The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.

Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.

Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.

Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.

Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Road Food

I just got the new Roadfood book; Jane and Michael Stern's guide to the kind of restaurants that are now called "Roadfood" places. It's a list of places that actually serve good American food, particularly regional specialties, mixed in with more kitschy entries. In other words, a lot of places that seem they ought to serve great regional food, don't, but still have som ekind of throwback to another way of doing things, great mottos or signs, fun gimmicks or servers. My last trip (Tennessee and Virginia) following Roadfood was disappointing but I have had some wonderful experiences other times.

You can judge by what they choose in Cincinnati. I don't have the old one here, so I can't tell completely for sure which are new, and which have been dropped. But Putz's is still in, and Camp Washington Chili and Blue Ash Chili. They've also added Hathaway's, though I think they visited before the new owner/decor. As the long as the waitresses stay, I think it qualifies. I think this is new: my favorite ever rootbeer stand The White Turkey in Conneaut.


at 10:42 AM Blogger Julie said...

The ones they listed are the ones they've always listed, I don't think it's changed.

at 11:05 AM Anonymous Chad Edward said...

My best Road Food find was Whatta-Burger, the original, in Russelville, Arkansas.

at 12:07 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

Polly - where did you go in Virginia and Tenn? I would bet (based on your comments) a dollar (if I had a dollar) that one of your stops in Virginia was Mrs Rowe's in Staunton. If so, I'll have more input on this later in this set of comments

at 12:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the sterns are some of my heroes. with MFAs in art, turned roadfoodies. i love their appearances on Splendid Table and their column in Gourmet. I recently read Jane's book Ambulance Girl that is an amazing addition to the story of their lives and how they live them. Two for the Road is also more memoir style.

i won't say that every restaurant they recommend works out greatly for me. i live near camp washington chili and have a herd of friends that are BIG fans, and on the Sterns' recommendation gave the chili a try and it didn't do much for me. but, by and large, i think what they contribute to the vista of American food writing is interesting and an important component to the view of our country's food legacies.

-matt morris
(having trouble accessing my account)

at 12:37 PM Blogger valereee said...

OMG! The White Turkey! That's my family's favorite place to stop for a Last Edible Lunch on our way to Family Camp up in N. Springfield PA (Camp Fitch dining review: "We're smack in the middle of the richest farmland the world has ever seen, it's harvest time, and we're eating canned veggies") each August! We LOOOOOOVE The White Turkey!

at 3:37 PM Blogger vudutu said...

I got to hear the Stern's speak at the Arnoff a number of years ago. They were very funny, wonderful hilarious stories.

at 2:44 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...


at 4:02 PM Blogger Polly Campbell said...

Oh, sorry. Yes, Mrs. Rowe's in Staunton. Not good. (which is still in there) And some really bad place in West Virginia--which doesn't seem to be in the new book. But other recommendations have worked very well.

at 10:23 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...

Very suprised it is in the new book - it has been removed from the Roadfood website (ergo my guess) due to reader complaints that the place has gone waaaaaaaaaay downhill in recent years.

The website (being dynamic) is generally more up to date that the books

at 1:41 PM Blogger Polly Campbell said...

The website's great--you guys do a nice job keeping it up. I like having the book--for someone without a blackberry or laptop, they come on the road, and I just love the way the Sterns write.

at 1:55 PM Anonymous TJ Jackson said...


Word is on Ms Rowes is that the matriach/owner who had built up it's rep died a few years back, and her heirs did not share her committment to quality. I've seen a few very recent comments about quality improving again of late, so maybe there was another change of ownership or at least a re-committment to quality

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