Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds

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mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 04:10:25
Great Detective work, Annie !  I love it when a "Plan" comes together.
God Bless you, Lisa. We hope that you continue to bring a new ray of Sunshine into that dark corner of the Buckeye State !
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 08:25:25
I really wanted to award ann with the same can of burgoo from Moonlite BBQ  that The Mayor started circulating years ago at the glee club presidents day weekend (that was until Rick Flynn ate it) however I thought a can of cream of lutefisk soup would do.
Ok, now that makes sense- I've been hearing that now for almost 2 and a half decades
Thanks, I've never had sticky toffee pudding, I'm thinking of some type of cake that I've eaten before, I'm sure it will come to me eventually
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 10:03:28
  I will supply a can of Burgoo for your use as an award!
We can call it   BURGOO  II   !!!
MH-  If your feeble old eyes can read this, Me Thinks the Jigg is UP ! God Bless you, M'Boy.
TJ Jackson
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 10:18:15
I wish I just knew what the jigg is, period.
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 10:18:24
I'm not sure if the BURGOO II is an award or punishment......
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 10:20:53
And by the way, as long as I'm here, my companion and I ate at the Gahanna Grill last night and I had...........a SALAD!  Ha!
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 10:28:34
TJ Jackson
I wish I just knew what the jigg is, period.

I'm just as confused as you are

And by the way, as long as I'm here, my companion and I ate at the Gahanna Grill last night and I had...........a SALAD!  Ha!

Oh I didn't know that Buddyroadhouse joined you yesterday at the Gahanna Grill yesterday? Surely it had to be him since he refused to be around anyone who puts coleslaw on a burger.....
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 10:46:16
She ate a salad again?
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 10:47:35
Mr. Mayor, the jig's not up till I say it's up.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 14:01:25
WJ -- Wow, does that chicken at the Kopper Kettle look GREAT!  I'm a Hollyhock Hill person, by heritage -- the place is only a 5-minute drive from the house I grew up in in Indianapolis.  We never went to the Kopper Kettle, but I've been wanting to try it for years.  As is always the case, though,  (at least for me),  when you go back "home," you have  special places you always have to visit (my husband calls it my "Memorial Food Tour") -- and Hollyhock Hill is one of those for me.  
Finding time when I'm in town --  for only a weekend or a couple of days, and with other commitments -- to make the trek to Gray Bros. AND to Kopper Kettle from north suburban Indianapolis would be very challenging, indeed.
But based on your recommendation, I'll have to seriously consider it for my next trip.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 15:00:14
Dale, Sorry, I didn't mean to lead your thread down a side-street.  Hurry up and get another chapter done before TJ goes off the deep end  about Lisa's Salad fixation ! 
MH , OK I'll let Sleeping dogs LIE or Lay or whatever... but beware that it doesn't bite the hand that feeds it !   BTW Annie made that guess by herself.
How many Roadfood folks has the mystery companion actually shared some sort of food/beverage with? I am runing out of thumbs to count them on!
Now on to the next Chapter---Titled,  Dale Does Shapiro's !!!
TJ Jackson
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 15:03:17
It was a salad for garsh sakes....how could it be so good to entice her to travel so far?  what could they possibly have in it?  sold gold bars?  sauteed passenger pigeon or dodo bird meat? 
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 15:16:07
ann peeples

I accept my prizes graciously, thank you!!!

Even the cream of Lutefisk soup
ann peeples
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 15:45:13
Absolutely- a prize is a prize!
By the way, I have been told I should have been an investigator or a detective. I deduce things that some cant see. The hints were there, folks......
ann peeples
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 16:17:06
Ok-here are my deductions:
A) Mr. Hoffman lives in Gahanna
B) llechef mentioned a salad
C) Wj mentioned she shouldnt have ordered a salad
A=B+C= my guess.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 17:17:18
mayor al

MH , OK I'll let Sleeping dogs LIE or Lay or whatever... but beware that it doesn't bite the hand that feeds it !   BTW Annie made that guess by herself.

TJ Jackson
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 17:41:51
Gotta have that salad
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 19:07:39
Monday September 5
What a difference  a day makes- clear, low humidity. Temp's in the 70's- In fact this is how the weather will be for the next 3 days- perfect.
Tried a new coffee house in Indianapolis- before leaving- called Hubbard and Cravens. Its a local chain- they only had a medium roast and it was surprisingly better than I expected. There was another coffee house, downtown called Fletchers that I really wanted to try but they were closed on labor day...
I left with this parting photo across the street from my hotel...

After a relaxing 3 1/2 hour drive, I arrived in St Louis. I thought if I arrived early I may be able to nab some off street parking before the Cardinals game- WRONG! Downtown was a madhouse- A sea of redbird fans everywhere. I managed to find a $5 parking garage hoping I would find street parking later that evening when things were "calmer". After checking into the Millenium hotel ($50 on priceline) and laughing at their $18 parking fee  with no in and out priveleges) it was off to lunch.
I did some research on Toasted Ravioli- one place that seemed to fare well in the "best of" category was a place called Lombardo's Trafforia- unfortunately I checked and both their Hill and Union Station location were closed on Labor Day. However their sister restaurant

Angelo's Restaurant and Bar 
Located inside the Drury Hotel, downtown was open. 
I started out my lunch with a surprisingly good, hearty thick chicken/meatball and vegetable soup

If I knew it was going to be this good, I would have ordered a bowl...

arrived one of the best plates of Toasted Ravioli I ever enjoyed.....The meatless sauce was pretty good, but these toasted rav's were huge and were stuffed and bursting with flavor. This is a dinner plate and and although there were only 5, those toasted rav's were huge- I was actually getting quite full after the meal and was wondering if I would be able to make it to Toasted Ravioli round 2 before the game started...
After lunch I walked around dowtown a bit...


Of course we have the famous Arch...

and the Mississippi River...

Of course the old courthhouse where the Dred Scott trials took place back in the 1850's...
At this point... I thought about round number 2 of Toasted Ravioil
When I called several of the Italian restaurants on the hill the previous week, just about all of them said they would be closed on Labor Day. I called Charlie Gittos downtown and the guy on the other line stated "the cards are in town that day- of course we'll be open"
well guess what!!

Travelin Manned! 
This stuff  is not supposed to  happen to me !

At this point I became a little worried- I called my evening dinner stop- and was relieved to here a recording "we are open on labor day" 
Ok, fine more time to look around here...


Home of the Redbirds- The St Louis Cardinals....
I walked around the Stadium admiring the statues of several former Cardinals...

Stan Musial

Bob Gibson

Dizzy Dean

and of course- Rogers Hornsby...
This was my second visit to Busch II Stadium- my first being in 2006- and I had to leave early for that game.
This time  I had a chance to leasurely walk around before the game and stay for the entire game..
Inside the ballpark-




And here's a shot of the downtown skyline

The Redbirds hosted the Milwaukee Brewers. If things were the way they were a couple of months ago this would have been a great game- with the Cards, the Brewers and the Buccos all in a three game tie for the division lead- 
Unfortunately alot can change in two months- the Pirates suck as usual and the Cards for the first time in a long time are at least 6 or 7 games back from the division leaders- The Brewers...




Being surrounded by BUDWEISER everywhere, I figured this had to be related to some kind of Karma perhaps for something I said??? I did find with some assistance the one stand that served the local Schafly Beer- I was in heaven.
The game itself wasn't a blow out but as exepted, the Cards lost to the Brewers...
After the game, I headed to my dinner stop

Ropers Ribs
About 10 minutes outside of downtown in Jennings MO
I arrived - and it's a little smoky shack reminiscent of an old chinese take out order joint- the place was packed (no wonder everything else was closed!)- it was hot n smoky- and they were out of practically everything "BBQ" I was hoping for some snoots and tips- they had snoots- no tips- they wouldn't be ready until 7:30PM- I didn't feel like waiting that long for tips- So I went with snoots only- I was told it would take a 1/2 hours.
I hung out- and sat down at one of the few tables inside- fraternizing with the locals who where sharing a table with me waiting for their food- I was getting really hungry too..
Finally an hour later my snoots were ready...

They were hot n steamy reminscent of pork rinds, but more muscular in a sweet n tangy red sauce....
The snoots- came with some really good eggy homemade potato salad too...

I would go back to Roper's if I'm ever in town again for those snoots-but next time I'm hoping they would have some rib tips so I can get the combo instead...
After dinner, I made one last stop- my intentions initially were to go the following day but since Charlie Gitto's was closed I had to shuffle things around... Driving to the complete opposite side of town I arrived here.


Ted Drewes 

One large banana fudge concrete- and I was a happy man...
I returned to downtown and did find offstreet parking- very easily in fact but realized I would have to move my car or feed the meter after 8 am the next morning- that's ok I'll be up for my first "real breakfast" of  the trip....
It was a beautiful evening- so I walked around a bit and got a great evening shot of the old courthouse..

After which I walked back to my hotel and called it a night.....
I have three more segments which I'll continue after the weekend...
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/09/15 19:28:08
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 22:54:48
WJ, these cities ought to pay YOU when you come to town! I'm serious! Your excellent trip reports just make me want to go there too!
TJ Jackson
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/15 23:27:41
The salad........got to have that salad........
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/16 08:28:32
ann peeples
Well, I am going to venture a guess and say Mr. Hoffman and llechef. Just a guess mind you. 

Ann, I think WanderingJew should provide photographic evidence
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/16 08:49:35
Hey,I was to Ted Drewes once , about 20 years ago, when my sister lived in St. Louis....boy I could use a concrete after all these years....also remember some great Italian food in the Italian section of town.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/16 09:52:26
  Won't work.  Lleechef needs a 3-D photo format to allow all her beauty to appear...See the mystery photo of her taken at a roadfood session a generation ago (ask her for it.)  AND  everyone knows that MH has DNA makeup that prevents him from being recorded on any known digital technology being used today.  Ask him for a daguerreotype  and he can provide them if he wants to. From his "Pioneers of Ohio Album"
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/16 11:26:13
Ya'all can go ahead and make fun of me for eating a salad.  But quite sincerely, once you have eaten a green chile cheeseburger at Bobcat Bite there is no going back to any ordinary burger.  Not even a Beanie Burger at the Gahanna Grill. 
TJ Jackson
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/16 11:53:40
Speaking only for myself - i was entirely focused on the thousands of miles between your home in Anchorage and the lunch location in Columbus, and not making fun of you for eating a salad :-)
My conclusion thus far - if you traveled thousands of miles to eat that salad, it must be one heckuva salad
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/16 15:27:56
Hey Dale!
Great report, as always. (even enjoying the salad/coleslaw tangents) That pie from Nick'd looks delish! And I really like your photos of the Arch in St. Louis. Not the usual view I've seen. Terry and I would have spent half a day in the Eiteljorg Museum. Look forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/16 16:12:03
I must admit it was really good to see WJ again, I have missed travelling and meeting the RF crowds.
I got to the Kopper Kettle some time before five, I had spent the day at the camp where I am a member of the BOD.  I was excited about getting to the Kopper kettle and seeing WJ again.
As I got there I walked around the outside garden area and peered into the windows and could see that they had several tables in use, but not full by any means.  I sat outside enjoying the afternoon and watching this family try and figure out the best way to get everyone into a family photo around the rocking chairs and rocking horse.  I finally decided to be nice and offered to take the picture so that everyone could get into the picture.  (the grandmother hugged me 3 times for being so nice, she really wanted everyone in the photo)
I thought of Buffetbuster sitting on the rocking horse and had to laugh to myself, then I saw the outdoor table and the two "women" and instantly thought about TTM, but I think they wwere too old for his tastes.
WJ walks up and in we go.  We step into the little foyer and look over the menu board and wait for the hostess/manager to get done with what ever she was doing.
She finally looks up and asks if we have a reservation?  WJ had called the day before to verify that we didnt need one.  When we told her no she frowned and said "she hoped she could find us a table, they were very busy!"    HUH??????
She did manage to find us a table (we must have past 15 EMPTY ones) and the server was very prompt and attentive.  I kept hearing everyone ordering the fish dinner.......  You come to the Kopper Kettle for Chicken or even their steak for dinner not their FISH!
The salad was good WJ did have the home made Thousand Island & I had the home made bleu cheese.  The dressing was really creamy and the crumbles had that zing of a good bleu cheese, I could tell the dressing was homemade.
Shortly after the salads arrived the soup got there and it was good, a little lacking on chicken bits, the broth and the noodles were good.  Then it was time for main course to arrive
A huge plate of chicken, 7" bowls of buttered kernel corn, seasoned green beans and home made creamy whipped potatoes with a home made cream gravy (that had bits of chicken and the scraped up bits from the bottom of the pan).
As WJ said I couldn't wait I dipped into the corn before the obligitory pictures were taken. ( My Bad I forgot all about RF ettiquite, pictures first then eat, I got to start getting out more.) 
The corn was buttery and delicious, the green beans had a good season to them and bits of pork, the potatoes creamy with just the hint of potato bits in there and the gravy.......  I could have had a gallon of that stuff.
The chicken, I first picked up a wing (by the little end) and it was cool to the touch and I was worried, however my first bite into the drum of the wing and my mouth exploded into wonderful HOT chicken juices and the world was right again.
The skin was crispy and just a hint of salt and pepper, then once through the skin you could taste CHICKEN.  I kept eyeing the take out menu and thought about getting LOTS to take home.
We ate several bowls of the vegetables and even had some for take home. (Too bad you were travelling the next few days WJ) Thank you for letting me take home the left overs. YUMMMMMMMMMMM
They brought us out HOT moist towels for us to wipe our chicken fingers clean with, then one of the servers brought out our hot fresh cinnamon rolls o go with our dessert.  Then the other server brought our pie out and took the cinnamon rolls without us even getting to sample ANY of them.
Dessert - I was somewhat disappointed when the sugar cream pie arrived.  It looked "store" made and after 1 bite I knew exactly where the pie had come from "Wick's"
Yes they are the standard and probably the best known sugar cream pie in Indiana, but for a place that prides them selves on making things home made you would think they could make a simple sugar cream pie.  So Yes NICK'S KITCHEN does serve the best sugar cream pie in Indiana.
It was good to get to talk to WJ again and listen to his adventures up to that point and hear where his travels were going to take him in the coming days.
The picture of the tree growing from the Decatur County courthouse - YES that is a real tree.  It has been growing there since the early 1870's.  The local fire department makes a monthly trip up the tower to do a safety check. 
It was a good day and a great dinner with WJ, I just wish I could have gone on the rest of his journey.    I love me some snoots.
Filet Mignon
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/17 15:38:27
(/catching up)  I'm gonna have nightmares from the baby goat leg now. :)  Everything looks terrific!
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/17 17:02:24
I totally recommend Kopper Kettle and I'm glad that Cajun King gave his thumbs up too- his opinion means alot to me - I can't really recommend it over Hollyhock Hill both are equally comparable in my book - but it's certainly worthwhile to check out and compare- I wish I had a enough time to return to Hollyhock Hill and even check out The Iron Skillet in Indy too- it would have been interesting to compare the three..
Thanks for the compliment, I only have the Sterns to thank as well as other roadfooders here to inspire me.
I visited the Eiteljorg Museum on my  visit to Indy back in 2007, I remember there was lots of native American Art, I know that you and Terry would certainly enjoy it.
Thanks again for joining me and thanks so much for providing a more detailed account on our meal. Unlike a restaurant review its very difficult for me to provide a detailed report on each meal because there is just so much to write about (including sightseeing, etc) but I'm glad you did.

Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/17 20:42:58
Cabrito - Yummmmmm!!!
Nothing like it in the world
Several years ago I was at the local 4H livestock auction and had purchased several items through out the night. (sheep, chickens, steers, pigs) and the final sales item of the night was market goats.
I bid and won an auction on this youngsters goat and my thoughts turned to seeing it slowly rotating on my grill.
As I talking with some friends at the auction I heard this voice.
"Hey Mister you gonna put my goat on your farm?" 
I said this BEFORE I turned around to see who had asked the question.
"No, he is going on my barbecue"
Turning to see this ash white face of this 9-10 yo.  "You're going to EAT MY GOAT!!!!!"  tears streaming down his face as he turned and ran off.
I felt lowering then and bottom of a cow pie
On the food side of this story WOW was that good cabrito.
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/18 21:04:55
Tuesday September 6
Another picture perfect day.
Unfortunately I realized when I got to my car to feed the meter I  first noticed the sign that notes no parking between 3am and 6am-I was relieved that I didn't receive a parking ticket!
My breakfast stop  was a short walk from my hotel.

Big Ed's Chili Mac's Diner
Written up in the Stern's 500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late book. It was also  cited as the best place to get a slinger in roadfooder , Battra's blog
I've never had a slinger before and I was looking forward to my first. I walked in and the atmosphere seemed very reminiscent of a Cincinnati 5 Way Chili Parlour. 
Of course we all know what I ordered.
What's interesting is when it arrived.

They forgot to put cheese and onions on it- I still wanted to get photos- however when the waitress realized what was missing she whisked my plate away from me and returned it properly adorned..

Here are my thoughts- its a chili cheese omelet for cripes sake!!- nothing new- Ok, there might be a couple of burgers underneath this gorgeous monstrosity but still....I enjoyed it- but it didn't seem like anything new or unique..
Unfortunately the coffee, like most roadfood restaurants I've been to, just tasted like hot water to me.
After breakfast, I  did end up going to one of my favorite coffee houses in country- Kaldi's Coffee in the yuppie suburb of Clayton- As on my first visit 5 years ago- the coffee was superb- on the same level as anything I've enjoyed in the Pacific Northwest.....
After relaxing for an hour at the coffee house and reading the local paper, I headed to the Central West End. I had some personal business to attend to, and had some time to walk around. I recall the last time I walked through the Central West End was back in 1991- it's been 20  years. It looked the same to me- I even recalled by name a few restaurants  that were still there....
Before I knew it, it was time for lunch....
Now those of you are aware that there are a couple of roadfood restaurants housed in train stations. For example, 
The Grand Central Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station in NYC, or Rosa's Pizza at Penn Station which serves up a better than average NY Slice. 

When I first visited Mai Lee five years ago, it was located in the University City Neighborhood in the Delmar Loop.
Well....they've since moved to suburban digs....

Inside the Brentwood light  rail parking garage...  
This is a first for me....
Mai Lee is a Vietnamese Restaurant that also offers a chinese menu...
And of course the St Paul Sandwich is a specialty...
I started out with a fairly decent Hot and Sour Soup
and then moved on to items more regional....

Mostly served at "down and out" chinese takeout joints around the metro area,  the St Paul is basically  Egg Foo Young sans sauce sandwiched between two slices of white bread and topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle mayo and onion.  I ordered the most expensive option- the special which I believe has shrimp, pork, chicken and beef for a whopping $5.50.  In my opinion the bottled hot sauce at the table really enhances this sandwich to a new level. I know there are many other places around town that serve the St Paul but I can't imagine it being better than what I enjoyed at Mai Lee
After lunch, I was only a few miles away from my first sightseeing destination

Although our 18th president wasn't from St Louis, his wife, Julia was. And they lived in her family home which was called White Haven

Inside the house, it's very basic, because only  only the surviving furnishings is what remains. Nothing was re-created






Here is the adjoining chicken house


and ice house

The museum, is located in the historic horse stable..



This won't be the first presidential residence that I visit on this trip- I have one more on the list- and that won't be until tomorrow.
I've read about the quaint Suburb of St Charles, MO- 

I never visited and I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to check it out..
Upon arrival, this place was calling to me

I figured this was the perfect time for a brew.. I went with the Octoberfest- it was happy hour too so my beer was just $2.50 
After enjoying my pint- I continued to explore the quaint main street..



which even offers a doggie bakery

I believe this is either Lewis or Clarke


I was actually looking for the "middle class man's" art gallery but I guess since the middle class is shrinking...

There is even a town gazebo

by now I was approaching the heart of town...

This is where the original state capitol was


Unfortunately it was already closed for the day..

I did come across this old market, there was also an ice cream shop, unfortunately the ice cream wasn't local so I didn't get any- I did get a fresh baked from the oven chocolate chip cookie at the local bakery- sorry no photos.

After spending much of the late afternoon in St Charles, it was time to head back to town- just in time for rush hour- luckily- that was going in the opposite direction...
Although this is my last full day in St Louis, a stop here would be in order for dinner..

The Hill's own Irish Pub. 
Touted by both Buffetbuster and Travelin Man (and I believe The Mayor too)
Famous for their burgers and roast beef sandwiches- I thought about getting both and doing the same as what I did with the pies at Gray's Cafeteria back in Indy...
But I figured how often can I find a good Roast Beef Sandwich... 
I decided to go with the roast beef "au jus"

This sandwich was everything a roast beef sandwich is meant to be-  Luxurious, tender pink slices of medium rare roast beef housed on a soft but sturdy roll with "au jus"on the side.....Another solid hit that will likely make "the top 10" 
I ordered a side of onion rings which  were pedestrian but fine..... 

Since I was a short drive from the center of the Hill, I never really had a chance to just stop and walk around.... 
This was the perfect opportunity to do so....
I walked by this legendary original...

but I was still too full to stop in for Toasted Rav's
I admired this statue...

Obviously dedicated to the Italian Immigrants who contributed to this city...
After walking around and seeing many of the different restaurants that I researched (all of which happened to be closed on labor day) I headed back downtown. This time I parked in the same garage that I did for the game- $8 was well worth  the risk of overnight street parking and getting a ticket....
I thought about going to Schafly - the local brew pub near union station but I had to start my day early the next day. I did have one last stop - again just a short walk from my hotel...

Charlie Gitto's Downtown
And they're open! 
I sat at the bar adjacent to three of St Louis' finest- no, they weren't imbibing0 they were just eating but all three looked like they did alot of eating- I'm used to RI cops that are completely "jacked up" and spent 100% of their free time in the gym....
And they had Schafly beer on tap !
Of course we all know what I ordered...

The toasted rav's seemed a little plumper than most- I really enjoyed the meaty sauce that accompanied the toasted ravioli. Other than being plumper I would certainly put it in the same category as Cunetto's, Lou Boccardi's or Mama Campisi's, however Angelo's still wins the prize...

After my late evening snack, I walked back to my hotel and called it a night....
More tomorrow...
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/09/19 08:41:06
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/19 09:31:40

I bid and won an auction on this youngsters goat and my thoughts turned to seeing it slowly rotating on my grill.

As I talking with some friends at the auction I heard this voice.
"Hey Mister you gonna put my goat on your farm?" 

I said this BEFORE I turned around to see who had asked the question.
"No, he is going on my barbecue"

Turning to see this ash white face of this 9-10 yo.  "You're going to EAT MY GOAT!!!!!"  tears streaming down his face as he turned and ran off.

I felt lowering then and bottom of a cow pie

On the food side of this story WOW was that good cabrito.

CK, I hope you called him later and told him that he raised a very tasty goat and you'd like to buy another one sometime.
A question about places like Kopper Kettle and Hollyhock Hill: does a single diner get the same family-style service as would a table of 2 or more?
Great report so far, WJ, for both the food and the attractions.  We haven't yet visited "New Busch" but hope to take in a game there sometime in the next couple of years.
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2011/09/19 09:33:26
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/19 10:14:44
The answer to your question, is yes. From previous experience at Hollyhock Hill all the sides are family style and can be replenished. Keep in mind that I never ran out of of my first serving of sides as a single diner
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/19 10:59:51
Dale, I was going to hold my applause until the end, but I couldn't restrain myself. Nice job on this report. Great trip. 
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/19 11:52:03
Thank you so much for the mention!!
I"ve been to most of the places you listed there.
Trailhead is a very good microbrew.
Obviously...Big Ed's...
Gittos...wonderful place.
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/19 20:07:52
Thanks for the compliment- it means alot to me- 
Your blog was extremely helpful   with my decision  of where I would go for a slinger. And then when I discovered that  Big Ed's Chili Mac's Diner was also written up in the Stern's book, it sealed the deal!

Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/19 21:24:11
Wednesday September 7
My last morning in St Louis. Although I wanted to return to Kaldi's Coffee- it didn't make sense to drive out to Clayton especially during morning rush hour when my intention was to begin the trek back east.
So  I decided to kill two birds with one stone...

Park Avenue Coffee
Just a couple of miles outside of downtown  and home of the Gooey Butter Cake..
I walked in and who do I find? Once again, like at Charlie Gitto's the night before,  several of St Louis' Finest. And here I thought they only frequent donut shops.
Park Avenue Coffee offers several varieties of gooey butter cake, considering this was my first time, I ordered the traditional plain. 

It wasn dense, sweet and rich but not as intense as I was anticipating and in my book, that's a plus- unfortunately I would have liked to have sampled some of the other varieties that were available, and honestly I probably could have had one more but I didn't want to over do it since I had a big day ahead of me... The coffee on the other hand was ok, but Kaldis' it's not...
After breakfast,  I checked  out of my hotel, and was headed east....
I arrived in Springfield IL which was where I planned to spend most of the day sightseeing in the land of Lincoln.
Since I arrived just in time for an early lunch, I went to the place that I had intended to visit this past June.

The Corner Pub and Grill
As many of you know I haven't been impressed with my past two experiences with Springfield's own horseshoe sandwich. First at the Springfield Family Restaurant 5 years ago and then at the D & J Cafe this past June. I usually give a new dish three tries before I give up- I gave the BPT 3 tries and hit a home run on the third try, I gave the loosemeats/maidrite/tavern/charlie boy  three tries and they struck out- I'm still on the fence about Flieschkuechle since I only gave that two tries. Well the horsehoe's nail is hanging on a thread...
and the verdict is..................................

This horseshoe comes with real, fresh cut fries unlike the others. The white cheese sauce had a creamy rich and sharp flavor and instead of going with ham as my choice of meat, I went with the roasted pork which offered a slightly more complex robust edge. You can even order a breaded pork tenderloin as your choice of meat.  For the first time I can really say that I enjoyed eating a horseshoe.  I totally recommend the Corner Pub and Grill and would return in a heartbeat if I ever made my way back to Springfield.
My first stop after lunch was another presidential visit. In fact that would be the theme all afternoon.

This is where Lincoln lived with his family  before he left for the Presidency in Washington DC .


That's Lincoln's hat hanging on the wall



Of course the dining room...

This is the family room, our guide told us this is where honest Abe would  "rassle" with his kids...

Lincoln's bedroom

Mary's bedroom- yes they had two separate bedrooms because Lincoln would be up at all hours working. 
(By the way you can thank Mary for the gaudy wallpaper)
The kids' bedroom

The kitchen....
There.....I've now been to every national park in Illinois (this is the only one!)
Afterwards I walked over to the Lincoln Depot.


This is where Lincoln gave his final speech to his townspeople  prior to taking the train to DC to take the oath of his presidency. Unfortunately the depot was closed for the season.
My final "Lincoln related" visit was to his old law firm.


The downstairs served as the local post office.

Lincoln's office was upstairs
and although the courthouse is no longer there
a replica was placed adjacent to the office.

Afterwards I walked around downtown Springfield. I could almost picture honest Abe and his family walking right by me.

Perhaps I imagined a little too hard...
I did pass by the old state capitol building
as well as the new one
but didn't really have enough time to check them out.. It was approaching late afternoon and I still had one more stop to make in Springfield before continuing east..

Joe Roger's Chili Parlor
As you know so far I've been satisfied with all my meals. This year has actually been very good to me. Very few meals that I would consider ordinary, none that I would consider sub-par, well that's going to change....

This is one of the nastiest, greasiest and one of the most disgusting bowls of yuckiness (is that even a word??) that I ever encountered.    I'm sure there was absolutely nothing wrong the quality of this atrocity but , all of that grease is just NASTY, NASTY, NASTY !!!  I learned that this is just simply not my thing..........GROSS!!!  Yes I felt that strongly about it- Heading east back to Indianapolis with a constant queasyness, my original plans were to go to John's Famous Stew for dinner since they were closed on Labor Day weekend....Well.....the last thing I was in the mood for now was stew so that's obviously out of the question now...I even wondered  if I'd be able to have dinner and actually enjoy it....
As I approached Indianapolis I somehow managed to gain back an appetite. Unfortunately after 3 beautiful days it was also beginning to rain....
One of the places I considered when I had the the Sunday dilemma of deciding where to go for lunch the previous weekend was

The Roost
In the northeast suburbs of Fishers.
They were open on Sunday but did not serve dinner until 4pm so that was out of the question.
Located in a typical suburban strip mall with an atmosphere not more inspiring than a Denny's
They specialize in Hoosier homestyle cooking..
Starting out with what is described as a layered salad

It consisted of cauliflower, peas and bacon in a sweet creamy dressing. It was probably one of the best salads of the trip...

fresh from the fryer fried biscuits and apple butter a'la Joe Huber's soon followed (although I thought Joe Huber's were better probably because those were dusted with powdered sugar!)

For my main course...
Chicken and Noodles...Hunks of chicken with soft noodles served in a creamy white gravy reminiscent of the chicken gravy I enjoyed at the Kopper Kettle a few days earlier.
My waiter, a former Californian from the Bay area and Giants fan (yes we talked about baseball)  did me a great favor when I asked if I could try their famous cornbread casserole instead of the mashed potatoes that come with the meal..
Similar to the density of the spoon bread, this was a like a thick cornbread pudding with bits of corn. It was every bit as good as I imagined....and

Even though I asked to substitute my mashed potatoes , they arrived anyway- real mashed potatoes (which I just picked at) and buttery limp green beans redolent with pork that dare I say were even better than Gray Bros completes my meal...
I was surprised by my find. The Roost exceeded my expectations and will likely find itself on a top 10 list  at the end of the year.
After dinner, it was dark, rainy and I was getting tired. I had 115 miles to drive before I made my final overnight stop  to make matters worse I was the only car on the interstate, but I had lots of company-18 wheelers -lots of 'em- even though in the scheme of things it wasn't a big drive, it was the most grueling of the trip. I was glad when I reached my final destination-the Fairfield Inn in the Northern Suburbs of Dayton.... I was done for the evening and was looking forward to the final trek towards home the next day...
The final segment...tomorrow...
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/09/19 21:36:38
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/19 23:04:22
Sorry Dale, but I have to take you to task: You were in Springfield and didn't visit felow Roadfooder, The Dr. of BBQ?!?  And before you come back with the argument that Barbecue isn't indigenous to Springfield, I gotta tell you; downstate Illinois is a hot bed of unsung Southern Style 'Que.
I'll assume you've been to The Cozy Dog, so I'll forgive you for that oversight.
Seriously though, I loved seeing the shots of historic Sprinfield, it really brought back nice memories.   I need to get back down there for a long weekend sometime.
The best horseshoe I ever had was at Gabatoni's in Springfield.   I got a hamburger base which was way better than I expected it to be.  With a sandwich like the horseshoe, with so may ingredients, it can be easy to cheap out on one element, thinking that everything else would cover for it.  Gabatoni's threw on two hand made, top quality burgers, chargrilled beautifully.  There's been plenty written about Gabby's.  Check it out, it's well owrth a stop on your next visit.
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 08:06:08
Buddy, Buddy Buddy
The response to your question is simple. I'm not Chi Town Diner or Buffetbuster.
I'm a lightweight, I can't possibly take in all of that in one day.
I did go to Cozy Dog back in June (when I saw you last in Chicago) great atmosphere, although I thought the corn dogs were just "ok" , I've never been a big corn dog fan.
Although Springfield IL  is far from anything I would consider "the South" (hell, they don't even have southern accents there), I'm certain that the BBQ is notable considering that it's "almost" on the same interstate stretch as other  midwesetern BBQ havens  such as Kansas City and St Louis .
Trust me on the Corner Pub and Grill- try out their roast pork horseshoe sometime when you're down in Springfield- I guarantee it- if you dont like it- it's on me!
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 14:38:58
I'll keep the Corner Pub and Grill on my Springfield shortlist if you'll keep The Dr. of BBQ on yours.
No argument with you on the Cozy Dog; good, not great, but a Route 66 landmark and one that deserves some attention.
As for your assertion that you are not ChiTownDiner or buffetbuster, my reply is, "Yeah, but you walk everywhere.  You're in better shape and have a higher metabolism than any of us.  You should be able to cram down the calories and burn them off all in the same day."
Once again, thanks for the Springfield report and the Corner Pub and Grill tip.
ann peeples
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 15:50:52
I am enjoying your trip, and sure wish I had dined as well as you in St.Louis this spring. I did go to Grant's Farm and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 16:02:00
Been to O'Connell's in St Louis several times. Excellent roadfood stop within a minute of I-44.   The Roast Beef ALWAYS looks that good !
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 17:59:34
Thanks for the compliment but I'm surrounded on a daily basis by my coworkers  just about all of whom spend hours at the gym daily "pumping iron and getting jacked", running marathons and whose diets consist of power bars and diet pepsi. I remember one of my coworkers had an anxiety attack because he was taking his family on a cruise for vacation and was wondering if there would be "healthy choices" for meals and a gym on the ship- compared to them- they see me as one forkful short of a coronary..... actually the majority of folks here in Rhode Island are like this- extremely, extremely health conscious...
If I do make it back to Springfield-"The Doctor" would be my first stop.

I went to Grant Farms at first- mistaking it for Grant's home- unfortunately they were closed when I was there.
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 18:20:54
MY Exercise Regimen consists of Pumping Aluminum!
Just had  Stress Test and the Doc said I was fine!
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 18:21:38
Thursday September 8
Today is primarily a travel day. I have to get back to Pittsburgh to fly back home but not without a couple of Roadfood stops.
Another day and another muffin and an "so-so" dark roast at Boston Stoker, a local mini chain of coffehouses in the Dayton area- I drove to the downtown location. Unfortunately I didn't have any time to explore the Dayton area at all-
After breakfast I checked out of my hotel and continued driving east to the opposite end of the state.
Arriving at my first lunch stop (yes two lunches today- it is my last day of the trip!)

Belgrade Gardens
in Barberton OH (just outside of Akron)
I've heard on many occasions, especially from Buffetbuster about Barberton Chicken. I've never had it before and was looking forward to trying it.
The meal started out ordinarily with bread

and this was the most ordinary part of the meal- it gets very exciting from here...
I continued on with some delicious chicken dumpling soup. Large soft dumplings with shreds of chicken.

My only regret is  that I didn't order a bowl...

The slaw is doused in a very zesty and addicting vinegar base. 
and finally the main course

sided by their spicy hot sauce

This meal was nothing short of perfect. The thin crispy crust contained the moist chicken meat and  really complimented each forkful of the hot sauce. The taut crisp fresh cut fries just sealed the deal.
Probably one of my favorite meals of the trip.....

Unfortunately just after I arrived at Belgrade Gardens waiting for my meal, Buffetbuster called and had to cancel our meeting at my final stop - we thought of alternatives but the logistics just didn't work .
Finally heading back towards Pittsburgh International Airport. I arrived at my final stop

Primanti Bros
The Moon Township outlet
I began with a Yuengling lager (hey it's not like I have anymore driving to do) and I thought about going with the Cappicolla and Cheese, but just for a second- I ended up going with my usual...

The Kolbassi and  Cheese- 

I know how much Michael Hoffman just loves these sandwiches ! 
I know I've said it previously but I've always referred to the last meal before a flight as "the last supper" well if this was the last meal I had on earth, it would be a very suitable one...
At this point I was only a few short miles from the airport. I was finally home by 10:30 pm (unfortunately I had tor return to work the next day but I could deal with a one day work week.
post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/09/20 18:25:17
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 18:25:48
Super Great Reporting!
Fire Safety Admin
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 19:57:42
It was very disappointing that I wasn't able to meet up with WJ at Primanti's.  Unfortunately, I was unexpectedly left holding down the fort in my family business.
Love, love, love Belgrade Gardens!  And though the chicken gets maybe a B from me, the chicken paprikash gets an A+.  And that vinegary cole slaw is as good as I have had anywhere.
An all around excellent trip report WJ!  Well done!
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 20:21:54
Great report. Thanks for sharing.
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/20 20:39:15
But seriously, Dale......tell us what you really thought about Joe Roger's Chili? Sorry, but I had to laugh at your description of the greasy, grossness of that bowl of chili!
Excellent reporting!
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/21 01:05:19
Thank you so much for this report. What a wonderful trip.
After seeing your photo of Barberton chicken, I Googled. It's our traditional family fried chicken recipe. we're Slovak/Hungarian, not Serbian as Wikipedia insists as the origination of this recipe. who knew.? Many of the Eastern European recipes traveled and blended. love it.
Thank you again!
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/21 07:57:42
Isn't Pittsburgh your old "stoming grounds"?
If I don't like something, I can get very descriptive about my dissatisfaction- Last year I went to a roast beef restaurant in Portland ME where I likened the coleslaw to "dirty socks" I've never eaten dirty socks before but I can guarantee that if I had, they would have tasted like that coleslaw.
it is surprising how many things have spread from "the old country" to various parts of the US.
I will  provide a short epilogue of this trip
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/21 08:04:13
Terrific report Dale. Of course, there was one itsy-bitsy exception having to do with a certain sandwich.
Double Cheeseburger
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/21 13:24:04
As always, a great mix of food, sightseeing, and history! Always enjoy your reports, and you have provided us again with some great ideas for future road trips!
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/21 13:49:47
Isn't Pittsburgh your old "stomping grounds"?

Yep, I'm from Western PA. Grew up in St. Marys. Went to College in Indiana PA, lived in Butler, Punxatawney, Warren, Uniontown, Sharon, Parkersburg, And Youngstown. So I spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh. Left the area in 1973.
Went to Stillers games when they were still in Forbes Field.
Forbes Field----Where every seat was guaranteed to be behind a steel girder!
Loved Isley's. Rode the Incline many times. Would take my little boy to the Old Pittsburgh Airport when you could go up on the roof of the terminal and watch the planes take off! Favorite restaurant was Tambellini's up on Mt. Washington. Great Italian food!
My sister-in-law works at PNB and lives downtown on Forbes AV.
Yep, I consider myself a Yinzer!
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/21 14:41:43
Wow...did I enjoy this wonderfully detailed and picturesque report. Loved the history and the great food reports. Perfect job!!!!!
mr chips
Filet Mignon
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/22 01:15:03
Great reporting as always, Dale. A couple points from a history buff. Ironically general grant who lead union troops to victory in the war that destroyed slavery was the last slaveholder to be president.
    I loved the Lincoln stuff when i visited  Springfield all those years ago. That chile does look unhealthy though i suspect I would have liked it. WEre you able to buy Cardinals tickets at the stadium of did you have to use a ticket service? Thanks for letting me hitch along with your adventures
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/22 12:35:32
It was an honor to be part of your adventure. I look forward to the next time when can meet up. (hopefully it won't take 3 years this time)
Thanks Again
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/22 12:48:47
Thanks everyone
Tin Tin 
Bethgrd and I have been "discussing" a possible New England  meet n great this spring perhaps you can join us
Mr Chips
It's my understanding that Grant himself abhorred slavery but that it was his wife's family that owned slaves.
As far as the chili is concerned- at your own risk 
Agreed- perhaps at next year's presidential day weekend glee club event- 
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/22 14:40:51
Thanks again for such a great report!
1.  That's terrific that the Kopper Kettle gives out warm wet towels at the conclusion of the meal.  I'd forgotten that Hollyhock Hill used to do that.  (It no longer does.)  The Wick's sugar cream pie, though, is unfortunate -- not because it's bad, but because Kopper Kettle ought to make their own.  Still, I'd like to go there, someday.  
2. I was in St. Louis in August, and we had a fine dinner at Gian-Tony's on The Hill.  I'll keep your choices in mind for the future.  You mention it in passing, but if you haven't already done so, I recommend a visit to the historic Old Courthouse on a future trip.   The museum is very interesting, and the interior of the building is fabulous.   http://www.slfp.com/OldCourthouse.html 
3.  I'm really eager to try some Barberton chicken.  A friend of mine teaches at Kent State -- I think I need to visit him, soon!
post edited by rumaki - 2011/09/22 14:43:07
Re:Buckeyes, Hoosiers and Redbirds 2011/09/22 18:49:39
Recap and Epilogue
1. Favorite sightseeing destination- William G Mather Steamship Museum- Cleveland
2. Favorite stroll- St Charles MO
3. Top 5 Roadfood  Highlights
-Babushka's Kitchen- Northfield OH
-Sokolowski's - Cleveland OH
-Nick's Kitchen- Huntington IN
-Kopper Kettle- Morristown IN 
-O'Connell's- St Louis MO
4. Top Roadfooder Meetups
Michael Hoffman, Lleechef, Cajun King (three way tie!)
5. Favorite Desserts
-Sugar Cream Pie @ Nick's Kitchen
-Banana Cream Pie @ Gray's Cafeteria
-Raisin Pie @ Gray's Cafeteria
-Banana Fudge Concrete @ Ted Drewe's
-Carrot Cake @ Sokolowski's
6. Biggest Disappointment:  Roper's Ribs being out just about everything "BBQ" 
which also goes hand in hand with everything being closed in St Louis on Labor Day
7- Rotten Tomato- Joe Roger's Chili Parlor
8- Best Coffeehouse- Kaldi's - Clayton MO
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