Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton

Road Trip, Jun-14-2007

We started with breakfast at the Goody Goody Diner in St. Louis. This was a complete Roadfood delight. Lori had pancakes and turkey bacon, and was delighted with the pancakes. I had the "Wilbur" omelet, stuffed with hash browns and peppers, and topped with chili and cheese, which was yummy. For side items, I had a lovely soft biscuit, and the first grits I've ever really enjoyed. They were soft and creamy, with a light mild flavor--delicious.

Richard Connelly, the owner of the restaurant, came over to chat with us. He was a warm friendly man, who clearly loves what he's doing immensely. (The menu says that he bought the diner from his parents in the 1960s, and this is the only place he's ever worked.) After I rhapsodized about the grits, he asked, "Have you tried dirty grits? I'll have them make you up a little bit." (The dirty grits had pork sausage and hot sausage mixed in. Good, but I actually preferred the plain.) He also gave us a Goody Goody mug as we left. I really loved our breakfast there and I look forward to returning.


After breakfast, we bought a GPS. I had talked myself into paying $300-400 for one, since that was the price we'd seen in Pittsburgh, but the Best Buy we chose had one for $199. So far, it has been a great help to us. Lori has named it "Madge" (since the brand name is Magellan), and talks back to it affectionately.


The rest stops in Missouri had automated hand washers in the restrooms. You stick your hands in a hole in the wall, and soap squirts on them, then water, then hot air to dry them. It reminded me of an old sci-fi cartoon. I saw more than one person sticking a hand in experimentally, and withdrawing it before the cycle had started, so that they missed the soap-spraying phase.


For dinner, we visited Arthur Bryant's BBQ in Kansas City. Arthur Bryant's is something of a barbecue legend; food writer Calvin Trillin declared that it was "the best restaurant in the world." Well, I disagree with Calvin Trillin.

I did like the menu options: they include a "Meat Tray", a plastic cafeteria tray loaded down with a pound of meat in any combination you like. I ordered that (to the surprise of the counterman) with beef brisket, a rib, burnt ends, and sausage. The beef was Roadfood's recommendation, but I found it kind of tough--as a particular niggle, cutting brisket across the grain instead of with the grain as they do makes it much easier to eat, particularly when all you have is a fork. The rib (a favorite of Calvin Trillin, IIRC) also was tough and chewy, not falling off the bone like the Memphis ribs I've enjoyed. The burnt ends were excellent, though--chewy and saucy and full of flavor. I also really liked the sausage--it wasn't link sausage as I expected, but big slices of a loaf like gyro meat, full of flavor and smoke.

Lori had the brisket sandwich and barbecue chicken. The chicken was very tender and flavorful, but the sauces were generally too spicy for her.

I'm glad to have tried Arthur Bryant's, to see what the legend was all about--but on our return trip, I think we'll try another Kansas City roadfood option.
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