Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Like sleeping, food is a huge part of any trip. It can often be a problem to find good food. Meals often are eaten at random times. We always carry a box of food in the car, and we often eat as we are riding along. We usually carry cheese sticks and  cheddar cheese, Ak-mak crackers and Triskits, peanut butter and jelly, nuts, dried fruit, Cliff Bars and Larabars, apples, and chocolate bars, sometimes licorice.  Since Ellen is driving, I'll make a snack and feed it to her as we ride. Sometimes we stop at a park or rest area and make sort of a picnic of it. But we inevitably have to buy food along the way, and eat in various restaurants. For years we have carried a copy of Roadfood in the car and have looked for places to eat listed there. We have found some real winners this way. We did not bring Roadfood with is this time - I think it just got overlooked because we have  a new car on this trip whereas in the past it just lived in the Toyota and it was always there. Over time we have come to have some favorite places, and on this trip we also found some good new ones. Here's a little survey:

Swarthmore Pizza in Swarthmore, PA has become a tradition. We almost always try to arrive at Wallace Ayer's house in early evening so we can go to get a Mediterranean pizza at SP - it's just a short walk from her house. Often it is capped with some cheese cake.

Richard Walker's Pancake Restaurant is another tradition. It is in Schaumburg, IL.  We always take Maggie and Jerry with us as a thanks for their hospitality. We didn't have time to go there this time on the way out, but I'll bet we do on the way back! Ellen always gets the Dutch Baby pancake. I usually get an omelette.

Richard Walkers in Schaumburg

The Dutch Baby - it's mostly egg. Good for you!

Of course, we have had MANY meals at Maggie and Jerry's house. Sometimes Maggie prepares a meal, sometimes its make-your-own sandwiches, sometimes they order out - usually Chinese or pizza. There are always sweets. We've had many a good time round their dining table. Maggie likes to decorate and make things look fancy just for fun.

A typical dining table event at M&J's!

Better go easy on these!

We have had many memorable meals at Betsey and Rob's in Columbia. Rob prepares great meals at home, and we have also been taken to some of Columbia fine restaurants. One of our favorites is the University of Missouri faculty club - that is always a really special treat. This trip we went to Kampai Sushi Restaurant. It has a wonderful variety of sushi offerings.

An appetizer at Kampai


Of course, we can't live that high off the hog all the time. We do frequent some fast food chains. One of our favorites is Sonic. It is a bit retro - a drive-in restaurant with carhops on roller skates! You have to stay in your car. Unfortunately, they no longer use those trays that they used to clip on your window. They are said to have over 3000 restaurants in 43 states. Ellen especially likes their milkshakes. I'll often get one of their salads. A salad is usually a fairly safe bet in almost any restaurant . . . it's hard to make a really bad salad.  We went to a Sonic in Spokane, WA this time - it was a bit of a disappointment. We waited an awfully long time for our order to come. But we'll probably give them a try again.

Drive right in!
Another chain we frequent often is Casey's General Store, not because their food is all that great, but because you can make it a three-stop: gas, pee and tea. Sometimes I'll get a 100% beef hot dog. Casey's has 1700 locations in 11 midwestern states. We know we are in the midwest when we start seeing Casey's. Now and then in the mid-morning we might also get a bun with some coffee.

The Casey's logo with coffee and bun
Another chain we sort of discovered this time is TacoTime. In the past we've occasionally stopped at Taco Bell, or more rarely Taco John. TacoTime is a smaller chain, with about 300 locations in just the NW states. It was good quality food at a reasonable price. I went for the taco salad and cheese quesadilla, and Ellen for burrito, rice and beans. We ate at TacoTime once with Mimi, once just the two of us.

TacoTime ads

When we got to Boise, ID we found a nice frozen yogurt place, Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt, in downtown Boise which is an example of a growing phenomenon which, I suspect, is wildly successful: the self-serve frozen yogurt parlor where you have many flavors of frozen yogurt (at Aspen Leaf maybe as many as 16 or more) which you yourself put into a dish (a size of your choosing) and then select from oodles of possible toppings. You are charged by weight.

Aspen Leaf Yogurt, Boise, ID

Aspen Leaf parlor

No comments:

Post a Comment