidates in the Land of Enchantment that could make the list.  So instead...
 
BEST BBQ
 
10. Meat Boss - Mobile, AL

We were still in mourning during our February visit at the loss of the late, great Brick Pit.  A quick search on line found Meat Boss and we were on our way.  We were unimpressed by the ribs, but the huge pork bbq sandwich with plenty of dark outside meat and topped with a wet, crispy slaw was sensational.  Check out the menu, where you can custom build your own sandwich.  I'm not so sure you would ever desire a smoked pork loin sandwich on sourdough, topped with white bbq sauce and Asian slaw, but if you do, you can get one here.
 
9. Little Miss BBQ - Phoenix, AZ


Phoenix is hardly a bbq town, but this place richly deserves their place as they do it up right.  After a 1 1/2 hour wait in 100+ degree temperatures, I was hot and tired.  But all that went away once we dug into our tray of pork ribs, sausage and especially that ultra-moist brisket.  It made us feel like we were in Lockhart.
 
8. Perry's Pig - Augusta, GA

Perry's Pig finished #2 last year, which speaks to how much better the competition was this year.  And it wasn't quite as transcendant, which might be because I already knew what expect.  Actually, I'll blame it on not having the pleasure of chickenpucker's company this year.  Still, that sandwich made of tender, smoky pork, sweet/spicy bbq sauce and crunchy cracklins is an unbeatable combination.
 
7. City Market - Luling, TX



Loved, loved, loved everything about this place.  With a separate smokehouse (and I mean smoky!) building inside the dining room, City Market epitomizes genuine Texas bbq.  The brisket and ribs were both first rate, but that succulent sausage is what we have dreaming about ever since.
 
6. Payne's - Memphis, TN

Payne's is further down the list than expected and that is most likely due to a poor decision on my part.  Instead of ordering the pork bbq sandwich we have enjoyed many times in the past, I tried the pork bbq plate.  As flavorful as that pork is, it really does work best with the mustardy cole slaw on top between two buns.  We will be back in Memphis in March and I don't plan on making that mistake again.
 
5. Cozy Corner - Memphis, TN


I wish the pork bbq sandwich didn't come on a sesame seed long bun, but that doesn't take away from how good the pork itself tastes.  The big hit this year was trying the juicy smoked beef sausage sandwich, served Memphis-style with cole slaw.  And Cozy Corner has one thing none of these other bbq parlors have and that's the charm of owner Desiree Robinson.
 
4. Micklethwait Craft Meats - Austin, TX




Some people who's opinions I value consider this the best bbq in Texas and I'm not here to tell you they are wrong.  A trailer with a bunch of outdoor picnic tables, it was a brutally humid August day when we stopped in.  One table had a dozen Chinese tourists oohing and awwwing at their tray full of ribs.  They were all standing around taking photos, so I joined in.  And a Modelo beer truck pulled up, partially blocking the road, so I let those guys jump in line in front of me.  In exchange, I got a photo of their gorgeous pork sandwich.  Our food can be seen on the tray and that incredibly moist and flavorful brisket is as good as I have ever had and the spicy Czech sausage isn't too far behind.
 
3. Fresh Air Barbecue - Jackson, GA


Did not see this one coming.  Knowing we had a lot of restaurants to hit on our day through central Georgia, we ordered lightly: one sandwich and some Brunswick stew.  We both took a bite simultaneously and just gave each other a knowing nod of the head.  No words needing to be exchanged, as we were in the presence of greatness.  This is bbq at it's basics, just smoky chopped pork, just a dab of a vinegar sauce and white bread.  What more do you need?  Needless to say, we went back up for two more sandwiches.
 
2.  Helen's Bar-B-Q - Brownsville, TN


Sure it's a cliché, but this place is so smoky, you really can smell the restaurant before you can see it.  The pork sandwich, topped with cole slaw is intensely smoky, with just the right amount of both inside and outside meat.  The rugged skinned Polish sausage, also topped with slaw and a sweet bbq sauce was another winner.  
 
1. Lexington #1 - Lexington, NC




It's amazing what a difference there is in flavor whether you order your pork sliced, chopped or coarse chopped.  But no matter what you decide on, it will be world class.  I stopped in here by myself driving to Charlotte and the waitress was nice enough to bring me some fried skin to try.  The next day, back with Cousin Johnny, we opted to add a smoked and grilled turkey sandwich to our lunch.  Sensational!  This is my all-time favorite bbq parlor and if there was one Roadfood restaurant I wish I could eat at everyday, this would be the one.
 
Honorable Mention:
1) Cleve Edmunds Bar-B-Que - Augusta, GA
2) Opie's BBQ - Spicewood, TX 
3) Heirloom Market BBQ - Atlanta, GA
4) Hutchins BBQ - McKinney, TX
5) Williams Bar-B-Q - West Memphis, AR


Cliff, I am so loving your report. I went to six of these top ten bbq places, not all in 2018, but within a 10 month period, from October, 2017-August, 2018. I was very lucky to have had Little Miss BBQ come to Chicago for the Windy City Smokeout that I attended with Danny. The brisket was fabulous, and would definitely make my top 10 list. Two others at the Smokeout would also make my list, Sam Jones, for a wonderful chopped pork sandwich, and Fox Bros from Atlanta, for an absolutely incredible smoked short rib. The others on my top 10 from your list would be Helen's, Lexington No. 1, and Payne’s. Rounding out my list would probably be Rodney Scott (which I know you didn’t love) and Lewis BBQ, both in Charleston (sorry Dale), maybe Southern Soul, although I liked them more the first time I went, and I definitely want to go back, and, of course, no. 1 on my list would be Grady's.
I’m wondering who will show up for the Smokeout in the summer and really hope I can make it again.
post edited by Davidsanders - 2019/01/01 20:37:36
buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 17:44:08 (permalink)
Thanks to everyone for the get well wishes to Mariton and the nice comments about the burgers.  She is feeling much better today and even has something of an appetite.  She made quick work of the menudo I brought back from Garcia's Kitchen.
 
It was most definitely a good year for burgers and restaurants that have easily finished in the top ten in the past didn't quite make the cut.  Unfortunately, there is one weekend in which almost all of my food photos have disappeared.  This is the weekend we visited the place Buddy has alluded to and it most assuredly is top 10 worthy.  Until I can recover those photos, the burger list will have to wait.  Sorry...
buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 17:47:33 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken
buffetbuster
Happy New Year everyone!
 
Unfortunately, Mariton has not been feeling well since we have been in New Mexico, so we ended up cancelling our dinner reservations for last night.  But, that did give me time to download burger photos.
 
Hopefully, the Top Ten Burgers will get posted tomorrow, but here are some really good burgers that didn't make the list:

 
Happy New Year to you, too, and I hope Mariton feels better soon.
 
buffetbuster
Green Gables (Hudson, IL)


So was Hudson an actual destination or did you stumble across Green Gables when you stopped at the Casey's General Store to use the bathroom?
 
All the trips I've made up and down 39 and never knew about Green Gables until now...good to know for future reference!


While Green Gables in absolutely in the middle of nowhere, the review has been on Roadfood for a few years now.  You really need to stop here, it is your kind of place!


buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 17:52:41 (permalink)
Davidsanders

Cliff, I am so loving your report. I went to six of these top ten bbq places, not all in 2018, but within a 10 month period, from October, 2017-August, 2018. I was very lucky to have had Little Miss BBQ come to Chicago for the Windy City Smokeout that I attended with Danny. The brisket was fabulous, and would definitely make my top 10 list. Two others at the Smokeout would also make my list, Sam Jones, for a wonderful chopped pork sandwich, and Fox Bros from Atlanta, for an absolutely incredible smoked short rib. The others on my top 10 from your list would be Helen's, Lexington No. 1, and Payne’s. Rounding out my list would probably be Rodney Scott (which I know you didn’t love) and Lewis BBQ, both in Charleston (sorry Dale), maybe Southern Soul, although I liked them more the first time I went, and I definitely want to go back, and, of course, no. 1 on my list would be Grady's.
I’m wondering who will show up for the Smokeout in the summer and really hope I can make it again.



David, you sure do get around to these bbq parlors!  If you had to choose one, would it be bbq or pie?  I really need to get to Grady's someday.
buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 17:54:49 (permalink)
phlmaestro
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Happy New Year everyone!
 
Unfortunately, Mariton has not been feeling well since we have been in New Mexico, so we ended up cancelling our dinner reservations for last night.  But, that did give me time to download burger photos.
 
Hopefully, the Top Ten Burgers will get posted tomorrow, but here are some really good burgers that didn't make the list:
 
Apple Pan (Los Angeles, CA)

 



What an amazing-looking list of near misses. It's got a few places on there I've been wanting to get to for a while, including the Apple Pan. Looking forward to the Top 10.


I sure hope you do get to the Apple Pan.  The burger is above average and the banana cream pie is spectacular, but it is the atmosphere and history I love most about the restaurant.  How can you not love a place where Clark Gable was a regular?


buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 18:20:16 (permalink)
Now that the year is over...
 
We traveled more in 2018 than we ever have before.  It wasn't the most states in a year (37 this year) since in 2010 I hit 46.  But it was the most nights away from home, since we ended up spending 92 nights at Hyatt Hotels alone.
 
This was set in motion when I purchased Mariton's engagement ring on my Southwest Visa in late 2017, which qualified us for a companion pass.  Which means when I buy a flight, I can also purchase her flight for just the tax, which is I believe $10.40.  It was too good of a deal not to take advantage of.
 
Needless to say it won't be like this again in 2019, as we plan on spending much more time at home.  But then again, we just learned that Mariton's best friend, her aunt who lives outside Tokyo, is soon coming for a visit.  She likes to go, go, go, too, so in a three week span, we will be taking her to Birmingham, Charleston and Jacksonville/St. Augustine.  She loves to eat, so I am already looking forward to her reaction to the gumbo at Bright Star, shrimp and grits, plus chocolate pudding at Hominy Grill and fried shrimp at O'Steen's.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2019/01/01 18:21:31
02sbxstr
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 18:32:31 (permalink)
So, nothing of note anywhere near New England? For a plain old roadside stand burger, it is hard to beat Harrys in Colchester, CT. 
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 18:55:25 (permalink)
buffetbuster
ScreamingChicken
So was Hudson an actual destination or did you stumble across Green Gables when you stopped at the Casey's General Store to use the bathroom?

While Green Gables in absolutely in the middle of nowhere, the review has been on Roadfood for a few years now.  You really need to stop here, it is your kind of place!


Looks like a good place to wear my "Brewers 2018 NL Central Champions" shirt and order Miller beer very loudly.
buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 19:22:42 (permalink)
Every year I do a best meal of the year, but since naming runners up seems to be going well, our second most memorable meal of the year was at Ray's Boathouse in Seattle.

 
Ray's is an upscale, but comfortable seafood restaurant right on the water.  It is only open for dinner and you will definitely need reservations, so we have learned to have lunch upstairs at Ray's Café.
 
Since Mariton's cousin Erika flew up from Los Angeles to join us, we had three diners.  Great for me, so that we can try more food.  We had a long list of restaurants to get to while in town, so the decision was made to do a tapas thing sharing appetizers.  The meal started with chewy, hot from the oven sourdough bread.

 
First appetizer out was the clam chowder,

creamy, buttery and loaded with fresh clams and smoked bacon.  Erika started to top and fill the bread with the chowder

and soon my wife was joining in.  Next up, yellowfin ahi tuna,

with cucumber slaw, wasabi, soysauce and pickled ginger.  Almost too pretty to eat!
 
Needing some greens, we enjoyed Ray's Seafood salad,

with bay shrimp, smoked salmon, smoked scallops and the local favorite Louis dressing.  While the ladies were attacking the salad, I was concentrating on the Dungeness crab and clam dip.

 
The highlight of our meal and one of my favorite things anywhere is their mussels

in a Thai red curry and coconut milk broth.  And as you can see, the mussels themselves are on the larger size.  We order mussels as often as we can, and Ray's clearly has the best we have ever had.
 
Seattle is a fabulous eating town, especially when it comes to seafood and Ray's is our one "must eat" whenever we are here.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2019/01/01 19:58:53
ScreamingChicken
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 19:45:59 (permalink)
I can't begin to guess what other meals you have left to post, but I already know they're going to have a tough time beating out Ray's!
buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 19:56:05 (permalink)
02sbxstr
So, nothing of note anywhere near New England? For a plain old roadside stand burger, it is hard to beat Harrys in Colchester, CT. 


Sorry to have been letting you down.  I haven't been ignoring New England on purpose.
 
Here is one item each from the five New England states we visited in 2018:
 
Lobster Bomb - Ford's Lobsters (Noank, CT)

 
Lobster Roll - Bob's Clam Hut (Kittery, ME)

 
Maple Glazed Scallops - Elisabeth's (New Bedford, MA)

 
Fried Clams - Markey's Lobster Pool (Seabrook, NH)

 
Jonnycakes - Jiggers Diner (East Greenwich, RI)

post edited by buffetbuster - 2019/01/01 19:59:48
Davidsanders
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/01 20:24:53 (permalink)
buffetbuster
Davidsanders

Cliff, I am so loving your report. I went to six of these top ten bbq places, not all in 2018, but within a 10 month period, from October, 2017-August, 2018. I was very lucky to have had Little Miss BBQ come to Chicago for the Windy City Smokeout that I attended with Danny. The brisket was fabulous, and would definitely make my top 10 list. Two others at the Smokeout would also make my list, Sam Jones, for a wonderful chopped pork sandwich, and Fox Bros from Atlanta, for an absolutely incredible smoked short rib. The others on my top 10 from your list would be Helen's, Lexington No. 1, and Payne’s. Rounding out my list would probably be Rodney Scott (which I know you didn’t love) and Lewis BBQ, both in Charleston (sorry Dale), maybe Southern Soul, although I liked them more the first time I went, and I definitely want to go back, and, of course, no. 1 on my list would be Grady's.
I’m wondering who will show up for the Smokeout in the summer and really hope I can make it again.



David, you sure do get around to these bbq parlors!  If you had to choose one, would it be bbq or pie?  I really need to get to Grady's someday.


Cliff, I do hope you make it to Grady's. I wonder and worry how much longer they will be in business. They are both in their 80s and I've read that their kids want no part of it. I think that Stephen Grady has said that some day he's going to put a sign on the door saying "gone on vacation" and then decide if he'll come back. Here's an interesting article from Eater. 
 
Now, the big question, bbq or pie. I'm so glad I don't have to choose! When I told some of my colleagues that I was going to Europe last month, the inevitable question was, "do they have bbq in Europe?" My reply was always that I like lots of other things as well, especially pastries, which of course there are plenty of in Europe.
 
Oh, and by the way, speaking of pie, thank you for mentioning the pie at the Farmers Market Restaurant in Fort Myers. I'll be on tour (and staying an extra day) in Naples in February/March, and had FMR on my list. I'm planning on a biscuit at Heavenly Biscuit, then a biscuit at FMR. Then I'll wait for awhile and have lunch at FMR also, and for sure I'll try the coconut cream pie (and if they have a great looking fruit pie........)
 
Also, on our Asian tour which begins for me with a flight just after midnight on January 14th, we'll be spending about a week in Tokyo, and I've been planning on going to the Tokyo branch of the Pie Hole ever since seeing your writeup about your Tokyo trip. And I'm not sure if you had mentioned Little Bakery in Tokyo and Goodtown Donuts, or if I found them on my own. There's also one of the seven in the world branches of Dominique Ansel. Does that make it a chain?
 
There's also a Pierre Hermé, and I wonder if I'll go, especially after seeing this article. It's by The Wandering Eater, and I'm wondering if Dale should file a lawsuit. An obvious breach of something. 
 
post edited by Davidsanders - 2019/01/01 21:11:12
buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/02 09:40:17 (permalink)
Davidsanders-
The pie at Farmers Market Restaurant in Fort Myers is very good (especially the strawberry, which will be out of season when you visit), but it's not great pie.  What they truly excel at is Southern vegetables.  If you think of it as a Nashville meat & three, you will do well.  Still haven't made it to Heavenly Biscuit, but it's right at the top of the list.  For seafood, you can't do any fresher than Skip One Seafood.
 
And for the drive from Naples to Fort Myers, don't forget about Dolly's Produce Patch for more pie.
 
Little Bakery and Goodtown Donuts doesn't ring a bell, so you must have found them on your own.  I have never been to Paris, but we were so impressed by the high qualities of pastries in Japan.  That is something you know much more about than us, so we will be very interested in what you have to say.
 
We may need to make a special trip to Grady's before it is too late.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2019/01/02 09:43:06
Davidsanders
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/02 11:52:37 (permalink)
buffetbuster
Davidsanders-
The pie at Farmers Market Restaurant in Fort Myers is very good (especially the strawberry, which will be out of season when you visit), but it's not great pie.  What they truly excel at is Southern vegetables.  If you think of it as a Nashville meat & three, you will do well.  Still haven't made it to Heavenly Biscuit, but it's right at the top of the list.  For seafood, you can't do any fresher than Skip One Seafood.
 
And for the drive from Naples to Fort Myers, don't forget about Dolly's Produce Patch for more pie.
 
Little Bakery and Goodtown Donuts doesn't ring a bell, so you must have found them on your own.  I have never been to Paris, but we were so impressed by the high qualities of pastries in Japan.  That is something you know much more about than us, so we will be very interested in what you have to say.
 
We may need to make a special trip to Grady's before it is too late.


Thanks Cliff. I hadn't heard about Dolly's Produce Patch, but I'll probably try the pie there, even though the Stern's review is not exactly overwhelming. And I'l definitely be returning to Skip One Seafood, which I went to twice last year during our tour there, thanks to your recommendation. I'm planning on the fried chicken at Farmer's Market Restaurant.
 
I just revisited your Japanese trip report and saw that your favorite pie from the Pie Hole was the Mexican Chocolate, so I'll probably try a slice of that, assuming I make it there. We do have five concerts and two rehearsals in the week that we're there. 
phlmaestro
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/02 15:29:09 (permalink)
buffetbuster
phlmaestro
buffetbuster
Happy New Year everyone!
 
Unfortunately, Mariton has not been feeling well since we have been in New Mexico, so we ended up cancelling our dinner reservations for last night.  But, that did give me time to download burger photos.
 
Hopefully, the Top Ten Burgers will get posted tomorrow, but here are some really good burgers that didn't make the list:
 
Apple Pan (Los Angeles, CA)

 



What an amazing-looking list of near misses. It's got a few places on there I've been wanting to get to for a while, including the Apple Pan. Looking forward to the Top 10.


I sure hope you do get to the Apple Pan.  The burger is above average and the banana cream pie is spectacular, but it is the atmosphere and history I love most about the restaurant.  How can you not love a place where Clark Gable was a regular?






Exactly!  Have you tried both the banana-cream and apple pies there? 
 
Green Gables is another place on my list of places to get to. Actually, just about any of the smashed burger places with lacy edges would be on that list. It's my favorite style of burger.
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/02 15:46:20 (permalink)
Get thee to Detroit!  Much closer to Philly than Central Illinois, and teeming with an abundance of Smashdown Burgers that also incorporate the smooshed in onion technique associated with Oklahoma's Burgers.  Once again KingT leads the way down this Roadfood path with this entry on his blog.
 
The example from Greene's Hamburgers, seen in buffetbuster's "not quite best of" list is a prime example:
Greene's Hamburgers (Farmington, MI)

 
KingT lists nine others in the Detroit Metro area.  I can claim visits to almost half of them and will say they're all worth a visit.
 
And now back to our regularly scheduled buffetbuster lists...
 
Buddy
phlmaestro
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/02 15:49:29 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse
Get thee to Detroit!  Much closer to Philly than Central Illinois, and teeming with an abundance of Smashdown Burgers that also incorporate the smooshed in onion technique associated with Oklahoma's Burgers.  Once again KingT leads the way down this Roadfood path with this entry on his blog.
 
The example from Greene's Hamburgers, seen in buffetbuster's "not quite best of" list is a prime example:
Greene's Hamburgers (Farmington, MI)

 
KingT lists nine others in the Detroit Metro area.  I can claim visits to almost half of them and will say they're all worth a visit.
 



 
I hear you. Someone did a thread a year or two back on Detroit-area burgers and it had my mouth watering.   Eventually, as my wife and I continue our State Capitols tour, we'll get to Southern Michigan. I also want to go to the Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor.
buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/04 17:34:39 (permalink)
phlmaestro-
I always stick to the banana cream pie while at The Apple Pan.  We were there once with The Travelin Man when he ordered the apple pie and it was perfectly fine, but not in the same stratosphere as the banana.
buffetbuster
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/04 19:00:50 (permalink)
With the help of Meghan at work, who is sharp when it comes to computers, we were able to rescue some of the lost photos from our September weekend in Chicago.  So now we can proceed with...
 
Top Ten Burgers
 
10. Solly's Grille - Milwaukee, WI

Is there anyone else out there that really loves Solly's?  Most of the other Roadfooders I talk to about Solly's aren't fans of the place.  No doubt that it isn't for everyone, as this isn't just a butter burger, it is the butteriest butter burger imaginable.  Cousin Johnny didn't care for it and Mariton thinks it is downright gross.  Oh well, with the classic U-shaped counters and Roadfood charm, excellent banana malts and yes, all that butter, I love it just the way it is.  
 
9. Au Cheval - Chicago, IL

This place has been on my bucket list for years.  Truthfully, I was expecting a run down dive, but is more of a cozy diner with a really interesting menu.  What really stood out on this burger was the extra-thick cut bacon and the lightly toasted and buttered brioche bun.  
 
8. Kingsman Que & Brew - Lexington, SC

Just think about this for a minute.  How does a burger made out of ribeye steak, just the right amount of pink, topped with creamy pimento cheese, bacon and fried jalapenos sound?  Yeah, that's what Cousin Johnny and I thought, also.  It was for food like this we vacationed in South Carolina.
 
7. Paradise Pup - Des Plaines, IL

Everything that comes from this little hot dog stand is first-rate, but it's the burger made with fresh ground beef, topped with Merkts cheddar and grilled onions, that makes us swoon.  And you get to wash it down with some of the best real fruit milkshakes anywhere.  This place also gets bonus points since we were joined by members of the wonderful Roadhouse clan, some of the nicest people we know.
 
6. The Pantry - Santa Fe, NM


A restaurant from Santa Fe making it high on our burger list is nothing new, but this was our first ever visit to The Pantry.  And it most assuredly won't be our last.  Among the items they are most famous for is the tortilla burger, where they fill a buttered and grilled tortilla with a thick beef patty and pinto beans.  It then gets smothered in a delicious red chile and melted cheese.  Unbelievably good!  Next time, we are going to order the Pantry Burger, which we saw a man in a suit next to us devour.  This massive open faced burger is topped with cheese, onion and more of that red chile.  
 
5. Hinano Café - Venice, CA

As a non-drinker, I don't particularly care for bars.  And much to my wife's chagrin, I'm not a big fan of the beach, either.  Yet, this laid back SoCal bar, a few steps from the water in Venice thoroughly charmed us.  Being busy on a mid-Friday afternoon, we could only find seats next to the pool tables and had to order through a small window.  Every few minutes, we had to move to give the pool players more room.  Our burger choice was an imposing double, topped with cheddar and hot links.  This messy burger required both hands!
 
4. Burger Bar - Cleburne, TX


I've been to some small Roadfood restaurants over the years, but the Burger Bar is in a class by itself.  Only 12' X 12', there is only room for three seats at their short counter.  This is the perfect combination of fresh lettuce and tomato, toasted bun, gooey cheddar cheese and fresh ground meat.  No state does burgers better than Texas.  Well, maybe one other state...
 
3. Nic's Grill - Oklahoma City, OK

If Texas isn't the country's best burger state, then it has to be Oklahoma.  I love those signature onion burgers and the one at Nic's just might be the best.  The flavor and especially the aroma of grilled onions is inescapable.  Prepare to reek of onions the rest of the day, but it will definitely be worth it.  A big thanks to wanderingjew for finding this great burger joint.
 
2.  Monte Carlo Steakhouse - Albuquerque, NM

Who knew Joe Rogo knows green chile cheeseburgers?  Italian food, sure.  Wine, oh yeah.  A tip of the cap to Joe for suggesting this steakhouse hidden behind a liquor store for one of the best green chile cheeseburgers we have ever had.  The burger was perfectly medium, topped with a flavorful, fiery green chile, inside a well toasted bun.  This place is a gem!
 
1. Top Notch Hamburgers - Austin, TX


Well, maybe Texas is #1 afterall.  Before our visit, we only knew Top Notch as a place where scenes from the movie Dazed and Confused was filmed and this burger stand still looks like it is stuck in the 1970's.  No burger during the year could match this place's big beefy, charcoal grilled flavor.  This is what a burger is supposed to taste like.   
post edited by buffetbuster - 2019/01/04 19:06:20
scrumptiouschef
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/04 20:26:39 (permalink)
I only get to come home to Austin four times a year and I always hit Top Notch for a Little Leaguer. Best hamburger in a city filled with world class ones.
Root-Beer Man
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/04 22:24:13 (permalink)
Nice looking burgers and a great report, as always! Looking forward to the rest. On the burger front, though, your #8 would be my number 1 just due to being properly cooked. All the others looked too overdone for my taste, (good, but overdone). I love that pink and the pimiento and cheese...oh, yeah! Keep 'em coming!
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/05 01:35:44 (permalink)
We need to get you to Boba Burger next time you visit Chicago.  Located in a bowling alley (how Roadfood is that?), their Asian influenced Burgers (and Hot Dogs) are outstanding.  Also, Paradise Pup's local competition, American Wildburger is worth a visit, if for no other reason than they use Roadhouse Bar-B-Que Sauce on some of their specialty Burgers.  And if it's Smashdown Burgers your after, Red Hot Ranch serves the best in the city.
 
Mop up the drool and get your butt back out here to the Midwest.
Buddy
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Re: Our Year in Roadfood - 2018 2019/01/05 06:33:27 (permalink)
Buddy-
Yes sir!  Great burgers in a bowling alley?  That sounds like my kind of place.
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