Trip Coach: August 14, 2007
On Tuesday, August 14, roadfood experts Jane and Michael Stern of roadfood.com, answered your questions on roadside dining.
Jane and Michael Stern: Hello All;
This is Michael Stern, of Jane and Michael Stern, and I am delighted to be here for the next hour chatting with you about roadside restaurants. Questions, comments, critiques, and suggestions all are welcome.
St. Louis, Missouri: Hubby and I will spend a week in St. Augustine, Florida the week of Sept. 9th, 2007. We need to know where to find a good fresh seafood restaurant, and an authentic Mexican restaurant. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks!
Jane and Michael Stern: You are in luck. St. Augustine is home of Barnacle Bill's (two branches), where you can have excellent Minorcan clam chowder (originally from the Spanish island of Minorca), spiced up with hot datil peppers (which the Minorcans brought with them when the settled) as well as beautiful, crisp-crusted fried shrimp, also available datil-pepper hot. For Mexican food, we enjoy Acapulco, with a great view of Matanzas Bay.
San Antonio, Texas: Looking for kid friendly good food, non-chain resturants between Chicago and the Wisconsin Dells
Jane and Michael Stern: Being a bar, it isn't, by definition, all that kid-friendly, but you can't beat Monk's for burgers in the Wisconsin Dells. It's where the locals go. Closer towards Chicago, stop at one of the bakeries in Racine for that great Danish pastry, kringle, and in Muckwanago at he Elegant Farmer for the world's best apple pie.
Alabama: I'm heading to New York City pretty soon and everyone tells me I should eat the pizza! Where is the best place to get a slice in New York?
Jane and Michael Stern: For whole pizzas, we like John's in Greenwich Village. In Harlem, Patsy's is a must for slices and whole pies, and just over the bridge in Brooklyn, Grimaldi's is great. In Coney Island, Totonno's is one not to be missed.
Chicago, Illinois: Do you have any favorite meals that you've had on the road that you recreate regularly at home? If so, what's the recipe? -- Regina
Jane and Michael Stern: We've brought home literally thousands of recipes from our travels, many of which have become part of our regular kitchen repertoire. While it's not a meal unto itself (although it could be!) One of the all-time favorites is this pound cake, the recipe for which came from Elvis Presley's friend Janelle McComb. Janelle said Elvis could eat an entire cake in one sitting. When you taste it, you will understand!
2 cups sugar
12 tablespoons butter, softened
5 eggs, room temperature
2 cups cake flour, sifted twice (DO NOT USE "SELF RISING" FLOUR)
2/3 cup whipping cream (not whipped)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Butter and flour a 2.2 quart Pyrex pan.
Thoroughly cream together sugar and butter.
Add eggs one at a time, beating extremely well after each addition. Mix in half the flour, then the whipping cream, then the other half of the flour. Beat five full minutes. Add vanilla.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set it in a cold oven and turn the heat to 350 degrees. Bake 1 hour or until a sharp knife inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and turn it upside down to remove from the pan onto a cooling rack. Cool thoroughly. Wrapped well, this cake keeps several days.
Chicago, IL: Best BBQ: Texas or North Carolina?
Jane and Michael Stern: I'll beat around the bush and say that the best BBQ in North Carolina is at the Skylight Inn in Ayden: pit-cooked, whole-hog pork hacked to smithereens and dressed only with a dash of vinegar and hot sauce, plus salt and pepper: a pure pork epiphany. The best in Texas: fallapart-tender brisket at Louie Mueller's in Taylor. I'm not fool enough to say one is better than the other! Plus, what about barbecued mutton in Kentucky? That's good, too!
New York, NY: I'm going to Montana - around Glacier National Park. Do you have any suggestions for me? Is there a Montana specialty I should know about?
Jane and Michael Stern: Sorry, I don't have a hot tip in or around Glacier, but southeast of there, if you get to Great Falls, you must try the steaks at Eddie's Supper Club: "Taste like that Ol' Marlboro Cowboy cooked them over the campfire," says the menu. As for local specialties, this time of year you should be able to find huckleberry ice cream, milk shakes, and jam.
Albuquerque, NM: My husband & I will be on the coast of southern Maine for 2 days - Sept 19 and 20th. We will be driving from Boston and staying in the York area. We would like to make the most of our time and spend time between Portsmouth, NH to Portland, ME. I would like info about eating outside on the water at the lobster pounds I've heard so much about. All other roadside dining opportunities in the area would be welcome! Thank you, Debbie