New Car Trips and Good Eats on the Road

If you love road trips like I do, one of the most enjoyable aspects of the journey are the great places to eat along the way. I’d even go as far to say that one of my favorite parts of going on a road trip is the food (I hope my wife isn’t reading this one). Want to get a really good take on a region’s local culture? Try their local fare! Off-road restaurants usually have delicious food that fills you up without costing a fortune. Of course, there are less adventurous folks out there than I, who often sustain themselves on greasy fast food and vending machine foods because they don’t want to eat somewhere that they’ve never read a Yelp review about.

This isn’t rocket science, but finding a good diner can be hit-or-miss and you may very well end up at a sub-par roadway restaurant. However, If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Eventually you’ll find one gem that will make you forget about all those duds. Keep in mind that you can amplify your travel experience by slowing down a little and taking the time to smell the roses…or brisket, fried chicken, fresh vegetables, burgers, fries, or pies. The bottom line is that  traveling on the road doesn’t mean you have to live off of fast-food and chips. With a little exploration, creativity and spontaneity, you too can actually enjoy your food on the road…leave the bad stuff for hospitals and cafeterias.

The good news for traveling foodies is that Alton Brown, has a series called, “Feasting on Asphalt”, about the adventures of road food. He recently gave an interview to National Geographic Adventure Magazine about how to eat well on the road, here are a few of his tips:

1. Eat BBQ – According to Brown, barbeque can’t be frozen, canned or vacuum stretched so it’s more likely to be fresh and cooked by someone with experience.

2. Stay off the expressway – Generally pit stops right off the expressway are usually filled with fast food chains and gas stations. According to Brown, authentic diners are usually in the northeast because way back when, these establishments were easier to ship supplies to than those in the Midwest.

3. Befriend a stranger – Recently there has been a big push in the culinary scene for communal tables and communal eating. So next time you are on a road trip, Brown recommends eating with strangers. While this idea may sound strange to you, consider the advantages, you may hear some interesting stories and even make a few new friends on your trip.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask – Instead of sticking to your usually routine of chocolate chip pancakes and bacon; ask your server and the diners around you what they would recommend. Be adventurous and you’ll never know what you will discover!

5. BYOC (Bring Your Own Condiments) – If you are a foodie like me, Brown suggests bringing your own condiments like kosher salt, peppercorn and your favorite kind of hot sauce. This way, you can spice up your meal, just in case it comes out bland.

If anyone has any favorite eateries on the road, share it with your fellow readers and gives us a hint as to where we can all have a little “taste” of America.

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