Food and Culture on the Open Road

Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
American Food and Culture on the Open Road
The American story is an ode to movement. We've never been able to stay put, which explains the intricate mesh of highways and byways that connects this country to its inner self. Is it any wonder, then, that our national cuisine evolved at tarmac's edge?

Let's face it, no matter what sophisticated urban chefs create, deep down what we really crave is what the diner, the cafe, and the truck stop can offer. Alas, the modern interstate has rendered our palates comfortably numb, with its rolling miles of paved pablum. And that is a shame, because if we don't savor the flavor of the road, then our edible heritage may soon become history.

-Alton Brown, celebrity chef and travel aficionado, from "Feasting on Asphalt 2: The River Run"

This community was created in an attempt to help preserve our edible and nomadic heritage. We are a mobile culture and we love to eat, but we've become too comfortable with eating homogenized food at chains and franchises and formulaic theme restaurants. We welcome discussion of all kinds about the open road and the food you encounter along the way. This community, however, has rules:

1. No discussion of interstate highway travel unless it is relevant to discussion of unique and/or rare restaurants, motels, and landmarks.

2. No discussion of chain or franchise restaurants, gas stations, or lodging, unless they have very unique and/or rare features. We want to hear about the unique nature of the road and the food and places you find along the way. If the place has to do with the history of American travel, that's okay, so long as it isn't something we see or hear about every day.

3. No whining. Travel off the beaten path isn't easy, but it's much more fulfulling.

Photographs are welcome. We want to understand and savor your experiences as much as you did.