Traveling to different areas does not only give you different scenery it also opens the world to different foods. I love to eat but I will confess that I am a little particular, we will call it. I love fish and chips on the coast but I really do not like fish. Particular right?
Having my RV allows me to do a little cooking. Without shore power I have a two burner stove. I do have a toaster oven to use when I am plugged in and a small barbecue for when I am at a campsite or park area. Want to know a secret??? I hate cooking. I was a wife and mother and cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner ever day but really, not a fan. You know those people who walk into a kitchen and get all excited about what they are going to create? I am not one of them. Lol. One of the best things I love about this RV life is I get to eat at restaurants. A lot of restaurants in many places.
I am not much into chain restaurants. I much more prefer those small Mom and Pop restaurants and cafes. There are few of those chains I do enjoy though. Let me share a few of my favorites places I have eaten in my travels.
Since I travel in both the US and Canada let’s cover both sides of the border.
Cracker Barrel, Everywhere USA
Spread throughout the United States is my absolute favorite restaurant. A place that you can feel the warmth from the large hearth that is in every dining room even before you walk in the building. The rocking chairs out front so you can sit a spell or have a quick game of checkers after a great meal. Before you enter the restaurant you can enjoy a stroll through the Cracker Barrel Store. A fun place with a variety of products including clothing, unique home decor, toys and candy. I cannot walk out without a piece of old fashioned candy.
Entering the restaurant you are met with a welcoming atmosphere. With a warm fire in the hearth in the heart of the dining room, furnished with wooden tables and chairs and the walls decorated with plaques of years gone by, it is a comfortable place to be. The ladies and gentlemen that serve you have that down home hospitality that warms you before you get your coffee. You can even play a game and see if you are genius level while you wait for your food.
Most of the time it is a breakfast stop for me. They do have some delicious lunch and dinner meals such as real southern country fried chicken that I have enjoyed when I made a dinner time stop. Personally my favorite meal is their pancakes but because I have such a hard deciding between eggs and pancakes I can have them both with the Momma’s Pancake Breakfast. I have to have biscuits with it, a warm soft biscuit with melted butter to dip my eggs. The pancakes come in a few flavors, Maple is my favorite when in season and the syrup comes in these cute little bottles served warm.
Easy to get to as most are just off the highway which is so convient. They even have a map available so you do not miss one. Yes I have one. An all around great dining experience.
Marietta Diner, Marietta Georgia
Coming back from Florida last year I met my friends Jim and Jill Bulger for dinner in Georgia. They suggested the Marretta Diner. I love when they mix good food with a cool look. This diner will take you on a walk back in time. A time when poodle skirts were in style and shiney was all the rage. Getting out of the van and walking towards the building the song Rock around the clock by Bill Haley and the Comets came to mind. I almost expected couples to be dancing the Jive around a old Jukebox when I walked in. There was no dancing but I was not disappointed. After getting seated by a very nice gentlemen, the menu had everything you could want. They even specialize in Greek food which was kind of neat.
When you first walk in, the first sight you are greeted with is the Cheesecakes. Row upon row of different kinds of cheesecake. I must confess I am a dessert lover and a good cheesecake can make me melt. Now when I looked at the menu I knew I had to leave room for cheesecake. Did not work that way though. The portions are large and so good I had to eat it all. I had to get my cheesecake to go. The meal was delicious and plentiful, the service excellent and the company devine. The kind of cheesecake I got? After much consideration I got the Balaclava Cheesecake. It was sweet but so good. Went well with coffee. Lol!
Although there are many more in the United States let’s pop over to Canada, I have a few there as well.
The Lightkeeper’s Cafe, St. Anthony, Newfoundland
On the northeastern tip of Newfoundland is a little town called St. Anthony’s. At the very tip of the town, nestled against the ocean is a little Cafe known as the Lightkeepers Cafe. When my friend Kim and I went on our eastern tour last year we happened to be in St. Anthony’s as the Viking villages in L’Anse aux Meadows is close by. In fact they have a little sod hut that you can also dine in to get that Viking feeling.
Remember how I told you I do not like fish? I do not mind fish and chips but I am pretty sure it is the batter covered in tarter sauce and ketchup that I really like. Driving the coast there are a lot of restaurants that only serve fish. I have learned to eat a lot of fish and chips. This restaurant like many boasted about having the best fish and chips on the island. I ordered the fish and chips and the waitress suggested I give it a try without the toppings. I can tell you I ate all the fish without the toppings. The batter was so crisp and light and that was the most non-fish tasting fish I have ever eaten. It was so good. I almost liked fish but only with batter still. Lol. Great views of the ocean with that special Newfoundland hospitality made the meal even better. If your on the island make sure you put The Lightkeeper’s Cafe on your list of places to eat.
The Mandarin, Southern Ontario
When you look at a menu and everything looks so good you want a piece of everything, at The Mandarin Buffet you can do that. I love a good buffet. Dessert on every plate! Woohoo! Yes people look at you strange when you have a Creme Brule tart on your salad plate but the are no rules when it comes to a buffet.
Walking in you are greeted by a babbling brook with goldfish swimming as you wait to be seated. Seating is in different rooms around the buffet. Look at room number when you leave because after a couple of laps around the extensive buffet you may get a little lost. I have a few times.
The Mandarin has an excellent selection of food. From the traditional Chinese food menu to grilled steak to sushi, you can find it all. Fresh salad and fruit and an impressive dessert table, you can be guaranteed you will be full and satisfied when you leave. They also have special features such King Crab Legs and Prime Rib. I have been with people that got just plates and plates of crab legs for dinner. Lol. Not me but I have seen it happen. If you are around the rim of Lake Ontario anywhere between Niagara Falls and Toronto look one up and go for a meal. Quick tip: wear your stretchy pants.
The Memphis Fire Barbeque, Stoney Creek, Ontario
I must confess I am a meat eater. There is nothing like a good steak or burger (one of my favorite goto meals) but what sets my heart aflutter is brisket. I remember the first time I had brisket. It was in Tennessee many years ago. I could not believe the fabulous taste of the sauce and the tenderness of the meat. What a delicious combination.
On Highway 8 in Stoney Creek is a small family owned restaurant that sits just off the road. As you walk in you are greeted with a warm smile with the smell of a Texas Barbeque in the air.
The Memphis Fire Barbeque has always been a great place to go for a burger. Their burgers are meaty and juicy and dripping with goodness. They serve ribs that make your mouth water even before you can eat them.
Last week my daughter Katelyn and I decided to stop in for lunch. I noticed they had brisket. Mmmmm. Now I had to choose between the burger, which I know is going to be good and brisket. I had to try the brisket. Oh my stars it was sooo good. It just melted in your mouth while satisfying your tastebuds with a barbeque sauce that brings you to Texas or in my case Tennessee. If you are ever in the area, feeling like you need to have a barbeque experience be sure to drop by. When in season there is a wonderful fruit market right next door.
Are you feeling hungry? I am now. Lol.
Thanks for coming along on my favorite restaurants adventure. There are many more I enjoy going back to when I am in the area. Watch this space for more food blogs and restaurant reviews the future.
See you next week