the road | the food | a new direction

Month: November 2015 (Page 1 of 3)

DC’s Florida Avenue Grill Adding Alcohol?

We love America’s classic old soul food restaurants, especially the 1944 Florida Avenue Grill in the nation’s capital. It’s easy to forget that these are not museum pieces but actual businesses struggling to turn a profit. To that end, the Florida Avenue Grill has applied for a liquor license. They say their dinnertime business just isn’t there and they need to serve alcohol to make the nighttime meal more attractive to potential customers. They are not, however, trying to turn the place into a bar. If that’s what it takes to keep ’em around, we’re all for it.

Over 8000 Served Free Thanksgiving at Norma’s of Dallas

It began 27 years ago when 150 free Thanksgiving meals were served by Norma’s Cafe of Dallas, and this year the number of free meals served yesterday may have exceeded 8,000. Norma’s is not a large place so if you weren’t able to eat in, a free dinner was there for you to take home. Watch the two videos below to see Norma’s free Thanksgiving in action and to learn more about Norma’s 27 year tradition of giving back to the community: Continue reading

Clifton Mill Lights Begin Day After Thanksgiving

The first things we think of when we think of Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio are the wonderful breakfasts they serve, made with the products from their own water-powered grist mill. Unless it’s Christmastime, because Clifton Mill goes all out and over the top with one of the most spectacular Christmas displays you’ll ever witness: The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill, featuring over 3000 Santas in a Santa Claus museum, a live Santa in his workshop who goes up the chimney four times an hour, a miniature village, a toy collection… but the highlight, for sure, are the three-and-a-half million lights that adorn the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, the trees, and the bridges! Continue reading

Celebrate a Creole Christmas with a Reveillon Dinner in New Orleans

If you grew up a Creole in 19th-century New Orleans, you likely enjoyed one of the biggest feasts of the year following Christmas Eve midnight mass. All the stops were pulled out for these multi-course meals, called reveillons, which traditionally featured the finest the family could afford. Such celebrations virtually died out by the middle of the 20th century as kitchen staffs for private homes became a thing of the past for all but a very few. Over the last couple of decades, however, a reveillon revival has taken place in New Orleans, centered in restaurants for the month of December. Continue reading

Jeff Magill’s 34 Year Run as Billy Goat Bartender Ending Soon

“I want to sleep when I’m tired and eat when I’m hungry.” Those are the words of Jeff Magill as he explains why he is bringing his 34 year Billy Goat Tavern bartending career to a close at the age of 65. Can’t think of any better reasons to retire! Mr. Magill, referred to as “The Last Gentlemen Bartender” in a lovely piece in Chicago Magazine at the beginning of the year, will be missed by his many loyal patrons. Future plans? Winter golf in Dallas, writing about his time at the Goat (yes, please!), maybe even a little more tending bar at some point. Whatever you choose to do, best of luck, Jeff Magill.

Anchor Bar Wings on the Vegas Strip

The inventor of the Buffalo wing, Anchor Bar, opened a branch on The Strip in Las Vegas, in the Venetian. So how do these wings stack up against the original? Writing for Las Vegas Weekly, Brock Radke says “stick to mild, medium or hot sauces, and you’ll find simple wing happiness. They’re plenty meaty and wonderfully crispy, and not at all dried out like what might happen at your neighborhood bar.” You can also go Full Buffalo and get yourself a beef-on-weck while you’re at it (that’s roast beef on a salt-and-caraway spangled roll), which must be a rare sight west of the Rockies.

Joe Rogers’ Chili of Springfield IL Sold

Looks like Marianne Rogers has finally figured out a way to retire for good! The Chili Parlor, of Springfield, Illinois, was founded by Marianne’s father, Joe Rogers, on New Year’s Eve in 1945, and came into her possession in 1973. She’s twice sold the chili parlor but, seeing as she was doing the financing for the buyers, twice she regained ownership. This time, the sale is for real – no backsies. Roy and Stephanie Beal take ownership outright on December 1st, and ownership includes the 70-year-old chili recipe. The Beals say nothing whatsoever, including the customers’ choices of heat and grease levels, will be changed.

Best Chicago Deep Dish? Pequod’s, Says Grant Achatz

Grant Achatz, he of the three Michelin stars at his Chicago culinary temple Alinea, was asked about his favorite Chicago restaurants. When the subject turned to deep dish pizza, Mr. Achatz admitted that he no longer enjoys the “doughy” stuff, preferring to go thin crust these days. Nonetheless, he proclaimed Pequod’s the best of the lot: that crispy crust has won him over. For the uninitiated, what Pequod’s does is sprinkle lots of cheese around the edge before baking, resulting in a crisp and chewy, blackened rim of cheese and crust. Some folks call it burnt but Pequod’s many fans know better!

Turkey America

As Thanksgiving approaches each year, foodie articles begin to pop up bemoaning the so-called flavorless turkey accompanied by starchy and sweet dull sides. We cry Scrooge (or whoever the embodiment of Thanksgiving humbuggery is)! We love the sides and we adore the flavor of the bird — and make no mistake about it, turkey HAS flavor, although it may take an unjaded palate to appreciate it. Label us unjaded, because we don’t limit our turkey feasting to the fourth Thursday of November. And neither, apparently, does Larry Olmsted, as evidenced by his survey, for USA Today, of eateries across America that do right by the bird all year round. Continue reading

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