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eating on the road while traveling to exhibitions, conferences, etc.

updated mon 12 jan 04


Vince Pitelka on sun 11 jan 04

Isn't it clever how I titled this post so that it isn't off-topic? I am =
sure that many of you have had this experience, but I wanted to mention =
what I have been doing recently to avoid mediocre food while traveling. =
At all times I try to avoid the Applebees, O'Charleys, Chilis, Red =
Lobster, and all the rest of the chains that try to foist standardized, =
semi-palatable food on the American public. Too many people eat at =
these places because they feel that a national chain is "safe," =
supposedly guaranteeing food that is "pretty good" versus the =
uncertainty of an unknown local place. Huh? A national chain is safer =
than a place accepted and supported by the local population? Where does =
that logic come from? =20

So when I am traveling alone or with others, I always seek out locally =
owned places. I have had excellent success. Last year and this year my =
wife and I drove out to Californiia for the holiday break, and we found =
some great places - the grille at the Saddleback Inn on the western edge =
of Oklahoma City, a wonderful seafood grill just off I-25 on the north =
edge of Albuquerque, NM (yep, good seafood in Albuquerque), Chelles =
Restaurant on business I-40 in West Gallup, NM, the Roadrunner Cafe in =
Gallup for breakfast (try the Mario Special with green chili sauce), the =
Beaver Steet Brewery in Flagstaff, AZ, Rosa's Cantina in Williams, AZ, =
Margie's Diner just off US 101 on the north edge of Paso Robles, CA. =
Several summers ago, driving south from Bryce Canyon on US 89, I stopped =
at the Adobe Cafe in the tiny town of Hatch, UT, and had the best =
hamburger of my life (so far) - excellent lean beef on fresh homemade =
sourdough bun with roasted green chilis and avocado. This place has =
cold cuts flown in twice weekly from NYC. =20

The point of this is to seek variety rather than sameness. Don't settle =
for what is safe and recognized, precisely BECAUSE that is what Gestalt =
theory says we seek subconsciously. There's little fun in that. =20
Best wishes -=20
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Technological University
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166
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615/597-6801 x111, FAX 615/597-6803