Buc-ee’s, Leeds, Alabama: You will not Believe this Place

“If you vote for Pedro, all your wildest dreams will come true.” Napoleon Dynamite. The same may be said of Buc-ee’s. I had passed a Buc-ee’s on my way to a great dinner at Rusty’s, and made it a point to stop there on the way to my motel. Buc-ee’s completely redefines the very idea of a gas station. They do so by taking all … Continue reading Buc-ee’s, Leeds, Alabama: You will not Believe this Place

Rusty’s Bar-B-Q, Leeds, Alabama

I recently drove down to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to teach an Honors College class for my good friend, Bob McCurley. I do that every year. Usually, I take my time driving down, stop and see family, and Nancy and I join Bob and Babs at an Alabama game. This year, I was a bit antsy about drinking, dining, and just being at close quarters with an … Continue reading Rusty’s Bar-B-Q, Leeds, Alabama

Maman Joon, Tenleytown, Washington, DC

I heard that there was a Persian restaurant in the neighborhood, up in Tenleytown. That piqued my interest so I arranged to meet my good and, by now, long-time friend, Ken DeCell, there for lunch. You can find more about Ken here. Beyond teeing one up for his wife, Florri, to knock out of the park (check that link you just skipped), Ken is a … Continue reading Maman Joon, Tenleytown, Washington, DC

Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham at the Calvert County Fair

Southern Maryland rightly is best known for its outstanding crabs and other seafood, but the area has a remarkably good but lesser known regional specialty: stuffed ham. I’d heard about it, but I’d never tried any. Indeed, I don’t think I’d ever even seen it on a menu or in a market. Then we went to the Calvert County Fair and the scales dropped from … Continue reading Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham at the Calvert County Fair

The Texas Monthly Top 50 List is Out: Big Changes!

Daniel Vaughn’s quinquennial list of the Top 50 Barbecue Places in Texas is now out, and there are dramatic changes. You can see the list here. The Top 50 list has been one of the if not the most reliable “Best” lists around. I relied heavily on it when I spent a term teaching at Baylor Law School, a position that left me plenty of … Continue reading The Texas Monthly Top 50 List is Out: Big Changes!

Episode 3: David Sanders in Taipei, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul

We’re back with more of the travel and dining adventures of one of our three favorite cellists of all time, David Sanders of the Chicago Symphony. As you will recall, in Episode 1, we introduced Maestro Sanders and told how he went from his first cello lesson to the symphony stage in a matter of months (about 48 of them), and we told of involved … Continue reading Episode 3: David Sanders in Taipei, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul

Fitzie’s Marina Restaurant and Pub, Leonardtown, Maryland

As part of our St. Mary’s County riverside restaurant research, Nancy identified Fitzie’s as a place to check, so we decided to swing by and take a look one morning after buying some plants at a Loveville Amish farm. Our scouting expedition resulted in a big, if wary, thumbs up. We got there well before it opened, so we left and had lunch as Sweetbay … Continue reading Fitzie’s Marina Restaurant and Pub, Leonardtown, Maryland

Episode 2: David Sanders on the Road (and Airplane) in Warsaw, Paris, and Vienna

Long-time followers (pre-COVID) will recall the Blog’s numerous international posts from France (search “France”), Switzerland, the Netherlands (search “Amsterdam”), and Vietnam. We’re happy to resume our international coverage with reports from the archives of the peripatetic David Sanders. A while back I introduced you to David Sanders and posted an initial batch of photos from some of his past trips. I promised to post more … Continue reading Episode 2: David Sanders on the Road (and Airplane) in Warsaw, Paris, and Vienna

Alamo Barbecue, Richmond, Virginia

It used to be that barbecue quality dropped off the table as soon as you crossed into Virginia from North Carolina. No more. Places like ZZQ, Sloppy Mama’s, Ronnie’s, and Northern Neck can hold their heads up anywhere in the country, and it has been an unalloyed pleasure verifying places that cook exclusively with wood in my capacity as Smoke Detector for the Washington area … Continue reading Alamo Barbecue, Richmond, Virginia

Courtney’s Seafood Restaurant, Ridge, Maryland

Nancy and I have found one of the great seafood dishes around, the best I’ve had in a long, long time. Really. It is beyond delicious, and well worth the drive … and the wait. Continuing our exploration of St. Mary’s County waterside restaurants, we drove down to Ridge for lunch at Courtney’s. I like the building. I find it very evocative of an earlier … Continue reading Courtney’s Seafood Restaurant, Ridge, Maryland