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Where to eat in America?

We'll be traveling through the US on I-80 in December and wonder if anyone can recommend places to eat, good local specialties/holiday foods to try.

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  1. I would highly recommed Chez Panisse in Berkley, CA. But there are so many choices around the Bay area that posting on the CA site is definitely a good idea.

    1. In Salt Lake City, the Red Iguana is a great place for Mexican food-- they have a bunch of different types of mole (and will give you a plate of little tastes if you're having trouble deciding which to order).

      Tamales are a popular holiday food in the Southwest; I'm not sure where to get good ones on your route but searching this board may turn up some, or you could ask in a specific city. I'd guess somewhere in Utah would be your best bet for these as well.

      Red Iguana
      736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116

      1 Reply
      1. re: bortukan

        I've only been to Salt Lake City once, and the Red Iguana was the highlight of my trip. It remains one of my favorite spots in the country. Don't miss it, if you're near there.

        Red Iguana
        736 W North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84116

      2. OK, my original sarcastic post was deleted but seriously, the USA is a big place and I-80 does go coast to coast. How much time are you taking and what cities will you be visiting? That might make it easier to pin down some recommendations. The fried chicken at the Holiday Inn just off I-80 in Grand Island, NE is pretty good, however.

        Holiday Inn
        10 E 120th Ave, Northglenn, CO 80233

        5 Replies
        1. re: PitLab

          PitLab, you are my hero! Remember the best thing to ever come out of Nebraska is Interstate 80.

          For the "Southwestern" board other than SLC, there is nothing much, except the Basque places in Elko and Winnemucka. If its food and scenery you want take I 76 to Denver and then I70 west. Be careful about getting over passes. If I was headed west in December, it would be down to I40 and then west. That means BBQ, New Mexican, Flagstaff and Vegas. This board has lots of suggestions for all those locations.

          1. re: BlueOx

            We'll be heading back that way, from Ohio to Nashville, Memphis, OK city, Taos, Bay area.
            Though I know we're headed into some food Meccas, any ideas are welcome.

            1. re: BlueOx

              Years ago I ran across a book entitled something like "Dining on the Road in America." When you turned to "Nebraska" there was one page containing one sentence: "Don't eat in Nebraska."

              1. re: mandycat

                Ha-ha-ha. I bet you think that's pretty clever! Was the book was written by someone from L.A.? Have you ever visited Omaha? Or Lincoln? Some pretty darn good restaurants there. Also, some down home gems in Hastings and Norfolk. No, I don't live in Nebraska.

                1. re: PitLab

                  OK PitLab, why no mention of the infamous runza, the unofficial state dish of Nebraska. And further facts about the state: The N on their football helmet stands for Nowledge.

                  From Wikipedia: A runza (also called a bierock, fleischkuche or Kraut Pirok) is a yeast dough bread pocket with a filling consisting of beef, pork, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. They are baked in various shapes such as a half-moon, rectangle, round (bun), square, or triangle. In Nebraska, the runza is usually baked in a rectangular shape. The bierocks of Kansas, on the other hand, are generally baked in the shape of a bun.

          2. Don't know if Rock Springs, WY is on 80 but we had some good food at Cruel Jack's (fancy truckstop). Trout, ribs and lemonade with Jack Daniels etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: twodales

              I was passing through Rock Springs and had this recommendation in hand. But we got off the highway a few miles earlier, where 191 heads north. We stopped at a taco place, on the west side of Elk St. It was just north of the Santa Fe Grill restaurant and a taco time fast food joint. I wish I could remember the name. But the tacos and burritos were excellent and very affordable.

            2. For Memphis, I'd recommend Gus' Fried Chicken, Central BBQ, Rendezvous BBQ (more of an experience), and Soul Fish Cafe in Cooper Young.

              Gus' - http://www.frommers.com/destinations/...
              Central - http://www.cbqmemphis.com/
              Rendezvous - http://www.hogsfly.com/VisitUs.php
              Soul Fish - http://www.soulfishcafe.com/

              Don't forget to visit Sun Studios while you're here. Very cool - and inexpensive - tour compared to others.