the road | the food | a new direction

Month: June 2015 (Page 1 of 6)

Tommy’s Italian Sausage & Hot Dogs, Elizabeth NJ

REVIEW

North Jersey is well known for its great hot dogs, but the fine Italian sausage of the region should not be ignored. We present as example Tommy’s Italian Sausage in Elizabeth, a take-out only storefront that makes its own sausage and serves it up in the same classic configuration as an Italian hot dog, in a split loaf of what’s called pizza bread (like a cross between pita and Italian bread) with fried potatoes, onions, and peppers. The sausage is sliced open and grilled to crustiness, then slipped into the fresh bread. The predominant flavor of this sausage is pork rather than spice, with a satisfying coarse-ground meaty texture. Continue reading

Mangiando Mangiando, Greve in Chianti, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

REVIEW

Salads in Tuscany tend to be served as contorni - side dishes.  This composed salad served as a first course - the anchovies closed the deal for us.

Salads in Tuscany tend to be served as contorni – side dishes. This composed salad served as a first course – the anchovies closed the deal for us.

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Turkey Rama, McMinnville OR, July 10th and 11th 2015

Over five tons of turkey is grilled outdoors over coals for McMinnville, Oregon’s annual Turkey Rama, held this year for the 55th time. The turkey is fantastic, smoky and seasoned to the bone, with luscious strips of skin. Choose white or dark. This is a huge festival that extends far beyond the consumption of the bird that was once, but is no longer, a major part of the local economy. Continue reading

Timothy’s of Bridgeport CT Named Best Ice Cream

Timothy’s Ice Cream, founded in 1982  in Bridgeport, Connecticut by Timothy Larkin, was named the best ice cream in Fairfield County by readers of the Daily Voice of Wilton. Their best-selling flavor is French vanilla but our personal favorite is Black Rock (named for their Bridgeport neighborhood), which laces that vanilla with chocolate-covered almonds. Saugatuck Sweets of Westport finished second.

Yocco’s, Allentown PA

THIS LOCATION CLOSED

REVIEW

Hot dog places are often as much about the place as about the dog. That’s why we recommend that if you visit Yocco’s you head to the original downtown Allentown store rather than the newer branches. From the outside, the downtown location looks like a corner bar. Step inside to a narrow room with tables beyond the grill area and ordering counter up front. In keeping with the corner bar theme, there is a double-size self-serve cooler filled with beer, including the largest collection of oversize bottles we’ve ever seen. Continue reading

New Sandusky Fish Company Wins Award!

Billy Haggerty, Jr., owner of the New Sandusky Fish Company on the shores of Sandusky Bay in Sandusky, Ohio, was named co-winner of the annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award handed out by the Erie County Chamber of Commerce. We’ve enjoyed Billy’s amazing fried perch sandwiches and wish him continued success. But, is that a typo, or did New Sandusky Fish Company really open in 1818? That is difficult to believe.

Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion, Denton NC, June 30th through July 4th 2015

All you city slickers are probably wondering: what’s a thresher? It’s a piece of farm machinery that separates the kernel of a grain from the stalk. The Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion claims to be “The Greatest Steam, Gas Engine & Antique Farm Show in the Southeastern U.S.” and we don’t doubt them. The part of the festival that intrigues us the most is the Tractor Ride, at $25/person. See, you drive the tractor! It’s not clear to us if they supply the tractor or you are supposed to bring your own. In any case, the ride comes with a t-shirt and lunch afterwards  of BBQ pork or grilled chicken. Continue reading

Joe’s Pizza, New York NY

REVIEW

New Yorkers don’t have to be told where to get a good slice of pizza. Most people have their nearby favorites, and pretty much everyone knows that when you’re in the Village, Joe’s is the place to go; it’s no secret discovery. This tip is for visitors. Continue reading

TX Panhandle Kitsch

They’ve achieved a measure of national fame for the free 72-ounce steak dinners they offer those who can consume it in one hour, but there’s so much more to The Big Texan‘s kitsch quotient than that: they sell their own fudge; there’s a live rattlesnake in the gift shop; you’ll find bobcats (stuffed), stagecoaches, and giant rocking chairs and cowboy boots; you can buy a souvenir Texas mug. If you’re driving into town you’ll start to see their billboards hundreds of miles ahead of your destination. But the food’s better than you might expect! Read more about The Big Texan at the LA Times.

National Cherry Festival, Traverse City MI, July 4th through 11th 2015

Traverse City, Michigan calls itself the Cherry Capital of the World and, judging by the eight-day cherry party they put on each summer, we’d have to agree. There are many, many opportunities to eat cherries at the National Cherry Festival. How about attending the Very Cherry Pancake Breakfast which will include locally sourced cherry topping? Or the Great American Picnic where the menu includes corn bread with dried cherries, cherry brats with cherry mustard chutney, smoked chicken wings with cherry-chipotle glaze, marinated green bean salad with cherry vinaigrette, pasta salad with dried cherry pesto, and a brownie with dried cherries! Continue reading

The Little King, Hamilton Square NJ

REVIEW

The Little King is the quintessential Central New Jersey sandwich shop, whose motto is, “Where a Sandwich Is a Full Meal.” Walk in to the strip mall eatery and head to the counter to place your order. It is there you’ll be confronted by dozens of signs touting special sandwiches, as well as a few dozen more to be found on the menu board on the wall. If you suffer from menu panic syndrome, simply step out of line and read to your heart’s content. Continue reading

Ben’s Chili Bowl Expanding in DC July 8th

Ben’s Chili Bowl of Washington, D.C. will be opening a new location in D.C., at 1001 H Street NE, on July 8th. This will be their third “regular” restaurant — the others are the original on U Street and one in Arlington, VA. Ben’s is also available at the two area ballparks and the airport. So you should never be without a chili-topped half-smoke!

Lexington County Peach Festival, Gilbert SC, July 4th 2015

Peach ice cream, peach cobbler, peach sundaes, peach slush, peach tea, peach almond delights (what are they?!), and fresh peaches — that’s right, this isn’t one of those festivals where the local crop plays a strictly symbolic role. No, there WILL be peaches at the 57th annual Lexington County Peach Festival, and plenty of them! To go along with all those fresh peachy delights there will be plate lunches of barbecued pork and chicken.
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Mamma Rosa Trattoria, San Casciano Val di Pesa, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

REVIEW

Like bruschetta, sliced cured meats are a constant on traditional Tuscan menus.  The white stuff is lardo: cured pork fat.  Tuscan prosciutto tends to be drier and saltier than silky prosciutto from Parma, but it is no less delicious.

Like bruschetta, sliced cured meats are a constant on traditional Tuscan menus. The white stuff is lardo: cured pork fat. Tuscan prosciutto tends to be drier and saltier than silky prosciutto from Parma, but it is no less delicious.

Continue reading

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