I look forward to listening to The Splendid Table every week (well, in truth, I never seem to be available to listen when it's on, so I download the podcasts and then binge-listen in the car). I love Lynne Rossetto Kasper's interviews, recipes, food ideas and tips, and interesting stories. But one thing I never want to miss is the segment on each show when Jane and Michael Stern call in to talk about their favorite peach pie at a diner in rural Georgia or the best-ever authentic burritos at a little hole-in-the-wall in the New Mexican desert or some unusual kind of sandwich served only in one little town in Wisconsin or Vermont. If you've never heard of the Sterns, you should go visit their Roadfood website right this minute.
So ... of course I jumped at the chance to review the ninth edition of the Sterns' classic book, Roadfood. The subtitle is "The Coast-to-Coast Guide to 900 of the Best Barbecue Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice Cream Parlors, Highway Diners, and Much, Much More." If you open the book at random, you'll see entries like the one for Morning Call Coffee Stand in Metarie, LA: "Crisp-edged and nearly as light as air, Morning Call beignets arrive three to an order, hot from the fry kettle." Or Scott's Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, SC: "Whole-hog pork, cooked all night over smoldering oak and hickory coals, is pulled into shreds and served with hunks of pig skin and servings of peppery, just-barely-sweet sauce for dipping." Or Belgrade Gardens in Barberton, OH: "Are you looking for fried chicken that is drippingly juicy with a dense, red-gold crust that crunches and melts in pure savory flavor?" Honestly, it's all I can do not to jump in the car and go on a road trip every time I open the book!
Having just returned from our vacation in Maine, I was happy to see that our favorite place in Kittery, Bob's Clam Hut, was listed in the book. We're about to head up to the White Mountains for our annual Labor Day weekend getaway, and of course the Sterns know all about Polly's Pancake Parlor and Bishop's ice cream. Closer to home, they've been to Woodman's of Essex and Santarpio's here in Boston. I was surprised to see that of 25 places listed for Massachusetts, 7 of them are in Fall River! I've never been to any of them, but that sounds like a doable road trip for me.
So, if you like to eat at places that usually only the locals know about, you'll want to keep this book in your glove compartment next time you hit the road. You'll never find more enthusiastic and knowledgeable companions in your search for great food.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own.