the road | the food | a new direction

Month: September 2014 (Page 1 of 2)

95 Years of Walter’s Hot Dogs in Mamaroneck

Walter’s Hot Dogs will be celebrating their 95th anniversary from October 26th through the 28th. There’ll be anniversary specials, family fun, and games planned at the hot dog pagoda, along with a hot dog eating contest scheduled for Sunday the 26th at 3PM. Sign-up for the contest at Walter’s; space is limited. While you are there you can check out the renovations that took place during the first four months of the year. The external changes are subtle but the inside renovations are extensive, including a computer system. A computer system at Walter’s?!

937 Palmer Avenue
Mamaroneck NY 10543
No phone
Walter’s Website
Walter’s on Facebook


For their annual Shacktoberfest promotion, Shake Shack improves upon Cliff Huxtable’s notorious bacon burger dog. The Brat Burger tops the beef with a cheddar and bacon bratwurst, crispy shallots, and ShackSauce. Does American culinary excessiveness know no bounds? Not that we’re complaining, mind you. We’ll have ours with an Apfelstrudel Shake (vanilla custard, apples, caramel, spices). Check out the entire Shacktoberfest menu here. The promotion runs from October 3rd through the 12th at most American Shake Shacks.

Shake Shack Website
Shake Shack on Facebook

One Less Graeter’s Ice Cream Shop

The Graeter’s ice cream shop in the Dayton, OH suburb of Springboro will be closing on October 5th. The store at 752 Gardner Road had been open since 2006. The closing will result in three remaining Dayton area Graeter’s: in Beavercreek, Centerville, and the Oakwood section of Dayton. It’s always sad news when a Graeter’s closes.

752 Garner Road
Springboro OH 45066
Graeter’s Website
Graeter’s on Facebook

The Derek Jeter Triple Club Sandwich

The sandwich has five ingredients because he played for five world champions. There are two meats in honor of his uniform number. It’s a club to signify his clubhouse leadership. It’s $27.99 because it’s the Carnegie Deli. Derek Jeter may well be honored with a Hall of Fame plaque in five years, but this week he receives one of the highest honors that can be accorded a man of his stature and accomplishments: a sandwich at New York City’s Carnegie Deli. Here’s what’s in the Derek Jeter Triple Club Sandwich: turkey, bacon, American cheese, tomato, and lettuce. It comes on toasted white. If that’s what you want to eat at the Carnegie, get there soon, because it’s available for a limited time only. Continue reading

Asian Bistro, Princeton Junction NJ


Pan-Asian? Really? Yes, we know, we know … But it appears there’s something more going on at Asian Bistro. Here are our first impressions after an initial visit. The restaurant features the cuisines of Korea, Thailand, China, Japan, and Vietnam (represented by only a bowl of pho). The owner is Korean-American, and as soon as you’re seated, an array of banchan, small dishes of food (Korean) meant to be shared,  is brought to the table. Today the banchan included kimchi, potatoes, bean sprouts, and fish, all cool and bright tasting, each boasting its own herb, spice, and sauce profile. Let this be a signal: we think the best way to approach Asian Bistro is as a Korean restaurant (something in very short supply in these parts.). Continue reading

3rd Tucson Tamale Company Store Opening Soon

A third Tucson Tamale Company store is opening on October 18th at 7286 North Oracle Road (in Tucson). Their second location opened earlier this year at 7159 East Tanque Verde Road. Tucson Tamale Company has garnered a loyal following, due not only to the deliciousness of the product, but also because of the care that’s taken in obtaining and preparing fresh ingredients. None of their tamales use lard. Continue reading

Enstrom’s, Denver CO


Butter, sugar, almonds, milk chocolate, salt. Can’t get much simpler than the ingredient list for Enstrom’s milk chocolate almond toffee. Those are the same ingredients that went into the batches of toffee that Chet Enstrom made decades ago for those lucky enough to be on his gift list. In 1960, he and his wife started a business around that toffee recipe in Grand Junction, Colorado. Today, the business is run by Chet’s daughter and grandchildren, and the toffee has become a legend. Continue reading

Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria, Scottsdale AZ


There are a handful of Grimaldi’s pizzerias in Arizona, owned and operated by sons of the owner (no longer Patsy Grimaldi, incidentally) of Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn. We’ve only visited the one in Old Town Scottsdale (they’ve been expanding: there are now seven in AZ, twelve in Texas,  six in Vegas, and more in California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, and South Carolina), but in our experience the pizza in Scottsdale, if you order correctly, is superior to the pies found at the Brooklyn original. Continue reading

A Little Bit of Coastal Maine in Connecticut

We had our first taste of hot lobster roll many years ago at a place called Abbott’s Lobster In the Rough in Noank, CT. Over the years Abbott’s hot roll seemed to lose something, but we enthusiastically return year after year for sweet steamers with butter, fresh steamed lobster, and superlative steel-gray chowder. It never occurred to us to sample any of the other restaurants in Noank. In fact, were there any other restaurants in Noank? Continue reading

Pine State Biscuits, Portland OR


We fancy ourselves pretty fair home cooks, but superlative biscuits have always eluded us (as well as, in our experience, our Northern compatriots). This is too bad because we really love biscuits. Our cravings have, until now, been satisfied in Dixie, where folks are apparently born with the talent. So how did quality biscuits find their way to Oregon? Continue reading

Will The Mecca of Dallas Ever Reopen?

The Mecca was a Dallas institution, a much-beloved diner that opened in 1938 and became famous for its cinnamon roll. It spent 44 years on Harry Hines Boulevard when, two years ago, they moved to newer and larger digs in East Dallas. With the move they also expanded their serving hours and menu. Then on April 27th of this year they shuttered the place, announcing plans to find a new location that wasn’t quite so big. On the other hand, owner Michael Sealy, who purchased The Mecca in 2007, auctioned off the restaurant’s furniture and kitchen equipment and declared bankruptcy. So, while The Mecca’s website is still live, and the home page continues to declare an intent to reopen, we wonder if we’ll ever see that cinnamon roll again. Continue reading

Green Dragon of Ephrata Reopens Today

The Green Dragon Farmers Market, a Fridays-only market in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country that’s been operating since 1932, has been closed since it suffered a devastating fire on the morning of September 13th. In the immediate aftermath of the fire the market declared they would reopen on September 26th and, sure enough, that’s what’s happening today. There is still much rebuilding to do, and many of the vendors’ stands were destroyed, but the parts of the market untouched by the blaze will be operating today. Continue reading

Torico Ice Cream, Jersey City NJ


Here’s a plan for a perfect Jersey City day: dine on mofongo and pernil at the Puerto Rican restaurant ME Casa, stroll to the waterfront to admire the New York City skyline, then head over to Torico for some homemade tropical fruit ice cream. Continue reading

Is Montreal’s Schwartz’s North America’s Best Deli?

Where will you find the best deli in North America? Yes, it’s a ridiculous question but play along. Shalom Life produced a top ten list, and it goes without saying that we’re talking Jewish delis here. All those great Italian and German delis are out of the running for this particular project. Anyway, New York’s Katz’s and Carnegie made the list, and LA’s Canter’s and Langer’s did too. As did Michigan’s Zingerman’s (and while the name sounds Jewish, are they really a Jewish deli?). But Shalom Life deemed none of those delis greatest on the continent. That honor went to Schwartz’s Deli of Montreal. And they don’t even serve corned beef or pastrami! But they do serve smoked meat, which many say is superior to those other two deli meats. And we won’t argue with them. What deli do you think deserves to be called best in North America?

Shake Shack Coming to Atlanta

The ATL may not quite know what they’re in for, but they’ll be hooked soon enough, as Danny Meyer will be opening his first Atlanta Shake Shack next week. As is the Shack’s practice, there will be some locally themed shakes on the menu, including (OMG!) custard blended with a slice of pecan pie. How much is airfare to Atlanta these days?

“The Peanut Capital of the World” Honored for 85th Anniversary

On Thursday, September 25, the Virginia Diner, which has been famous for its peanuts since 1929, will be honored by the Commonwealth of Virginia. All sorts of Virginia muckety-mucks will be on hand, and there will also be a House Joint Resolution and a gubernatorial proclamation for the goober capital. Anyone’s welcome to attend. Sounds like as good an excuse as any to partake of the diner’s delectable peanut pie. Don’t forget to bring home a can of their incomparable nuts, too.

322 West Main Street
Wakefield VA 23888

Shapiro’s of Indy Opening New Northside Location

Shapiro’s Deli of Indianapolis closed their Carmel location last year after 11 years of doing business on the north side of the city. The deli business in Carmel was weak. Now they’ve announced that a new north side Shapiro’s, to be located in The Fashion Mall at Keystone, will arrive this November. Service at the restaurant, unlike at the original on Meridian, will not be cafeteria-style. Menu selection will be more limited than at the flagship, and there’ll be some modern menu updates to appeal to changing tastes. Not to worry, long-time Shapiro’s fans, the famous corned beef and pastrami will still be found in the mall location.

Nashville Hot Chicken Coming to NYC

Have you ever been to Nashville and sampled the explosively good hot chicken to be found in the Music City? If you’re anything like us, you’ve been left, like an addict, with a permanent yearning for the stuff. Well, New York City, your hot chicken connection will be coming to the rescue, hopefully in spring of next year. That’s when Carla Hall hopes to open her Nashville-themed restaurant. Besides the hot chicken, Carla wants to feature a selection from the vast roster of Southern sides that makes dining in the region so memorable. Ms. Hall began a Kickstarter campaign this week, if you’d like to get in on the action.

ME Casa, Jersey City NJ


We won’t pretend to be experts on Puerto Rican cuisine, but we are experts on what we like. And we like what’s served at the small and unobtrusive, below-street-level ME Casa very much. The owners call the cuisine Puerto Rican-inspired, not Puerto Rican. The mofongo sure seemed like the real thing. Mofongo begins with green plantains, which are fried and then pounded with garlic and chicharrones in a mortar-and-pestle-like device called a pilon. At least, the best ones, like that served at ME Casa, use a pilon. The result, a garlicky mound filled with crusty bits, reminds us texturally of Thanksgiving stuffing. Choose your topping: beef, shrimp, or chicken. This is very easy-to-enjoy eating, Puerto Rican soul food. Continue reading

Green Chile Cheeseburger Time in Santa Fe

Fall is prime time for green chile lovers in New Mexico, as that’s when the pods are harvested and roasted. One of the most popular uses for the vegetable is as a garnish on a green chile cheeseburger. There are as many thoughts on what constitutes a proper GCCB as there are GCCB fanatics. Should the chile be whole, chopped, or a sauce? Which should speak loudest, the beef or the chile? Hot or mild? A garnish or a flood? With or without lettuce, tomato, onion, or bacon? We love the GCCB as much as anyone, and our preferences are for hot chile and no other garnishes to dilute the chile flavor. And we think the chile is more important than the meat. Continue reading

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