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Drive-Help!..Lexington, Knoxville, Savannah, Fort Laud..

Drive-Help!..Lexington, Knoxville, Savannah, Fort Laud..
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  • Drive-Help!..Lexington, Knoxville, Savannah, Fort Laud..

    Post #1 - November 29th, 2014, 8:20 am
    Post #1 - November 29th, 2014, 8:20 am Post #1 - November 29th, 2014, 8:20 am
    Hey guys,

    A meandering drive planned, with a desire to indulge in chowish pursuits as much as possible...any help appreciated...

    Day 1) Chicago, thru Indy, thru Lexington KY and Knoxville TN...night stop near Gatlinburg TN
    Day 2) Thru the mountains, thru Asheville NC, Columbia SC...night stop near Savannah, GA
    Day 3) Savannah GA, thru Brunswick GA, thru Jacksonville and Daytona Beach FL, down to Fort Lauderdale FL

    Iam willing to go up to 3 chow-meal stops a day...with some time constraints :-) Down-home BBQ, Southern Breakfasts, Southern Soul Food, Seafood Shacks - all highly preferred. Ideally near the route - but willing to make a bit of a detour for something really special.

    Ive checked the related threads - Indy (possibly Shapiros..but probably will be too early in the morning)...open for lunch/dinner somewhere (Lexington, Knoxville, Gatlinburg recs?) Ive checked the Lexington thread but nothing really jumped out - anything cant miss for lunch there, not too far off the highway? Or even Gatlinburg, Knoxville, Pigeon Forge etc?

    Day 2 - Ive done a really nice breakfast place in Asheville NC, the Moose Cafe...I figure brunch-ish there, unless there are any other really great recs? And then late-lunch or dinner...somewhere along the way to Savannah (any cant miss places in Columbia SC, or anywhere else nearby in SC? Esp bbq etc? Or is the best bet dinner in Savannah itself?) Ive checked out the Savannah thread here...viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5287&start=30 ...would anyone have any cant-miss pick for dinner or breakfast, or both?

    Day 3 - breakfast could be Savannah (a couple great recs in the thread above)...the Brunswick GA rec of seafood by Jim (Skippers) looks really good for an early lunch maybe... and then a place or two rec's in the St Augustine, Ponte Vedra thread looked really good for perhaps an early dinner before the final leg to Fort Lauderdale...http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f= ... 8&p=178304 ...the tour-de-force post rec'ing O'Steens, Singleton's etc looked great, unless again someone has a cant miss suggestion? Or any place south of it too of course - Daytona, Port St Lucie etc...

    All help greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    c8w
  • Post #2 - November 29th, 2014, 10:26 am
    Post #2 - November 29th, 2014, 10:26 am Post #2 - November 29th, 2014, 10:26 am
    I'm actually in Asheville right now. I'll be posting about my trip sometime next week, but if you are driving that way, I'd strongly recommend skipping Knoxville and spending some time in Ashville instead. You won't be sorry.

    As for a specific breakfast recommendation, Asheville abounds with great breakfast choices. I'd recommend Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville if you only have time for one breakfast.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - November 29th, 2014, 12:11 pm
    Post #3 - November 29th, 2014, 12:11 pm Post #3 - November 29th, 2014, 12:11 pm
    stevez wrote:I'm actually in Asheville right now. I'll be posting about my trip sometime next week, but if you are driving that way, I'd strongly recommend skipping Knoxville and spending some time in Ashville instead. You won't be sorry.

    As for a specific breakfast recommendation, Asheville abounds with great breakfast choices. I'd recommend Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville if you only have time for one breakfast.


    I spent a night and had 2 meals in Asheville a year ago (and liked it a lot!) - but its a little too far to drive on the first-leg from Chicago :-) For the 2nd night halt, Iam thinking Savannah (for my first time, never been) this year instead....might try Asheville again on the way back to Chi, tho, so will look forward to your report! Enjoyed the bars in Asheville too, the last time - they have some great little bars, and terrific local beers.

    Last year in Asheville, I had 12 bones for dinner, and the Moose Cafe for breakfast - both of which I enjoyed a fair bit. 12 bones was good (not the *best* bbq Ive ever had - but very solid). I liked the Moose Cafe a lot - they had home-made molasses too, of which I bought a bottle :-)

    I'll look up Sunny Point Cafe - thanks! Maybe I can use that for the one late-breakfast/early-lunch meal...(Iam hoping to be near Savannah for the dinner meal - that way I can do 2 meals in Savannah this time..I'll have to try and narrow down the several terrific-looking selections in the Savannah thread!)

    c8w
  • Post #4 - November 29th, 2014, 2:43 pm
    Post #4 - November 29th, 2014, 2:43 pm Post #4 - November 29th, 2014, 2:43 pm
    c8w wrote:I'll look up Sunny Point Cafe - thanks! Maybe I can use that for the one late-breakfast/early-lunch meal...(Iam hoping to be near Savannah for the dinner meal - that way I can do 2 meals in Savannah this time..I'll have to try and narrow down the several terrific-looking selections in the Savannah thread!)

    c8w


    Sunny Point would be perfect for that. They serve breakfast all day. I haven't come across the Moose Cafe yet. I'll have to look for it.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #5 - November 29th, 2014, 6:26 pm
    Post #5 - November 29th, 2014, 6:26 pm Post #5 - November 29th, 2014, 6:26 pm
    It's not breakfast, but I really enjoyed 12 Bones just outside of Asheville. I'm already thinking about the lunch I'm going to have there when i drive that way in May...
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #6 - November 29th, 2014, 7:10 pm
    Post #6 - November 29th, 2014, 7:10 pm Post #6 - November 29th, 2014, 7:10 pm
    threadkiller wrote:It's not breakfast, but I really enjoyed 12 Bones just outside of Asheville. I'm already thinking about the lunch I'm going to have there when i drive that way in May...


    I *did* like 12 bones too - very good. Quite a few very good home-made sauces, too. But not the *best* BBQ Ive had, I dont think (I think I might have rated Smokin Pig in Valdosta higher on the same trip). Iam going to be spoiled for choice in the one lunch/brunch in that area, tho...

    Where I could really use recs is the first-leg - breakfast, lunch and dinner, from Chicago to near Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg. Options are Indy (probably too early for a meal..), Lexington, Knoxville, or anywhere in between - somewhere nearish the highway, preferably..

    The Lexington thread offers a few possibilities for a lunch - have to pick one. But dinner - no real ideas yet at all, could be anywhere on the road from Lexington-Knoxville-Gatlinburg...anyone with any particular recommendation would be greatly appreciated :-)

    c8w
  • Post #7 - November 29th, 2014, 8:26 pm
    Post #7 - November 29th, 2014, 8:26 pm Post #7 - November 29th, 2014, 8:26 pm
    And I'll put in a request for Columbia SC recs too--I'll be there for a brunch/lunch on Sunday before Christmas--we're heading to Charleston and spending one day in Columbia to go to a USC basketball game.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #8 - November 29th, 2014, 10:32 pm
    Post #8 - November 29th, 2014, 10:32 pm Post #8 - November 29th, 2014, 10:32 pm
    There is nothing can't miss in Lexington, either close to the highway or not.
  • Post #9 - November 30th, 2014, 9:29 am
    Post #9 - November 30th, 2014, 9:29 am Post #9 - November 30th, 2014, 9:29 am
    So, I started this post in my mind, about how you needed to slow down a bit, that there was a lot of intereting thing on the drive, and then as I started looking up some of my favorites, I ran into a couple of black holes. Now I'm depressed. It seems, for a start, that Mundt's Candy in Madison and J. Byrd's Cafeteria in Greenwood are no more. I'm sure the more I google, the more I'll find places to recommend that you can't go to.

    That said, if you can get off the interstates, especially in KY and TN, you'll be rewarded with some awesome scenery. The drive between Louisville and Lexington is classic, everything cliche blue-grass/horse country you've read. It's just that when you cross the Ohio, it really looks and feels (not to mention sounds) so damn different. You know you're there the minute you see a tobacco shed. If you need any excuse, stop for water-driven, stone ground grits at Weisenberger's in Midway, KY.

    Fort Lauderdale, is with Las Vegas, my favorite eating destination in the USA. I've written about many places there over the years, but some of that may be dated. Just drive up and down US 441/FL 7 and see which Peruvian chicken place smells the best, which Jamaican ice cream place has the most people, etc. Tons of options for Haitian, Bahamian, Trindidadian, Columbiuan, etc. A couple other other places in Ft. Lauderdale that are near and dear to me because they are so old, Travis McGee era, FL are Tark's on US 1, Rustic Inn, a little off the beaten path, and Jackson's for mamoth ice cream thing-ee's.

    Jealous!
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #10 - December 20th, 2014, 9:47 pm
    Post #10 - December 20th, 2014, 9:47 pm Post #10 - December 20th, 2014, 9:47 pm
    Last call for recs for Columbia SC--breakfast/brunch/lunch--heading there tomorrow from Charleston for a basketball game at USC.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #11 - December 21st, 2014, 8:59 am
    Post #11 - December 21st, 2014, 8:59 am Post #11 - December 21st, 2014, 8:59 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:Last call for recs for Columbia SC--breakfast/brunch/lunch--heading there tomorrow from Charleston for a basketball game at USC.


    Brown Derby II, 1397 Belleville Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29115

    IMHO, since you are driving right by, it's an absolute must.

    link: http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... &sp=485065
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #12 - May 7th, 2021, 12:10 pm
    Post #12 - May 7th, 2021, 12:10 pm Post #12 - May 7th, 2021, 12:10 pm
    We are planning a similar trip as the OP, but ending outside of Savannah instead of Ft. Lauderdale. It doesn't seem like the OP got many suggestions. Maybe there are more 7 years later? ;-) We are going to visit friends in Georgia. The plan is to drive 8 or so hours on the first day, which should get us to Knoxville or so. If there are dining recs along the way, I'm all ears!
    -Mary
  • Post #13 - May 13th, 2021, 7:10 am
    Post #13 - May 13th, 2021, 7:10 am Post #13 - May 13th, 2021, 7:10 am
    No specifics, but my recollection is that Lexington isn't much of a food town. Stopping in Cincinnati might be better, with signature foods such as chili and goetta. There's the original Col. Sanders place a ways south of Lexington in Corbin.
  • Post #14 - May 13th, 2021, 9:28 am
    Post #14 - May 13th, 2021, 9:28 am Post #14 - May 13th, 2021, 9:28 am
    tjr wrote:No specifics, but my recollection is that Lexington isn't much of a food town. Stopping in Cincinnati might be better, with signature foods such as chili and goetta. There's the original Col. Sanders place a ways south of Lexington in Corbin.


    If anyone wants to try the original "original" recipe there's a place in Shelbyville, KY called Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Claudia was Colonel Sanders' wife when he sold the business and part of the deal was that she could still use the recipes in her restaurant.

    I'm a Lexington ex-pat since 1995 but still visited frequently until my parents moved away several years ago. If you're in Lexington I would suggest checking out the Distillery District off Manchester road, there are some really good restaurants there (Middle Fork, Elkhorn Tavern, Goodfella's), a microbrewery (Ethereal), a bourbon distillery and great ice cream place called Crank & Boom. Besides Ethereal there are several other microbreweries in Lexington worth a visit, West 6th Brewery, Blue Stallion Brewing and Country Boy Brewing. Most don't serve their own food but have food trucks in their parking lots most days. Whenever I would go down there I would make a point of stopping by Ramsey's Diner which is an inexpensive meat and three type place, there are several locations but the one I always went to is on Man o' War just off exit 108 on I-75.
    Cookingblahg.blogspot.com
  • Post #15 - May 13th, 2021, 10:15 am
    Post #15 - May 13th, 2021, 10:15 am Post #15 - May 13th, 2021, 10:15 am
    The GP wrote:We are planning a similar trip as the OP, but ending outside of Savannah instead of Ft. Lauderdale. It doesn't seem like the OP got many suggestions. Maybe there are more 7 years later? ;-) We are going to visit friends in Georgia. The plan is to drive 8 or so hours on the first day, which should get us to Knoxville or so. If there are dining recs along the way, I'm all ears!

    I don't have any remotely current suggestions for the heart of your trip, but will offer a possible breakfast (or lunch) stop in Indianapolis that's unlike anything in Chicago. The Circle City has a sizable Burmese population, mostly from Myanmar's Chin State, large enough that it's sometimes called Chindianapolis. I've been to a number of Burmese restaurants there, but am only familiar with breakfast at the aptly named Burmese Restaurant (two visits: 2019 and 2018). If BR doesn't work out for some reason you should have other similar choices nearby since you'll be in the heart of the Burmese community, a few miles south of the city center. Burmese Restaurant is a classic 'storefront ethnic' restaurant, nondescript outside but bright and bustling inside. Next door is a small Chin grocery in case you want to stock up on ingredients you won't find in Chicago.

    Image
    Image
    The printed breakfast menu is small, but other dishes will likely be available if you ask (the non-breakfast menu has informative photos). On both my visits service was friendly and accommodating. Here's what we ordered in August 2019 (this and more came to about $30).

    Image
    From left: mohinga and its garnishes (this mild fish and noodle soup is a classic Burmese morning dish); potato-filled samusas; some sort of salad (thoke), perhaps ginger; and a noodle dish I don't remember the specifics of.

    I don't recall how they're listed on the menu, but don't miss the egg parathas served with soothing, soupy dal. I think every table ordered these. Chin State isn't far from Bangladesh and India, and the influence is clear.

    Image
    This is mellow, satisfying food that makes an outstanding breakfast, different but not particularly challenging (some of the sauces, served separately, are pretty zippy if you're in the mood). It should go without saying you ought to check hours etc before visiting.

    Burmese Restaurant
    7040 Madison Ave
    Indianapolis IN
    317-520-​4511
  • Post #16 - May 18th, 2021, 7:06 pm
    Post #16 - May 18th, 2021, 7:06 pm Post #16 - May 18th, 2021, 7:06 pm
    Coogles wrote:
    tjr wrote:No specifics, but my recollection is that Lexington isn't much of a food town. Stopping in Cincinnati might be better, with signature foods such as chili and goetta. There's the original Col. Sanders place a ways south of Lexington in Corbin.

    If you're in Lexington I would suggest checking out the Distillery District off Manchester road, there are some really good restaurants there (Middle Fork, Elkhorn Tavern, Goodfella's), a microbrewery (Ethereal), a bourbon distillery and great ice cream place called Crank & Boom. Besides Ethereal there are several other microbreweries in Lexington worth a visit, West 6th Brewery, Blue Stallion Brewing and Country Boy Brewing. Most don't serve their own food but have food trucks in their parking lots most days.


    Unfortunately, Middle Fork was a casualty of the pandemic. I've been traveling to Lexington for work the last couple months and have grown fond of Ethereal (who also has a pub downtown with kinda meh Mexican food currently...COVID pivot) and the old distillery complex that it resides in. It's actually the first place I had a beer inside after being fully vaccinated. I was really excited to try Middle Fork based on some recs of locals, but alas, COVID kills another dream.

    My other favorite breweries in town are the aforementioned West 6th (with a great counter service seafood place attached, Smithtown), Rock House, and Mirror Twin (solid pizzas).

    There's also a really cool looking sake dive bar called SRO that I'm going to try to hit next visit that seems to have a small but ever changing menu of Japanese bar bites.

    West Sixth
    501 W 6th St # 100
    Lexington, KY 40508

    Smithtown
    501 W 6th St
    Lexington, KY 40508

    Rock House Brewing
    119 Luigart Ct
    Lexington, KY 40508

    Mirror Twin Brewing
    725 National Ave
    Lexington, KY 40502

    SRO
    123 W 6th St
    Lexington, KY 40508
  • Post #17 - May 18th, 2021, 7:43 pm
    Post #17 - May 18th, 2021, 7:43 pm Post #17 - May 18th, 2021, 7:43 pm
    Berea, KY (about 40 miles south of Lexington on I-75) is worth a lunch stop. Berea College works to preserve Appalachian crafts, and the Berea Visitor's Center is right off the expressway, with a number of local authentic craft stores, and a vaguely southern-style cafeteria with food that's better than it needs to be.
  • Post #18 - May 19th, 2021, 10:31 am
    Post #18 - May 19th, 2021, 10:31 am Post #18 - May 19th, 2021, 10:31 am
    Rene G wrote:The Circle City has a sizable Burmese population, mostly from Myanmar's Chin State, large enough that it's sometimes called Chindianapolis.


    The same can be said for Mexicans in Lexington, so sometimes it's called Mexington. Tortilleria Y Taqueria Ramirez is worth a stop if you're ever in Lexington.

    I just did this drive last March but we drove straight through to Savannah (and then onto Charleston a few days later). I had originally planned to go through Nashville to get lunch at Arnold's Country Kitchen and Ed's Fish & Pizza but switched it up last second so that I could check out Columbia, SC which I'd never been to before. I figured I might not get a chance to ever go back, but I'd like to, lots of old school roadfood type spots to explore in that area. That said my pimento cheeseburger from Rockaway Bar & Grill was just ok. Whole Hog barbecue with yellow mustard sauce at Hite's on the way back (weekends only) was much better.

    On the way down we stopped at Tudor's Biscuit World in Lexington for a quick snack (Tortilleria Ramirez was a bit out of the way). Tudor's is a regional QSR out of West Virginia and they have a legion of fans. I liked it for what it was (fast food) as the biscuits were better than any of the standard fast food name offerings and come served with options like country ham (popular in KY) and pepperoni (popular in WV). The cheese on these was really well melted too which I appreciated.

    I wanted to get a chili bun in Eastern Kentucky but I decided to stay on schedule and get to Columbia an hour or two before sundown. Then there was the steamed sub sandwiches in Knoxville. Another time.

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