The tastiness of a classic foodie book…
The publisher’s blurb:
First published in 1977, the original Roadfood became an instant classic. James Beard said, “This is a book that you should carry with you, no matter where you are going in these United States. It’s a treasure house of information.”
The 40th anniversary edition of Roadfood includes 1,000 of America’s best local eateries along highways and back roads, with nearly 200 new listings, as well as a brand new design.
Filled with enticing alternatives for chain-weary-travelers, Roadfood provides descriptions of and directions to (complete with regional maps) the best lobster shacks on the East Coast; the ultimate barbecue joints down South; the most indulgent steak houses in the Midwest; and dozens of top-notch diners, hotdog stands, ice-cream parlors, and uniquely regional finds in between. Each entry delves into the folkways of a restaurant’s locale as well as the dining experience itself, and each is written in the Sterns’ entertaining and colorful style. A cornucopia for road warriors and armchair epicures alike, Roadfood is a road map to some of the tastiest treasures in the United States.
What I thought of it:
I have been wanting to get ahold of a copy of this book for some time now, so I was so excited when I was finally able to sit down in a comfy chair and look through it! The information is broken down into regions of the United States, and then separated by state. Lots of reviews of different eateries all across the land, including a few where I’ve even dined.
Oklahoma, where I grew up, naturally had Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. I figured that would be a given, and flipped through the pages to hunt it down first thing. They even mention Cattlemen’s lamb fries… deep-fried testicles, because yes – people do eat those. Another familiar name in the Oklahoma section was Classen Grill. I’ll be honest in that I’ve never been there, but a few friends have, and I’ve never heard complaints.
On to California, where I lived for a couple decades. There’s Musso & Frank’s, a place I walked by many times but never thought I could afford to enter. (I plan on remedying that next time I go out West!) The Kettle is listed – and I remember eating there with a group of friends after the band played. Liked the food, but the company was the best. Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, home of the two-story doughnut! (And good eating-sized donuts, too.) And one of my favorite places ever: Canter’s Deli.
While the authors have taken the time to check out places, taste the food and get a sense of the atmosphere of each restaurant, I’m not so sure all of these places should come under the heading of “road food”. While the places I dined at have been great – and as the authors say, a tasty alternative to chain restaurants – “road food” to me means a place you can find pretty easily from the hotel where you are staying, and that won’t put a huge pinch on your pocketbook. Maybe I am being too finicky? Maybe I am odd for not setting aside more travel budget for culinary adventures?
My take away from this book (no pun intended) is a great guide for cool places to eat wherever you might park for the night, and a treasure trove of ideas for local “discovery” meals. I know I’ve made note of a few nearby!
**I was sent this copy from Blogging For Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**