Thursday, March 31, 2016

News From Along Route 66, February 2016: Auction of the Launching Pad in Wilmington, Illinois

FEBRUARY 27--  The Gemini Giant, Launching Pad restaurant in Wilmington, Illinois, is to be auctioned in April.  It has been closed for a long time and will be sold as is.  The auction will be held on premises on April 8.

The Launching Pad Restaurant was inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame in 2000.

The giant muffler man/astronaut was, and still is a big photo op for anyone driving along Route 66.

John and Betty Korck opened Dairy Delite on the site in 1960 and renamed it the Launching Pad after it expanded in 1965 (and to take advantage of the U.S. NASA Space Program.  John saw a muffler man at a restaurant convention and had one specially made to look like an astronaut.  They retired in 1986.

Morey Szczecin bought the property in 2007 from Jerry and Sharon Gatties but the restaurant struggled and closed for good in 2010.  They put it up for sale then, asking $650,000 but had no takers.

I am sure glad we had the opportunity to eat there while it was still open.  Great food.  However, it was so close to the Polka Dot in Braidwood, you would be too full to eat at both.

Here's hoping that someone buys it and keeps it as a restaurant and with "The Gemini Giant."

If not, the town of Wilmington should buy the muffler man.

Sad to See It Go.  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WDRV's Sweet Sixteen Album Madness Brackets

WDRV, 97.1 FM in Chicago has now reached the Sweet Sixteen in their classic rock albums matchups.  Not surprisingly, the Beatles have four albums remaining.  Even more surprising to me is that AC/DC has two albums remaining.

Go to to vote.

*  I voted for this one.

SGT. PEPPER'S--  Beatles *
FOREIGNER--  Foreigner

NIGHT MOVES--  Bob Seger
RUMOURS--  Fleetwood Mac *

4--  Led Zeppelin
WHITE ALBUM--  Beatles *

REVOLVER--  Beatles *

BORN TO RUN--  Bruce Springsteen

AJA--  Steely Dan *
WHO'S NEXT--   Who

ABBEY ROAD--  Beatles *

BOSTON--  Boston
STREET SURVIVORS--  Lynyrd Skynyrd *

Voting at this moment is for Sgt. Pepper's vs Foreigner and Born to Run vs. Highway to Hell.

Love My Southern Rock.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Sky View Drive-In in Litchfield, Illinois, Set To Turn 66 on Route 66

From the March 26, 2016, Springfield (Illinois) State Journal-Register "Age 66 on Route 66: Historic Sky View Drive-In to open April 1 under new owners" by Tamara Browning.

The Sky View Drive-In is the last continuously-operating drive-in on Historic Route 66 in Illinois.

Mike and Debbie Pastrovich are the new owners this year.

The drive-in opened in the spring of 1950 and has been operating every season since then.  Frisina Enterprises was the original owner.  Then it was owned and operated by Norman and Delphine Paul for many years afterwards.

Friday the theater will open with "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "10 Cloverfield Lane."  The new owners will continue to try to show close-to-new movies.

This year they have partnered with Pepsi and every medium-sized cup will be a souvenir one because of its 66th anniversary.


Monday, March 28, 2016

WDRV's Album Madness Brackets, 2nd Round-- Part 2 "Joshua Tree"

*  Who I'm voting for.

BORN TO RUN--  Bruce Springsteen
DOORS--  Doors *

HOUSES OF THE HOLY--  Led Zeppelin

AJA--  Steely Dan *


ABBEY ROAD--  Beatles *
EXILE ON MAIN STREET--  Rolling Stones

THE CARS--  Cars *

2--  Led Zeppelin *
BOSTON--  Boston

STREET SURVIVORS--  Lynyrd Skynyrd *

Casting My Vote.  --RoadDog

WDRV's Album Madness, Round 2-- Part 1: "Pet Sounds"

At noon today, the bracket changes to the Beatles White Album versus Styx's Grand Illusion.  Bob Stroud will play two songs from each album.

*  Who I'm voting for.

Physical Graffiti--Led Zeppelin
Sgt. Pepper's--  Beatles  *

Foreigner--  Foreigner
Tumbleweed Connection--  Elton John

Night Moves--  Bob Seger
Rubber Soul--  Beatles  *

Rumours--  Fleetwood Mac  *
Some Girls--  Rolling Stones

4--  Led Zeppelin  *
Scarecrow--  John Mellancamp

Grand Illusion--  Styx
White Album--  Beatles  *

Pet Sounds-- Beach Boys  *
Back in Black--  AC/DC

Revolver--  Beatles
Are You Experienced--  Jimi Hendrix *

Sure Are a Lot of Beatles Songs In There.  --RoadDog

Friday, March 25, 2016

WDRV's Album Madness Brackets-- Part 4: The Cars Versus Fleetwood Mac

* Ones I voted for.

ABBEY ROAD-  Beatles *

EXILE ON MAIN STREET--  Rolling Stones
ABRAXAS--  Santana *

THE CARS--  Cars
FLEETWOOD MAC--  Fleetwood Mac *

WISH YOU WERE HERE--  Pink Floyd *

LED ZEPPELIN II--  Led Zeppelin *

BOSTON--  Boston *

PYROMANIA--  Def Leppard *

FLY LIKE AN EAGLE--  Steve Miller *
STREET SURVIVORS--  Lynyrd Skynyrd

Winners on Monday.

Who Survived?  --RoadDog

WDRV's Album Madness Brackets-- Part 3: Hotel California vs The Doors

* Ones I voted for.

BORN TO RUN--  Bruce Springsteen *
STICKY FINGERS--  Rolling Stones

DOORS--  Doors

ESCAPE--  Journey *

HOUSES OF THE HOLY--  Led Zeppelin

AJA--  Steely Dan *
BAD COMPANY--  Bad Company

LAYLA--  Derek & the Dominos *

BAND ON THE RUN--  Wings *


Who's On the Highway?  --RoadDog

WDRV's Album Madness Brackets-- Part 2 Pet Sounds versus Let It Bleed

*  Ones I voted for.

SCARECROW--  John Mellancamp

BORN IN THE U.S.A.--  Bruce Springsteen *

L.A. WOMAN--  Doors *
WHITE ALBUM--  Beatles

LET IT BLEED--  Rolling Stones *
PET SOUNDS--  Beach Boys


REVOLVER--  Beatles *

LED ZEPPELIN--  Led Zeppelin

Are You Experienced?  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 24, 2016

WDRV's Album Madness Brackets-- Part 1: Cosmo's Factory Versus The Wall

Voting has started on Chicago's WDRV FM, 97.1 FM for its second annual Classic Album Bracket Challenge.  You can cast your vote for favorite album from each pairing, many of which have already declared a winner, but there are still many more to go, and of course Round 2, Sweet Sixteen, Super 8, Final Four and Champion.

* Ones I voted for.

VAN HALEN--  Van Halen *

TOMMY--  Who

FOREIGNER--  Foreigner

TOYS IN THE ATTIC--  Aerosmith *

COSMO'S FACTORY--  Creedence Clearwater Revival ***
NIGHT MOVES--  Bob Seger

RUBBER SOUL--  Beatles *
THE WALL--  Pink Floyd

RUMOURS--  Fleetwood Mac
DEJA VU--  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young *

SOME GIRLS--  Rolling Stones
HYSTERIA--  Def Leppard *

Votin' Early and Often--  RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, February 2016: TIF in Springfield, Illinois

FEBRUARY 22--  You've seen Cuba, Missouri's murals from the ground, now you can see them from the air.  Antigravity Photography has used a drone to film the murals from the air.  You can see the video at Route 66 News for this date.

FEBRUARY 25--  Springfield, Illinois, may add a TIF district to a section of Route 66.  This provides a tax increment pricing to help grow business along Peoria Road (Route 66) on the north side of the city.

This would include the site of the former Bill Shea Gas station museum.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Big Tap! Winners of Round 1: Sip 'n Dip Lounge


San Diego's Mission Brewery 60% over New Mexico's Kelly's Brew Pub
Milwaukee's Best Place at Historic Pabst Brewery 67$ over Chicago's Southport Lanes

Pittsburgh's Church Brew Works 61% over Georgia's Jailhouse Brewery
Missouri's O'Malley's Pub 56% over Oakland's Kingfish Pub


Montana's Sip 'n Dip Lounge 54% over Portland's Backstage Bar
Oswego, New York's Calaboose Grill 66% over Madrid, Iowa's Flat Tire Lounge

Charleston, S.C.'s McCrady's restaurant 71% over Sarasota, Florida's Bahi Hut
Washington D.C.'s Mr. Henry's 56% over Hot Springs, Ark.'s Ohio Club.

Drink and Vote Often.  --RoadDog

The Big Tap!: Winners of First Round-- Part 1: Club Moderne

The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced the winners of the first round.  Each pairing will face off in Round 2.


Genoa Bar in Nevada, 61% over Michigan's Ambassador
New York's Irish Haven 54% over New York's Jullus' Bar

California's Townhouse and Del Monte Speakeasy 66% over Red Restaurant and Bar
Montana's Club Moderne 70% over Milwaukee's Bryant's Cocktail Lounge


Indiana's Knickerbocker Saloon 61% over Cleveland's Stone Mad Pub
Maryland's The Horse You came In On Saloon 56% over Annapolis' 1747 Pub

Maryland's Middleton 51% over Delaware's Jessop
Virginia's Gadsby's 68% over Kansas' Hays House

You Can Vote on Round 2 Until Friday.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Big Tap!: Brackets for America's Favorite Historic Bars-- Part 6: Bryant's Cocktail Lounge

Townhouse and Del Monte Speakeasy-- oldest bar in Venice.


Red restaurant and Bar--1877

Bryant's Cocktail Lounge--  first cocktail lounge in Milwaukee, 1938


Club Moderne--  Since 1937 and on the NRHP

Hi-De-Ho.  --RoadDog

The Big Tap!: Brackets for America's Favorite Historic Bars-- Part 5: The Irish Haven

McCrady's restaurant--  Building dates to 1767


Behi Hut-- opened 1954

Mr. Henry's--  opened 1966


Ohio Club--  more than a century old

Jellus' Bar--  New York City's oldest gay bar


The Irish Haven

I'll Drink To That.  --RoadDog

The Big Tap!: Brackets for America's Favorite Historical Bars-- Part 4: Sip 'n Dip Lounge

Kingfish Pub and Cafe--  Local dive bar since 1933.


O'Malley's Pub--  dating to 1842 and located 60 feet underground.

Back stage Bar--  Behind the screen of the 1927 movie palace Baghdad Theater.


Sip 'n Dip Lounge--  Tiki Bar

Flat Tire Lounge--  bike friendly in a quonset hut.


Calaboose Grill--  in a former jail

Winner Gets Drinks.  --RoadDog

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Big Tap!: Brackets for America's Favorite Historical Bars-- Part 3: Southport Lanes

Continuing with this list.  I plan to visit these whenever I'm in town.

Southport Lanes-- a former Schlitz Bar with a small, 4 lanes, bowling alley installed in 1922.


Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery--  the 1880 corporate headquarters.  Pabst beer brewed from 1844 to 1995.  Now brewed by Miller.

Jailhouse Brewing Co.--  in a 1911 jail, of course.


Church Brew Works--  in a former church, of course.

Mission Brewery


Kelly's Brew Pub--  on Route 66 in an art moderne building

Drinking Early and Often.  --RoadHicDog

The Big Tap!: Brackets for America's Historical Bars-- Part 2 The Horse You Came In On Saloon

The Horse You Came In On Saloon--  which supposedly has the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe, built 1775.  (You've got to love this name.)


1747 Pub--  270 years old.

Gadsby's Tavern--  George Washington drank here, as did Jefferson, Madison and Monroe.


Hays House Restaurant and Tavern--  oldest continuously operating bar west of the Mississippi River.  On the Old Santa Fe Trail.

Middletown Tavern--  established 1775.  Just a block from the USNA.


Jessop's Tavern--  the building is nearly 350 years old.

And, you can vote and read about these places at the National Trust for Historic Preservation site.

Drinking and Voting.  --RoadDog

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Big Tap: Brackets for America's Favorite Historic Bars-- Part 1: Stone Mad Pub

From the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  This is the second annual brackets for your voting.  You can go to the site and read about the bars before casting your vote.

Last year, Moscow, Idaho's Corner Club was the champion.

First Round:

GENOA, NEVADA--  Genoa Bar and Saloon, Built 1853, oldest bar in the state.  U.S. grant and Theodore Roosevelt drank there.


HOUGHTON, MICHIGAN--  Ambassador, famous for hand-painted murals.  Owned by same family since 1965.

LAFAYETTE, INDIANA--  Knickerbocker Saloon, 1835, first liquor license in state.  Near Purdue University.  John Purdue, U.S. Grant, Mark Twain and Al Capone drank here.


CLEVELAND, OHIO--  Stone Mad Pub, 1912


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Since It Be St. Patrick's Day, Some Irish Music For Ye

I am listening to this cassette tape that I made right now as I type this.

Wild Rover
Whiskey In a Jar  (These first two with all that hand-clapping)
Scarce O'Tatties

Black velvet Band
I'll Tell Me Ma

Dear Old Donegal
Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder
3 Young ladies Drinking

Whiskey before Breakfast
Port Laigre
Gypsey Rover

I'll Take You Home Kathleen
Seven Drunken Nights
Finnegan's Wake

Gosh & Begora.  RoadDog

News From Along Route 66, February 2016: The Bel-Aire Motel's Sputnik Sign

FEBRUARY 16--  The new home of Springfield, Illinois' Bel-Aire Motel Sputnik.  It will be at the Ace Sign Co. Antique Sign Museum at 2540 S. 1st Street.

The Bel-Aire Motel was torn down last year after a long sink into really bad shape.  Ace Sign Co. installed the Sputnik between 1963 and 1965.  This was during the height of the Space Race between the United States and Soviet Union.

The sign was donated by the hotel owners.  The sign company also has the concrete seal from the pool.

The museum is open M-F from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but it is suggested that you call ahead at 217-522-8417.

It was sad to see that neat-looking motel fading away over the years, but at least there will be reminders of it.

Something else new to see in Springfield after pizza at Fulghenzi's.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

News From Along Route 66, February 2016: Mojave Trails National Monument

FEBRUARY 11--  2016 will be the make-or-break year for the Route 66 State Park bridge in Eureka, Missouri.  The Great Rivers Greenway group is raising money to save the bridge.  One million must be raised.

MDOT has $325,000 slated for the bridge's demolition in 2017.  The road bed over the bridge has been removed.

At least we had the opportunity to drive over it before it was closed.

FEBRUARY 12--  President Obama designated Mojave Trails National Monument which has Route 66 from Needles, California, to Ludlow.

FEBRUARY  15--  LaBajada Hill may become a national monument in New Mexico.  This is the one with all those switchbacks, 23 of them to be exact.

Actually, it is more of a mesa than hill and is south of Santa Fe on one of the oldest alignments of Route 66, once part of El Camino Real dating to the 1600s.

This is a stretch we haven't yet driven, but in the next two years we plan to do so.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

News From Along Route 66, February 2016: Sky View Drive-In Gets New Owner

FEBRUARY 2--  Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum set to open in March in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.  Something new to see along the road.

FEBRUARY 5--  The Galena Viaduct in Galena, Kansas, wins grant to finish restoration.  It was built in the early 1920s.  A $193,836 grant was received for matching funds.  Always an impressive sight coming into the town from Missouri.

FEBRUARY 6--  The Sky View Drive-in in Litchfield, Illinois, has a new owner.  We have not yet been able to see a movie there.  Perhaps this year.


News From Along Route 66, February 2016: The Tropics Restaurant

FEBRUARY 1--  A history of the Tropics restaurant in Lincoln, Illinois.

Tami Goodrich's family owned it for 40 year.  It opened in 1950 and the original owner, Vince Shwenoha based the sign on California.  One employee, Betty Fletcher, worked there from the beginning until it was sold in 1997.

Among the famous diners were Danny Thomas and Bobby Burgess.

It was closed for long periods in 1965 and 1975 because of fires.

After Interstate 55 bypassed Lincoln, it appeared the Tropics would go bankrupt, but a big ice storm in 1978 saved it.  Utility workers ate there and made extra sure that the electricity stayed on.

It closed a short time after the Johnsons sold it and closed for good in 2004 after sporadic reopenings.  The property was sold in 2014 and the sign removed.

A group now has a three-year, $50,000 fundraiser going on to restore the sign and reinstall it at a site to be determined.

I am sure glad that we got to watch a Bears game there before it closed.  We've always loved that sign and am glad it was saved.


Monday, March 14, 2016

News From Along Route 66, January 2016: Death of Afton Station's Laurel Kane

From the Route 66 News site.

JANUARY 25--  Mahan Gas Station was moved from Shea's in Springfield, Illinois, a quarter mile north to Fulgenza's Pizza and Pasta.  Looks like we'll have anew place to stop in Springfield.

JANUARY 26--  The ten-year-old "Cars" movie still draws tourists to Route 66.  I was very disappointed when I found out it was an animated movie, but it sure worked for me.  I saw it three times when it came out, once at a drive-in movie theater in McHenry, Illinois.  And I have been watching animated movies ever since.

JANUARY 26--  The old Dairy Queen sign in Holbrook, Arizona,  is endangered.  It is 50 years old and the owners want to replace it with a modern one.  As of Feb. 4, it was announced it will stay.  Great news.  keep anything old that looks good.

JANUARY 28--  Laurel Kane of Afton Station in Afton, Oklahoma, died.  She was one of the people that make Route 66 so special.  We'll miss her.

JANUARY 29--  Chicago's Jackson Boulevard Bridge marks its 100th birthday.  A really pretty bridge.


News From Along Route 66, January 2016: Coliseum Ballroom-- Part 2

Some other groups that played there were Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, Joey Dee & the Starlighters, Johnny Rivers, Head East, Ohio Express and 1910 Fruitgum Company.

It claimed to be the largest dance floor between Chicago and St. Louis with 10,000 square feet and seating for 1500.  Dominic Tarro was indicted in 1930 for selling booze (imagine that)  His daughter Joyce ran the place until she was killed in a robbery in 1996.  The placed continued on, but closed as a music venue in the mid-1990s.  In the last decade of it, there was an antique mall there and it occasionally hosted local rock bands.


Friday, March 11, 2016

News From Along Route 66, January 2016: The Coliseum Ballroom in Benld, Illinois-- Part 1

JANUARY 25TH--  There is a film on the Coliseum Ballroom in Benld, Illinois, which was previewed in February.

It was opened by Dominic Tarro in 1924 and destroyed fire in 2011.

Many famous bands and performers played there, including Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Eddy Howard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Ike and Tina Turner, Sammy Kaye, Bo Diddley, Everly Brothers, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, Bob Seger, Foghat, Styx, Heart, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Johnny Rivers, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong, Guy Lombardo, Lionel Hampton and Lawrence Welk to name some.

The Beatles might have performed there in 1964, but management hesitated too long.  Elvis Presley did a show in 1958.

A local rock band was playing there in 2011 when an electric fire started in the roof.


News From Along Route 66, January 2016: Of Burros and Gas Stations

JANUARY 21ST--  One Mohave County, Arizona, official offered a proposal to allow hunting for wild burros to reduce the population.  Oatman, of course, got upset and the suggestion was quickly voted down.  Gotta love those burros, part of what makes Oatman the special place it is.  If there are too many, catch some and give them other homes or release them far away.

JANUARY 24TH--  Sprague Super Service Station in Normal, Illinois, is to have a visitors center and gift shop by spring.  The station was built in 1931, designed as both station and residence.  It is on the NRHP.  The city of Normal is assisting in the effort.

It is so nice to see Normal and Bloomington have FINALLY realized the importance of their Route 66 heritage and working on it.  Maybe we'll have to start driving through the two towns instead of interstating 55 around them.


Running On Full: A BBQ Trip Across North Carolina-- Part 1

From the Feb. 2016 Our State magazine by Bryan Mims.

A guide to eating your way through the 23 places on the North Carolina Historic Barbecue Trail.

You drive the trail and eat at these places you've had a good sampling of what there is to offer in Carolina Barbecue.

From East to West:

Skylight Inn BBQ--  Ayden
B's Barbecue--  Greenville
Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue--  Farmville

Wilbers Barbecue--  Goldsboro
Grady's BBQ--  Dudley
Stephenson's Bar-B-Q--  Willow Spring

Allen & Son--  Chapel Hill
Hursey's--  Burlington
Stamey's--  Greensboro

More to Eat.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Harold Ramis Salute in Woodstock, Illinois

From the March 9, 2016, Chicago Tribune "Woodstock Honors Ramis.

The town of Woodstock and a movie theater there are paying tribute to director Harold Ramis next week by showing three films that he appeared in and/or wrote.

"A Tribute to Harold Ramis" will be held March 13-15 at the Woodstock Theater, 209 Main Street, and will screen "Ghostbusters," "Stripes" and "Animal House."

The Chicago native and Second City icon, who died in 2014, directed "Groundhog Day" in Woodstock.  Last month Second City announced it is opening a film school named after him.

Admission is $6 for each film and showtimes can be found at

The theater was featured in "Ghostbusters" where Bill Murray and date pulled up and he did his best Bronco Billy imitation.  I am hoping to at least get to see my all-time favorite film, "Animal House" Tuesday.  The theater is located just off the historic Woodstock Square and near where the Tip-Top Cafe was in "Groundhog Day."  It is now a Mexican restaurant.

"Seven Years of College Down the Drain!!"  --RoadDog

Is It True That McDonald's Started Off With Barbecue? That and Chains

From Feb. 2016 Our State "Staying True" by Jeremy Markovich.

Talking about some fear that Carolina barbecue might go national with franchises all over the place.

"After finding success serving hot dogs and hamburgers, McDonald's opened a barbecue stand in California in 1940 (pre Ray Kroc).  But it struggled.  Eight years later McDonald's got rid of of the pits (where it is cooked) and pork."

"The last big barbecue push peaked in 1965, when Little Pigs of America had more than 200 barbecue restaurants in the United States and Canada.  The company went bankrupt.

"There are  more than a dozen regional barbecue chains across the country."

But, none of these compare to True Carolina Barbecue.

Would You Like McSlaw and McPuppies With That Mc'Cue?  --RoadDog

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Brief History of Barbecue-- Part 6: A Real Big Deal

1996--  Barbecue scholar Bob Garner publishes his first book, "North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time."  Since then, he has published three more barbecue guides.

2006--  Birth of the North Carolina Barbecue Society.  The group creates the Historic Barbecue Trail, a winding route through vinyl restaurant booths and small towns from the mountains to the coast.

2010--  The Guinness World Record for the "World's Largest Open Sandwich" is set by Moore's Olde Tyme Barbecue in New Bern.  At 1,336 pounds this barbecue sandwich is twice as heavy as a grand piano.  The record has since been broken.

I sure would have liked to have seen, better yet, eaten some of this behemoth.

2014--  Amanda Fisher and Paul Bright, two Charlotte-based authors, create the first comprehensive map of barbecue in North Carolina.  "The Great NC Barbecue Map" helps 'cue lovers navigate to 434 restaurants and 42 festivals.

Barbecue, It Is A Real Big Deal in N.C..  --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Brief History of Barbecue-- Part 5: Hush Puppies a Unifier

1953--  Warner Stamey opens his first restaurant in Greensboro.  He begins serving hush puppies, which are perhaps the only olive-branch between the supporters of Eastern-style 'cue and Lexington-style 'cue.

1958--  Lay's barbecue flavored potato chips are developed.  Their generic barbecue flavor is probably more appealing in states where barbecue sauce tastes more like gym socks.

1982--  Reidsville restaurant Short Sugar's is declared the winner of NC/SC Barbecue Bowl, forever settling the debate:  North Carolina certifiably has better barbecue.

And, I Would Be Willing to bet there Are Some South Carolinians Who Just Might Not Agree With the Last Statement.  --RoadDog

A Brief History of Barbecue-- Part 4: Scott's Breaks the Color Barrier

1922--  Bobby melton of Rocky Mount opens the first sit-down barbecue restaurant in North Carolina, which begins as a shed on the Tar River.

1933--  Adam Scott, a black minister from Goldsboro, sells barbecue from the back door of his home.  He

1938--  Warner Stamey buys a  restaurant in Lexington and becomes a legend.

You can still buy Scott's sauce and his joint is open on the weekends and hasn't changed much since the 1950s.

Cuin' Down.  --RoadCue

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Brief History of Barbecue-- Part 3: What's Your Take On the Name?

1899--  Mrs. Katie Nunn runs an ad in the Charlotte Observer for what may be the first barbecue restaurant in North Carolina, advertising the opening of a barbecue stand and a grocery.

20TH CENTURY--  Tensions develop over the spelling of "barbecue."

Sometimes it's barbeque, Bar-B-Q, or BBQ, and sometimes it's simply cue or Q, likely because restaurants could save advertising money shortening an eight-letter word to three.

1916--  Lexington-style barbecue is born when Sid Weaver cooks it in a tent opposite the courthouse in Lexington.

Jesse Swicegood then sets up a competing tent.  Today, the area has more than a dozen barbecue restaurants.

So Many Places, So Little Time.  --RoadDog

Friday, March 4, 2016

A Brief History of Barbecue-- Part 2: A Revolutionary Pig Pickin'

1780--  The Rev. Henry Evans successfully caters to the hearts of his congregants, the slaves who live in Fayetteville.  Distressed by their spiritual malnourishment, Evans begins preaching to them in the woods and Sandhills.

His barbecue also wins the hearts and taste buds of his white criticizers.

1778--  Citizens in New Bern celebrate a Revolutionary War victory with a barbecued pig and barrel of rum.

Governor Tryon is noticeably absent.  (Well, he had learned his lesson back in 1766 and besides, his side was losing.  A Revolutionary Pig Pickin'.

1830--  Churches are the epicenter of 'cue in North Carolina.  Skilton M. Dennis uses a chuckwagon, hot coals, and a pig to feed church-going crowds.

Because barbecue requires relatively minimal effort to produce a lot of meat, it's the perfect food to feed 5,000.

A Sermon and Then Some Good Food.  --RoadDog

A Brief History of Barbecue-- Part 1: "Fills Them Full of Gross Humours"

From the Feb. 2016, Our State magazine by Eric Surber.

A LONG TIME AGO--  Native Americans cook barbecue in what is now Cirginia and northeastern North Carolina, using a pit and coals.  Colonists contribute pigs from the Old World, and voila: North Carolina barbecue.

Colonist William Byrd says North Carolinians eat so much swine's flesh that "it fills them full of gross humours."

1733--  Believed to be the first time the word "barbecue" -- save one letter -- appears in print, when Benjamin Lynde Jr. of Salem, Massachusetts writes, "Fair and hot; Browne, Barbacue."  (Massachusetts?  Really?)

1766--  Gov. William Tryon of North Carolina, facing a discontented and overtaxed militia, tries to win back their loyalty with barbecued ox and barrels of beer.  (The first pig pickin'?)

Not amused, the soldiers pour the beer on the ground and toss the uneaten ox into the Cape Fear River.  (That is almost sacrilegious.  What a waste of good 'cue and hops!!)

What Is Wrong With Our Militia.  Eat and Drink First and Go After the Gov. Next.  --RoadDog

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Carolina Barbecue Sides-- Part 6: Sweet Tea

Not mentioned in the article, but definitely a vital part to the whole enjoyment of your 'cue is washing it down with a pitcher of unbelievably sweet tea.

Well, for me I have to have it sugar free tea as the sugar is very much way TOO SWEET for me.  But finely chopped ice is another plus.  Plus, I'm saving the calories for the 'cue, slaw and hush puppies.  Not many calories in those, you know.

Swigging It Down.  --RoadDog

Carolina Barbecue Sides-- Part 5: Cornbread

"Absent hush puppies, you may move this well up the list.  A joint serving both hush puppies and cornbread may not be totally sure what it's up to.

Well, hot cornbread, dripping with butter is ok.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Carolina Barbecue Sides-- Part 4: Crinkle Fries

Again, something I don't order when getting barbecue.  Something I can get back home.

"You must get hush puppies.  You cannot get fries.  If your kids get fries, however, you may steal from them when they're not looking.  Steal the crispy ones.  The burnt ones.  The kids are not yet old enough to know the difference."

And never, but never, go to a barbecue joint and order a hamburger.

No Fries Here.  --RoadDog

Carolina Barbecue Sides-- Part 3: Beans

Not my favorite, but you can get them.  I usually, on a platter have half 'cue and half slaw.

"Fine.  We can have beans.  baked beans.  Not a lot of them, but when, like anything else, they're not oversauced or over prettied, not made to look or taste like anything they're not, when they've got maybe a little side meat in the pot with them -- then we can have baked beans.

Again, Not Me.  I Can get Beans At Home.  --RoadDog

Carolina Barbecue Sides-- Part 2: Hush Puppies

Another favorite of mine, especially served piping hot right out of the fryer.

"Slightly, slightly sweet.  And lighter than you'd expect.  A leaden hush puppy is an item of unmatched sadness.  Round is fine, but oblong is preferable -- the surface to interior ratio is better.

"Also, you can point at your tablemate with an oblong hush puppy -- all the better to punctuate your feelings about the slaw, my dear."

And, then there is that special concoction of a sa'mich they serve at King's Barbecue in Kinston, N.C. called a Pig in a Puppy that combines the best of both worlds.  It is a generous pile of their famous 'cue served inside two halves of a giant hush puppy.

You Want to Talk About Something Good!!   Try This.  --RoadDog

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Carolina Barbecue Sides-- Part 1: Slaw

Our State Feb. 2016 "Barbecue 101"  by Drew Perry.

"So, all right.  We can't move forward without slaw.  Slaw makes the barbecue sandwich, but I'll alsohold that a chopped plate is incomplete without it.  It's the backup band.  The piano player.  It's the crisp against which the sultry is played.

"And like everything else attendant to barbecue, there are sects:  the crowd that supports vinegar-based, and those who prefer slaw made with, as my mother-in-law says, 'that slop mayonnaise.'

"The simpler Piedmont sl;aw, though -- plain-old diced red cabbage soaked in vinegar, a slaw that makes your teeth squeak -- will do in a pinch."

I can eat bbq straight, but normally I really like to have a fork full of half 'cue and half slaw with every bite.

Oh yes, a barbecue sandwich is just so much better with a slab of slaw on top of it.

--RoadDog Gettin' Hongry.  --RoadDog

Barbecue 101: A Basic Primer

What goes Into Carolina Barbecue:





Dessert?  Maybe.

Ready...Eat!  --RoadDog

More Carolina Barbecue

**  A great picture of a BBQ sandwich from Hursey's Bar-B-Q, which family uses a 71-year-old secret recipe for their sauce.  They have locations in Burlington and Graham, both within a mile of I-40.  I ate at the one in Graham.

**  Picture of a spoonful of banana pudding from Wilber's in Goldsboro, N.C..  Save some room.  Man does not live by 'cue alone.

**  Article "A day at B's barbecue" in Greenville, N.C..   "At a Greenville landmark with no phone, no frills, and no equal, we spent 17 hours learning what makes the pork and place so special>'  By Jreremy Markovich.

Hungry?  --RoadDog