The final installment of our summer journey covering the drive from Roswell, NM to Salem, OR during which time we discover that Chris Ledoux was right, life really is a highway.Read More
We left St. Louis after a great time catching up with the Golden family and headed south to Memphis. Alongthe way we stopped at Stonie's Sausage Shop for some road snacks. They had a great selection of fresh made smoked meats and sausages, great homemade jerky, and a wide selection of local area products from pickles to pork rinds, wine, and sodas. It was a great find. We picked up some cheese, some snack sticks, and some bologna and sausage to thow in the cooler for the drive to Memphis.
After a long drive we made it to Memphis around 8pm and headed straight to Beale St., starting at the West end at the Hard Rock Cafe. If you have never been to Memphis, TN it really is a trip every music lover should take. The sights and sounds even on a Monday night were spectacular, with live music coming from every juke joint on Beale. We walked "with our boots ten feet off of Beale" taking in the sights and sounds until we reached the end of the entertainment district and were waived into Coyote Ugly by their manager T. It was quiet on a Monday night, but we ended up having a ton of fun and closing the place down with Morgan and Evee.
Left Memphis for Shreveport, LA. The long night had us so tired we forgot to set the alarm and were woken up by the guy at the front desk telling us it was checkout time. Fortunately he gave us a late checkout without a hassle. We had a huge breakfast at Cracker Barrel and were on our way.
It was a long drive, but we made it into Shreveport and got checked into our hotel. It was right next to the Louisiana Downs racetrack and casino, so we walked over there to find dinner.
Fuddruckers was the only restaurant in the casino still open, but they have always made an amazing burger so we had a nice meal. We played the slots for a few minutes after dinner then called it an early night.
After an early night we got up and packed after a decent breakfast buffet at the hotel. After a long drive made it to Austin, TX.
No trip to Austin is complete for me without a trip to Stubbs BBQ. Stubbs Legendary BBQ has been doing pit style BBQ right since Mr. Stubblefield opened the original (and now closed) joint in Lubbock in 1968. He was instrumental in breaking musical talent like Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughn back then and ever since live music has been almost as important as the food to Stubbs' customers and fans worldwide.
After a great dinner at Stubbs we headed for 6th Street to find a party. We walked the North side of the block then crossed to come back to Chuggin' Monkey to get a look at the band that we could hear from across the street.
The Blues Posse were tearing it up! Their lead guitar, Jack Edery was pulling blues licks from all over the spectrum and doing them well. Vocals from Mr. Jamie van Beek were tight and accurate. A great show. On to the next spot.
We left the Chuggin' Monkey and wandered into Pete's Dueling Piano Bar. It was packed, with hundreds of people all singing along and shouting requests spanning the decades.
Another music town, another Coyote Ugly! Rosalyn, Morgan, and Ashley were fun but didn't match the energy or fun of the great ladies we met a couple of days ago in Memphis.
We closed Coyote Ugly down again, and headed back to the hotel.
We got up and moving planning on heading for Amarillo, but plans to see a friend fell through so we changed our routing a bit, heading to Roswell, NM instead. It was a long drive, but we made Roswell about 7:30 local time. We had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant recommended by the girl at the front desk called Los Cerritos.
I had a great stuffed sopapilla with all the trimmings. The recommendation if anything undersold the food. I love New Mexican food, with the great use of hatch green chiles and a unique addition of fried dough.
Carrie and I spent the weekend in Louisville, and the visit reinforced the fact that I love Kentucky like it was where I was born to live. From the small-town feel of the big city you get in Louisville to the rolling bluegrass fields and horse ranches of the countryside it's an amazing place that reminds me of my real home in Portland, Oregon but adds so much charm and history, not to mention actual seasons. And we can't forget the bourbon. From great bourbon bars to the largest and best bourbon distillers in the world both Louisville and Lexington are amazing whiskey towns.
Mar 3, 2017
Day one of our anniversary trip to Louisville was a long drive, where we checked into the historic Seelbach Hotel followed by a great bowl of Burgoo and cocktails at one of the best hotel bars in the country, The Old Seelbach Bar.
Traditional burgoo was made using whatever meats and vegetables were available—typically, venison, squirrel, opossum, raccoon or game birds, and was often associated with autumn and the harvest season. Today, local barbecue restaurants use a specific meat in their recipes, usually pork, chicken, or mutton, which, along with the spices used, creates a flavor unique to each restaurant.
The Seelbach takes things to a new level featuring pork, rabbit, and venison in their burgoo. This combination of meats with the traditional okra, corn, and potatoes whose starches leech out to thicken this amazing soup create a concoction thick enough to stand your spoon up while still leaving an ample amount of broth to be soaked up by their amazing bourbon bread.
March 4, 2017
We started with a quiet morning and breakfast in bed from the amazing Gatsby's on Fourth Cafe in the hotel. We then took a drive through historic Louisville. We tried to get in for a tour of the Angels Envy distillery that opened across from Slugger Stadium since the last time we were in town, but tours were sold out for the day. Instead we took a drive out Old Bardstown Road through the historic neighborhoods East of Downtown known as The Highlands.
We came back early afternoon and walked down the street from the Seelbach to another historic Louisville hotel, The Brown for lunch. Our favorite spot in the hotel, the Lobby Bar wasn't open yet but I got some pictures before heading down to the historic J. Graham's Cafe on the first floor.
J. Graham's Cafe is the originator of the Hot Brown, the city's signature sandwich which was developed in the 1920's to satisfy late night diners looking for more glamorous than ham and eggs after attending the historic dinner dances hosted in the 4,300 sqft Crystal Ballroom which regularly accommodated more than 1,200 guests per night.
We of course both chose the Hot Brown for our lunch, and as always were not disappointed. The amazing mornay sauce is as ever the centerpiece of this amazing open faced sandwich, combining Pecorino Romano cheese with a perfectly made cream sauce with just a hint of nutmeg to draw out the nutty flavors of the cheese. This sauce covers the base of Texas toast and Turkey before being sprinkled with more cheese and thrown under a broiler. The sandwich is then covered with 2 strips of bacon before being garnished and served. There is no better sandwich in my experience, and I've eaten some amazing sandwiches in my travels.
Mar 5, 2017
Country Ham and Pimento cheese on wheat from Wallace Station is an amazingly well constructed sandwich. The salt and sweet from the ham are the perfect foil for the creamy spice of the pimento cheese. Pimento cheese is one of those southern creations we just don't find most places in Oregon unless we make it like Grandma did.
Carrie had the Turkey Rachel, Roast turkey, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese and creamy slaw. A southern take on the Ruben with house made slaw that takes it to a whole new level. She said it was a great sandwich, and her clean plate said she wasn't just being polite.
In the category of "it's a small world" we have today's lunch.I was out for a walk exploring downtown Columbus, Ohio and spotted a food truck in a parking lot down a side street.You know how I love food trucks, so I had to at least see what they had to offer.
Turns out the truck is owned and run by a Portland native who graduated from Western Culinary back in the last of the classes before it was sold to Le Cordon Blue. He calls his truck "Broke Johnny's" and he just bought it a few weeks ago, but if he keeps serving breakfast like this he's going to have to change the name because he won't be broke for long.
I had a chance to try two items from his menu today his breakfast sandwich and what he tells me has become his signature dish, the Ham and Cheese waffle.
The breakfast sandwich is simple perfection. Thin sliced ham is thrown onto the flattop to heat up and get some caramelization. It's thrown onto toasted sourdough or marble rye, with a nice medium egg and American cheese. The beauty is in the quality of the ham and a perfectly cooked egg that is just a little runny making mayonnaise unnecessary.
The master stroke though was the Ham & Cheese Waffle. A perfectly crisped waffle is spread with whipped butter then topped with cheese, chunks of fried ham, and then smothered in Johnny's bacon-bourbon sauce with big chunks of bacon. The combination is truly amazing. If I hadn't already had the breakfast sandwich he tells me that it's even better when you have a nice egg over the top of it (and what brunch isn't).
If you're in Columbus, track him down and give his brunch truck a try.
Note from the Fatboy-in-Chief: This article was written by my amazing wife about her recent trip with my mother-in-law and daughter to NYC for my daughters 16th birthday. You will notice some stylistic differences but the writing is probably much better than mine. Enjoy.Read More