All RVers love food, and one of the great things about the fulltime RV lifestyle is the opportunity to try the local fare at the restaurants wherever we are traveling. So I was surprised when a fulltiming couple I met a while back told me that they never eat anywhere except chain restaurants. “That way we always know what to expect,” they explained. “With those local joints, who knows what you’ll get?”
But isn’t that part of the fun? Sure, a Denny’s Grand Slam breakfast or a Burger King Whopper is going to taste the same whether you eat it in Seattle or Paducah, but that gets boring after a while.
We love finding the local places, where the food has real taste and where our meal is not pre-planned by a dietician in some laboratory, who declares that we’ll get so many ounces of potatoes, the steak will be cut in such and such way, and the ranch dressing comes on the side, not on top of your salad.
One of our favorite books is Road Food, by Michael and Jane Stern. This gem has taken us to some great dining establishments that we might never have found before. We also get a lot of tips on good places to eat from other RVers. Here are some of our favorite places to chow down:
The Brick Pit, Mobile, Alabama – Located in an old 1950s style ranch house, the ambience is nothing to get excited about, but they serve a barbecue that you’ll never forget.
Hog Wild, Cottonwood, Arizona – This is another barbecue place you’ll want to return to after your first visit. It’s the best barbecue restaurant we have found in over 10 years on the road! The portions are huge and everything on the menu is delicious.
Sausage Shop Meat Market, Tucson, Arizona – Tucked away in the corner of a small strip mall, it’s easy to miss the Sausage Shop, but once you find it, you’ll save it’s location in your GPS! They serve some of the best sandwiches you’ll find anywhere.
El Rancho Restaurant, Pinetop, Arizona – When I owned the weekly newspaper here, El Rancho was everyone’s favorite Mexican restaurant, and it still is. El Rancho serves huge portions, it’s all delicious, and the atmosphere is comfortable.
El Siboney Restaurant, Key West, Florida – This is one of those places the locals all know about, but most tourists never find. Their Cuban sandwiches are the best this side of Havana!
Keys Fisheries, Market, and Marina, Marathon, Florida – We loved the fresh seafood at this open air restaurant so much that we drove 50 miles from Key West not once, not twice, but three times in eight days! Their blackened grouper is the best I’ve ever tasted.
Lunkers, Edwardsburg, Michigan – Lunkers is a smaller version of Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shop, with just the one location, in Edwardsburg. Their restaurant serves up some delicious food, including a Cobb salad that is so big that Terry only orders it when she has somebody else to share it with. Besides steaks, burgers, and other food, you can also have such exotic foods as elk, ostrich, and bear meat.
Don’s Drive-In, Traverse City, Michigan – Don’s is a popular restaurant for the burger and fries crowd, and they are very tasty. But what makes this place special is their strawberry milkshakes. Thick and loaded with real fruit, they are almost a meal in themselves.
Golden Girls, Clinton, Tennessee – You can’t beat the broasted chicken at Golden Girls, and Terry loves their collard greens. Southern cooking at it’s best!
The Boiling Pot, Rockport, Texas – We always order the Cajun Combo, a delicious blend of blue crab, shrimp, boudin sausage, red potatoes and corn, all boiled together in Cajun seasonings. Then they cover your table with sheets of paper and pour it all out for you to pick through.
So there are my top ten favorite places to eat across the country. Tell me about some of yours. You can find some of our other favorite restaurants on our website. Check them out.
And while you’re at it, check out Bad Nick’s latest post Religion Or Terrorist Organization?
Thought For The Day – The more time you spend caring, the less time you have to hate.