Trip Coach: September 5, 2006 Roadfood experts Jane and Michael Stern answered your questions about roadside dining. Budget Travel Tuesday, Sep 5, 2006, 12:58 PM Roadfood experts Jane and Michael Stern (Todd France) Budget Travel LLC, 2016


Trip Coach: September 5, 2006

Roadfood experts Jane and Michael Stern answered your questions about roadside dining.

Roadfood experts Jane and Michael Stern (Todd France)
Roadfood experts Jane and Michael Stern (Todd France)

Jane and Michael Stern: Howdy, and welcome to the Roadfood chat. Jane got called out on an ambulance run (she's an EMT), so it may just be me for the hour. And I have to warn you that I currently have use of only 7-1/2 fingers, as I fell off my horse yesterday and 2-1/2 digits have blown up to resemble an order of Texas hot links. So I may be a little slow. But let's go!


Newark, DE: Me & my husband will be driving "The Crooked Road" in SW Virgina September 12 through the 16th to explore & experience the bluegrass, gospel & country music landmarks. The towns include Floyd, Galax, Bristol, Hiltons, Norton & Clintwood. Any suggestions for great country dining? We are especially fond of breakfast. Thank you! I am a huge fan.

Jane and Michael Stern: It's been a while since we ate our way through Southern Virginia. You'll find great country ham and red-eye gravy for breakfast (and lunch and dinner), that's for sure, but the one must-not-miss specialty of this particular part of the state is Brunswick Stew. I'm not sure if it's still there, but there was a great little cafe in Lawrenceville called Larry's Lunch: Brunswick stew, griddle-fried ham, corn cakes, and delicious rice pudding for dessert.


Tucson, AZ: Hi, Jane and Michael! My husband and I are taking a road trip into New England during October. While in Vermont we will be traveling the Ethan Allen Highway. We will be traveling in that area on Sunday, October 8th from the Mt. Washington area on our way to Bridgewater Corners. What good road side places, not pricey, could you recommend? Thanks so much! We are very active and young minded seniors but doubt if that makes any difference where we eat!

Jane and Michael Stern: In Woodstock, just east of Bridgewater Corners, there is a little diner named Wasp's. It's where the locals eat, and the menu ranges from blue-plate corned beef hash to such specials as calamari salad with a lime mint soy dressing for the greens and chipolte aioli for the calamari. We like the hamburgers, with pie for dessert. Also, check out Gillingham's hardware: they've got everything (including local edibles).


Charlotte, NC: I'm flying into Charlotte for a business meeting. I will have lunch hour free. Any suggestions for a good meal?

Jane and Michael Stern: My Charlotte friend assures me Lupie's Cafe cannot be beat, and looking at its website has made it top priority for when we visit Charlotte in October. From past experience we can unreservedly recommend Price's Chicken Coop for some of the southland's best fried chicken.


Astoria, NY: As vegetarians, we're usually stuck eating salads and grilled cheese when we hit the road. Have you ever come across any great meat-free meals at your favorite roadside haunts? Thanks!

Jane and Michael Stern: We were amazed in Memphis, Tennessee, when we went there several months back to discover that many of the soul food cooks have forsworn hamhocks and any other pig meat in their long-cooked vegetables. (In particular, check out Alcenia's and The Cupboard: vegetable lovers' heavens with lots of meat-free choices.) Southern cafeterias and cafes generally do have great vegetable selections, but you have to watch out for the ham bone that is traditionally used to season them. We've also found that good Mexican restaurants can be vegetarian friendly (although not so vegan friendly), because it is less common nowadays to make refritos with lard.


Bethel, CT: While eating an ice cream at Dr. Mike's, I swear I saw you leaving the yoga studio. Is this true? Should I expect a new Yogi Roadfood in the future? And what is the best food to eat after yoga?

Jane and Michael Stern: Yes, that was I (Michael) exiting yoga class on Greenwood Ave. in Bethel, which happens to be less than 100 yards from Dr. Mike's ice cream, 1/4 mile from both the Sycamore Drive-In (home of the Dagwoodburger and swell root beer) and a small, slightly upscale storefront called Pizzeria Laurentano, where you'll find beautiful boutique pizzas and very yummy salads. I suspect my yoga teacher might not recoommend pizza and ice cream after class, but I find it builds up a very healthy appetite. As for a special edition of Roadfood for yogis only (where to eat a hot fudge sundae while lounging on a bed of nails?), it's safe to say that it is a long way off. As I see it, yoga is the yin to Roadfood yang. Or is it vice versa?


Charleston SC: I'm heading to the charleston area. What classic low country foods are a must to try? And where is the best place(s) to chow down?

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