Coffee shops have come a long way since the days of Friends and Seattle grunge. Now, they serve different teas, crazy concoctions and a bunch of quickie foods. And that’s just the chains. The indie spots take things a step further, like Brew Box in Salem, Massachusetts. And it’s not just hippy dippy and hipster stuff, they even had food fit for an unvegan like me.
Some time in the ’90s it became cool (kewl?) to replace the letter “S” with the letter “Z.” Finz in Salem, Massachusetts arrived at the tail end (get it?!) of that decade, so they still get a pass. And while the ambiance could not be further from the divey lunch that day, the them was the same – seafood.
Some people really like lobster rolls. I don’t get it. What’s the fun of chowing down on cold, slimy lobster loaded up with mayo? But then there’s lobster grilled cheese. See, that’s the good stuff, doing everything right with the lobsters. So, upon arriving in Salem, Massachusetts, we made our way to a divey spot called Longboards that allegedly knew what to do with lobster.
My lack of any sort of need for dessert has been pretty well-chronicled on this blog by now. Yet, there is one dessert that I have a hard time passing up and that dessert is pie. So, when I found out that Arizona’s best pies were on the way to Prescott before taking a quick trip to, uh, Prescott, I knew we had to make a stop at Rock Springs Cafe in Black Canyon City.
In the past few years, airports have made some real attempts to up their food games. Some have brought in popular local restaurants, while others have commissioned celebrity chefs to bring new restaurants into the airports. Gone are the days of Chili’s 2 Go being the only option, which meant that with a whole lot of spare time at San Francisco International Airport, I was able to make my way to Union Street Gastropub to grab a beer and a sandwich.
BBQ is pretty much the best. But the Bay Area is a long way from where the best BBQ is supposed to be. Yet, while there for a quickie trip I made my way to 3 Pigs BBQ in San Carlos. The place definitely has a rustic feel, with an homage to the southern source of great BBQ in the form of an American flag made from Bud and Bud Light beer cans. It seemed like my kind of place and I set to work on ordering.
Farm to table is a popular concept and a strong rebuke against processed foods. Of course, factory farms are still called farms, but the point is there, nonetheless. But what do you call a meal at an actual farm? I’m thinking “table on farm,” and remember, you heard it here first. So, when I paid a visit to Pond Hill Farm on the outskirts of Harbor Springs, Michigan, it was quite a delight to eat food around animals that could probably be classified as pre-food.
As you drive through the Tunnel of Trees in Northern Michigan, you get the feeling that it could go on forever, that there could literally be no end to the trees. And most likely that was actually what Michigan was like a few hundred years ago. But, the tunnel ends eventually and the light at the end of that tunnel is the Legs Inn, which feels out of place in what can easily be referred to as the middle of nowhere.
There are a few things I like to take pride in when it comes to food. The first is that it’s hard to pressure me to order something once I’ve set my mind on something else. Call it stubborn, but it’s gotten me this far. The other is that I basically avoid fish at all costs. Yet, in two sittings I managed to break both of those rules at The Villager Pub in Charlevoix, Michigan.
It’s hard to go wrong with bar food, but it’s usually pretty heavy stuff. So, when I entered East Park Tavern in Charlevoix, Michigan with a stomach that knew it needed to eat something for dinner, but wasn’t especially hungry, I hoped there would be something I could find. Instead of making my way to the full on entree menu, I went for the appetizers and the wings caught my attention.