by Sheena Adkins + Mike Frampton, PeopleForBikes East Coast events crew
We love food. Not just any kind of food, but good, local food that you just know will taste the best in that certain restaurant in that specific city. Traveling more than 35,000 miles this year, we have come across some of the best food that America has to offer. From Maine to Florida, from fried chicken to beignets, we have tasted it all (well, all that we could!). Here are our top five most delicious and memorable eats:
Key lime pie is fresh on our minds as we recently traveled to Florida for several events and shop visits. While in the Sunshine State, we stopped in Key West for a few days of downtime. One of the many things Key West is famous for is key lime pie. After a long morning of biking around the island, we were hungry for that little slice of heaven. Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe is said to have the best, so that’s where we headed. After ordering our slices, we took shelter from the sun at a table under a palm tree and dug in. Verdict? Best Key lime pie EVER!
In May we headed to Kansas City, MO for the Ride on Chicago. Upon arrival, we were craving some good ol’ KC BBQ and decided to try out Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue. This joint has been featured on many TV shows and there’s no question as to why. We arrived at 11:15am (doors open at 11:00am) and waiting in a line out the door. Let me tell you, the food was worth the wait! Our plates were piled with BBQ spare ribs, smoked brisket and pulled pork accompanied by baked beans and seasoned fries. The meat was juicy and tender and the ribs just fell off the bone. Next time we are in Kansas City, Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue will definitely be one of our stops.
We arrived a day early for the Trek Across Maine and decided to be tourists. Unfortunately it was pouring rain that day so most of our sightseeing was done from the comfort of our car. After exploring the beautiful Maine coastline, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We knew that we had to try a lobster roll while in Maine, so we searched for the most popular place around and found Scarborough Fish & Lobster. We made a run for the front door to try to avoid getting soaked, but it was unavoidable. This place was standing room only and filled with lobster everything, from d?cor to seasonings. Standing at the register, soaking wet, we placed our order and waited patiently. We received our lobster rolls, overflowing with huge pieces of lobster and a bit of mayo and seasoning. They were amazing and had the largest pieces of lobster we had ever seen!
Chattanooga, TN is one of our favorite places to visit. Chattanooga offers great camping, paddle boarding, road and mountain biking, and, of course, lots of delicious food. One place that is a must for us every time we are in town is Champy’s Chicken. Hands down the best fried chicken on the planet. Every piece of chicken is fried to order, and if you’re over 21 you can enjoy an ice-cold 40-ounce malt beer in a special ?40-sized? koozie. You can even draw on the koozie and customize it to your liking, then leave it hanging on one of the many clotheslines throughout the restaurant for you to use during your next visit. Champy’s fried chicken is some of the freshest and juiciest chicken we have ever had!
On our way from the Florida panhandle to Wisconsin, we made a two-day pit stop in New Orleans. NOLA is the home of jambalaya, jazz, etouffee and, last but not least, beignets. A beignet is a square piece of fried dough that is covered in powered sugar and sometimes stuffed with fruit. After concluding a ghost tour of the French Quarter we headed straight over to Caf? Du Monde, the original beignet caf?. The very large outdoor patio was packed even on a Tuesday night. After waiting a bit, we were able to find a table and explore the small, but perfectly sized menu. The waiter was by in no time at all and we ordered beignets and coffee. The first bite of the hot, fresh beignet was heaven. Did we mention that they are COVERED in powdered sugar? We were told if you ate your beignets and didn’t get any powdered sugar on you, then you ate them wrong. They were so puffy and paired so well with the strong chicory coffee that accompanied them. Before moving on toward Waterloo, WI, we enjoyed the Caf? Du Monde beignets two more times. We cannot wait to return to New Orleans and enjoy them once more (or maybe twice!).