Category Archives: Food & Drink

Remember Dog ‘n Suds?

Messing around on YouTube I came across a video about the once thriving fast food chain, Dog ‘n Suds. Around 1970 there were at least three of these drive in restaurants in our part of Ohio. There was one in Greenfield and I believe it was owned by Red Wylie. You could also find them in Hillsboro and Washington Court House and Wylie may have been involved in those too.

I’ve always been a fan of chili dogs and rootbeer and Dog ‘n Suds was a favorite.

Check out this video, it may bring back some memories.

Karnes Orchard – 2016

Just spoke with Karnes Orchard today and it won’t be long before their new crop of apples will be ready for market. The first day of sales will be on Friday, September 2 and continue into December.

Check out their website for mail orders and wholesale purchases. Below is a chart showing when various varieties will become available.  Karnes is located at 8200 Worley Mill Rd., Hillsboro, OH.

I’d suggest you make your day special by picking up some freshly squeezed Karnes apple cider and then driving a mile over to Liz’s Bake Shop at 7960 Overman Rd. for a few freshly baked glazed yeast doughnuts. What says fall more than cider and doughnuts?

karnes fruit

Cheerios & Scotch

glenlivetAn acquaintance of mine once said he only eats Cheerios for breakfast. I replied that I like Cheerios but I usually buy the generic versions. His response was, “Oh, I can’t eat those they don’t taste the same.” Yeah, they don’t taste the same but they both taste good. The nutritional and content labels read the same, they both taste good, they are both good for you, and one costs 33% less than the other. I taught consumer finance for several years and remain a firm believer in receiving value for the buck.

Okay, that takes care of the Cheerio part of the title, now let’s talk about the Scotch part. Scotch is a lot like wine, there are the  connoisseurs who make all kinds of snobbish claims and would never admit to drinking and enjoying an inexpensive table wine from an Ohio vineyard.

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Rye Whiskey I Cry!

Someplace way back in my youth I thought I should like rye whisky. It may have had something to do with hearing the cowboy movie star, Tex Ritter, sing, “Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry. If I can’t get rye whiskey I surly will die.”

old overholt labelDoug McLaughlin may have played a part. I have this vague memory of the two of us sitting in his kitchen eating crackers, Swiss cheese, and drinking rye whiskey.

Whey my ship was in the Boston Navy Yards in 1962-63 I remember hanging out at a couple of jazz clubs and drinking Old Overholt over ice.

Rye whiskey is so named because 51% of the grain used is rye. At one time it was the most popular of American whiskeys and even George Washington distilled rye whiskey at Mount Vernon. Sometime following prohibition it lost out to bourbon and almost disappeared from liquor store shelves.

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You’re so unsophisticated!

Man, can I relate to the article referenced below. On our last cruise I attended a Scotch tasting session at which I scorned by the presenter when mentioning that I drank my Scotch over ice. It was like an old maid schoolmarm cracking you on the wrist with a ruler and scolding you for picking your nose in polite company. I experienced the same thing when I mentioned enjoying Reunite Lambrusco on ice!

The Right Way to Drink Scotch.




Cowabunga, Great Burgers!

There are those who have dedicated their lives in search of the best cheeseburger. While my passion isn’t that great I do make a mental note of where I found a great burger.

Jimmy Buffett made a fortune off of his Cheeseburger in Paradise and even more by opening a chain of restaurants by that name. Well, I’ve eaten in a couple of his joints and didn’t think the burger that great.

Of the chains it’s hard to beat Five Guys. I know their fries are house made and I got a feeling they buy good quality beef that’s freshly ground. Haven’t had a bad experience yet.

When it comes to a good cheeseburger, however, we don’t have to travel very far. Within a few minutes driving time from Worley Mill Rd. there’s Doc’s Bainbridge Restaurant. I had a burger there

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Tips on Makin’ Smoke

Most people know that the secret to turning tough cuts of meat into tender, juicy, and delicious barbecue involves cooking it in a smokey, low heat environment for a long time. Low and slow as the saying goes.

Over the years I’ve tried lots of different smokers and seen many more being used by others, including competition BBQ teams. Just about anything can be used if the temperature can be controlled while introducing smoke. At the Georgia State BBQ Championship I even saw a guy using the interior and front trunk of a VW Beetle for a smoker. You couldn’t see what was inside, however, because the windows were blacked out by layers of smokey residue.

Several years ago I got tired of tending to hours of charcoal and wood fires and began trying to create smoke with my Weber propane grill. The problem is, wood won’t smolder and smoke at the low temps needed to cook a pork butt slowly.

My solution turned out to be creating a separate “hot” fire for the wood chips, and a “low” fire for the meat. I took an aluminum pie pan, punched some ventilation holes in it, built a small charcoal fire in it, and once the coals got hot enough I piled on the chip. I then lit off the gas burners, adjusted for a temperature of about 225 degrees, and let it do the low and slow magic while the charcoal kept the smoke rolling.

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A Rose by Any Other Name is Still a Sub

sub-grinder mapSuper Bowl Sunday is just days away and the Mother’s Club will be assembling hundreds of sub sandwiches. As much as any single food, the submarine sandwich has become a Super Bowl staple.

In these days anyone in American can describe what a sub sandwich is. The most common fast food restaurant in today’s America is the Subway chain of sandwich shops. So, as the chain grew so did the use of the term sub to describe that pile of meats, cheeses, and toppings that get stuffed into a long bun.

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Thanksgiving Navy Style, 1953

I served on the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850) in the early 1960s. On most occasions I chose to stay onboard during holidays so others, who lived closer to their homes, could get the day off. The Kennedy is today a museum ship and the organization that maintains it has a Facebook group on which I found this Thanksgiving Day Menu from 1953. The menu was very complete including complementary cigars and cigarettes.

Bread wars

About the only time I favor drive-thru fast food is when traveling and having to keep a schedule. On our recent drive to Miami and back I took note of what seems to be a bread war between fast food chains. Hardee’s was touting their buns as being fresh baked and several chains, Wendy’s included, were featuring what’s becoming a food fad, the pretzel bun sandwich. Even aboard our cruise ship pretzel breads and bread sticks were served at every meal. Wraps seem to remain popular and McD’s has added several new versions to its menu.

Drinking laws update

Jack Daniels LabelAt least twice in the past I’ve written blogs about the great diversity of laws in America regarding the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. It’s an interesting subject and the particulars are often changing. Today I came across an article about what states permit the sale of various alcoholic beverages in grocery stores. Instead of copy and pasting the whole thing I’ll simply provide a link. I’ll also provide a link to a similar article I wrote in 2012. Grab yourself a cold one and take a break.

Huffington Post article about grocery store sales. Click HERE.

2012 CGS blog about drinking laws around America. Click HERE.

Barbecue Heavens

For at least ten years I was in search of the world’s best barbecue and have driven countless miles and made countless out-of-the-way wilber shirley's bbqtrips following up a lead. One of the first times I had Southern BBQ was at Maurice Bessinger’s Piggie Park in Columbia, SC and for a short time it was my standard. Then my brother and sister-in-law turned me on to Wilber’s BBQ (Wilber Shirley) BBQ in Goldsboro, NC.

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Two corners in NOLA

What a difference a corner can make. If you’re in New Orleans and you decide to have a meal on the corner of St. Peter’s and Jackson Square in the French Quarter you may or may not be happy. On the NOLA - 2014 (1)other hand, if you’re looking for a corner restaurant to have lunch in,  where there’s little chance of disappointment, you may want to stop at the corner of St. Ann’s and North Tonti in the Treme neighborhood.

The French Quarter option is The Corner Oyster Bar and my grandson and I had supper there recently. I debated between boiled crawdads or shrimp and went for the shrimp. Cyrus picked chicken wings. While he was satisfied with the wings I could tell that they probably came from a freezer. Being within spittin’ distance of the Gulf I was pretty sure the shrimp would be perfect. What I was delivered, however, was a half pound of dead cold shrimp still bearing their heads (not a problem) and veins (problem). Furthermore, they had been boiled so long the flesh had become tough and stringy. The only good thing I can say is their cocktail sauce was great.

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Craft brew update

ohio craft beer logoI read an article about the huge popularity of craft brews in America and the growing number of craft breweries. The whole thing seems to center on quality, variety, and proximity. People today want a choice of locally brewed beers of a higher quality.  It was said there are now 2800 breweries in the United States and it is the small craft breweries  that are showing the most growth, not the big name brewers.

That same article discussed three Cincinnati craft breweries who within their first six to eight months in business had seen sales climb to what they had thought would take at least several years to reach.

I was discussing this with the owner of an area bar and restaurant who had said he was planning on replacing his big name draft selections with craft brews. He mentioned a craft brewer, Yellow Springs Brewery,  in Yellow Springs, Ohio as being the nearest thing to a local brewer he knew of. They too had experienced growth much faster than expected. In the beginning they had planned to sell most of their product wholesale to area bars and restaurants. They have a small bar at the brewery and the business has been so good there is little left over for wholesale.

I mention all this because it is even more apparent that someone is missing the boat by not getting into the craft beer business here in Greenfield or Highland County. Plus, there is a growing demand for and shortage of premium hops. I have researched this before and found that our area is capable of supporting hops production. Tired of looking at soybeans and corn? Hop on the beer wagon!