The Best Road Food - From Washington to Wyoming
Washington Road Food
If you’re heading through Washington on your road trip, the top two foods you got to have are coffee and seafood. The very best of both of these road foods are found in Seattle where the coffee culture rules and some of the best seafood restaurants in the state can be found. For your caffeine fix, you’ll have your pick of coffeehouses to visit. These aren’t places to grab a cup and go, though. The true way to enjoy the whole coffee house experience is to slow down and chill out for an hour or more while sipping your joe. That way you’ll be able to see the way people in this city really live, work, and play in these places.
Some of the best seafood in the country can be found in Washington. There are many top picks including oysters, razor clams, Dungeness crabs, tuna, cod, halibut, scallops, spot prawns, and rockfish. Pick whatever appeals – it will probably be the freshest and most delicious you’ve ever had.
The best place to get it: If you’re a huge fan of Starbucks, than you must go to where it all began at the original store in Pike Place Market. It’s small and unassuming, but a must-see for a true Starbucks aficionado. In fact, even if you don’t like coffee, make sure to stop by this circus-like farmers market (Pike’s Place Market) where they literally throw fish – fish fly through the air along with lots of wisecracks that are exchanged by the fishmongers. If you’re not a Starbucks fan, look no further than Bauhaus Books and Coffee (the books are no longer there, but the coffee is). The unanimous vote goes to Bauhaus for an all-around great coffee house experience – fantastic coffee (of course), friendly baristas (believe it), and an awesome edgy vibe (or is that just your caffeine high kicking in?).
Go to Seattle’s most famed seafood institution, Ray’s Boathouse, for excellent seafood and wonderful views of the bay. Another great perk is if you’re into going casual, you can sit out on the deck and enjoy your meal wearing shorts or jeans, and if you want to get gussied up, you can eat in the more formal dining room.
West Virginia Road Food
If there’s one road food you need to eat on a road trip through West Virginia, it’s the pepperoni roll. Invented in the late 1920’s in West Virginia as a lunch for miners, this pepperoni-stuffed soft roll is spicy and delicious. Pepperoni rolls can be found throughout the state in any little shop or convenience store.
Make sure to grab a yellow Golden Delicious apple when you’re stopping in a store – they were also invented in West Virginia, and are the state’s official fruit. A ideal West Virginia road food meal would be a pepperoni roll followed by a crisp yellow Golden Delicious apple for dessert. As West Virginia has many beautiful mountain trails, you might want to grab both, bring them on a hike, and have them for lunch.
The best place to get it: The city of Clarksburg has a large population of people from Italy, and so it comes as no surprise that you’ll find the best pepperoni roll in West Virginia in Clarksburg at Tomaro’s. The crust is perfect and the pepperoni inside wonderfully flavorful and spicy.
Wisconsin Road Food
If there’s a food that almost everyone from Wisconsin would agree is their state’s favorite food – the "soul food" of the state – it’s brats. No, not annoying children! Bratwurst! Bratwurst is made of pork or beef (or a mix of both), has a warm beer bath, and then gets charcoal-grilled to a perfect shade of brown before slapped into a sandwich or roll. If there’s a must-have on your road trip through this state, it’s a nice juicy bratwurst sandwich.
Want some dessert? Another top road food pick is Wisconsin’s famous Kringle – a wreath-shaped fluffy-as-a-croissant pastry that comes filled with a nut paste or cherry preserves and cheese. They’re often given as gifts at Christmas, but they’re made year round and worth trying while traveling through or to this state.
The best place to get it: There are tons of great places to get your bratwurst sandwich or roll, but one of the best is Charcoal Inn in Sheboygan. All of Sheboygan is crazy for brats and this place takes top honors for grilling their fresh brats to perfection in what they call a "double brat" sandwich, two perfect brats sliced lengthwise and fit into a roll. Many say that not only does Charcoal Inn make the best brats in the state, they make the best in the USA!
For your Kringle fix, look no farther than Bendtsen’s Bakery in Racine. Known far and wide as the best in the state, Bendtsen’s is the place to stop for a cup of coffee and some of their delicious pastry – served warm and dripping with butter. Don’t even try to eat it in the car; it will leave crumbles, drips, and bits all over the place.
Wyoming Road Food
Wyoming is ultimately a state all about the frontier – pioneers and cowboys and "home on the range", so the best possible food for you to have on a road trip through this state is some wild game. A nice elk chop or buffalo steak would be perfectly in the spirit of this state that still celebrates Frontier Days and all things Wild West. Even better, if you have time on your trip, stop by a dude ranch, learn how to ride a horse or even lasso a runaway calf. Yeehaw!
The best place to get it: For a fantastic Wyoming road food meal, the place to go is the legendary Gun Barrel Steak and Game House in Jackson. Here you can get your bison prime rib or a whole game platter/sampler to see what all the fuss is about. If you’re not the adventurous type, the (beef) steaks are outstanding, too. The restaurant has the feel of a hunting lodge with trophies lining the walls and a huge stuffed buffalo that greets you at the door.
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