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JGsped's Profile

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The High-Tech Smearing of Ina Garten

I have a hard time believing that she didn't know the request had been rejected. Who rejected it without her knowledge? I think she's now just trying to cover her a--.

Apr 01, 2011
JGsped in Features

Where to eat in Cherokee/Bryson City NC area?

The 13-year-old will like the drive-in tha Scarlett mentioned. Can't remember the name, but if you head out of Bryson City on the road the Cherokee you can't miss it. It is just past the BBQ wagon someone else mentioned. Between the two, I'd choose the drive-in.

If there is anywhere at all decent to eat in Cherokee I've never found it in about 15 visits. Amazing that with so many tourists there isn't one family restaurant that I would consider even average.

Jan 02, 2011
JGsped in Southeast

ATL airport

If you like Southern home cooking, the restaurant at the Farmer's Market is excellent. Just minutes from the airport: I-285 to I-75 South, first or second exit (sign sez exit for Farmer's Market).

Farmer's Market Cafe
63 Chattahoochee St, Helen, GA 30545

Jan 02, 2011
JGsped in Atlanta

Sal's Pizza, Mamaroneck

I'd seen several recommendations for Sal's, here and elsewhere, so decided to give it a try.

I was pretty sure I had made a good choice as soon as we got there. It was in the middle of a really hard thunderstorm, but the line stretched out the door, with many more customers squeezing in to pick up to-go orders that had been phoned in.

Most of the people in line were just ordering a slice, but there were three of us and we were hungry, so we ordered a whole pepperioni pizza. They offer only one size: huge (18 inches, I think). It was as good as it was large, although anyone wanting to quibble might note that it was more than slightly greasy.

The thick Sicilian pizza seemed to be a popular choice, but we went with the traditional New York thin crust.

Sal's is obviously the choice of the locals. There are four or five other pizzarias within a block or two. None of the others had more than a handful of customers as nearly as I could tell.

Elm Street Market, Stockbridge, MA

This is a great lunch spot, among the best food we had on a two-week trip to NY and New England, and certainly the best value.

I had a hot dog -- listed on the menu as a Chicopee Frankfurter, which is assume is the brand -- with the best kraut I've ever tasted. 10-year-old nephew had his usual cheeseburger and wife had chicken salad sandwich -- all excellent.

No bill. When you're done, just walk up to the counter and tell them what you ate, and they tell you the pittance you owe.

Great for kids

We were on our way from Virginia to White Plains and running late because we stopped at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA., and stayed longer than we had planned. So heading up I-287 in New Jersey we decided we'd better grab something to eat before we got to our hotel.

A freeway sign indicated that there was a Fuddrucker's at the next exit, which delighted our 10-year-old nephew, who thinks the four basic food groups are cheeseburgers, mac and chees, grilled cheese sandwiches and french fries.

Didn't know exactly where we were, but it turned out to be Wayne, NJ, and it was a most fortuitous stop.

Burgers were good, as they almost always are at Fuddruckers, but even better was a guy in the back corner who called himself Magic Bob. He was making balloon figures, and they were truly incredible. Kids were lined up 10 or 12 deep to get them.

My nephew, and most of the other boys, got the video game guy, Mario, riding a motorcycle. Very realistic. A couple of girls got a monkey hanging from a tree that was just fabulous.

Magic Bob is part of a group that perform several nights a week at several different restaurants in NJ. You can check out the locations at

Can't vouch for the others, but if they're as good as Magic Bob, it would certainly be worth a stop for anyone with kids.


Several posts on this board recommeded this Tarrytown restaurant, and I agree that the quality was very good. Great burger, excellent steak fries.

But take lots of money. 10 dollar burgers; even a kids-meal burgers with a coke was about 10.

'FESS UP! You know you love chains!

It's a rather small chain, but Cheddar's is a class operation.

Jun 21, 2008
JGsped in Chains

Regional Fast-Food Chains

In-N-out's Double Double cheeseburger is just about the only thing I miss about California.

In-N-Out is a class operation. Once when I ordered at the takeout window, I didn't get my fries. I thought I was calling that store to report it, but the number in the phone book connected me with headquarters. They were deeply apologetic, sent me a coupon for two burgers and two fries, called again about 10 days later to asked if I was happy.

Sure wish they'd expand to Georgia, where I live now.

Jun 21, 2008
JGsped in Chains

10 Best Southern Hotdogs?

When I was in high school 50 years ago, our band bus often stopped at the Albany bus station, which was right across the street from Jimmie's. About 75 guys would jump off the bus and run to get to the front of the line. Being teenage pigs, we'd order 3-4 dogs each and, amazingly, they'd manage to feed us all in the 15-20 minutes the bus was stopped. After all these years, I still remember how good they were.

Nov 04, 2007
JGsped in Southeast

Top 5 Memphis places to eat!

I'm with Choppedonion. Neely's ribs are great. Huge servings at a great price, too.

Nov 04, 2007
JGsped in Kentucky & Tennessee

Eatin' good in Arkansas

We're just back from a week in Arkansas, and I have to say we didn't have a bad meal during the entire trip. Service as consistently prompt and friendly, too.

Several meals stood out:

1. Bubba's Barbecue, Eureka Springs. I've never heard Arkansas mentioned as one of the barbecue capitals of the world, but that's OK because the same is true of Georgia and Alabama and the best 'cue I've had in those states tops anything I've tasted in N.Carolina or Tennessee, which get a lot of plaudits. Bubba's 'cue is right up there with the very best I've ever tasted. We had a huge pork sandwich. Every bite had a some of the smoky, black outside meat surrounded by tender, juicy inside pieces. Had a choice of two sauces -- a mild that was a bit two mild and a hot (thin, like Eastern NC sauce) that wasn't real flavorful. Using some of each was the ticket for me. A bonus: some of the best fries I've ever had.

2. JoJo's Catfish Wharf, Mountain View. Right on the river, and huge plates of catfish filets (the menu promised 7 pieces, but I got 8). I knew I was in the right place when, before the fish arrived, the waitress plopped down a big basket with about two dozen golfball-size hush puppies..

3. Petit Jean State Park restaurant. Great buffet, featuring chicken and dumplings just like my mother used to make (and my mother made good chicken and dumplings). Great view from the dining room was a bonus.

Nov 04, 2007
JGsped in General South Archive

Roadside BBQ along I-95 (NC/SC/GA)

Johnny Harris' is a Savannah institution. I've never tried bit, but when my mother lived there it was her barbecue pit of choice, and she knew 'cue. I've heard recently some comments that it was living on its reputation, but others say it is as good as ever. Probably worth a try.

Other Savannah places that get a lot of favorable comments are Walls' and Angel's.

Sep 17, 2007
JGsped in Southeast

The Big Chicken, Marietta, GA?


Sep 17, 2007
JGsped in General South Archive

Trip report: Georgia to Kentucky

We had three meals worth a mention on a brief trip from North Georgia to Lexington, KY.

1. Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Pineville, KY. Had to meals at the restaurant here.
Catfish was OK, but nothing to get excited about. But the Hot Brown was outstanding (and enormous). And he view is go great that it would be worth a visit even for a mediocre meal.

2. Papa Leno's, Berea, KY. I've since learned that this Italian bistro has had many favorable reviews, but we just stumbled in because they were doing a booming lunch business andwe figured that many customers couldn't be wrong. The specialty is pizza, and those that we saw looked really good, but it wasn't what we were in the mood for. I had a great meatball sandwich and my wife had chicken salad; both excellent. And good value.

3. Bradley's Barbecue, Sweetwater, TN. This was the culinary highlight of our trip. Again, we just stumbled on this one. We were hungry, and it was listed on the I-70 exit sign, along with the usual fast food joints, and I'll take a chance on barbecue over fast food chains anytime.
Bradley's 'cue isn't just good, it is superb: nice smokey taste, and a huge sandwich. A choice of three sauces: vinegar, hot, sweet. The vinegar (not a thin vinegar sauce but a nice tomato-vinegar blend) works for me. If you're even traveling up I-70 between Chattanooga and Knoxville, turn east at exit 68 and go about a mile. You will not be disappointed in the 'cue or the friendly, prompt service.

Sep 17, 2007
JGsped in General South Archive

Southern Dining in GA

Smith House is OK, but living off it's reputation a bit. Not a great value, IMHO. Dahlonega is worth a visit, though.

Only visited Dillard House once; saw no reason to return. Very, very ordinary food. Maybe I caught 'em on an off day.

Jul 20, 2007
JGsped in General South Archive

The Best Sticky Buns Ever (and 'Cue in a Citgo)

Have to agree with Jim about Bridges Barbecue in Shelby. Heard so much about it I couldn't wait to try it, but the 'cue tasted like roast pork.

I find that to be the case with way too much N.C. 'cue, although there is some that is might good, too.

Jul 10, 2007
JGsped in Features

Trader Joe's coming to Atlanta!

Most of the wines are whatever they find that they can get a deal on, so there's no way to tell you very far in advance what they're going to be. And if you find a wine you like, stock up fast because when it's gone, it's gone. When we lived in California, my approach was to buy several bottles that looked promising, try then, then hurry back and buy several bottles or half a case or a case, whatever we felt was warranted.

I'm overjoyed that Trader Joe's is coming to Atlanta even though it will be over an hour from me, just because I'll again be able to get their Peanut Butter (natural, crunchy) -- the world's best. It will be worth the drive every month or so even if we buy nothing else (fat chance!).

Aug 14, 2006
JGsped in General South Archive

Chattanooga Recommendations?

Tony's in the Arts District is outstanding. Very good food, and the view from the deck is very nice if the weather is conducive to dining outdoors. Reasonable prices.

Aug 11, 2006
JGsped in General South Archive