In 2012, like most recent graduates, my girlfriend Jamie and I were jobless and living at home in Connecticut. Knowing that she needed to be in Los Angeles to truly get her TV Production career jump started, and I was able to work in sports in any major city, we decided to take a risk and make the move to Los Angeles. On March 4th, 2012, we set out on a 6-day road trip across the country.
That is not the story that I will be telling however. This is a more specific story of that trip. This is the story of how we ate our way across the country. Given that I love shows like “Man vs. Food” and “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,” I used this road trip as an opportunity to visit some of the restaurants featured on the shows.
Our first overnight stop was in Columbus, OH where we had dinner at the famed Ohio Deli. I ordered the towering Dagwood Sandwich, halfway through my meal, which was made up of five slices of roast beef, five slices of ham, five slices of turkey, lettuce, cheese, garlic mayo, and a side of fries, I had reached my limit. The Dagwood was delicious, but I did not stand a chance at finishing it.
Lunch the next day was in St. Louis, Missouri where we ate at the Iron Barely. I ordered the most popular menu item, the epic Monte Cristo Dog, which consisted of two split open hot links, two toasted-open hot dog buns covered with strawberry jam, and melted Swiss cheese on top. The mix of the sweet jam and the salty dogs went perfectly together.
Next was the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. Their specialty dish is a 72-ounce steak. I chose not to order that as we had eight more hours until our next stop and I knew I needed to be alert and not falling into a “food coma.” I still got a steak, but chose the more modest 21-ounce piece, which was delicious. However, I did get to the see the 72-ounce steak in action, as there was a party of five trying to eat one.
On Day three of our trip, we were in Albuquerque, New Mexico and eating dinner at Saddies where Man vs. Food had been the previous year. I ordered the combination platter, which consisted of a taco, an enchilada, and tamale all covered in cheese. I was in a cheesy Mexican food heaven.
After the next day’s Grand Canyon visit, and a stay in Las Vegas, we were on the last day of our trip. At breakfast on day, six and we went to the Man vs. Food favorite, Hash-House A Go-Go, where they specialize in over-sized breakfast plates. I ordered the Snickers Pancake, which as you can guess has chunks of Snickers in it and was about the size of a hubcap. After eating three pancakes worth, which was only about half of the pancake, I called it quits.
Four hours later, we arrived in Los Angeles, full and excited for our future in our new home. Additionally, even though it is years down the road, we have already started planning our eventual trip back, looking to conquer the northern half of the country this time in cities like Seattle, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Buffalo. Not sure if this trip with be fully digested by that time though.