Road Food: An Eater's Guide to More Than 1,000 of the Best Local Hot Spots and Hidden Gems Across America by Jane and Michael Stern I just couldn't resist. This fairly hefty guide book that focuses on restaurants is divided by region and then by state. Each state includes about a dozen or so restaurant recommendations from all over the state.
I love road trips and heading off the beaten path and I was super excited to page through this book looking for culinary ideas across the country. This edition was published in 2017 so the information is as up to date as it can be.
Now while I love the idea of long road trips with kids in college my travel budget has taken a bit of a hit so for now most of my travel is vicarious so I can't really put this to use right this moment. I can, however, check it out from the prospective of a local for the places that I'm familiar with.
First up is my home state - Alabama. There are 11 restaurants listed and 4 of those are in Mobile but only 2 are in Birmingham which is quickly earning it's place on foodie lists as a place to go. Neither of the 2 listed from Birmingham are familiar to me though I have heard of the barbecue place that's mentioned in nearby Bessemer. A little farther north in Madison Greenbrier Restaurant is mentioned. Now I've eaten at Greenbrier several times and while I agree that the hush puppies are amazing I question why Greenbrier is listed and not the far more highly regarded Big Bob Gibson's which created the white barbecue sauce that North Alabama is so famous for. In both cities I felt like there were several omissions that I questioned especially Post Office Pies in Birmingham (a really fun place with wood fire grilled pizza in a restored old post office) and Cyn Shea's, Blue Plate Cafe, and Pane E Vino (which also happens to be under the art museum) in Huntsville. As well it left out Auburn and Opelika which both have some amazing and unique restaurants.
I had similar experiences in the chapters about Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Everything mentioned was good but there were a number of omissions that I thought were better. I don't think this book would lead you astray but at the same time I don't think it's all that more useful than Yelp. Since I received a copy of this book through Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review I'll keep it on hand and do some reading when I have my next actual trip to a place I'm unfamiliar with but I don't think I'll be recommending that anyone go rush out and buy this one.
I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads