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Great "Backroads" Restaurants

 
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Post Great "Backroads" Restaurants Aaron Scott
There are a few guidelines I've found for backroads (or small town) restaurants. I'll throw some out, then maybe you'll not only add a few other "rules," but some restaurants worth trying.

1. If there's no real competition in town, you may wish there were.

2. If it's an old restaurant and there is competition in town--chain restaurants (and especially those who serve food like the restaurant in question--it's usually a good bet that the food is good. After all, if it could stay in business all those years, despite competition....

3. In highly commercialized areas, all bets are off, no matter how long the restaurant has been in business. When an area is typically crowded (I'm thinking specifically of Pigeon Forge, TN), people may choose a restaurant based on it not being crowded, etc. And if the food is bad, those folks (often vacationers) won't be back for at least a year or so...plenty of time to forgive and forget.

4. Sometimes a place has greater tradition than food. Cozy Burger in Salina, KS, was mentioned as a great burger place. And, in truth, it wasn't terrible. But only about 10 people could fit in the room (standing in line for burgers). The burgers are the size and look of a Krystal Burger, but with more onions...and half the deliciousness.

Some places I really like:

Bea's Cafeteria, Chattanooga, TN. Not really a backroads or smalltown place, but in an area of town that feels that way. You sit at a large, round table with a Lazy Susan in the middle. You and other parties may be seated at the same table. The waitresses keep the chicken (their specialty--all white) and sides coming. Eat all you want.

Burger Basket, Andrews, NC. Little trailer and air conditioned porch, but great burgers and fries (and in business all these years despite McDonald's down the road, etc.).

Powell's Dairy Freeze, Starke, FL. Old drive-in restaurant, but no longer.
Good hamburgers and fries!

Fish Tales, Marathon, FL. Very reasonable prices for GOOD fried grouper. Also has a very passable Key Lime Pie (an 8.5 out 10).

Please add some to the list.
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8/12/20 11:17 am


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Post UncleJD
the Hollywood Inn in Hollywood, County Wicklow, Ireland. Cutest little village and best fish and chips you'll ever have, in the middle of the Wicklow Mountains national park. Golf Cart Mafia Capo
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8/12/20 2:20 pm


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Post The Hungry Hunter roughridercog
Near Tablerock Lake at Branson, Missouri.

Clockers Cafe in downtown Branson
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8/13/20 7:15 am


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Post sheepdogandy
Bea's in Chattanooga.

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8/13/20 9:13 am


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Post Cojak
GREAT Steaks and good salad bar, "Woodshed" in Stanley NC
Breakfast..White's Cafe in E. Belmont, NC
Breakfast.. Sunrise Cafe in Tavares, FL

??? Any suggestions in the Clearfield/Layton Utah area???
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8/13/20 11:05 am


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Post Cojak
UncleJD wrote:
the Hollywood Inn in Hollywood, County Wicklow, Ireland. Cutest little village and best fish and chips you'll ever have, in the middle of the Wicklow Mountains national park.

I probably won't make it, but I sure would like to, I'm sorta running out of time. LOL
PS: I still hold your notes of Europe travel in HOPES! I am spending more on Diesel to make a swing around the USA than international flights cost. BUT we are enjoying the food across the USA now.

Not crazy about Blaze Pizza in Knoxville or Cafe Sabor (Layton Utah) but the places are POPULAR locally!
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8/13/20 11:07 am


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Post Cojak, in Layton Aaron Scott
They do have a Chick-fil-A and Cracker Barrel. I know those are chains, but for Layton to have so many restaurants, I imagine that any "old" place you find, must be pretty good.

Sill's Cafe--at least for breakfast--appears to be highly rated.

In an case, have a good trip. We love you folks!
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8/13/20 1:43 pm


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Post FLRon
There was a real dive of a rib joint on highway 40 near West Memphis. For the life of me I cannot remember the name, but this was in the very early 90’s. I saw billboards on the highway so I had to stop. Hands down the best ribs I’ve eaten, even now. Even after washing my hands the smell of those ribs stayed with me all the way home, which was several hundred miles away.
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8/13/20 8:52 pm


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Post Carolyn Smith
I doubt any of you will make it east of Raleigh, but if you do, check out Parkers for the best ENC BBQ around. They have them in Wilson and Greenville (where I was born and raised.)

And if you make it to Greenville, you have to go to B's BBQ, a little hole in the wall near the hospital. If you go near lunchtime, you may stand in line for an hour. But don't wait too late to go because they close whenever they run out of food. Oh, and you can't call them because they don't have a phone. They had one once but they're too busy to answer it. Best grilled chicken around! And you can get a rack of ribs that'll last all weekend if you stop by first thing in the morning and place your order.

Cojak, there is an awesome little restaurant on the north side of Charlotte that serves really good steaks, but I can't remember the name. I want to say it's an Italian restaurant, but the steaks are amazing. We ate there many years ago while doing a crusade there when Bobby Ross was the pastor (Eastway, I think?)

Cojak, I'm glad to hear you and your wife & son are making another tour across the country. What a journey you two have had! Sending you much love...
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8/14/20 10:46 am


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There is a place called Thurman in Columbus Ohio. A co-worker urged us all to go eat there, so we went out there for lunch one day. The burgers were huge. I think I managed to eat the whole thing somehow, probably an unwise decision.

But the flavor was just hamburger meat flavor. You know that hamburger meat flavor that you taste and think the burger should have been seasoned? They didn't really use any seasoning.

I wasn't impressed. But there were people lined up to eat in their tiny dining area, including people who had a checklist of burger places people were supposed to eat at as they travelled around the country. The burger I had was all size and no flavor.

My family went out to Oklahoma from Georgia planning on getting a job that did not work out for me at ORU (I wouldn't vow 90 or so referenced pages of stuff to the Lord). Following 78, I think, through Alabama there wasn't much to eat. I think it was because it was a fairly new road. Food was a few miles off the highway for the post part, and scattered. I didn't realize how sparsely populated Alabama and Mississippi are compared to places like Georgia and Tennessee.

It wouldn't have been so bad except my wife, being Asian, dislikes McDonald's and rarely eats hamburgers, so a McD's at a gas station wouldn't feed her, and we wanted a real meal. I followed the GPS to a couple of restaurants that were empty, one with foliage growing all around, and stopped at a gas station and asked about restaurants. Someone pointed me to a Mexican restaurant in a small shopping center across the street. The food was fairly decent, not awesome, but pretty good for being in the middle of nowhere.

Mexican restaurants offer some of the best value for money, IMO, if you happen to find a good one. A lot of the mom and pop restaurants have great food and just give you more than a lot of the chains. Mexican cuisine is really flavorful.
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8/14/20 12:31 pm


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Post Sill's of Lawton, Utah Cojak
Okay Aaron we ate out last breakfast at Sill's and headed for Idaho then Portland, Well not Portland itself but the outskirts. The breakfast was great but the SCONE was delicious. I should have just ordered the scone for breakfast.
We ate at another place in Lawton that was note worthy, The Star. I thought I saw them serving a big dip of ice cream on pancakes until I learned it was a big hump of whipped butter with syrup mixed in.
Anyway Sills did come up to its billing.

Next Idaho Potatoes... LOL
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8/17/20 12:31 pm


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Post Atlanta area wahoo
Busy Bee Cafe in Atlanta, best fried chicken ever.

Shamrock Cafe off 85 South of Atlanta for great breakfast.
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8/18/20 10:50 am


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Post The Farmhouse Restaurant in Etowah, TN Aaron Scott
It's not right on 411, but just a block or two off of it. Incredible fried chicken (usually only on Sundays). I've never had a bad meal there. Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
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8/18/20 12:46 pm


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I'm not sure this is the right one, but I think it's Taqueria La Parilla. It's that or a nearby shopping center. Several years ago on Jefferson Hwy going into Athens, GA before it turns into Prince Avenue, there was a little store front Mexican restaurant. I ordered the enchiladas and I have never had such enchilada sauce before or since. It seems like I never get a chance to eat there if I go toward Athens. I hope it's got the same cook as then.

I don't know how to get there, but I ate some chap chay at a Chinese place in Siantar Sumatera that actually used broccoli, which is rare over there. This place had a cement floor. They seemed to have pretty decent food at some of those other Chinese restaurants on the side of the main road in Siantar, but one of them had a nasty looking bathroom, and it might be a little hard to leave the restaurant because the floors were so sticky.

That reminds me of Steverinos in Athens. They had a delicious steak sandwich. Pizzas were okay. But the last time I went by there several years ago, there was some other restaurant in its place. I was disappointed.
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8/18/20 4:54 pm


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