It’s still amazing what turns up, even after nearly four years. Not what I expected while checking something else on a satellite view. I have one lead to pursue, but otherwise it’s a mystery.
The past couple of weeks have been a blur of work and, mercifully, some time off. On the way to Ohio to visit my brother, I stopped in Knoxville to see my daughter. She had been plugged into a new/old breakfast/meat-and-three place, The Roundup,
and took me there for dinner. Nothing fancy, just your basic neighborhood diner.
The Bob Ross-inspired ventilation covers are cool any time. Happy little air molecules.
My daughter ordered better than I did; her meatloaf was excellent, with tomato sauce, as God intended.
I was already beefed-out for the day, so I got a salmon patty – it was OK – but the mashed potatoes were stellar. Real, with lumps, perfectly seasoned. Swap them for her mac and cheese, and that would have been the meal.
I hadn’t seen my brother and his wife in three years, and not since they moved back to Ohio. I got to visit and revisit some of their favorite places. We had a good breakfast at this drive-in in Guerne.
Most every burg seems to have a little place like it.
It’s also Amish country, so buggies are common on the roads.
I got a drive-through of the new J.M. Smucker campus in Orrville and a stop at the Smucker retail destination. The store has everything made and/or sold under the Smucker umbrella, and an interesting museum area that sets out the company’s history.
The Coccia House, my brother’s favorite pizza place for eons and a Wooster institution (ad from 1959), was not to be missed.
I’m sure their revenue has surged since he moved back. I had pizza there once in the previous millennium. It may have been a contest/challenge; I didn’t win. My brother says he orders the specials as much or more than he does the pizzas, but I went with a small veg pie and got one slice past half way. No need to order double cheese. The standard amount seems to be double what I run into around here.
Of course, there was barbecue, at this place
the town’s lone purveyor. It’s on a neat little two-block stretch that included Spoon Market, a deli/bakery/butcher shop/ restaurant that also sells all manner of exotic ingredients for cooking; a used record store and a real newsstand.
Omahoma Bob describes his “barbeque” this way: “We use USDA choice beef, select pork and fresh poultry. Our meats are hand-massaged using a blend of fresh spices and allowed to rest for 24 hours before moving to the smoker. Adding a blend of seasoning woods, then slow cook smoking, our meat takes on its unique color and flavor, giving it the distinctive smoke ring. We call this “dry BBQ.” Barbeque sauce can be added, if you wish.”
I got a pork sandwich, had to ask for slaw on it, and used the sauce at the table – a really nice sweet/smoky/pleasantly hot sauce. The pork was good, probably mid-pack in this town. Brisket would have been a better order, given his Texas style.
Driving back to Memphis, I was hoping to find some ‘cue in Kentucky. I didn’t have time to do a lot of research, except to find out that the restaurant near Louisville owned by Vince Staten, author of “Real Barbecue,” had closed. (In a protest candidacy against Greek dominance of UT’s Homecoming Week in 1970, he was elected homecoming queen, but officials wouldn’t give him the crown.) The interstate signs were no help, so barbecue had to wait until Memorial Day, when I did ribs. My wife had bought them as a meat manager special for Memorial Day last year, but they ended up going right into the freezer (some things just can’t be rushed). I hadn’t tried to really barbecue anything in several years.
I rubbed them with a spice mix of uncertain vintage, made a foil packet of soaked hickory chips, and let them go for a couple of hours. I’ve never been good at managing a fire; the temp flirted with 300 degrees most of the time, more medium-low and medium-slow. I sauced them about 15 minutes before taking them off.
Not too bad.