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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Eats along the Highways

I have to admit that 'commuting' between the operations of Decadence Gourmet here in CO and our expansion into VA has been getting a little 'tiring', I think I drove over 60,000 miles between the two in the last 12 months.

One of the brights spots in these drives is finding new places, well, at least new to me, along the route I drive. This last trip, I decided to let Guy Fieri's show, Diner's Drive-In's and Dives, show me the way!

I have been a huge fan of shows like this, Man Vs. Food and the like and would always rather spend my money at local, mom & pop kind of places than at the numerous chains that seem to be everywhere. So, hit the computer, picked a few cities that I knew I was driving through, decided that a little 'veer' off the Interstates is not a bad thing and hit the road.

One of my favorite spots that I had found before, Taco Punk in Louisville, had closed so I wanted to find a new stop in Kentucky and after checking out Guy's recommendations in KY, decided to check out Wallace Station in Versailles.

Being a fan of one of Kentucky's other products, I knew where Versailles was, having driven down to Bourbon Country before, only about 20 minutes off I-64, and pulled in a little before lunch.

Took one look at the menu and while it all looked great, one thing stood out, an Inside-Out Hot Brown! As the Hot Brown Sandwich is somewhat of a staple of Kentucky food, had to try this variation, it was totally awesome! Turkey, Ham, Bacon, Tomato and a White Cheddar Mornay Sauce, what's not to like. I was real glad I arrived when I did as when I got there, only half the tables were occupied, but by the time my food was ready (and that was not long at all), there was a line almost out the door, the place was packed and people were waiting for tables to open up.

I picked up a copy of the local weekly paper to read and there was an article about the owner/chef, Ouita Michel. Not exactly what you would expect at a small, rural deli. Nominated 5 times for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef in the Southeast, Chef Michel, originally from Kentucky, had honed her skills at the Culinary Institute of America, moved to New York, but knew that her place was back home.

Yeah, you can find these kinds of hidden gems along the road.. if you just look!

Now, I also knew that I was going to be driving through Topeka, KS the next day and as that is kind of the last 'city' before I hit the plains of KS and the last leg of my drive up and over the Rockies, figured it was time to get off the interstate again and once again, Guy did not let me down.

Smack in the middle of Topeka, not far from the downtown area is BoBo's Drive In.

Voted one of the 8 Wonder of Kansas Cuisine, Bobo's has been around since 1948 and serves what we call 'Drive-In' food. You can still order from your car, maybe 6 small tables inside and a horseshoe shaped counter, where I found a seat. Had their Spanish Burger, onion rings and root beer.

No, Bobo's will never get a Michelin Star, but ya know what.. good food is good food!

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