Friday, August 15, 2008

Eating On The Road

One of the frustrating things about working on the road is eating on the road- until you find a decent restaurant that reliably serves good food.

I recently mentioned my anticipation for a stop in Woodstock, IL, to the Courthouse Grill. It was another great lunch, with a very nice buffet- coconut shrimp on a bed of pasta alfredo, chicken kiev, mashed redskin potatoes, corn chowder and a southwestern black bean soup, excellent salad bar. Because I always go for the buffet, I failed to notice the homage to the movie Groundhog Day. Next time.

Good food like this is greatly appreciated, especially when the alternatives are the usual boring fast foods.

Here are some other notables I always visit when near, in no particular order:

Decatur, IL- Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant. Amazing Enchiladas Suizas. I've had this dish in other Mexican restaurants, but nobody's compares to Guadalajara's, with three fat cheese enchiladas smothered in salsa verde and topped with succulent pulled pork.

Michigan City, IN- Swingbelly's. Being housed in an old New York Central train station and sitting trackside is enough for me, but the burgers are fantastic. I expect burgers to be a notch better at the average bar & grill, but they are two notches better at Swingbelly's.

Three Rivers, MI- Frankie's By The Tracks. Did I mention I like restaurants adjacent to the tracks? I rediscovered this one last year after first finding it in 1997 while working a railroad job. The food is as good and plentiful as ever, although sadly, they removed all the old Conrail train photos in favor of Norfolk Southern images. I like NS, but have fond memories of Big Blue hustling on this particular line.

West Lafayette, IN- Triple XXX Restuarant. I go there for the root beer, always served in a frosty mug. Every now and again, it seems I need to fill the tank near Lafayette, and if I'm going to have to get off I-65, I can always stop for a nice root beer. I stopped here every time I campaigned in Lafayette. The burgers are nice, but as you can see, it's not why I stop. Couldn't believe Reid Duffy's Guide to Indiana's Favorite Restaurants didn't even mention the root beer. Shame!

Fairview Heights, IL- Lotawata Creek Southern Grill. Absurdly huge comfort food meals, and fun, outdoorsie decor. When working earlier this year in East St. Louis, an AT&T engineer took me here. Awesome burgers.

Now, can you help me out with recommendations for Chicago's South Side?

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