I’m not quite sure how it was that originally I stumbled across Road Food, but it has to be one of the most interesting places on the web – even if you live outside of the U.S.
What is roadfood, you ask? On the website it’s summed up as “Great regional meals along highways, in small towns and in city neighborhoods. It is sleeves-up food made by cooks, bakers, pitmasters, and sandwich-makers who are America’s culinary folk artists. Roadfood is almost always informal and inexpensive; and the best Roadfood restaurants are colorful places enjoyed by locals (and savvy travelers) for their character as well as their menu.”
To be completely honest, some of the dishes featured on the site make you feel grateful you don’t spend much time on the road. Indeed, some make you think your own diet – albeit in need of improvement – isn’t actually too bad in the scheme of things. But the occasional meal actually makes you feel quite envious that in the U.S. you can be fed so well for so little money. – Particularly if you’re Australian and you’re used to an on-the-road diet of pricey yet well-aged chicko rolls, cornjacks, dim sims, chips and toasted sandwiches – i.e. most things that contain bread, breadcrumbs or batter and can be fried in large amounts of stinky old reused oil. Even the more substantial meals are generally pretty boring, not to mention low quality and value for money.
Looking through the different food-logs of the different states it also seems that more road meals in the U.S. seem to be made from scratch compared to over here. Yes, the fried components are still very common, but there are more one-pot type meals like stews and broths, and more sauces. What you get generally reflects how much you spend, too, which I think is quite fair compared to here. It also just looks yummier (well, sometimes, anyway – I’m pretty open minded, but stuff like this, this and this makes me wonder!) Here are some great examples!
Chicken pot pie – US$5
Onion rings – US$3
Chicken and dumplings – US$5
Belgian waffle – US$4
Zip Burger & fries – US$5
Lemon cheese pie – US$2
And violin-playing ‘schwein’s to boot! 🙂