Corvette Road Trip
Traveling America's Roads in America's Sports Car

diner signWe find that some of our fondest road trip memories are woven in a story about a meal. Finding where the locals eat and avoiding the chain restaurants is our goal. Today there are a multitude of ways to find a place to eat. A GPS has points of interest that will take you to the door, smart phone aps give you not only places to eat but reviews and directions. One of the oldest and best ways is to ask a local for a recommendation.

Often if we are in a restaurant that we like, I will mention to the waiter/waitress how much we enjoyed dining with them and then ask if there are places that they visit that we might like. I’ve never been disappointed in a recommendation given by a waitress.

Since one of our preferences is to stay at B&Bs. we always get a good local breakfast. Our B&B hosts are a great source for recommendations for lunch and dinner.

In his book, Blue Highways, William Least-Heat Moon tells of his restaurant evaluation tool. He looks for calendars on the wall. If they have zero it’s the same as an interstate pitstop, one calendar, it’s good, five calendars, keep it under your hat or they will franchise it.

We try to find a restaurant that features the local cuisine. Sometimes it’s a local dive, sometimes it’s a local hot spot.

Fine Dining on the Road
Every now and then it’s nice to have a linen napkin on your lap during dinner. Too much fine dining can have a ruinous effect on the wallet and possibly waist line so we tend to splurge only a few times on our trips. I have noticed that in the last few years, the dress code in better restaurants has become lax. There was a time when jackets were required for the guys. Today, for better or worse, it seems the requirement is shirt and shoes. I do feel more comfortable dressing up for dinner and it is often one of the little memories that makes the trip special.
When we visit friends on our trips, we invite them out for a nice dinner. They usually have a favorite spot and we enjoy thanking them for their hospitality with a dinner.

Snacks


Apps
We are not talking appetizers here, but smart phone applications. My goto app is Yelp. It is both an iPhone app and a website, yelp.com. Yelp lists most, but not all local restaurants and more. You can search by your current location and refine it to specific categories such as delis, fast food, Ethiopian, Greek, vegetarian and many more. Along with narrowing your search by distance, and category, Yelp subscribers rate their experiences at the restaurant and you can use this to help in your selection. I find that the reviews need to be viewed with some skepticism. Some are overly harsh, some just too glowing. Consider your location. If you search Yelp for a restaurant and you are a few hundred miles from the nearest metropolitan area and someone says its the best pasta, steak, seafood or atmosphere they have ever experienced, remember where you are. Don’t think it will match that place you like in Manhattan, Boston, or LA. It might, but it may be best to put the reviews in perspective. As an example, we have listed in the sidebar on the right of this page the Blue Heron Cafe in Chestertown, MD. If you read the reviews in Yelp, you might choose to pass on this restaurant. We had dinner there on the first night of a two day stop in Chestertown. On the second night, we went back because we thought the food and the service were so wonderful.

LocalEats is another app for the iPhone. It is from the folks that have the website wherethelocalseat.com. This app tries to give you more of a local flavor.