Hash (on rice) is the star side-dish at barbecue parlors throughout South Carolina. A byproduct of whole-hog cookery, but frequently also made with beef, it can vary from soup-loose to stew-chunky. It delivers intense barbecue flavor, but beyond that dreamy duet of meat and smoke, it can vary from relish-sweet to savagely peppery. True Barbecue of Columbia claims to serve the world’s best, which is a boast we wouldn’t debate; but the great cauldrons of hash made at Hite’s Bar-B-Que and the Red Shed Diner & Produce (weekends only) belong in the Pantheon, too. Freeman’s BBQ version is butter-rich; the hash at Maurice’s Piggy Park is dramatically smoky; it’s a swirl of complex flavor at Marina Variety Store in Charleston, and butcher’s-block fresh at Dave’s Grill & Grocery.
Watertown to Niagara Falls
This tour will take you on a five and a half hour drive along America’s Great Lakes Seaway Trail. Beginning in Watertown, you will end your tour by Niagara Falls. Along the way, we have picked 11 excellent restaurants and candy shops to fill your journey and your stomachs.
- Crystal Restaurant is the oldest restaurant in all of Watertown. Meals include ham steak, accompanied by a boiled potato, as well as club sandwiches. Breakfasts include an assortment of eggs, bacon and toast. A full bar occupies one wall of the restaurant that offers a large array of drinks to customers.
- The dogs served at Don’s Original are referred to as white hots and red hots. A white hot is an all-pork tube steak topped with mustard and diced onions. A red hot is closer to a traditional hot dog, made from a firmer weenie. Red hots are classically dressed with finely ground chili.
- Steak sandwiches at LDR Char Pit are not made from your ordinary shaved beef. The Char Pit uses a single slice of beef that is cut less than one centimeter thick. We always ask for ours to be cooked rare, 30 seconds on each side, and the chef has never missed the mark. No condiments are needed for this sandwich, the flavorful meat speaks for itself.
- Nick Tahou Hots was made famous for their garbage plates. Patrons choose a base, options are Texas hot wieners, hamburgers, Italian sausage, steak or grilled cheese sandwiches. Then baked beans, fried potatoes, macaroni salad, spicy chili sauce, mustard and chopped raw onions are piled on top. The result is a deliciously messy plate of food.
Buffalo to Niagara Falls Area
- Alethea’s is one of the best candy shops in America’s top candy city. Their dark chocolate is easily the darkest we have ever had. Homemade marshmallows are used as a topping to great ice cream or are wrapped in chocolate, coconuts and cashews to create a “Charlie Chaplin.”
- Originally a horse-drawn hot dog cart in the 1920s, Ted’s Hot Dogs serves a fantastic frank. Cooked over a charcoal grill, the dogs acquire a strong smoky flavor. Ted’s homemade hot sauce is a great condiment for any style of dog.
- “Beef on weck” is the most notable dish served at Charlie the Butcher. Made from thinly sliced slow roasted beef piled onto a hard roll, the top half of which is dipped into beef juice, this is an excellent sandwich.
- Another restaurant that serves excellent “beef on weck” is Schwabl’s. The rolls are hard and covered in grains, salt and seeds. The interior remains fluffy but strong enough to hold its shape after being dipped in beef gravy. With superb, thinly sliced, beef at its center, the beef on weck at Schwabl’s is unbelievably good.
- The Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, allegedly invented the Buffalo chicken wing in 1964 while making chicken stock. The secret for their wings today is that they fry them instead of baking. This gives them a crunchy outer shell while the meat inside is moist and tender.
- Located in the northwestern part of New York, Anderson’s Frozen Custard uses a higher egg content then most when creating their ice cream. Offering the classic flavors of chocolate, vanilla and swirl year round, they also have a flavor of the day and seasonal flavors.
- Baked fresh every morning, DiCamillo’s Bakery offers a variety of baked goods. Some of which are cinnamon rolls, donuts, cookies and loaves of bread. They also have pizzas sold in square slices.
Road Trip Overview
This 5.5 hour road trip will take you over a total of 312 miles from the chaotic fast paced streets of Las Vegas to the relaxed town of Palm Springs just next to Joshua Tree National Park. With 3 fantastic restaurants in Las Vegas and another 5 in and around Palm Springs, this food filled drive will take you down scenic Route 66 and passed Red Rock Canyon and the Mojave National Preserve. With so many fast food and chain options, we hope this guide will help steer you to the best local, authentic eats on the road trip from Las Vegas to Palm Springs.
Las Vegas Eats
Las Vegas is the perfect gateway city from which to explore the vast and beautiful California Desert. But first, a visit to Roadfood’s favorite under-the-radar places in Sin City where the locals eat, on and off the strip.
- Weather you’re hungover or just flat out hungry, the panko-crusted fried deviled eggs at Eat are simply the best we have had. No question about it.
- It doesn’t matter if your order the “cold brown”, “fluff ‘n nut” or a slice of their apple pie, everything served at The Goodwich is unbelievably good.
- Located across the interstate from the Las Vegas Strip, The Oyster Bar always seems to have a line, forcing us to wait to belly up to the bar. We blame the impeccable food.
Along the Route
In order to make it from Las Vegas to Palm Springs you’ll have to take a lengthy drive down gorgeous Route 66. With many scenic stops along the way, the most notable ones we found were Red Rock Canyon and the Mojave National Preserve. Both offer beautiful views and rock formations that are worth the detour.
Through Palm Springs on to Joshua Tree
Beginning with a quick stop to the west, this next set of restaurants will help you eat your way through Palm Springs before sending you on your way to Joshua Tree National Park.
- Jack cheese is melted onto the tortilla prior to assembling the “giant taco”, the meat, onions, cilantro, salsa and guacamole are all an added bonus at Crazy Coyote Tacos.
- Felipe’s makes everything from scratch, tortilla chips included. Serving three meals a day, there is no reason you shouldn’t go. Their fish and shrimp tacos and the shrimp stuffed enchiladas were the most memorable dishes we tried.
- Serving excellent milk shakes, weenies and an 18 ounce hamburger, made with three beef patties, bacon, three cheeses, sauce and condiments, called “The Hulk”, Tony’s Burgers is a necessary stop after Palm Springs.
- With date batter, date butter, date milk shakes and date ice cream, Shields Date Gardens is one of a kind. Their tacos and nachos are also perfect for a lunch time stop (no dates in these dishes).
- After visiting Mimmo’s multiple times we couldn’t pick one specific dish to recommend. Most notable are silky gnocchi, anything that uses house-baked bread, or any of their seafood dishes. The tiramisu, made with chocolate sponge cake, was an amazing dessert.
Road Trip Overview
With a total of 316 miles to cover on this food filled road trip, the predicted drive time is 5 ½ hours. Beginning 30 minutes outside Dallas, the second largest city in Texas, this road trip will take you through small towns and fields, as well as the city of Austin, before ending at a bowling club café in Blanco, Texas, a town with a population of 1,956. You will travel right through the heart of The Lone Star State.
The Beginning : Dallas and Fort Worth
Landing in the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport will put you 34 minutes from the heart of Dallas, or 12 from the first restaurant on the tour. We recommend you go to Tolbert’s for your first taste of Texas.
- An excellent “bowl of red”, aka chili con carne, is available at Tolbert’s along with a variety of other southwestern dishes.
- A well-seasoned and juicy half pound beef patty can be expected from Kincaid’s, an old grocery store turned restaurant.
Along the Way to Austin
Could there be a faster way to get from Dallas to Austin in a car? Most likely. Is there a way that has better desserts, pastries or breakfast? Definitely not.
- Expect excellent pastries from the self-proclaimed home of the kolache, the Village Bakery.
- With some of the best desserts in all of Texas as well as a killer breakfast including our favorite regional dish, called migas, which consists of Mexican scrambled eggs with melted cheese, chunks of tomato and small ribbons of tortillas, Monument Café can not be missed.
Austin, Hill Country and Bowling
While you may be tempted to make your first stop at the Texas State Capital in Austin, we recommend you eat! Austin is home to a variety of restaurants, our favorites serve great BAR-B-Q and Tex-Mex.
- Since the late 1990s Maria’s Taco Xpress has been selling tacos for $2-$4 a piece, making it hard to not order all of them.
- Once part of the same store, Kreuz Market and Smitty’s were split apart by a family feud in the mid-1990s. However, these restaurants are located only a quarter mile apart and both offer some of the best BAR-B-Q we have ever had. Try them both to determine who won the feud.
- Home to an excellent lunch time menu including hamburgers, tacos and some of Texas’ finest pies, the Blanco Bowling Club Café is the perfect place to end your trip. Home to nightly bowling leagues, open bowling is only offered on Friday and Saturday nights.
Road Trip Overview
This potential three day Roadfood Adventure will take you around Phoenix, Arizona before heading north on Interstate 17 to the small town of Sedona. With a mere population of 10,397 Sedona has three fantastic restaurants that are a must try in our expert opinion. After Sedona, hop back into your car for a short 29 mile drive before arriving at the last two restaurant locations, both in Flagstaff, the perfect place to stay before a day trip to the Grand Canyon.
Instead of visiting the cutting-edge, high dollar places everyone knows about, you’ll discover less pretentious eats and sleeves-up meals. These four un-fancy smoke shacks, burger joints, dog houses, don’t cost an arm and a leg, and give you a true taste of Phoenix.
- Great breakfast at Harlow’s Cafe. We recommend the Eggs Maximilian which consists of three eggs, onions, green chilies and chorizo sausage all crammed into a large flour tortilla.
- Fantastic Barbeque can be found at Little Miss BBQ, the menu includes a memorable smoked brisket, great beans and grits.
- A burrito served enchilada style; smothered in melting orange cheese with your choice of red or green chile sauce found at Rito’s Mexican Food.
- Untraditional hot dogs served without buns at Short Leash Hot Dogs. Instead of on a bun, have your dog wrapped in naan bread, a tortilla or on a pretzel roll.
Heading north out of the city to Route 66, you’ll go through Sedona before entering Flagstaff. In this small town we enjoyed two breakfast locations but two totally different meals.
- Massive cinnamon rolls and fantastic huevos rancheros at the Red Rock Café.
- Perfectly plated Smoked Salmon & Fry Bread that tastes as good as it looks at Casa Sedona.
- A variety of options, from craft beers to a bread-lover’s dream sourdough bread at the Indian Gardens Oak Creek Market.
Flagstaff Breakfast and Burgers
Once in Flagstaff, we have two locations for you to fill your stomachs at before visiting the Grand Canyon.
Road Trip Overview
Originally from Ohio and most recently San Francisco, Roadfood contributor Jess Dawson has taken her show on the road, traveling throughout America with her husband in their 27-foot Winnebago. They’re stopping at as many national parks—and restaurants—as they can along the way. These are the restaurants that stood out to them on the first leg of their journey, from Tahoe to Montana with detours in Washington State.
The Golden State
After visiting her first restaurant in Lake Tahoe, Jess Dawson headed directly for the town of Redding, California, located in the northern part of the state.
- Operating on the north end of Lake Tahoe, Char-Pit serves burgers, ribs and even a lamb gyro. With well cooked food and minimal grease it is definitely worth a stop.
- Although their prices are steep, the steaks at Jack’s Bar & Grill are well worth it. Service is excellent and every dish was fantastic, from the fried chicken to Jack’s Stack, a stew-like dish with bits of filet, New York strip and top sirloin sautéed with onion, peppers and gravy.
The Beaver State
Soon after crossing into Oregon, Jess found herself in need of a meal. With a brief stop in Klamath falls, she refueled before driving north to Portland.
- Located in a residential area, North Shore Hawaiian Plate Lunch serves an excellent sampler plate that comes with four different types of meat, two large scoops of rice and a side of cold macaroni, all for $9.
- Offering a variety of fried dishes, including fried pickles, fried mac ‘n’ cheese bites, and corndogs, the fried chicken served at Reel M Inn definitely is the stand out dish. Arriving hot with a crisp skin and meat that falls from the bone, there is no reason to not order it.
The Evergreen State
Although a detour for anyone heading from California to Montana, these five stops in Washington showcase a variety of diners as well as a bar serving great chicken and a tavern with fresh seafood. Follow these restaurants along the coast, to Whidbey Island and through the heart of Washington State.
- Overflowing with references to twilight, Three Rivers Resort Restaurant serves excellent, creamy milkshakes as well as a variety of burgers, sandwiches and sides.
- A popular stop for loggers, the Hungry Bear Café sells pancakes in stacks of two very large and very fluffy pancakes. The equivalent to a stack of eight regular sized pancakes, this café is worth stopping for.
- Located on Whidbey Island, accessible by bridge, Toby’s Tavern serves excellent fresh seafood. The mussels were the stand out dish at this restaurant, served with little other than a side of garlic bread, this is a necessary purchase for anyone who comes to the tavern.
- With four levels of spice offered for the majority of their dishes, Sisters and Brothers located in Seattle is not messing around. Their chicken is excellent and definitely packs a punch. They also serve great side dishes such as fried okra and fried cotija corn.
- Although both breakfast and lunch are served at Dolly’s Café, breakfast is by far the better option. The standout dish, the omelet, is made with eggs wrapped around a variety of ingredients such as bacon, spinach, mushrooms, feta and avocado.
The Gem State and Big Sky Country
Leaving Washington, Jess headed east along the top of the United States, passing through Idaho before ending this part of her year long tour in Butte, Montana.
- Serving both sushi and more traditional dishes such as fish and chips, Fisherman’s Market, located in the city of Coeur d’Alene, is an worthwhile stop for those who like both cooked and raw seafood.
- With a large menu, anything from Alaskan crab to veal scaloppine, the Italian heritage that comes with Lydia’s Supper Club is quite apparent. The food is delicious, especially the pork chop, and finishing up the meal with ice cream is a hard opportunity to pass.
The 24th Annual HOT ROD Power Tour
This is a seven-day, seven-city journey expected to bring together more than 6,000 vehicles and 100,000-plus spectators making it the largest traveling car-show in the world! Starting in Bowling Green, KY, the route winds through Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, eventually ending in Concord, NC, a region so rich in food culture and tradition deserves to be explored! For those willing to get off the main road, who want to experience a true taste of the south, we have put together a list of the best local restaurants along the HOT ROD Power Tour route for authentic flavor and character.
If hankering for great BBQ, detour into Lebanon, Tennessee for Tom’s Blue Moon BBQ
In and around Birmingham, Alabama is a Roadfood bonanza. Best bets are: Niki’s West for a cafeteria with fantastic vegetables and desserts, Miss Myra’s Pit Bar B Q, the Alabama Biscuit Company, and, for a grand southern/Greek feast, Bright Star.
In Oxford, Alabama, there’s sophisticated/casual Dixie fare at Hubbard’s off Main. A slight detour east into Heflin takes you to Marie’s BBQ House. Just south of the Atlanta Motor Speedway is the Biscuit Shack: great for breakfast the next morning.
Fresh Air BBQ in Jackson, GA, opens at 8:00am. It’s the daddy of all Georgia BBQ parlors: simple, basic, delicious, and huge. In Thomson, GA, Sweet T’s is a memorable lunch stop for full-bore Dixie classics (with Elvis on the sound system). Passing just north of Augusta puts you close to Honey from the Rock, a church-run cafeteria with divine food, and Edgar’s Grille, a sophisticated dining room operated by hospitality students at Helms college. Just north of the highway in Lexington, South Carolina, is Kingsman Que and Brew for outlandish pimento cheeseburgers. Some of the South’s best BBQ is just north of Columbia at Big Boy’s Smokehouse.
The route takes you right through Lexington, which is home to what many believe is the best BBQ in North Carolina, maybe the best on earth: Lexington BBQ #1. A few of the must-eats in Charlotte are hometown favorite Lupie’s, Price’s Chicken Coop (dine on the grass across the street), and hip/delicious Zada Jane’s Corner Cafe. For good coffee, Parisian pastries, and funky décor 24/7, the place to go is Amelie’s French Bakery.