The secret to a successful road trip is to never eat fast food. It’s easier than you think.

All you need is a good guide. My mother got me a book called “Roadfood” by Jane and Michael Stern — which was thoughtful of her, especially because she hates road trips and despises the kind of food that’s served in dives. That’s what this book is all about.


It’s easy to think of middle America as an endless stretch of Pizza Huts and Burger Kings. But when you get off the interstate, it’s almost impossible not to eat regionally.

In Ohio, I had Polish pierogis — plump and potato-y with perfect golden edges.


In Wisconsin, I had wiener schnitzel and schaum torte for dessert. In Michigan, I got Swedish food. In the Great Plains, I ate buffalo and venison.*


In Utah, I had dinner at the state’s oldest restaurant: Lamb’s Grill Café. They served the best pork chop I’ve had in years, along with maybe the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had.


Nevada has a sizable Basque population. Who knew? I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t stopped at the Martin Hotel, a Basque restaurant founded in 1898. I ordered lamb and was not disappointed.



* The weird thing is that in America’s heartland — in America’s “bread basket,” where entire states are dedicated to growing grain — whole grains seem utterly unknown. I ordered a BLT at a diner in South Dakota and requested “whole wheat toast.” The waitress brought white. I asked about it, but she didn’t see my point. She just said, “That is wheat.”


Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s