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Jim Leff's musings on CHOWTour -- plus celery sticks

davina Aug 23, 2006 04:33 AM

New board! Here's your place to talk about Jim's tour, AKA CHOWTour, in which he drives and eats, drives and eats, then podcasts, then eats, writes a little bit, then visits a festival for more eating. His first post is up now in the features section -- a pre-tour musing in which we learn his secret weapon: celery sticks.
More to come: watch this space!

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  1. ChinoWayne RE: davina Aug 23, 2006 09:40 PM

    If Jim starts out a ChowTour by eating celery sitcks and sipping diet soda, he is starting off on the wrong foot. That needs to be celery sticks accompanied by some stiff Bloody Marys! Then, get a designated driver.

    1. d
      Dave Feldman RE: davina Aug 24, 2006 02:46 AM

      I'm looking forward to this!

      One obvious question. If the intention is not to visit places that were rounded up beforehand, how was the itinerary chosen?

      8 Replies
      1. re: Dave Feldman
        Jim Leff RE: Dave Feldman Aug 24, 2006 03:49 PM




        1. re: Jim Leff
          Cpt Wafer RE: Jim Leff Aug 24, 2006 03:53 PM

          Big Dog, if you go anywhere near Hemingway, SC, you must check out Scott's BBQ. I promise you it's a true chowhound experience.

          (843) 558-0134
          Brunson Xrds SC261
          Hemingway, SC 29554

          1. re: Jim Leff
            Janet RE: Jim Leff Aug 24, 2006 05:19 PM

            If you go through Corbin, KY on I 75, try the Fad on Main street. They are the last place I know of that still serves Pool Hall Chili.

            1. re: Janet
              Jim Leff RE: Janet Aug 25, 2006 12:24 AM

              Janet, I'm not hip to Pool Hall Chili. Can you clue me in? Thanks for the tip, too (and to Cpt Wafer)

              1. re: Jim Leff
                Janet RE: Jim Leff Aug 25, 2006 12:58 AM

                This chili "was born in sin in the Pool Halls of Southeastern Ky."
                It is a hot chili that is firmly packed into a hot dog bun. It has chuck and pork, lots of spices, and the meat simmers in flat beer.

                The best recipe for it is in "Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken" by Ronni Lundy. Just in case the Fad has closed.

                If it is still in business, the owner may or may not have it open. The Fad Poolroom phone number used to be 606-528-9051. So you can check if in the area.

                While in Corbin, go check out the Colonel Sanders' museum. When I lived there it was a first class restuarant. Chicken was just a small part of the menu.

            2. re: Jim Leff
              zorra RE: Jim Leff Aug 24, 2006 08:30 PM

              I'm a little worried about your not checking the boards or getting any chowhound tips. I think it will break everyone's heart if you pass through his/her town, miss the best stuff, and report that you had boring or terrible food.

              1. re: zorra
                Jim Leff RE: zorra Aug 24, 2006 09:26 PM

                Boring or terrible food is unthinkable. And as you'll hear (as soon as the editors process my Day Two podcast and get it up), it's been a long time since I failed to connect with deliciousness.

                I get edgy following tips. And it's not as delicious. I vastly prefer to just roam and find stuff. Tips are good for when you have a narrow time frame and need to score on cue. But I'm just sort of meandering around here, so I want to make it as much pure chowhounding as possible.

                1. re: Jim Leff
                  gnosh RE: Jim Leff Aug 26, 2006 06:38 PM

                  So, if you accidentally get a tip or have already heard about a place do you have to cross that place off your list?

          2. 5 and Dime Eater RE: davina Aug 24, 2006 09:32 PM

            You will all hear about Jim's great food streak, aka "The Streak" shortly!

            ... and here it is: http://www.chowhound.com/features/sho...

            2 Replies
            1. re: 5 and Dime Eater
              Jefferson RE: 5 and Dime Eater Aug 26, 2006 04:55 AM

              "New Jersey is imminent" (or was it "immanent"?)

              This is a fun listen.

              Is that Berkshires article available somewhere? I might be up there visiting my sister-in-law's sister.

              1. re: Jefferson
                Jim Leff RE: Jefferson Aug 26, 2006 02:04 PM

                I'll be incorporating all those Berkshires finds into my road trip piece for that area, which I'm hoping to hit in a few weeks. In the meanwhile, ask for tips on our New England board!

            2. chipbrantley RE: davina Aug 25, 2006 03:22 PM

              This is not in the spirit of just roaming and finding good stuff, but if you're in Alabama over Labor Day weekend, you should definitely check out the "First and Largest Butterbean Festival in the United States." It's going down on Sept. 2 in Palmerdale, not too far northeast of Birmingham. Good luck. Look forward to hearing what you find.

              By the way, Jeff, have you ever read Jim Harrison's essay called "Going Places"? It's in the The Best of Outside: The First 20 Years. Inspiring reading while you're out there on the road. Maybe you could give us "Eating Places" at the other end.

              Good luck.

              1. Covert Ops RE: davina Aug 25, 2006 08:35 PM

                I'd love to follow around, but I don't have sound on my computer at work. Will transcripts of the podcasts be posted?

                4 Replies
                1. re: Covert Ops
                  Jim Leff RE: Covert Ops Aug 25, 2006 08:51 PM

                  Thanks chip, I'll try to get a copy (though i don't have much reading time...the production cycle is pretty relentless...I'm straining to find time to do workouts, which are pretty essential...).

                  Covert Ops.....argh. No plans to transcribe, no. But we also have some deaf users. Plus I'm concerned that hot tips buried in podcasts might not be as noticed/jotted down by curious eaters. So trasncripts are a good idea. I'm not sure we have enough free staff to make it happen on our end, but if any hounds out there feels like tackling this, shoot me an email and I'll talk to the editorial guys and we'll see what we can do. I'm big-dog@chowhound.com, as always.

                  1. re: Jim Leff
                    The Dairy Queen RE: Jim Leff Aug 29, 2006 12:25 PM

                    I can't get audio on my laptop--some virus disabled my sound card (or whatever thingamajigy makes sound work) long ago. I've never been able to figure out how to get sound on my computer at work, though, I'm going to try. I'd really love to see transcripts, especially of The Streak, if someone out there is willing to do them as a labor of love.


                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                      Jim Leff RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 29, 2006 03:49 PM

                      post to one of the help boards....give info on your laptop and system software. there's surely someone who can help you find a solution to the sound problems!

                  2. re: Covert Ops
                    Jim Leff RE: Covert Ops Aug 25, 2006 08:53 PM

                    PS--it won't be all audio. There'll be photos and written stuff, too. I'm experimenting with different ways to (virtually) bring everybody along with me.....

                  3. 5 and Dime Eater RE: davina Aug 25, 2006 09:39 PM

                    Dispatch #3 is live http://www.chowhound.com/features/sho...
                    and yes, I think the images are too small.

                    1. howler RE: davina Aug 26, 2006 06:09 PM

                      jim -

                      angora in medford is amazing. EVERYTHING there is wonderful. the lahmacun is spectacular - and you can take a bag of frozen ones home too.

                      was that discovery part of the streak?

                      1. d
                        Dave Feldman RE: davina Aug 27, 2006 04:38 AM

                        I especially enjoyed "The Streak." If you are worried about being numbed without encountering mediocre meals, you should have asked me -- I have no trouble finding them.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Dave Feldman
                          Jim Leff RE: Dave Feldman Aug 27, 2006 12:42 PM

                          Well, one of my subtle agendas with this trip is the hope that by describing my process for finding deliciousness, the streak will rub off on readers-along. I don't want to be heavy handed about it and turn this into a pedantic "how-to" manual. But if some of the juju gets contagiously passed along in the process, that'd be great.


                        2. Windy RE: davina Aug 28, 2006 11:48 PM

                          you could use Vox, which has mobile text, photo, audio clip, and video blogging capability....free and easy

                          would be great to see a map that plots the route along with the posts.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Windy
                            5 and Dime Eater RE: Windy Aug 29, 2006 12:23 AM

                            We're working on a more interactive version of CHOWTour with maps and locales and much more fun stuff. Launch will be announced in the features section so check back within a few weeks.

                            1. re: 5 and Dime Eater
                              Pat Hammond RE: 5 and Dime Eater Aug 31, 2006 02:52 PM

                              Terrific news. This mega-chowathon deserves all the bells and whistles! Thanks.

                              1. re: 5 and Dime Eater
                                Dave Feldman RE: 5 and Dime Eater Sep 3, 2006 04:41 AM

                                Great. I'm enjoying the tour reports immensely, but I have a feeling not enough Chowhounds are going there.

                            2. meatme RE: davina Sep 3, 2006 05:27 AM

                              THAT Yvonne? Of game-menu fame? How old must she be?

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