Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Maggie Valley and Back Food Pics

May 8 - 18, 2010

Click on any picture to see it in full size

The following is limited to Food photos taken during an auto trip to attend the {Kawasaki motorcycle} Vulcan Riders and Owners Club rally at Maggie Valley, NC in May of 2010.

My riding buddy from Coos Bay, OR and I set out on May 8th taking a very southerly route so that I could sample some of the famous Cooper's BBQ in Llano, TX along the way to NC.

Our first stop for food that Saturday was a lunch break in Bakersfield, CA to have a Basque Family Style meal at the Noriega Hotel.

That's me getting ready to go into Noriega's

The simple lettuce salad

A very nice Basque vegetable soup

The main courses were pork chops and the lamb stew pictured above

After lunch we continued over the Grapevine then along I-210 until we "hit the wall", giant traffic jam. We managed to get through LA somehow and stopped that night in Blythe, CA.

Scouring the internet that night the only interesting eating joint that I could come up with was in South Tucson for lunch. It was the El Guero Canelo. Their signature dish is the Sonoran Hot Dog. You can read about and listen to a National Public Radio piece about the Sonoran Hot Dog at: The Sonoran Hotdog Crosses The Border
The NPR piece went to the sanitized El Guero Canelo in a strip Mall in Tucson proper. We went to the more authentically Mexican one in South Tucson.
The young man in the metal contraption makes all of the Sonoran Hot Dogs.

There is a separate stand to the left that prepares all of the other food items.
You order at this window. That's Sherm ordering his brunch.

This is a photo of my hot dog with minimal trimmings

Sherm has both the hot dog and his breakfast of two fried eggs with hash browns and tortillas

Sherm is experienced with this hot dog in a little different variation from a cart vendor in his Winter home of Yuma, AZ.

This is one of Sherm's tortillas that he has put a few of the free extra items on

Sherm took this photo of the Menudo that the family at the next able was having for their Sunday Bruch

Our next stop was suppose to be in Las Cruces, NM but we exceed that by over 170 miles and reach Van Horn, TX which is on CDT, a jump of two time zones in one day!
This is the "free" motel breakfast waffle in Texas

Our second planned food destination - Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Que in Llano, TX. We get there about 2:00 PM. Which we are later to find out is NOT a good thing to do.

Sherm's lunch

My lunch

Sherm is eating away

The prices were high. My meal of two pork ribs, a slice of brisket and one beef rib with a side of coleslaw came to just under $25. The meat was dried out and not tender at all, very disappointing. As someone later said you have to get to Cooper's right after they open or whenever the waiting line is very long or else this is what you get. Oh well.

We traveled through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and stop at Tuscaloosa, AL. The only meal of the day was at a Sonic Drive-In in McGehee, AR about 12 miles south of Rohwer, AR where I was born. Sherm has been having dinners of Protein Bars and I just have a banana.

We get to Maggie Valley on Wednesday afternoon a day before our original schedule, but we are staying in Maggie Valley at a friends vacation bungalow right next door to my friend's cousins permanent residence. {Thanks Elsa for providing a wonderful place for us to stay at no cost.} We did phone Elsa's cousin to let her know that we would be arriving a day early.

We head over to the Apple Cover Inn the Kaw Pasture and hook up with Wompus and Tbone.
The four of us head over to the Country Vittles for dinner.
Tbone with part of his All You Can Eat Family Style dinner

The main courses are friend chicken and country fried steak. Sherm and Wompus also have the All You Can Eat, but I settle on the meatloaf dinner.

Wompus and Tbone

The next night is the Meet and Greet dinner at Smackers Sports Grill.
Red Rover snacking on some peanuts at Smackers

Pappy and Ken Rhodes chowing down on their steaks

Of course, Sherm has to have his liver mush. So we eat breakfast at the Country Vittles on both Thursday and Friday mornings.
Sherm taking a picture of his breakfast of liver mush and eggs with grits and toast

My more traditional breakfast - SOS

Kudzu in his normal eating pose. Have to keep up your reputation, Dan.

We decide to leave a day early so before 7:00 AM we are on the road with our days ending destination of Conway, AR. But since we reach Conway with way too much daylight we kept on trucking after a short visit with Moon.

We reach Checotah, OK about 195 miles further west. We are really taxing Jill's { our nic for the GPS} capabilities to find motels as we kept extending our day's destination.

At the recommendation of the desk clerk we wander over to Barnstormers BBQ which used to be a fly-in destination. The BBQ while not great was a heck of a lot better than Coopers'.
Less than a quarter of a mile from our motel is this little BBQ joint where we decide to have dinner
Sherm has the Two-Way with ribs and Hot Bologna

Since I am on a limited protein diet I ordered the three rib dinner with sweet potato fries, but I think the cook goofed and plated a five rib dinner. But I was only charged the price of a three rib dinner and never thought to ask about it, oh well. The above photo was taken after I had already eaten one rib.

The next morning we skip the motel breakfast which had nothing but donuts and coffee. But we had already planned on stopping at Henryetta, OK at the Pig Out Palace {this place is on the route from Seattle, WA to Richmond, KY according to Dutch and Detox from the PNW Chapter}.
Sherm with camera in hand

Sherm pointing at Huck the Pig

I wonder what their hours are?

Sherm's light breakfast platter or was this his second helping?

My more modest choices

That day we make it to Gallup, NM. We have dinner at the local Cracker Barrel and I decided not to take any photos since a lot of people have eaten at a Cracker Barrel somewhere.

Then the next day we are making a short detour in Kingman, AZ so Sherm can replenish his supply of protein bars. Sherm phones ahead to the Anderson brother Ed and Carl. Both have attended HSVROC and I have met them before. We are to meet at Patrick's Cafe in Kingman for lunch.Sherm, Carl and Ed

Sherm's ChilliBurger, note that he had coleslaw instead of the fires to cut down on the carbs

I order a heart healthy Country Fried Steak and Eggs

After Kingman we just kept driving, Sherm kept the wheel the bulk of the time because I really do not like the stretch of road between Needles and Barstow. As Jill {our GPS} keeps showing the ETA for Barstow, then Mojave, then Bakersfield, then Tulare, then Fresno I am starting to think that I had better rest up since we may as well continue a couple of hours at night on into Stockton. We drove 935 miles with just a bit over an hour and a half in the dark and reach the Safeway gas pumps around 9:45 PM. The last 80 miles are so I averaged around 55 mph.

Sherm is up and dressed and on the road around 5:20 AM. We say our farewells and I go back to bed.

Around 7:15 I decide to ride my F650GS over to one of my two breakfast joints to eat. It is the first time in 10 days that I have been riding on two wheels. So off to Gina's Cafe for breakfast.My little F650GS on the right

I did not order The Volcano. It is hash browns, the bottom half of a biscuit, breakfast meat of your choice, a fried egg then the top half of the biscuit all covered in sausage gravy that has plenty of sausage in it.
The guy behind me had the Bacon Volcano

Sarah the waitress and cappuccino maker

The breakfast frittata

Stephanie and a customer

My ham {no eggs} breakfast with hash browns and toast with a dollop of gravy tossed in

The recently added gelato.