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Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Plate #1

For under $20, Whitey's keeps delivering catfish to your table until you've had enough. These crusty, moist-meat lovelies are accompanied by cheese-rich au gratin potatoes and hushpuppies with just a hint of onion sweetness.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Monday, July 21, 2014 5:17 AM

Named because it is a gleaming silver mid-20th century Kit Companion travel trailer, the Old Tin Can is all about cheeseburgers. They are hand-pattied from locally-raised beef and they are cooked to order, medium-thick, and dripping juice. While the standard cheeseburger is terrific, especially when garnished with the works – onion, lettuce, tomato, etc. – there always is an interesting oddball burger on the menu, too. The cowboy burger is packed into a bun with bacon, barbecue sauce, and fried onion straws; the grilled cheese cheeseburger is made on thick, griddle-cooked toast; other specials include chili and avocado burgers and peanut butter-bacon-cheddar burgers; there's even a quinoa burger for vegetarians.

French fries are hand cut; and from a non-published "secret menu," you can order such occasional specialties as "The Mess" (French fries, grilled onions, bacon, jalapeno peppers, and special sauce) and peanut butter brownies with chocolate ganache.

The Old Tin Can is one of several food trucks that regularly park at Sandpoint's Oak Street Court across from Farmin Park. Dining is all al fresco, at picnic tables under tents. Other options at this happy eating spot include Tug's Hot Dogs, Hawaiian shave ice, Thai banana crepes, and Memphis barbecue. It is open from Spring until October.
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Roadfood of the Day: Marcy's Diner - Portland, ME
Posted on Monday, July 21, 2014

We couldn't help but notice the beautiful muffins behind the counter. When we selected the raspberry muffin, our waitress offered to split them in half and grill them. How could we say no to that?
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Posted by Dale Fine on Sunday, July 20, 2014 9:28 AM

Ever since the demise of the legendary soul food classic the Coffee Cup some five years ago, I've been scouring the Charlotte area for a suitable replacement. It appears that my search has come to a favorable conclusion. La'wan's is located in an urban strip mall about 15 minutes south of the airport. Entering the restaurant, you will find a basic, no thrills dining room, just the right atmosphere for down home southern fare.

Perusing the menu there are several soul food favorites including fried chicken, beef tips, salmon cakes, chicken livers, pork chops and country fried steak. According to Roadfooder Chris Ayers (Ayersian), the catfish is top notch. On both of my visits, I ordered the fried chicken and tried both white and dark meat on each occasion. The chicken is encased in a light crispy breading with just the right amount of spices, allowing the chicken to retain it's juices, and fair warning; it's loaded with flavor.

For my two sides, I ordered the mac n cheese which was more of a "mac n cheese bake", generously loaded with melted cheese . The collards were cooked well, limp but firmly textured, slightly sweet and enhanced with porcine flavor. The small corn muffin which comes with each meal was merely an afterthought. Don't forget dessert. The peach cobbler is clearly homemade with fresh peaches in a glazed crumble.

Within the last couple of years, La'wan's moved across the street into bigger digs, a great sign that this potential Charlotte soulfood landmark will be around for many more years to come.
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Roadfood of the Day: Hicks' - Clarksdale, MS
Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2014

Delicious little pouches!
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Posted by Michael Stern on Saturday, July 19, 2014 4:56 AM

Many great Roadfood restaurants are blue-collar diners, dives, and truck stops. We tend not to gravitate to eateries with vegetarian proclivities, where the menu boasts of the "integrity" of natural ingredients, fair-trade coffees, and gluten-free options. Not that there's anything wrong with all that stuff, but usually the food is pretty blah and without much regional character.

But we shall not hold Sweet Water Cafe's elevated consciousness against it. We would inscribe this cheerful place in our little black book if only for its wonderful homemade breads and for the locally-made maple spread offered at breakfast. Maple trees are part of what make Michigan's Upper Peninsula so beautiful in the fall, and syrup made from their sap is as big a deal here as it is in New England. In addition to providing it for pouring on French toast and pancakes and to sweeten yogurt in the morning, Sweet Water offers (at $3 extra) a ramekin full of spreadable maple paste about the consistency of peanut butter. Applied thickly to house-made three-grain toast, it is a veritable maple orgy. We also like it dolloped on hot winter grain cereal and even on grilled potatoes.

Sweet Water's menu promises that everything is a cut above normal. Burgers come from naturally raised local beef and are served on made-here oatmeal wheat buns. Bacon in the BLT comes from Vollwerth's of Hancock, Michigan. Fruit salad is freshly cut. The grilled cheese sandwich is available with cafe pesto. While it is an especially good place for breakfast, one non-breakfast meal we recommend is Lake Superior whitefish. The day we came to dinner it was baked just-so, leaving the freshwater jewel heavy with moisture and sweet lake flavor. It came sprinkled with lemon pepper atop a bed of buttery limp spinach leaves and it was crowned with a globe of melting herb butter.
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Roadfood of the Day: Glider Diner - Scranton, PA
Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hot Roast Beef

A diner classic.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Friday, July 18, 2014 4:54 AM

Last night on the rooftop eatery called Ecco, above La Zingara, the glorious Italian restaurant in my hometown of Bethel,  Connecticut, I had one of the best bacon cheeseburgers ever: kobe and angus beef topped with mozzarella (made in house) and piggy-sweet bacon jam on a grilled brioche roll.

Source: Ecco Website
Posted on Friday, July 18, 2014

BBQ Ribs

The meat on these tender pork ribs fell right off the bone.
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Posted by Michael Stern on Thursday, July 17, 2014 4:48 AM

I'm not a sushi connoisseur, but those who know their edible raw fish tell me that the makizushi and nigirizushi at Fishermans' Market are first-rate. The customers who belly up to the sushi bar in this spacious, happy seafood market and restaurant certainly seem to enjoy themselves, downing piece after piece. And when I do decide I need to sample the Market's "North Idaho Roll," made with salmon, scallions, avocado, and cucumber (delicious!), the able chefs take care of me with none of the hauteur that one sometimes encounters at sushi bars. I also really like the California roll, made with real crab rather than surimi.

For those whose seafood taste is more traditional, that is, those who prefer it cooked, the Fisherman's Market is also a winner. Most of what is served here is handsomely displayed on ice in glass cases for people to purchase by the pound and take home to cook: mahi-mahi, Alaskan cod, halibut, salmon, shrimp, oysters, scallops, and calamari. They all are available as the "fish" part of a fish & chips platter. Halibut and chips, at $12.95 for two pieces or $15.95 for four, is the most expensive item on the menu other than crab Louis, which is $19.95. But it's worth the premium price, falling into big, creamy flakes when you cut through the well-seasoned breading. (Grilled fish and chips also is available.) The chips to go with fish are excellent freshly-cut French fries. One of the fun things about any of the fried items on the menu is that you get to choose tartar sauces from a roster of eight. I love the Cabo (jalapeno and lime) and the Cap'n Dick's (horseradish and cocktail sauce). Also available: rasta (jerk spices), Sicilian, Tokyo, Bombay, Cajun, and Traditional.

Other menu items of interest on the Fisherman's Market dine-in menu include oyster and catfish po' boys, seafood salads, coconut-crusted snapper, shrimp or fish tacos, a fresh Dungeness crab sandwich, steamed clams, and raw ahi tuna salad.
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