Monday, April 12, 2010


My best friend, Megan Francis, and I took a cross-country roadtrip for spring break this past week traveling about 2800 miles in 40 car hours from Fayetteville, AR to New Orleans, LA to Minneapolis, MN and back to Fayetteville again. We only had a couple of rules for this trip – if one of us wanted to stop somewhere, we did. Also, we only ate at local or specialty restaurants (no “chains”). It was definitely epic, and of course, being they foodies that we are, there was LOTS of great food in the mix. Relive our adventure below with us as we take you through some of the highlights of all the great food that was #epicSB2010.

JJ's Lakeside Cafe in Chicot County, AR

Great cheeseburgers and what looked to be a delicious dinner buffet. The spicy fries were good too - not so much spicy, but seasoned. Yum.

Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, LA

The original beignets. Thus, the best. They make mix that you can buy in a yellow box. You can also watch them make them from the windows outside. They also have chickory coffee, which is quite strong, but has a really great unique (somewhat bitter) flavor. I'm a fan.

The Praline Connection in New Orleans, LA

You will find the Praline Connection in the French Quarter. It was recommended to us by Captain Ted from our swamp tour earlier that day, so we knew it'd be good. We started with fried green tomatoes in a remoulade. Megan got the jambalaya (pictured below), and I had the crawfish etouffee. Yum, yum, yum. Cajun style soul food.

Inez Cafe in Brookhaven, MS

Cute little local restaurant. We actually caught the church crowd headed to lunch as they were leaving a service and this is where a darling old man recommended we go. It was awesome. One of the best meals we had on the road if you ask me. I started with a basic green salad and then had some great seafood gumbo with cornbread (tasted like cake!). Megan had a club sammich with fries that she attested was great. We finished with dessert - Megan had the banana pudding and I the caramel cake. Oh, and the had the greatest sweet tea, served in large mason jars. Like I said, wonderful meal.

Lambert's in Sikeston, MO

So, if you've never been to a Lambert's, it's worth the trip to MO just to go. Country cooking at its very finest. Home of the "throwed rolls". That's right, they throw rolls to your table, and bring around large buckets of "pass-arounds" like fried okra, apple-butter & sweet molasses (for your rolls), black-eyed peas, tomatoes and macaroni, and fried potatoes and onions. Megan ordered the chicken fried steak and I the pork-chops. We also had cinnamon apples, baked sweet potatoes, corn, and mashed taters. They also have great tea - served in awesome huge trucker mugs. Another one of the best meals of the trip.

Fast Eddie's Bon Air in Alton, IL

So, Fast Eddie's is perhaps the greatest concept ever though up. So great even, that Megan and I drove 20 miles off the highway just to make this stop featured in Alton Brown's "Feeding on Asphalt". It's basically a bar (must be 21 to enter) with cheap food (as indicated, literally, by the menu below). In fact, we ordered the entire menu and each had a beer (required to order food) for $20. That's right, french fries, a cheeseburger, a "hot"-dog, a bratwurst, chicken wings, steak on a stick, pork on a stick, and shrimp cocktail. It was great. The owner even came over and signed our book. Definitely worth the trip.

Cosetta's Italian Market & Restaurant in St. Paul, MN

Cosetta's. The greatest Italian food I've EVER had. Hands down. I had the Tortellini Alla Panna which is basically cheese tortellini with alfredo sauce and crisp prosciutto bits and it was TO DIE FOR. Some of the other things ordered from our group included the pizza, spaghetti, meatballs, lasagne, and the penne with marinara. Each came with garlic bread. Everything was honestly amazing. Well, then we had to order dessert - we had the gelato and cannolis. OMG, wow. Really, there aren't words to describe. Just go. You'll be glad you did.

Rainforest Cafe in Minneapolis, MN

Ok, so this was kind of our break-away from the whole "no chain restaurants" rule, but it's the Mall of America (everything is a chain), I'd never been to one, and they are definitely an experience in themselves, so it was our choice for lunch. The food wasn't half bad either. And they had fun drinks. Like I said, mostly a fun theme restaurant. Worth a visit if you've never been. I had the coconut shrimp, and some other menu selections included an appetizer sampler, the quesadillas, etc. Dessert was a fun volcano brownie tower, which was really good - and huge. Mostly, fun again. In the restaurant, it thunderstorms every 20 minutes or so, AND the gorillas go crazy every other 20. So it was a good time.

Fiorella's Jack Stack in Kansas City, MO

And finally, on our way home, we felt obligated to stop at our favorite BBQ restaurant in the world on our way back through KC, MO, because, come on, how often do we make it to KC? Not often enough to pass up this stop. So, we did, and it lived up to our first experience just as we had hoped. Meg and I split the rib plate for two and did it up right with some french fries, cheesy corn, and the cheesy potatoes. Anyhow, it was pretty much the perfect food ending to our food and road-trip adventure. Ahhh. :o)

Anyhows, that was mine and Megan's #epicSB2010 in a nutshell. There are plenty of more fun stories that go beyond the great food that we had including a swamp tour, a random carnival stop, some great shopping, a fish hatchery, several historical landmarks, and even the search for an unfindable cave winery. It was a really great trip with lots of great people, and I'm glad that we can share it with y'all this way. :o)

1 comment:

  1. I feel it is important to note that the Rainforest Cafe we went to was the first and original one therefore I dont feel it is really breaking the rule!