the road | the food | a new direction

Month: April 2016

A Punishment and a Joy

Andre Prince, owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack of Nashville, TN, says eating Nashville hot chicken “is a punishment and a joy.” She knows that as well as anyone, as it was the philandering ways of Andre’s uncle Thornton that is responsible for the creation of the dish. The rapscallion’s wife punished him one day by loading his fried chicken with cayenne pepper. Unfortunately for her, the pain turned to pleasure, so much so, in fact, that uncle Thornton opened the chicken shack and began selling the stuff to the public! Continue reading

Vote for the Best Ice Cream Parlor, Lobster Roll, Cuban Sandwich, …

USA Today’s 10Best has got a mess o’ polls going on right now, many focused on regional food specialties across America. In each category, a team of experts has selected 20 candidates, and it’s up to you to choose the winner. For instance, in the category of Best Po’ Boy in Louisiana, one of our favorite spots, Parkway Bakery and Tavern in New Orleans, is currently leading the vote tally, which will continue to accumulate until May 9th. Continue reading

Meat, Smoke, and Time: America’s Best BBQ

Where can you find the best barbecue in America? Leaving aside, for the moment, the silliness of seeking a single best barbecue joint, the answer to that question is a very personal one. Our favorite spots may not be your favorites. Do you like ribs, pulled pork, smoked brisket? Do you prefer a lot of smoke, or a subtle hit? Do you like it spicy or do you prefer to taste mostly meat? Do you want the meat to fall apart at the slightest prodding or do you think barbecue should retain an honest chew? Is sauce the most important factor to you? Continue reading

First Annual Philly Taco Challenge – Not What You Think!

This is not a Philadelphia eating contest to see who can eat the most tacos. That wouldn’t even make any sense in The City of Brotherly Love. No, the contest is as follows: who can eat a single Philly Taco the fastest? What’s a Philly Taco? You begin with a cheesesteak from Jim’s Steaks on South Street. Carry it down the street to Lorenzo’s Pizza, where you order one of their giant, pliable slices. Then you roll the cheesesteak in the pizza slice and begin eating! Obviously, this is not a dish born of straight and sober minds. Continue reading

Tony Luke’s Expanding Down East Coast

Gotta admit, when we first started making regular visits to Tony Luke’s in South Philly in the early ’90s, we never imagined it would ever expand to a second Philadelphia outlet much less become franchised up and down the east coast. The roast pork Italian and Uncle Mike sandwiches had us thoroughly seduced, as did the very scruffy, bare-bones location, alongside a barbed wire encircled “parking area” beneath rumbling Interstate 95 next door. Continue reading

Much More Than Chile in Santa Fe

Sure, the you’ll find a blue corn this and roasted poblano that. The ubiquitous green chile cheeseburger (a good one!) can be enjoyed as well. A bit of red chile may even find its way into the occasional sauce or marinade. Just the same, the upscale 33-year-old Santacafé, in Santa Fé, NM, offers so much more than Southwest regional specialties – the menu probably sports as many Asian touches as Southwestern. If you’re visiting The City Different and plan to subsist on more than adovada and green chile (not that there’s anything wrong with that approach!), and don’t mind dressing a little, Santacafé may be just what you’re looking for. Read more about Santacafé in yesterday’s Albuquerque Journal review.

First Gentleman Candidate Pops into Pepe’s of New Haven

The Clintons are pushing hard for the food savvy vote. Earlier this week, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined Stephen Colbert for a meal at New York’s famed Carnegie Deli. Yesterday, her husband and possible future First Gentleman, Bill, showed up at the home of the best pizza on earth, Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana, in New Haven, CT, the city where he and Hillary first met. He shook hands and gabbed, and even got close enough to some Pepe’s pies to appreciate their alluring scent. His current ascetic eating plan, however, apparently wouldn’t allow him to dine, as he departed without a bite. While we admire the former president’s willpower, surely a slice of founder Frank Pepe’s favorite pie, topped with tomatoes but no cheese, would have fit into his vegan diet!

Beef & Garlic, Spice & Smoke

We’ve long maintained that Harold’s New York Deli in Edison, NJ serves New York’s most consistently delicious pastrami. In the latest issue of Saveur, Laura Hoffman takes a closer look at the famed Jersey deli, and its owner Harold Jaffe. What strikes first-time visitors immediately are the comically large portions. What surprises most of those fressers is how the quality surpasses the size. The great pastrami is made and smoked in-house, the matzo balls are as light as they are enormous, and even the coleslaw is top-notch. Continue reading

Garrett Popcorn Coming to D.C. Area

CaramelCrisp is making its Washington D.C. arrival soon as Garrett Popcorn Shops is opening their first area store in Arlington, VA, in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The most delicious caramel corn on earth, originally made in Chicago, can now be found in the U.S. in Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, and New York, as well as across Asia and the Middle East. No Garrett near your home? Not a problem; they deliver!

Stephen and Hillary Share Cheesecake at the Carnegie

Running for president of the U.S. requires something of an iron gut. It’s important to be seen enthusiastically consuming the local delicacies but it’s also critical to avoid a culinary faux pas: don’t ask for Swiss on your Philly cheesesteak or ketchup on your Chicago dog. Hillary Clinton joined Stephen Colbert for lunch yesterday at New York’s Carnegie Deli, where she was given a lesson on the proper way to eat New York cheesecake. Watch and learn.

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