roadtrip: st. louis > knoxville and back again. food worth stopping for in MO, IL or IN?
i posted this over in the boards for the south, but much of the trip is midwester, so here we go again:
the sis and i are headed down for a wedding and are making it a 3-day roadtrip. any suggestions for places to stop? the route has not yet been defined -- and i was hoping to do that based on what kind of eats there are (say, in arkansas vs. indiana). we're definitely stopping in nashville for hot chicken, but our primary objective is BBQ, and lots of it. we're big fans of local food, specialties that are particular to a place, and establishments that speak of a particular area.
i've been dying to find these guys in poplar bluff, MO, that jeffrey steingarten wrote about in TMWAE, but i've come to the conclusion that they don't actually own a restaurant or sell their BBQ. does anyone know different? also, it seems like we might find amazing BBQ in murphysboro, IL. seems like we'll actually be missing their cook-off by a week, unfortunately. any ideas on that area as well?
what say you, chowhounds?
thanks for the suggestions, all. i'll definitely report back on our findings. maybe i'm overly optimistic (i've been living abroad for a few years now and the idea of a roadtrip in the states has been reduced to a fuzzy idealized notion of cozy diners and sleeping in the back of stationwagons), but i'm hoping it won't be too difficult to track down good eating on the way down and back. i mean, roadfood will have to give us some hints (but even then, it's not so extensive), but i'm hoping the locals haven't all converted to national chains and fast food when it comes to eating out and will be able to point us in the right direction.
wow, that was more soapbox-minded than i intended.
For barbeque in Indianapolis, I'd vote for GT South's. http://www.gtsouths.com/ They are very local and quite tasty. BBQ is southern style and you can order everything either "wet" or "dry." There are two locations, one is on the southside of Indy and very accesible from I-65/465. Neither are fancy interiors, but the food certainly makes up for lack of decor.
Halfway down your post, before getting to the end, I was going to suggest you hit the 17th St. Bar & Grill in Murphysboro, but looks like it's already on your radar. Anyway, that's where you should go. If you're heading to K'ville by going down 57 to 26 to 40, it's only a short zig out of your way; or, of if you'll be on IL 13 heading west to 57, it's not detour at all. Great sides at the 17th, in addition to the Q.
Don't forget that 17th St has a new place right off I-57 in Marion at exit 54 (Rte 13 West toward Carbondale). Exit west and turn right (North) at the 1 st light. I'm a big fan of the smoked chops ($7.99 for 2 big ones w/ sides) at Triple E BBQ on Rte 13 on the east side of Marion as well. I am a big boy and usually can't finish them. Here's a link w/ some info: