Stamey’s Barbecue, Greensboro NC

I was last in the Piedmont Triad two years ago, and could not find a hotel room for love nor money. I eventually settled on an awful, awful place in Winston-Salem that was so grim that I couldn’t wait to review it at Expedia and warn whomever would listen that it was, literally, the Bates Motel. Of course, had I checked those reviews before I left, then I would have seen that four of ten previous reviewers had already called it that. Continue reading “Stamey’s Barbecue, Greensboro NC”

Mr. D’s, Henderson KY

In the previous chapter, I mentioned that some amazingly good fried chicken originally brought me to the Henderson area. That’s no longer available, although the rights to the old Bon Ton recipe can be purchased or leased for a price. Our friend Louis Hatchett was very clear that while nobody’s fried chicken was quite like the Bon Ton’s, there was some pretty good stuff available at a drive-in called Mr. D’s. Continue reading “Mr. D’s, Henderson KY”

Thomason’s Barbecue, Henderson KY

The small city of Henderson, which is kind of a “bedroom community” of Evansville, Indiana, is a very, very under-explored region for food lovers. Back in the spring, I asked the well-informed regulars at for some recommendations, and writer Louis Hatchett strongly recommended that I come his way and sample the astonishing fried chicken at the Colonel’s Mini-Mart with him. Sadly, this once-booming little place, while still serving up the most amazing fried chicken I’ve ever had, was stumbling through bad decisions and mismanagement, and shut its doors for good a week or so after my stop. (Here’s the story.)

I was really taken with the countryside and intrigued by what else we might find up this way. Since it turned out that the area has a couple more places with very good fried chicken, more barbecued mutton, some amazing bridges, and a couple of other treats, I dropped Louis a line to confirm our schedule, and we met him in the mid-afternoon at Henderson’s most popular barbecue restaurant. Continue reading “Thomason’s Barbecue, Henderson KY”

Elliston Place Soda Shop, Nashville TN

Longtime readers may remember that we have some good friends in the Music City, and that I like to leave a blank or two in the schedule, where possible, to go where they recommend when we visit. Last month, as I’ll discuss in subsequent chapters, I made a return trip to western Kentucky to dig a little bit deeper into the region’s food, and, this time, I brought Marie and our son. I also brought our daughter for a short part of the trip; she went to spend Thanksgiving with some of her family up that way, and all four of us settled down for supper with some of our friends at one of Nashville’s oldest surviving restaurants. Elliston Place Soda Shop originally opened in 1939. It survived a landlord-induced closure scare four years ago, and we hope that it’s around for a long time to come, because it’s really good. Continue reading “Elliston Place Soda Shop, Nashville TN”

Barbecue Kitchen, College Park GA (take two)

As we continue revisiting barbecue restaurants in the Atlanta area, College Park’s Barbecue Kitchen was definitely due for a second look. We first visited the Virginia Avenue business more than four years ago, and it was the third of three big meals we had in one day. Stuffed before we arrived, we didn’t get as good a feel for what the restaurant can do as we should have. So earlier this month, Marie and I had lunch here, but unfortunately we were not really thrilled with the experience. Continue reading “Barbecue Kitchen, College Park GA (take two)”

Hildebrandt’s, Augusta GA

Over on the forums at, one of our readers, Keith, started one of the most entertaining threads that this fun site has ever had. He noted that food writers and hobbyists had not really covered the restaurants in eastern Georgia very well and decided to do something about that with a fabulous ongoing collection of them there. The thread is called Augusta, Georgia just ain’t no place to be… and you really should check it out. He’s found some great places, both newer and, in some cases, very old. Hildebrandt’s is probably the oldest of them. It opened 136 years ago and is still in family hands. Continue reading “Hildebrandt’s, Augusta GA”

Zarzour’s Cafe, Chattanooga TN (take two)

Regular readers might have noticed that on most of our many recent trips to Chattanooga, we’ve chosen to make a second stop at a place that we highlighted once in the earlier days of the blog. This is deliberate; as I’ve mentioned before, some of those 2010-11 chapters need a refresh. So, the next on the list due for a return trip was the legendary Zarzour’s, which I first visited with my older son a little more than four years ago. I told Marie a time or two over the years that the burgers here were excellent, and I suppose that she got so tired of hearing about them that she decided to order something different instead! Continue reading “Zarzour’s Cafe, Chattanooga TN (take two)”