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   xoxoxoBruce  Friday Sep 30 12:51 PM

Sept 30th, 2016: Road Trip Chow

One of the best things about road trips was eating at interesting places, the kind of place you add to your trip photos or buy a postcard of it. They all seem to have standard menu items for the timid, but usually had some local specialties unique to the area.


This one was located in Spring Green, Wisconsin, which is about ninety miles west of the city of Milwaukee. I'll bet they had some cheesy specialties.


But alas they fell by the wayside as the big chains and interstates strangled them. Too bad.



Gravdigr  Friday Sep 30 02:57 PM

I've always liked the mom & pop greasy spoon type establishment. Next best thing was a privately-owned truck stop. At 3 in the morning.

Now I'm hungry.



fargon  Saturday Oct 1 07:54 AM

My Dad could find the best places along the the road.



Snakeadelic  Saturday Oct 1 08:31 AM

When I was little we couldn't afford to travel much...or do anything much, really. I was 24 before I found out my mom's "secret recipe" for the most amazingly delicious dinner roast started with 'Step 1: Be friends with a land owner who knows how broke you are. Step 2: With land-owning friend's permission, sneak into the back-acres woods and poach a deer. Step 3: Convince your kid it's a secret family beef-roast recipe with super-secret spices.'

One of the few places we did get to stop on our occasional short jaunts around northwestern Oregon, however, is still there...barely. The Fort Hill Restaurant out near Grand Ronde is suffering tremendously after greedy politicians were convinced to rebuild Highway 99W in a way that just about completely cuts them off from highway traffic--now instead of just a quick right turn off the highway and left into the parking lot, you have to know how to get there from an exit like 2 miles away. The reason? As far as I can tell, it is because the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde (2700 enrolled individuals total) want ALL the money on that highway to get funneled over to their crown jewel, Spirit Mountain Casino. It is because of that casino that the Grand Ronde tribes are some of the wealthiest in the west, but apparently one small multi-generationally-run family restaurant is too much competition.

Fort Hill used to have the BEST biscuits & gravy. Any time we were anywhere near it I used to beg to stop, even back in the days when every single hillside visible from the place had been clear-cut right down to dirt. The sight of a shaved-bald hill still upsets me, but at least these days the hills are green again instead of bare brown. I haven't been to the restaurant on any of my annual trips westward even though we drive right by the place to get to my mom's--I don't know which exit works now or how to get to the restaurant whose parking lot is like 500 feet from the highway that no longer allows convenient access. I bet a lot of old favorites got this same kind of treatment...



Griff  Saturday Oct 1 09:01 AM

Mountain Beef had a long history in Grifftopia as well. I'm doing better at avoiding chains, we have a lot of local choices now. A new place just opened in Choconut.



Sundae  Saturday Oct 1 09:50 AM

We used to take packed lunches and stop at picnic stops when we hired a car to go camping for our holiday.
When we settled on a particular location and went back year on year, we always stopped in the same place.
Just before the picnic area, which did include a "food-wagon" aka salmonella on wheels, there was a diner. I wanted to go there SO MUCH. In the whiny way that children always want what they can't have.

As an adult, making the same journey, I ate there. It changed hands over the years and may have been part of a chain; it was on the main route from London to Norfolk at the time.
It was bloody awful. Dirty, poorly staffed and the food was haphazard, "Cod and chips? No? Anyone order cod and chips? Anyone?"

Sorry to sound all glurge-y ("poor is best" etc) but on that particular journey I looked back longingly on my Mum's home-made corned beef and pickle rolls, Tunnock's Teacakes and a sip of tea from the Thermos.

One of the joys I look forward to when I make my trip across America - which better happen soon with my health - is local food. I'd be devastated to find it was all the same chains we have in the UK. I happen to know Merkins can and do cook. And do it far better than me. Yes, I'm talking Dwellars. But I'd love to belly up to the counter in a local diner and get well fed.



Carruthers  Saturday Oct 1 10:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae View Post
We used to take packed lunches and stop at picnic stops when we hired a car to go camping for our holiday.
When we settled on a particular location and went back year on year, we always stopped in the same place.
Just before the picnic area, which did include a "food-wagon" aka salmonella on wheels, there was a diner. I wanted to go there SO MUCH. In the whiny way that children always want what they can't have.

As an adult, making the same journey, I ate there. It changed hands over the years and may have been part of a chain; it was on the main route from London to Norfolk at the time.
It was bloody awful. Dirty, poorly staffed and the food was haphazard, "Cod and chips? No? Anyone order cod and chips? Anyone?"

Sorry to sound all glurge-y ("poor is best" etc) but on that particular journey I looked back longingly on my Mum's home-made corned beef and pickle rolls, Tunnock's Teacakes and a sip of tea from the Thermos.

One of the joys I look forward to when I make my trip across America - which better happen soon with my health - is local food. I'd be devastated to find it was all the same chains we have in the UK. I happen to know Merkins can and do cook. And do it far better than me. Yes, I'm talking Dwellars. But I'd love to belly up to the counter in a local diner and get well fed.
I think I know where you mean. It was near Mildenhall and a quick scan of Street View shows it to have been redeveloped and turned into a McDonald's.
Now, who'd have thought it?


xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Oct 1 11:11 AM

Sight of that McDonalds sign would make a lot of people happy, knowing they would get something predictable, same as the last one and the one before. No adventure there.



Griff  Saturday Oct 1 11:39 AM

The adventure comes a half hour later while seeking a toilet for the inevitable McDs Ass-Blast.



Diaphone Jim  Saturday Oct 1 12:29 PM

Must be a classic car club meeting for breakfast, with the latest 1955.
The boom just below the sign used to have a hay grabber on a pulley system to load the hay loft. I hope they took it down before letting the public use that door.
The classic Kickstart Café Chevy looks to have modern mag wheels.
There are a couple of books on roadside diners that are fun to read.



Griff  Saturday Oct 1 02:54 PM

I think they just wanted to get something in the wheel wells she didn't get there under her own power. There appear to be bike parts in the bed now.



lumberjim  Sunday Oct 2 10:09 AM




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