the road | the food | a new direction

Month: April 2015 (Page 1 of 4)

Da Giorgino, Siena Tuscany Italy


The Italy we encountered, from Rome north to Florence, is pretty much devoid of street food as we know it in urban America. Which is not to say that Italians don’t love to snack on the stroll, because they obviously do. They just don’t snack from street carts, and the menu is limited mostly to gelato and pizza, purchased from storefront shops and bakeries. There’s one notable exception to this pattern. Continue reading

The Workingman’s Friend, Indianapolis IN


Smack in the middle of the industrial/residential area west of the White River is a working man’s bar that serves an unforgettable double cheeseburger. The glass-brick-fronted Workingman’s Friend draws crowds at mealtimes, but our visit on a Monday night found the bar empty save for a small group of men quietly sipping beers and ignoring a TV tuned to a ballgame. We ordered Buds and double cheeseburgers from the no-nonsense bartender, who then went into the kitchen to prepare our meals, as we brought our beers to a table. Continue reading

Vienna Beef Factory Store, Chicago IL


When we think of Chicago hot dogs we think of Vienna Beef, the Chicago company that produces the snapping-good garlicky franks used all over the city. Wouldn’t it be something if you could actually visit the factory and get a Chicago dog right there? Well, it turns out you can! Continue reading

Jimmy’s Hot Dogs, Easton PA


Located in a strip mall. No place to sit; take-out only. They make nothing but hot dogs. Want something on the side? Have a drink and a bag of chips. Nothing else is available. Yet there’s a line of people waiting to pick up their bags of 8, 10, even 12 dogs to go. Service is quick and businesslike at the small counter, but this place, with its quirky personality, does not in any way resemble a chain restaurant. Continue reading

Morgan’s Country Kitchen, Florence OR


Morgan’s Country Kitchen has been a hearty-eats oasis on the Oregon coast for decades. It has not changed a lot over the years – we recommend you arrive hungry. Our chicken fried steak platter was enormous. Continue reading

Ferdinando’s Focacceria, Brooklyn NY


Palermo street-snacks in Brooklyn! Yes, in the Italian neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Ferdinando’s serves Sicilian specialties not commonly seen on this side of the Atlantic. Continue reading

Donkey’s Place, Camden NJ


How has this escaped our notice through the decades of living in The Garden State? Here in Camden is one of the great cheesesteaks to be found anywhere, in a soulfully satisfying setting to boot. Continue reading

Monica’s Chocolates, Lubec ME


Shoreline candy shops are a dime-a-dozen, and few are worthy of any serious attention (though, for sure, we’ve purchased our share of pastel-colored taffy, and tooth-achingly sweet fudge). An exception is Monica’s Chocolates, located a few hundred feet from the Canadian border in the Maine town of Lubec. Lubec is probably best known to travelers as the point at which one crosses by bridge to Campobello Island. Let it hereafter be also known for world-class chocolate. Continue reading

Sal & Judy’s, Lacombe LA


When talk turns to that unique Creole/Italian cuisine of the New Orleans area, Mosca’s is always the first (and sometimes only) place to be mentioned. There’s good reason: it’s wonderful. Add two stars if you really, really love garlic. But Mosca’s is not the only game in town, and garlic is not the only way the Creole/Italian game is played. Continue reading

Le Chien Noir Bistro, Kingston ON Canada


Le Chien Noir is a French-styled bistro (with Belgian leanings) that serves such classics as onion soup, steak frites, and mussels. But what really attracts us to Le Chien is its sophisticated take on North American favorites, which can be accompanied by a bottle from the selection of Canadian wines and beers. Continue reading

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