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Feb 10, 2008 07:03 AM

Auto trip-St. Louis to Carbondale,Illinois

Driving to Carbondale from St. Louis. Looking for suggestions for good bbq,pork tenderloin sandwhiches, and just good old fashioned home cooking places along the way. Help !
Many thanks.

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  1. Just before you get to Carbondale, you'll go through Murphysboro, home to the original 17th Street BBQ ( It's magical; it's a must. I like the "pounder" of pulled pork, with beans and a sweet potato.

    If you're in the market for breakfast, Harbaughs on the Strip in Carbondale has the best biscuits and gravy in town and a bustling, friendly atmosphere. The ubiquitous Carbondale favorite Mary Lou's, also on the Strip, provides free biscuits and gravy with breakfast orders (while they last) and old-fashioned plate lunches, and pie. Great pie (though only on weekdays). And the diner decor is a trip.

    1. I would try Pistol City in Coulterville. Good pie and a pretty good buffet as well. Seafood on Fridays and dang good fried chicken nearly all the time. Hunters Hideout in Tilden is thumbs up for steaks. I've also heard good things about Goodfellas or Longfellows in Baldwin, IL. (Closed on Sunday I believe) Red meat was recommended there as well. Just a FYI, there is also a 17th Street BBQ at the World Shooting Complex north of Sparta open Thurs thru Sun. Just Sue's in Evansville is prob out of your way but they have darn good pizza's, esp w/ the banana peppers on it. Hope this helps.

      1. I completely forgot the Dixie's Cup Cafe in Pinckneyville just about 1/2 mile south of the square. Good blue plates for many years anda local hangout...just squeeze in between the trucks.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DetectDave


          Have you been to Ben's Diner in Tilden? It's across the street from Hunters Hideout. I've driven by, but never stopped. I heard their hash browns are good, but I don't necessarily trust my source.

        2. depending on when you are there -- have a bbq'd bagel on the strip in the evening -- seems like a strange thing - but nothing compares -- and this coming from a Saluki....

          4 Replies
          1. re: lanibug65

            a BBQ bagel? that just sounds wrong, delicious, but wrong on so many levels - elaborate please.

            1. re: hill food

              There is a guy on the strip that puts bagels on a charcol grill and puts just about anything you can imagine on them -- cream cheese, onions, sunflower seeds, apples, bacon bits, etc. and then cooks them on the bbq grill -- to die for -- and i am sure since i have had one he has added more toppings --- look for the old guy

              1. re: lanibug65

                My local peeps tell me that guy's has been around since the 80's and give him high rec's like you did Lani...thanks for the tip. Is he only out at night as all my reports were of his fine creations post bar closing time? Thnx.

                1. re: DetectDave

                  I think he comes out in the early evening around 8ish....but it is worth the time and energy to have one ---- whenever I go back -- which is not often as I now live on Columbus, Ohio -- I do not miss one, out of everything I remember from my time at SIU - that is the one thing I miss the most and have never seen anywhere else....

          2. If you are taking the back roads, there's plenty of good diner-esque shops to stop at. On 15 in St. Libory, you can stop at Chickens. They do a buffet plus a la carte, but they make all their own pies. Plus, they are across the street from Wenneman's Butcher shop, which means you can stock up on something for the road or the way back.

            In Addieville, there's the Eagle's Nest. Small restaurant/bar with a great fryer. We usually get the walleye, blue gill, or the whole fried catfish (personal favorite).

            On 127 there's not much. The diner in Pinckneyville is about the only thing worth stopping for. There's two antique/salvage shops to stop at when you first enter Perry County. When you drive south, there's a guy on the right that sells sorghum molasses out of his house...not home cooking, but homemade.

            I don't know if they are open this time of year, but there's a bbq stand outside the grange on 15 by Eckert's that sells tasty smoked pork.