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roadwarrior220 in road_food

hit the road

For longer than I can remember, I associate road trips with interstate highways and fast food and franchises.  And as I look around at the dwindling numbers of restaurants and establishments that aren't franchises and chains, I've come to realize that it's the places we find at the end of an offramp that is turning this country into a huge advertisement.  We worship the clown in the yellow jumpsuit and the red wig, the 31-flavor ice cream shop, the gas station with a clamshell for its logo, and the steakhouse that claims to come from the Australian bush.  We're poisoning our culture with conformity and sameness.

As a result of this, we've forgotten the diners where the waitresses call you "Hon" and the cooks actually cook.  We've neglected the burger joint where the guy at the grill doesn't steam the burgers and probably selects the meat himself; he cooks it with a metal spatula on a flattop griddle that hasn't been cleaned in 20 years.  We forget about the mexican restaurant and the chinese restaurant where the people who cook the food actually speak the language.  We skip the coffee shop where the owner is also the barista and personally selects every coffee and designs every blend and drink.

We shouldn't be leaving our travel and culinary experiences to some focus group in Iowa or Florida or New York or California who will tell us what we will and should like.

As you join this community and read this entry, please tell us your story.  Tell us who you are, where you come from, what kind of travel and food you really love, and what about the franchises and chains of America that really make your stomach turn.  Because if you really want to know this country--if you want to smell it, taste it, feel it, know it--you have to get on the road.  There's just no other way.

Tell us your favorite experience of a backroads burger joint, gas station, diner,  or motor lodge.  Tell us the story of how the person who cooked for you, served you, housed you, and welcomed you was an individual.  Somebody who had a passion for what they did, and believed in what they did.  Tell us about the person who owned the place you visited.  Because chances are, if the owner was also the operator and the cook or the waitress or the person who carried your luggage or filled your tank, this was a rare and special place.  The kind of place that is vanishing into history.

Tell us your story.  Because these stories are what will help us to preserve real American culture, long after we're gone.

Comments

Very nice. So you really want me to tell you who I am, where I come from and all that jazz? If so, I can do that, might take a little while but it can be done...
Yes, dear, please do. And please do it in a new post. I, for one, am looking forward to hearing your story.
diner

October 2007

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