In 1993 Gourmet Magazine asked if we would write a story about a diner. They liked what we wrote (about O’Rourke’s), so we were hired to produce a monthly column about favorite Roadfood restaurants. We continued writing for Gourmet until it folded, in 2009. It was a great gig while it lasted, especially fun since most of the places we write about couldn’t give a hoot about getting recognition in a fancy food magazine. But America’s attitudes towards food have changed dramatically over the years. Our column won three James Beard Journalism Awards and many of the once-obscure restaurants and regional specialties we have written about are now recognized as part of this country’s unique culinary personality. Like the first column that appeared in print, about Nashville’s Hap Townes’ meat & 3 restaurant, many of the places described in these archives have vanished. But others, like O’Rourke’s, continue to thrive.