Fat Boy Summer Road Trip

Day One

The Fat Boy Summer Road Trip started out with a day of flight from PDX to Kansas City. 

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After my arrival we went to dinner at a local spot called Nick & Nino's Pub. I Continued celebrating the #OldFashionedFortnight with a strong but decent Old Fashioned made with Makers 46. For an appetizer we had the Fried Trio, a combination of fried pickles, fried zucchini, and fried green beans. Dinner was a 16oz Rib eye, served with mashed potatoes and fresh sauteed veggies. The rib eye was perfectly cooked and seasoned, in addition to being tender enough that I didn't realize I was using my butter knife until the second bite.

The atmosphere at Nick & Nino's was great, with friendly staff and live music from a decent band.  Not a bad start to the adventure. 

Day Two

 

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Our second day started on base at Ft. Leavenworth for Maj. Michael Cooper's graduation from the United States Army's Command and General Staff College.  It was great to be able to be here and see Coop reach another milestone in his military career.

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The keynote address was provided by Gen. Abrams, Commanding General, U.S Army Forces Command.  His address focused on the bonds forged by graduates with each other and with graduates from the 93 nations represented in this year's class, the threats they will face in a faster paced global environment than his generation of staff officers had to deal with, and the relationships that would change to the organizations graduates would return to or be joining.

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After graduation breakfast was in order, so we headed to downtown Leavenworth to a restaurant that opened just a couple years ago in the old railroad depot, appropriately named The Depot. 

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My breakfast special included a biscuit with gravy, crispy and perfectly fried hashbrowns, two eggs, and two slices of crispy bacon.  The biscuits were flaky and amazing, gravy was peppery beauty.  One of the best classically dine breakfast Atos I've had in a long time.  Definitely worth a stop if you find yourself in Leavenworth, KS.

That evening we went out to celebrate before leaving town, and spent must of our evening at DraftCade in Kansas City's Zona Rosa mall.  Featuring 60 taps of craft brew goodness, classic pinball and arcade games, and a decent bar menu it was a fun place to hang out.

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  From there we headed out to local dive Arthur's for karaoke and drinks with some old friends to end the night.

Day Three

Day Three dawned with a delay after finding that the Uhaul had been stolen from the parking lot over night.  After a three hour delay to file the police report and track down a replacement trailer we were finally on the road to St. Louis and a home cooked meal with the Golden family.  Bob worked for Coop in New York, and I met them on our last trip West three years ago.  Since then they have become good friends.

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 We arrived to advance amazing meal and great time catching up with the whole family. We stayed up until after 3am laughing and talking around the fire out back.  It was the perfect end to a day that started out so crazy.

Day Four

We woke up and had a light breakfast before heading out to see a little bit of the city.  We stayed at Anheiser-Busch's Grants Farm.  The historic home if general US Grant's in-laws it became the country home of the Busch family in the early 1900's.

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 We expected to see the Clydesdale horses so famous for pulling the beer wagons.  We didn't expect to find camels, elephants, buffalo, and exotic birds.

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 From Grants Farm we headed downtown to visit the Arch.

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 the old courthouse in St Louis

 the old courthouse in St Louis

We were all hot and tired so headed back to Bob and Rinku's house for dinner.  On the way we grabbed pizza from local favorite Imo's.  Featuring a cracker thin crust and light sauce it is unique but a nice might take on a take out staple.

Day Five

We left St. Louis after a great time catching up with the Golden family and headed south to Memphis.  Along  the way we stopped at Stonie's Sausage.

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Snack stix and sweet bologna were my favorite finds, but a great selection of meat and sausage aft decent prices.

Fat Boy Summer Road Trip 2014 Part 2: On the Road day 9

Today we had planned on hard driving getting us to Albequerque, NM.  We got a bit of a later start, and when I realized that Route 66 passed through Joplin, MO we decided to spend some time exploring the Mother Road instead of pushing down the interstate.

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The Fat Boy Summer Road Trip 2014 Part 2: On the Road Day 6

My view for 4 hours while waiting for Coop to finish getting his Jeep inspected for shipping.

My view for 4 hours while waiting for Coop to finish getting his Jeep inspected for shipping.

Today started of OK, then got bogged down for hours before a great finish.  We got moving this morning, checked out of our hotel in Towson, MD and planned to get to the Port of Baltimore around 1300 for Coop's appointment to ship his Jeep before a six hour drive to Raleigh, NC.  Unfortunately, what we hoped was going to be a quick process dropping off the Jeep ended up keeping us there until after 1800, making getting to the Raleigh area and Ft. Bragg impossible.

what it did do was have us ending the night just south of Richmond, VA after a great meal and evenin catching up with an old friend for Coop and meeting a new friend for me when we met Art at Honey Whyte's. 

 

When Art found out we were coming through late hetold us he had just the place for us to get the best burger in Richmond, and he was underselling what we found.

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Located on Historic Tobacco Row in the Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond, VA Honey Whyte's boldly proclaims on assign out front "best burger", and they back it up convincingly.  The only entrees on the menu are burgers.  They have turkey burgers for the healthy eaters and even a black bean patty for the vegetarians in the crowd but what they really do is beef.  You start by choosing either a 1/4 pound or 1/2 pound patty and then the type of burger.

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Fried pickles, the perfect appetizer

We started with an order of fried pickles, and they were perfect.  Thickly battered and evenly coated, they were crispy and delicious.  Back home fried pickles often are cooked at too low a tempature and end up a soggy mess, it's good to be in The South again.

Honey Whyte's "1/2lb Heart Attack" stands by itself, no sides needed!

Honey Whyte's "1/2lb Heart Attack" stands by itself, no sides needed!

The signature burger at Honey Whyte's is the 1/2 pound Heart Attack.  A 1/2 pound fresh beef patty between two grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches.  Presentation was simple, a giant burger in the center of a clean white plate with a knife stuck in the center.  No sides like fries to detract from the mountainous burger.  The individual sandwiches were grilled crispy and perfectly browned, and the beef was one of the best burgers I've ever eaten.  This goes in my top 5 list along with burgers like The Boncat Bite's Green Chile Burger in Sante Fe, NM and the Hot Brown Burger from Wallace Station in Versailles, KY.

The cross section of the 1/2lb Heart Attack shows off the bacon and cheese in those great sandwiches it uses as buns

The cross section of the 1/2lb Heart Attack shows off the bacon and cheese in those great sandwiches it uses as buns

It was great to meet Art and a great chance for he and Coop to catch up, but it was also an amazing burger experience.  Serendipity to be sure on this Fat Boy Summer Road Trip.

Coop and Art at the end of the night as we headed out to find our hotel.

Coop and Art at the end of the night as we headed out to find our hotel.