the road | the food | a new direction

Month: December 2014 (Page 1 of 3)

LAF in the A.M. December 29th, 2014

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

Barbecue on Sunday

How Is Shake Shack’s ‘Shroom Burger?

Stroud’s Bringing Fried Chicken to Independence, MO

Al’s #1 Italian Beef Groupon

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Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Brooklyn NY


Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is one of the most understated ice cream parlors we’ve ever visited. It’s basically a counter inside a small historic old building. There’s little need for ice cream-themed razzle-dazzle inside when the stunning Brooklyn waterfront serves as an incomparable dining room outside. Continue reading

LAF in the A.M. December 24th, 2014

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

El Charro New Concessionaire for Tucson’s Rillito Park Track

Greenwich, CT’s Méli-Mélo Looking to Expand

Chicago Writer Approves of Chicago Shake Shack

Graeter’s Coming to Chicago Region

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The Western Cafe, Bozeman MT


If you’re out for breakfast in Montana, one thing we guarantee you’ll find on the menu are cinnamon rolls, probably made in-house. In our experience, they are as mandatory as biscuits in a Southern café, a situation which makes us very happy. We love cinnamon rolls! Continue reading

The Chowda House, Red Bank NJ


Most of what we sampled at The Chowda House was good; some was mediocre. It’s good enough, though, to warrant a return visit to explore more of the menu. That name almost kept us away. It’s a pretty good rule of thumb that when a restaurant uses cutesy names like “chowda” instead of chowder, you’re dealing with a strictly-for-tourists joint. But that rule is violated here. Not that Red Bank is any kind of tourist magnet to begin with but Chowda House, across the street from the train station, is fairly unobtrusive and not in the choicest part of town. If they want to survive they’ll have to click with locals and commuters. Continue reading

Charlie’s Famous Italian Hot Dogs, Kenilworth NJ


It’s possible to be served an Italian hot dog in the Newark area at a restaurant with more soul, more sass, but few dog houses can compete with the taste of a Charlie’s Italian dog. What makes a Charlie’s dog special is that each item in the sandwich is a little bit, but noticeably, better than at most other places. The hot dogs themselves are more flavorful, the potatoes are superb and crisp, and the onions and peppers are brighter, too. We recommend getting a double. In fact, we always recommend a double when ordering an Italian hot dog. Not only is it easier to eat (you get a 180 degree section of bread, rather than the awkward 90 degrees), but it just feels right, in the same way that getting a double brat in Wisconsin feels more right than a single. Continue reading

M & M Soul Food Cafe, Las Vegas NV

When it comes to food for the visitor, Las Vegas is a funny place. All the attention goes to the casinos, for three things: the upscale restaurants run by nationally known chefs, the buffets, and the old-time bargains like 99-cent shrimp cocktails. People forget that Las Vegas is a big city and, like all big cities, there are plenty of superb places to eat around town. We guarantee that the 2 million folks living in the metropolitan area don’t limit their dining to The Strip. You just have to know where to go. Continue reading

Checking in at: Rossi’s Bar & Grill, Hamilton NJ

We began with Mushrooms & Long Hots. Long hots are Italian-style hot green peppers that can vary in heat from a slight nip to explosively hot. It’s fun eating them because it’s like Russian roulette – you never know the punch each pepper is about to deliver until you eat one! The heat doesn’t hit immediately; it takes about 10 seconds to really set in. A couple of these were very, very hot, delicious laid across a slice of Italian bread. Continue reading

LAF in the A.M. December 19th, 2014

A Morning Menu of LAF-Style Food News and Stories to Begin Your Day

Top 40 Food Cities in U.S.

Tulsa Lobster

How to Spend Only a Few Hours in Chicago

An Interview with Tony Luke Jr.

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Joe Tess Place, Omaha NE

Joe Tess sells carp. Not for stocking the pond in your Japanese garden, but for eating. Most Americans do not consider carp much of an eating fish (although it does find its way into gefilte fish), but here in Nebraska and the surrounding states, it’s an inexpensive treat. Especially when someone else does the cleaning and cooking. Continue reading

Willow Creek Cafe & Saloon, Willow Creek MT


The Bozeman, Montana airport not only serves the college town of Bozeman, but is also a popular point of arrival for those planning a trip to Yellowstone. Bozeman is additionally, as far as we can tell, the only destination in Montana to which east coast residents can get a non-stop flight. Whatever the reason you find yourself at Bozeman Yellowstone International, we recommend the following course of action upon arrival: drive about 30 miles west (practically next door in Montana terms) to the tiny town of Willow Creek and dine in a 1910 saloon. Continue reading

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