Eating out ...
Beth and I decided, very early on, that we wanted absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with fast food franchises on this trip ... ... so, goodbye to McDonald's, Arby's, IHOP, Jack in the Box, KFC, etc. And, except for my quite abnormal excursion in the middle of the night to a Waffle House (see this post), any and all such establishments received not a single visit from either of us.
However, I must tell you that my visit to the Waffle House re-awakened a keen desire for 'real' bacon and eggs - these free continental breakfasts at motels, while nice, leave a whole lot to be desired, you know?
Beth introduced me to Cracker Barrel, with whom I have since fallen in love. As a matter of fact, after I publish this post, I think I'll head back on down to Columbus' one and only Cracker Barrel location, where I fully intend to have three eggs over medium, bacon very crisp and hot chocolate. (I was there last night, but am salivating again! LOL)
Our last evening together in Memphis, Butch treated Beth and me to the best Chinese food I can ever remember eating! I had egg foo yung .. three or four large pieces - sinfully delicious! - I could only eat a couple of them. What a terrible loss for my tummy and appreciative taste buds! Butch took what was left on Beth's and my plates 'to go'. Boy, he would have had some really good stuff awaiting him when he zapped them in the microwave, wouldn't he? The three of us also shared an order of crab rangoon .. two each. Nothing left of any of those 'to go'. :) The name of the restaurant? Hunan
Monday evening in Louisville, I developed a sudden craving for apple pie ala mode. And so, after settling in at our motel - we'd acquired a taste for Baymont Inns - we went in search of same. It was going on 10 o'clock at night, and I didn't know how successful we might be, but we were trying to be optimistic. As an added plus, there was an IHOP in the area. (Oh no, a franchise!!) We knew they were open 24/7 and had a varied menu. We'd stop there as a last resort.
Some of the restaurants that presented possibilities were already closed. However, one of the restaurants still open that caught our attention was Applebee's. We thought sure that, with a name like Applebee's, they'd be offering an apple something-or-another. I mean, wouldn't you think so? "No" is the answer. (!?!) No, no and no again. We picked on them for what we considered an appropriate amount of time and then went on our way.
[Sorry, folks. Thought I could wait until I finished this before going out to eat, but I'm starving! More later. ................................................... How's this for later? It's now Monday, going on 10am. It was all I could do last night, after coming back from eating, to just lay on the bed and work the television clicker.]
We'd almost run out of options. A restaurant with the kind of enticing name of Old Chicago presented itself, but - upon closer inspection - turned out to be a "pasta and pizza" place .. .. not a very likely candidate, eh what?
But, Beth being the "leave no stone unturned" person that she is, said, "Wait here. I'll go in and see what they have." She came out just a couple of minutes later with a grin on her face and said, "I think they might be able to help us."
Sure enough! They had something on their menu that described a whole apple with cinnamon, surrounded by a crust of some sort, baked and then drizzled over with caramel and strawberry sauces. We asked if they had ice cream. They did. We decided to split an order .. .. cut one in half, hold the caramel and strawberry, and top it off with vanilla ice cream.
My word, you never saw food disappear so fast! To say it was delicious simply doesn't do it justice!! The waiter came back to see how we were doing. I told him that Beth had accidentally dropped hers on the floor (I was just finishing mine), and that we'd like to have another. He was very pleased and took off with our order.
That'll be my last stop at an Old Chicago for who knows how long? There are two locations in Pennsylvania (plus a couple in Michigan), but they're nowhere near where I'll be traveling, and none at all (!) in New York, New Hampshire, Maine, or Vermont. :(
[I'll be traveling to Ann Arbor later today. Jennie tells me she thinks there are two restaurant locations there that might be able to come close to what we enjoyed at Old Chicago. I'll report back later. After I check out of here in another hour or so, I'll stop by the Worthington Inn (just down the street, as it turns out) for brunch. Many years ago, when we lived here in Columbus, we spent many a Sunday there after church, where our daughter enjoyed 'all she could eat' for a quarter. I was delighted to discover they were still in business.]
If any of you get anywhere close to an Old Chicago and that dessert sounds good to you, I highly recommend you try it .. without the caramel and strawberry, as we did (Those two additions really didn't sound very good to us.), and let me know what you think. It's listed on the menu as "apple _____ _____" (don't remember the exact title), but read the description. That should let you know you have the right item.