Archive for Burgers

Chili Dogs, Burgers, BBQ and more in Georgia, The Carolinas and Virginia

In April, 2021 I went on a Trashy Food Trip with a starting Point in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The goal was to try to eat in as many older restaurants as possible.

Amtrak offers service to Charlottesville and the Station is right on Main Street where there are several Trashy Travel Approved Eateries and a number of Hotels within walking Distance.   There are also a couple of other spots that are a short drive away once you get or have a car.

Menu of White Spot, Home of the Gus Burger

The White Spot has been open for decades and is famous for their Egg Topped “Gus Burger”.  Egg topped burgers are a thing in Virginia.  They also have Gyros and other diner staples.  I didn’t eat there this trip, but I did on my last journey.  They also have the regional specialty specific to Charlottesville, Grilled Donuts a la mode.


White Spot is at 1407 University Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22903. Open late.

Other nearby walkable spots I didn’t get to this trip are Mel’s Diner, who also have grilled Donuts and the Nook, which is breakfast and lunch only.


















The Oldest Restaurant in Charlottesville is the Virginian.  The Virginian many nights doubles as a bar so gets pretty rowdy and gets super crowded late.  I went with the crab cakes but they have a famous photogenic Mac N Cheese which I did not get.


The  Virginian is at 1521 University Ave, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Crab Cakes, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and Cole Slaw from the Virginian














My second day was a trip south to Charlotte.  I stopped at a newish branch of the sort of chain from the past the Texas Inn Cornerstone.  The original Lynchburg location was opened in 1935.  This location opened about a decade ago.  There are possibly related chili dog places in Roanoke as well.  This place has chili dogs and a mustard based relish specific to here.  Their specialty burger is the Cheesy Western, an egg topped burger with their relish.  Both the dog and the burger were fantastic.

The Cheesy Western from Texas inn Cornerstone, Lynchburg, VA

Chili Dog from Texas Inn Cornerstone.

While at the Texas Inn, a fellow customer told me about another Chili Dog spot with a super spicy chili.  Even though I had just eaten, I had to try it.

Moore’s is a gas station with food which is very common in the South.  I wish I was able to try the full menu as there are many great sounding foods like burgers, chili beans, fried chicken and daily Southern food Specials.  They have a few locations including the Moore’s Country Store at 6963 Richmond Hwy, Lynchburg, VA 24504 (434) 846-4815

Moore Country Store Spicy Chili Dog

I got one dog which I ate at a picnic table overlooking the gas pumps.  It was delicious and had a great afterburn.

After Lynchburg I continued driving to Charlotte, NC.   I was rushing down to try to make Brooks Sandwich House who are only open til 5.  Thankfully I made it. 

Brooks Sandwich house serves a Chili Burger and Chili Dogs.  The “All the way” burger is with Chili mustard and onions.  It was fantastic!

Brooks Sandwich House serves Potato wedges for their fries.  They were also excellent.

The next afternoon I ate at one of the oldest restaurants in Charlotte (though not the original location), Greens Lunch.

Greens Lunch

Greens Lunch is breakfast and lunch only.  At the time of my visit they closed at 1:30 pm which is freaky early for Trashy Travel..  I got the chili dog which is topped with mustard,ketchup, homemade cole slaw, and freshly chopped onions .  I also got onion rings..  I loved the dog.  The onion rings were too greasy for me.

Greens Chili Dog and Onion Rings

After Greens I drove from Charlotte to Columbia, SC.  This part of South Carolina uses a mustard based sauce on multiple types of meats.  They also have a hyper regional “BBQ hash” which is tomato based sauce with chopped meat, organ meats and served over rice.  I happened to be near Big Boys Original Smokehouse so I picked up some BBQ to take to my hotel.

Big Boys BBQ Columbia, SC

Lots of Choices at Big Boys.

I got a combo plate with ribs, Turkey wings and Chopped Pork along with Slaw and Greens.  I also got their bbq hash which I must admit was a little too flavorful with organ meat flavor for me.  The Ribs were excellent though and definitely my favorite.

I’m glossing over all the fun I had in Columbia to keep this all food related.  On my way out of Columbia I stopped at Macks Cash Grocery and got a pimento cheeseburger and slaw dog.  
Macks Menuboard

Macks Cash Grocery Pimento Cheeseburger

Macks Slaw Dog, Columbia, SC


Leaving Columbia the next stop was Augusta, GA, hometown of James Brown.  On my list was a burger from Sports Center.

Cheeseburger from Sports Center, Augusta, GA

The Burger was amazing, but sadly they were out of onion rings.  The bar is a big old wood paneled pool table bar.   And best of all? It was only around 6 bucks.!

Sports Center Restaurant-594 Broad St, Augusta, GA 30901

After walking off the burger I did something I rarely do and stopped for something sweet.

The Boll Weevil has a huge selection of HUGE CAKES for reasonable prices.

The Boll Weevil, Augusta, GA

I got the Coffee Toffee Cake and it was enough for two people for sure.

The Boll Weevil Cafe and Sweetery-10 James Brown Blvd, Augusta, GA 30901

Coffee Toffee Cake, Boll Weevil, Augusta, GA

After not sleeping because I was in the worst hotel room of my life, I stopped at the Sno Cap Drive In in Augusta before heading West.

Bacon Pimento Cheeseburger, Sno Cap, Augusta, GA

Foot Long Chili Slaw Dog, Sno Cap, Augusta, GA

Onion Rings Sno Cap Drive In

I only ate the footlong and onion rings.  The Pimento Cheeseburger was delivered by mistake!  Sno-Cap Drive in-618 West Ave, North Augusta, SC 29841

My next stop was Athens, GA.  Not a ton of old things in Athens.  I was too late to eat at Weaver D’s which is on REMs Automatic for the People album cover, so instead I had these amazing Shrimp and Grits from the Place-229 E Broad St, Athens, GA 30608.  Delicious!

Shrimp and Grits, The Place, Athens, GA


I was in Athens for 3 days.  The second day I had this monster from White Tiger, a bacon pimento cheeseburger.

Bacon Pimento Cheeseburger, White TIger, Athens, GA

White Tiger ,217 Hiawassee Ave, Athens, GA 30601


Another Stop was the lunch counter at ADD Drug.  ADD Drug is in the back side of a pricey supermarket but the prices are cheap as hell for the Lunch Counter food.

Add Drug, Athens, GA

Cheeseburger and Slaw Dog, ADD Drug, Athens, GA

Add Drug Onion Rings. Great!

When I visit again, I will get a double burger topped with Pimento Cheese.  The burger patty is very thin.   ADD Drug is at 1695 S Lumpkin St, Athens, GA 30606

There’s not a ton of BBQ in Athens but there’s a pretty authentic place called Dawg Gone Good BBQ.  I was a bit disappointed though because though the ribs were great, i ordered the combo plate and it was missing the sausage that was suppposed to come with it.  This is Ribs and chopped chicken and pulled pork. Dawg Gone Good BBQ –  224 W Hancock Ave, Athens, GA 30601

Dawg Gone Bood BBQ, Athens, GA


My time in Athens over, I headed on the Road to Greenville, SC and my first stop was the legendary Northgate Soda Shop.  Its a classic lunch counter, but has a different feel than a regular lunch counter.  This beatiful burger was a work of art.

Northgate Soda Shop, Greenville, SC

Northgate Soda Shop Greenville, SC

Because my eyes are bigger than my head i also got a chili dog plate with delicious onion rings and okay slaw.  Northgate is at 918 N Main St, Greenville, SC 29609.  They have a bar on one side.

Northgate Soda Shop, Greenville, SC

Since I was still full from Lunch I wound up getting just an appetizer for Dinner at a fancy bbq Restaurant Husk In Downtown Greenville.   I got this beautiful bowl of Shrimp and Grits.

Shrimp and Grits, Husk, Greenville 722 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601


On the way out of Greenville, I stopped at the Sugar and Spice Drive In, home to the Roast Beef A Plenty.  “A Plenty” is a hyper-regional food style in the region.  Basically its whatever you get and then you add 50/50 Fries and rings, Slaw and pickles.

Roast Beef A Plenty, Spartanburg, SC

Roast Beef A Plenty

The Rings were delicious the Roast Beef was tender.  There is nothing to spice up the sandwich though-No horseradish, etc.  Still good though.


The Next Stop was Hendersonville, North Carolina for some treats from an old time bakery McFarlan Bake shop.   This had one of the best black and white cookies and caramel and white cookies.

McFarlan Bakery, Hendersonville, NC is at  309 N Main St, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Next stop was Asheville and the Tastee Diner.  Not a lot of other old stuff in the region but Tastee was great!

Tastee Diner, Asheville, NC

Tastee Diner, Asheville, NC

Bacon Pimento Cheese burger and Chili dog from Tastee.  The Counter guys were great too.  Tastee Diner-575 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806


Later on I ate at the famous Moose Cafe.  I got the meatloaf plate with chicken and dumplings, ham , slaw and masked potatoes.  It was good but the items were all of inconsistant temperature which I found unpleasant.

Moose Cafe, Asheville, NC


On the way back North, I stopped again in Hendersonville to Hot Dog world and got a great slaw dog and onion rings.  It was amazing.

Hot Dog World, Hendersonville, NC

Hot Dog World, Hendersonville, NC

After Hendersonville, I headed to Greenville to one of the Clock Drive Ins, which I believe are all unrelated.

Clock Drive In, Greenville, SC

Menuboard, Clock Drive In

I got a chiliburger and awesome onion rings and a side of slaw.  Everything was tasty.  They have a lunch counter area to sit in as well.

Chiliburger, Clock Drive In

Clock Drive In

After Greeneville visit 2, I stopped in Gaffney, SC to hit Harolds Restaurant.

Harolds, Gaffney, SC

Harolds Specializes in a “chili burger” which they break up pieces of meatball as well.  Its quite tasty.

Chiliburger, Harolds, Gaffney, SC with Slaw

Fatback and Onion Rings, Gaffney, SC

Harolds, Gaffney

Made some new friends at a coffeeshop next to Harolds and then headed to Greenboro for my last night.  Drove by this currently closed Beef Burger, formerly a Bif Burger, though it was currently closed.

Beef Burger, one of the few remaining Biff Burger chain, Greensboro, NC


Went to Stameys BBQ instead.  Stameys is a small chain with regional chopped bbq.

Stameys, BBQ, Greensboro, NC

Stameys BBQ plate with hush puppies and vinegar slaw.

Brunswick Stew, Stameys BBQ

Stameys is at 1429 Hazel St, Charlottesville, VA 22902 and other locations.

On the way back I stopped again in Lynchburg, VA at the Stadium Inn.  Who knew Lynchburg would have such great regional foods?

Stadium Inn, Lynchburg, VA

Stadium Inn. Lynchburg, VA

I got their version of the local Cheesy Western served on Texas Toast.  The staff was great too.  Stadium Inn is at 3007 Fort Ave, Lynchburg, VA 24501


On the way back I stopped at Riverside Lunch in Charlottesville before dropping off my rental car.  A lot of the rural farm workers stop in here and it has an interesting character to it.

Riverside Lunch, Charlottesville, VA

Riverside Lunch

Despite this pic, the burger was great as usual.  Riverside Lunch is Highly recommended.

I also got a bbq sandwich to eat later on the train, pictured below.

Riverside lunch is open Sundays at 1429 Hazel St, Charlottesville, VA 22902.

BBQ Sandwich, Riverside Lunch, Charlottesville, VA

Now its time for my diet.  Until the next Trashy Adventure.

Through 2021, Trashy Travels All Time Foods (In no particular order-Maybe)


This list is incomplete as I still haven’t tried all the things I want to. Some are Trashy, some are classy, but here are some of my favorites of all time.

47. Cheeseburger,  Red Hot Ranch, Chicago, IL

There’s locations of this miracle place and most things come with fantastic fries.  One of the best late night burgers I ever have.  Get some fried shrimp and hot dog which is an abbreviated version of a Chicago Dog (no pickle or tomato) for a magical meal

Red Hot Ranch Burger. Amazing!


46. Al’s Italian Beef (Original Location, Taylor Street, Chicago, IL

There’s no bathroom to wash your hand for this Italian version of a French dip.  The Giardinara and some hot or sweet peppers kick this out of the park.

45. The Onion Burger, El Reno, OK (Multiple Locations)

Originally a depression era food stretcher, this fusion of meat and onions is perfection and well worth the trip to the town just 40 minutes outside of Oklahoma City.  I went to two of the 3 most well known purveyors, Johnnies Grill and Sids Diner.  Sids has a few other locations.  Johnnies Grill is not to be confused with the Johnnys that is in Oklahoma City.

El Reno Onion Burger

44. Chaps Pit Beef, Baltimore, MD

On an industrial highway next to a strip club and across the street from a tire joint and a sex shop is a little shack of wonder called Chaps.  Its a 45 minute bus ride from downtown.  Get anything with the beef.  I added sausage.  Load it up with tiger horseradish sauce, fresh horseradish and onions.  Yum.

Chaps Pit beef and sausage with onion and horseradish

43. Texas Hot ‘Coney’, Heids of Liverpool, Liverpool, NY (Syracuse)

Usually a Coney is a chili dog.  Usually a Texas Hot Dog is Chili Dog.  Here a Coney is a white pork and veal sausage.  You can get that ‘Coney’, topped with chili, but for a little more they will make you a Texas Hot which means its topped with a thick meat sauce, onions and mustard.

Heids Texas Hot Coney.


42. Beef On Weck, Original Charlie the Butcher, Williamsville, NY (Buffalo)

Their are many locations but the original is the best.  Super tender roast beef on a fresh bun and excellent sides.  Pile on the horseradish to blow your top!

Charlie the Butchers beef on weck.

41. La Cova Fumada, Barcelona, Spain

Bombas from La Cova Fumada.

This neighborhood restaurant has a local delicacy called bombas.  Bombas are potato croquettes with meat inside topped with a super garlicy sauce and a dollup of hot sauce.  They are not very patient with people who are unfamiliar with the menu though.

40. Bray’s Hamburgers, Detroit, MI

The Original from Brays.

The Original is Two small patties and thousand Island dressing and some magical grilled onions. I had asked for some of the “special sauce” on the side which is a garlic sauce used on a different burger.   In an old building that has been renovated so it doesn’t look old.  Theres a donkey statue inside that used to be on the roof.

39.  Dinics, Philadelphia, PA

Dinics Roast Pork, Sharp provolone and Brocolli Raab

Screw the cheesesteak, this joint serves the best sandwich in Philly, the Roast pork with Broccoli Raab and Sharp provolone in the Reading terminal market.  Its juicy deliciousness makes the best cheesesteak seem like a dry desert.  Afterwards get a donut from Beiler’s and some landjaeger from Smuckers (not the jam folks)

Swensons Akron, OH has 2 sauces!

38. Swensons, Akron, OH

Home of the galley boy, a burger with two sauces, a tartar sauce and a bbq sauce.

Fi Dolla Burger from Ethyls

37.  Ethyls Alcohol and Food, Manhattan, NY

Home of the five dollar burger which is slightly smaller than a shake shack burger.  It has sweet pickles on it that taste like relish and it is my second favorite burger in NYC.  Nice crunchy sear on the patty.

Hot Dog from Langois Market

36. Langlois Market, Langois, OR

I had just gotten a speeding ticket on the Oregon Coastal Highway.  Needing a break I saw a sign, “worlds greatest hot dog”.  So I got one of these weird looking things with a homemade sweet mustard and homemade pickles and it was suprisingly fantastic.



Mighty Quinns Brisket with complementary Slaw and pickled vegetables.

35. Mighty Quinns BBQ-New York City (Multiple locations)

Brisket that equals the best in Texas for a wallet friendly price in a quick serve atmosphere. The Sauce is unnecessary. Make sure they give you the pickled onions, brined cucumbers and pickled bird chiles. The other sides are just okay. If you have a friend and are flush with cash, get a brontosaurus rib, a huge short rib that is several pounds. Steer cleer of the burnt ends as they are just scraps drenched in sauce.

34. Superdawg-Chicago, IL (Multiple Locations)

Try to get to the original location if you can. Featuring on pretty much every single hot dog show ever, I was able to swing by in 2016 on the Great Upper Midwest Burger trip. Chicago dog perfection including a pickled green tomato and crammed in a box with the only crinkle cut fries I have ever loved.

The Black Iron from Black Iron Burger

33. Black Iron Burger-East Village location ONLY-New York City

There are other locations of this joint that have inconsistant reviews, but this is Trashy Travel’s go to burger joint in NYC. I’ve tried 3 of the their burgers and all are perfect. Add to that some phenomenal thin onion rings, an excellent version of California garlic fries and you have burger perfection

Donut Shop Tamales

32. The Donut Shop-Natchez, MS

The first time I road tripped by myself in my now annual pilgrimage from Memphis to New Orleans, I stopped at this place for Donuts but saw that they sold Tamales and I bought a half dozen. It was the first time I tried Delta style tamales, which are mostly meat and just a little bit of corn. I devoured them shirtless in my hotel room later that night which was necessary because they were very messy. Now I find out that they have burgers too so I must go back.

Real Chili with Add ons

31. Real Chili-Milwaukee, WI (Multiple Locations)

Trashy Travel feels that there is a severe shortage of real chili, that is beanless, all meat chili. Probably inspired by the nearby Chili Johns in Green Bay. this chain has it going on. They do spoon it over either beans or spagetti, but I paid extra to skip that. The hotter the chili, the more expensive, but I believe the hot is just cooked down mild. Be careful of the upcharges for cheese, onion, jalapeno and more. That, as they say, is how they get you.


Jalapeno Sausage Cheese bread

30. Bourques Superstore, Port Barre, LA

This is a supermarket and it is sort of out of the way, but if you are near Baton Rouge it is worth a detour to get their Jalapeno Sausage Cheese Bread. Thats it. Get one for the drive and one to take home. Heaven.

Doesn’t look like much but the tartar sauce makes it.

29. Dicks Hamburgers-Seattle, WA (multiple locations)

One of those “this shouldn’t be good” kinds of places, many of these locations are beautiful roadside stands with way better than they should be burgers and fries. Stick with doubles for best results. The fries are impressive natural shoe strings that don’t travel well, but they are served with the secret sauce/tartar sauce for dipping. If you are looking for an unsweetened beverage better bring your own seltzer.


Chargrill Hot dog. Bright pink

28. Char-Grill, Raleigh, NC (Multiple Locations)

Bizarre ordering system where you fill out your own ticket and drop it in a slot and they call you to a window when your order is ready. HUGE grilled burgers and boiled bright red slaw dogs that put burger king to shame.

27. Dinosaur BBQ, Manhattan, NY

There a multiple locations of this restaurant but this is only for the Harlem Location. The other NYC location is not nearly as good and doesn’t have inhouse made desserts and the sides aren’t as good. The only bbq in NY with several pescatarian options, Dinosaur Harlem has Amazing Ribs and a deat called the sweetheart special which gives you four sides and a whole rack to share. Sides include great garlicey Cole Slaw, great beans and these oddly good “Syracuse Salt potatoes” which are small potatoes served in a butter sauce. The only only good and reasonable peel and eat shrimp in NY with a delicious and spicy cocktail sauce. Top in off with tart and tasty key lime pie for cheap and its a great meal. Brisket can be hit or miss though.

Missoula Club

26. Missoula Club-Missoula, MT

Huge bar that makes tasty griddled burgers and not much else.

Hudsons Cheeseburger


25. Hudson’s Hamburgers-Couer d’Alene, ID

Grilled cheeseburgers, no fries with super thin hand sliced onions and pickles. No fries but they do have pie.


Hayes Chiliburgers

24, Hayes Hamburgers-Kansas City, MO

We were eating somewhere else in Kansas City and a server told us about this place. Delicious tiny chili topped sliders.

23. Chili Johns-Los Angeles, CA/Green Bay, WI

I have been to both of these locations, the LA location near the end of Route 66. Not quite a chain, the Chili Johns in Green Bay told me that many years ago, they gave a family member permission to open the LA Location and they have been both operating as solo entities for decades ever since. The LA location oozes charm. Very similar to Real Chilis methods. Served over either beans or chili, upcharges for toppings, more for hot. Unlimited oyster crackers. Yum.

22. Central Grocery, New Orleans, LA

They only do one thing and it is perfection-The Muffalatta. Buy one as soon as you get to New Orleans and put it in your hotel room for when you get home drunk. Drunk you will thank you. Cold cuts, cheese and Olive salad, pressed is round bread under a weight. You can also buy a jar to pepperocini to kick it up a notch.

Shrimp from Mai Kai

21. Mai-Kai, Fort Lauderdale, FL

This is my favorite bar on Earth and the Greatest Tiki bar on Earth. Let me be clear, the food is…good to okay, but when you combine it with half off appetizers at happy hour with the best tiki drinks anywhere and the Shanghai Chicken (deep fried bacon wrapped chicken bites) become the best food ever. The Thai style crispy shrimp is a thing of wonder and the braised short rib, a steal at happy hour is magical. The cheese tangs stepped right out of a 70s party cookbook. And FREE dumplings and sushi in the bar at happy hour on Wednesdays.

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

20. Hattie B’s Nashville, TN (Multiple Locations)

I’ve tried the Princes, the originators of this Hot Chicken, but Hattie B’s has taken it to the next level. Hot Chicken is fried chicken that starts out as if someone accidentally dumped an entire bottle of cayenne pepper in the flour mixture and then they take that and dip it in a hot sauce. Its magical and despite the torture, you keep coming back for more. Hatties also has great side dishes and dishes it out way faster than Princes.

Tadich Grill Crab Cake. They serve it with a little bit of butter.

19. Tadich Grill, San Francisco, CA

Not cheap, but this classic huge menu seafood restaurant is a must. Great crabcakes, and you can get the regional Louie salads or Ciopino, a tomato based Seafood stew.

Joes Stone Crab, these are mediums.

Joes Grilled Tomatoes

18. Joes Stone Crab-Miami Beach, FL

The best restaurant in Florida. Stone crabs are stone crabs (get the Mediums, don’t get suckered for the larger ones) but what makes this place phenomenal are the sides. Sadly they don’t have their garlic dressing anymore, but Joe’s vinegrette is amazing (salads can be split), the Garlic spinach or creamed spinach are divine and this dated oddity, grilled tomatoes is something i always dream about. It is a huge tomato slice covered with spinach, breadcrumbs and a normal cheese, maybe american?, that is broiled until it fuses together in awesomeness. Your life is meaningless if you skip the key lime pie.

Pancake balls with Candied Bacon

17. Katalinas, Columbus, OH
Pancakes balls filled with Pumpkin apple butter or nutella, served with spicy candied bacon. Get a side of brussel sprout hash. Best during summer as its in an old gas station and has all outdoor seating.

16. Katz Deli, Manhattan, NY

A rare survivor home to the best pastrami anywhere. Tip the guy a buck to pad your sandwich. They give you a piece to eat while you are hand carving it so be ready to eat. Pro tip, get it to go, ask for a side of russian dressing and half sour pickles.

15. Hatties Tamales, Memphis, TN

Theres a storefront, but I always by these in a satellite trailer in appliance store parking lot. The Delta tamale mentioned above is one of my favorite food items. Mostly meat, with a little bit of cornmeal around the edges with a spicy kick. Ten bucks gets you 8 or these delicious meat cigars.

14. White House Sub Shop, Atlantic City, NJ

The only thing worth going to AC for, this old sub shop has the best cold cut italian anywhere with GREEN cherry pepper relish served on huge rolls baked from local bakeries all day. Theres other subs like a decent steak sandwich but the italian is the reason to go here. Period

Als Hamburgers, Green Bay

13. Als Hamburgers, Green Bay, WI

They recently changed owners but this 80 year old burger joint has phenomenal burgers, fries and onion rings. People eat breakfast here too but I can’t figure out why.

Coffee Pot Meatloaf with the magical slaw

12. The Coffee Pot, Roanoke, VA

Theres a giant coffee pot on one side of the building and a big event room that has bands and karaoke. For some reason, the food here is great, including an insanely good vinegar cole slaw. Stay away from the shrimp though. I had the meatloaf and mashed potatoes. One minus is that they allow smoking and it gets very smoky.

Slaw Dog with Onion Rings

11. Village Coney, Columbus, OH

Trashy travel is always on the quest for a great chili dog and this lunch spot has amazing ones topped with the most delicious fresh cole slaw anywhere. Great onion rings too. I got extra slaw to go and drunk ate it after sick weekend at ace of cups.


10. Matts Bar, Minneapolis, MN

Home of the famous jucy Lucy, a cheese stuffed burger. This one lives up to the hype. The regular burger is worthy too.

9. White Manna, Hackensack, NJ

Vintage teeny tiny diner that serves perfect thick sliders on potato buns that fuse cheese, onion and meat together into the perfect flavor bomb. They just do one thing and they do it well. Theres a one “n” White Mana in Jersey City but its not as good.

Hey Heys Sauerkraut balls

8/7. Hey Hey Lounge/Schmidts Sausage House (Columbus, OH)

Columbus Ohio has regional specialty, the Sauerkraut ball, and these two very different restaurants have excellent versions. It is sausage and sauerkraut blended into a paste, rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried. Hey Hey is a huge divey bar with other good bar food that makes a homestyle, chunky, very peppery version with pure horseradish for dipping. Schmidts is creamed until the inside is super fine and served with a mustard for dipping. Schmidts also has German Food and is famous for gigantic cream puffs in many flavors.

Mihms Charcoal Grill


6. Mihms Charcol Grill, Menasha, WI

My favorite burger in Wisconsin, this simple burger is grilled over charcoal and topped with butter and onion on a sheyboygan hard roll that is crusty on the outside and soft on inside. Smoky, juicy and delicious.




5. Bar Guernica, Boise, ID

Boise has a big Basque population and this small bar serves fantastic Basque inspired food. The garlic dressing on their salad is mind blowing, the croquette balls served with tiger sauce are divine and the Lamb dip and Pork with pimento sandwiches are awe inspiring.

4. Paynes BBQ, Memphis, TN

In an old gas station, this bbq joint serves some of the oddest, but best bbq around. They top everything with neon green slaw and a hot, sweet bbq sauce. The normal folks can get the pork sandwich, but the baloney sandwich on white bread with the slaw and sauce shouldn’t be as amazing as it it. Get the beans and tamales if they have them too.

Memphis BBQ company ribs (actually in MS but in greater Memphis)


Cashsaver fried chicken

3. Memphis is general

I’ve been going for 5 years in a row so far and I still haven’t eaten everything here. You have fantastic burgers at Ernestine and Hazels and Alex’s Tavern, the best bbq anywhere with regional variations within Memphis such as BBQ Spagetti, Cornish Game Hens, rib tips and others and the  great fried chicken varieties of Gus’ and Uncle Lous that is dipped in their sweet spicy love sauce. Yum.  Even the cash saver supermarket has mind blowing fried chicken for cheap.



Neyows Char Grilled Oysters


2. Neyows, New Orleans, LA

Recently doubled in size, this Cajun restaurant serves my current favorite version of my favorite food in New Orleans, Chargrilled oysters. I didn’t like oysters til I tried this dish and now I am addicted. Oysters and covered in butter and garlic and cheese and grilled til they get brown and crusty. They serve it with pieces of the bread used locally for po boy sandwiches to sop up the garlic butter. Other versions I enjoy in New Orleans can be found at nearby Katies and the Chain Acme Oyster House.

Suan La Chow Show From Mary Chungs

1 Mary Chung, Cambridge, MA

Home to my favorite dish in the entire world, Suan La Chow Show. Suan La Chow show is only available in the Boston area but should only be eaten here. Wontons on a bed of beansprouts in a spicy, savory sauce with pickled garlic. Also their peking ravioli and its dipping sauce are fantastic. Main courses can be hit or miss but Suan La Chow show never disappoints.

Columbus Ohio Tasty Things.

Basic Coney

Slaw Dog with Onion Rings

Coney with Slaw. Best slaw ever

Deluxe Cheeseburger.

The burger put together.


Village Coney-418 E Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43206

O’Reilly’s pub-2822 N High St, Columbus, OH 43202

The Best Burgers of the Upper Midwest

I went on a great trip to Wisconsin to eat the famous butter burgers of the region.  I also took side trips to Minneapolis and Ohio.  Here are the best burgers of the Trip.

The Best Burgers on my Giant Upper Midwest Trip