ROADFOOD by Jane & Michael Stern

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The Coast-to-Coast Guide to 900 of the Best Barbecue Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice Cream Parlors, Highway Diners, and Much, Much More (9th edition)

Long before Guy Fieri hit the road (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,) indeed long before there was even a Food Network, Jane and Michael Stern took to the road to find the best places to eat on a coast to coast drive. Their first edition of Roadfood came out in 1978 and was subtitled, “the coast to coast guide to over 400 of america’s great inexpensive regional restaurants all within 10 miles of a major highway.” Their 9th edition of this classic book now includes more than twice that number of restaurants.

The first thing I looked for was Florida restaurants. That’s where I live, and most of my road trips extend to traveling around my state. Sadly, south Florida was seriously under-represented here, but the rest of the state seems pretty well covered.

That said, if I was driving across the country, I would treasure these recommendations. You will not find any chain restaurants here, but rather the best places that locals frequent.

The Sterns include location information, website and phone numbers, a brief history of the restaurant, a short review, suggested menu items, and pricing guidelines. Most restaurants are inexpensive, this is not the book  for the best restaurants in major cities. For instance, the few New York City restaurants recommended include Katz’s Deli (think When Harry Met Sally) and John’s of Bleeker Street (terrific pizza,) not Per Se, Peter Lugers or El Posto.

The book is divided into geographical regions – for instance Florida is in the “Deep South.” Other regions include New England, Mid-Atlantic (New York is here,) Mid-South, Midwest, Southwest, Great Plains and West Coast. The back of the book includes a quick guide, an alphabetical listing of restaurants by region.

Even with the price of gas, people still love road trips. And this is the best book you can take along for the ride.

7/14 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

ROADFOOD by Jane & Michael Stern. Clarkson Potter; 9 edition (March 4, 2014). ISBN 978-0770434526. 640p.

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