Several months ago a friend send me a copy of a book she had helped to produce. It is a road food book by Karen A. Patterson titled, Eating Your Way Across Ohio: 101 Must Places to Eat.
Over several decades I’ve assembled a small library of road food books and I seldom leave home without a couple on the car’s backseat. Whenever I enter an area new to me I’ll stop and check out what options lie ahead. Only once have I been disappointed. Road Food USA highly touted a London, Ohio area restaurant famous for its state fair blue ribbon winning pies. The first time we paid a visit they were closed. The sign in the window said, “Closed for state fair week!” Couple of months later we were in the area and stopped for a meal and a piece of their blackberry pie. Far as I could tell it may have been from a leftover state fair pie.
Anyway, I like road food and I like road food books. The first thing I did after receiving Karen’s book was to check out her selections for Southwest Ohio, my home turf. Of the nineteen regional restaurants she chose, I’ve eaten in twelve. A few on multiple occasions. Her list includes such places as:
- Beaugard’s BBQ in Wilmington (a personal favorite)
- Cincinnati’s Firehouse Grill
- Lebanon’s Golden Lamb
- Chillicothe’s Old Canal Smokehouse, Bangkok Palace, The Dock on Water, and Los Mariachis
- La Casada in Hillsboro
- Adam’s County’s Murphin Ridge Inn (eaten there several times and always a great meal)
- The Spillway Lodge near Clarksville (haven’t been there in years but it was always good)
These are some I’ve experienced and in my opinion the author is dead on in her choices. None are examples of high-cuisine but I’ve not left any still feeling empty or overcharged.
I’ll reserve final judgement about Karen’s book until I’ve had a chance to experience the other ninety or so remaining selections. That’s the great joy of road food books, you can’t issue a judgement until you’ve worked your way through the last page.