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May 7, 2009 04:12 PM

Two Chowhound’s Road Trip (Starting in the Southwest)

Starting April 17th, Passadumkeg and Scargod (who met on Chowhound), started a road trip from Las Vegas to the coastal town of Ellsworth, Maine (Passadumkeg’s home). We spent ten days eating our way across the South and up the Atlantic coast, while traveling in a 1990 Miata. We are even still friends! We stayed with friends and relatives occasionally, along the way. Some meals were simple and some involved six people and hundreds of dollars. I researched many places that were along our trail; some we ate at, yet often we winged it. This thread will chronicle our adventures across the Southwest and then we will move to the Texas, Austin, New Orleans, South, Florida, Tri-State and finally the New England board. We will Permalink threads together so you can follow our progress. We took many photos…
This is a new experience for both of us and I cannot see posting all our eating experiences in one post and our photos are too numerous to post just four. So, I foresee a rolling dialog with posts that will include pictures of each place we ate at and other related images, while Mark and I go back and forth with our impressions of food, service and ambiance, of which we didn’t always agree. Still, we were good Chowhounds and shared and discussed almost everything we ate. Sometimes we swapped plates halfway through a meal!
My first meal was some lousy chili (at Chili’s), at La Guardia, before the flight out, but we will start when we first went out to dinner at “M” a relatively new resort (and casino), in the southernmost part of Las Vegas. It was not our idea but Mark’s brother’s wife, that we try the buffet, which is quite popular, at $19.00. With gambling charge card it went down to $17! They have seafood, some standard fare and Asian food. This includes sushi, raw oysters, planked salmon, snow crab legs, many desserts and a selection of about four wines. Wow! This sounds great till you realize that you must be there at 4PM if you want to eat by 7PM. You get a reservation to show up in the line about 45 minutes later. You then stand in a line for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours before you get to eat! Is it worth it? I/we think not. The oysters were the biggest disappointment. They were not freshly shucked. They brought them out on huge trays and dumped them on the ice. They were very dirty and had an off-taste and texture, as if they had been shucked and frozen, or refrigerated for a long time. There was no liquor, or juice with the oysters. Crab legs were very good. Most fish was overcooked. It was a crapshoot, so you tried lots of things and there was lots of waste. This is abhorrent to us. People were rude, acting as if they were in a game show, where you competed for getting the food and how much of it you could eat before time was up. This was a strange environment, which I do not wish to revisit.
Drinks at the bar, "32", a draft beer bar where you can get 96 different draft beers: We sampled about five of them. Big Sky Moose Drool, Abita Amber, Young's Double Chocolate Stout and Abita Turbo Dog. I can't remember which I preferred..... all good…
We left Henderson, a suburb, the next morning before daylight. That may be the only reason we got out of the area, since they say bad things stay in Vegas…
We had breakfast in Kingman, AZ, at the Silver Spoon. We will address it in a future post.

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  1. Scargod, please keep the thread going. You gained a lot of creditability with me just for "panning" one of the Vegas buffets. They are not about good food, just making the "mark" think they got a "steal".

    1. Bon voyage! I envy you and will look forward to following this thread.

      1. Mark gets me up before the crack of dawn and we hit the road. Our first stop was to take pictures of construction of a new bridge over the Colorado River, just below the Hoover Dam. In the dark the illuminated view was incredible.
        We searched around the non-descript, Kingman, AZ for a place to eat breakfast and were finally directed to the Silver Spoon Family Restaurant, a '60's retro-futuristic diner. We both could not resist getting the special of pork and green chile omelet with biscuits and gravy. We had an awesome breakfast here. Our coffee cups were never empty. Supposedly this diner is one of the original "Route 66" buildings. It's architecture is very unique. The waitress told us the owner/cook is Greek and there is some Greek food on the menu. This is a gem, in the middle of nowhere. We highly recommend it!
        Don't hesitate to stop and seek out a local for advice. This served us well throughout our trip!

        NOTE: You can follow our complete 4,000+ mile odyssey on Google maps (user-created content) at

        2 Replies
        1. re: Scargod

          Hot damn, we now know there is in fact good food somewhere in Kingman!

          Silver Spoon Family Restaurant
          2011 E Andy Devine Ave, Kingman, AZ 86401

          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

            The green chile and pork omelet was excellent. I was in a big need of a green chile fix and it helped.

        2. Welcome home! I've been waiting to read about the trip. Can't wait to read more. Love the photos.... but the portrait doesn't do either of you justice. What a hoot.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Gio

            Mark, AKA Passadumkeg, Marco Polo, Markie, Marco Gordito, etc., has said I can post his real, beautiful mug. I am trying to retain some anonymity for the Chowhounding I do in my stomping grounds. Here we are in Austin (County Line BBQ), and one more of Hoover Dam.

            1. re: Scargod

              Oh yeah.... that's better. I can see clearly now.

              Seriously, What a fantastic time you two must have had. So far the report is just perfect for those following on your trail. I've only been to Dallas in the southern tier so I'm looking forward to the eastern seaboard leg.... that's my stomping grounds. Glad you're both home safe and sound.

              1. re: Scargod

                A couple of Fat Tires later, we are at Mark's property in New Mexico. That is a gypsum mine in the background. There were black seams of coal everywhere and stark white seams of gypsum.
                There was a horse ranch below us and I scared up a jackrabbit, but no Micky D's! We're in God's country...
                It's been six hours now, with only a beer in between; man am I hungry! It's going to be another hour and a half before we see salsa, chips and beer...

                1. re: Scargod

                  Yes, we have a coal mine on the property and lots of pinon trees right at the foot of beautiful 11,300 ft Mt Taylor.

                2. re: Scargod

                  The BBQ sliders were wicked good too.

              2. Lunch on Saturday, the 18th: We drove some three hours, till we were starving; finally settling on El Falcone, a true Chowhound kind of place. The sign is in disrepair, as were many vehicles outside, but the food was fantastic. Lots of Mexicans/Indians were eating there. We had lunch of stacked green chile enchiladas and soft tacos and washed it down with Negra Modelos. Sometimes we were so eager to eat that the value of taking a photo was lost by the time we thought of it. Oops! Starving this soon after a huge breakfast is a bad omen…

                Note the incredible 30 foot mural and Mark’s Red Miata. We met a nice Aussie couple who were also doing a road trip. That’s their real nice rental car next to us. As we left we came across the Casa Blanca Cafe, a very spiffy looking place, with nothing but upscale cars parked around it, but it was too late and we were already satiated.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Scargod

                  More green chile, yes!! Feeding my addiction. More, more, give me more.

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    This is the green chile enchilada, stacked w/ a fried egg. Yum.

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      I am a green chile junkie and a New Mexican food snob. But i was not overwhelmed by any of the 3 places we ate in Ariz. or NM. Maybe we should have hit Albuquerque where I used to teach in the Hispanic South Valley. Or is it just my memory has exaggerated the wonderful flavors of green chile. I wish we had time to stop at Padilla's or even the Frontier in Alb. Now I need to return to NM for a more extended green chile feed. Maybe build and adobe on our land.
                      Go Lobos!

                      The best green chile was the bowl on the side at the Lodge.

                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                        So, where is this place? Town?

                        TIA, Pete Tillman

                        1. re: Tillman

                          I'll answer for Pass: I believe you are referring to The Lodge, in Cloudcroft, NM, where we had some great green chiles with our Eggs Benedict (made with crab cakes). Green chiles not shown...