As Rick Kelo knows, one of the best things about driving cross-country – or simply meandering the byways of America – is finding those delightful little restaurants tucked into out-of-the way spots, or found unexpectedly in otherwise grim strip malls.
The United States is a melting pot of languages, cultures, ethnicities, traditions, and – most importantly – food. From the French and Spanish influence that created the magnificent cuisine of New Orleans, to the gut-bursting hot dogs and deep-dish pizza in Chicago, to the deli food (particularly bagels) of New York City, to the Tex-Mex food of the southwestern United States, this country is a gourmet’s delight. A trip around the United States gives the traveler the opportunity to sample various regional cuisines, creating a thoroughly unique experience.
The website Roadfood has many faithful, hungry, appreciative members, and many reviews of restaurants across the United States (and in Alaska and Hawaii). Restaurants can be searched by type of food and by state (and by city within each state). Reviews are consistently well-written, and are accompanied by mouth-watering photographs of the restaurant’s signature dish (or dishes). Some of the photographs are staggering – a pastrami sandwich, for example, piled so high with meat that no human mouth could possibly take a bite out of it. A pizza the size of a truck tire. An enormous, gooey sundae dripping with sweet toppings. An ice-cream cone so big that it runs the risk of toppling over.
Roadfood also features driving tours. This section of the site gives advice to travelers to various areas of the country. One tour, covering twenty-eight miles, is titled “Portland, Oregon in a day”. It covers no less than seven eating establishments. For more adventurous diners, there is a tour that starts in Seattle and travels east. It covers one hundred and twenty miles and encompasses two cafes, a bakery, a coffee house, and a genuine drive-in diner. Visitors to Pittsburgh can visit four fine eateries, one (Primanti Brothers) with the truly enormous sandwiches mentioned above. This sandwich shop features a pastrami and egg sandwich that includes a tomato, cole slaw, and a mountain of French fries – all tucked skillfully between two thick slices of bread. This sandwich shop is not a place for the culinarily timid. All the sandwiches come on large pieces of bread, and most feature French fries as a key ingredient, whether the sandwich is pastrami, roast beef, or kolbassi.