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Old 12-13-2019, 11:35 AM   #1
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Restaurant... out of town? Pointers!

We have plenty of experience locating a local restaurant in remote areas and small towns.

Sometimes it may take a second 'cruise through town'. In Arizona... found one on the third cruise through and it was rather good. Attached to a motel.

- License Plates. Wyoming and Montana have State Plates that use the County Number on the plate. Other States do not for good or bad reasons. Out West... County ONE (Cheyenne, WY) and County TWO (Casper, Wyoming) may hate each other. High School Football and Rodeo bias is very emotional out West. County 23... bad High School sports but possible a killer Rodeo group.

Nebraska also has County number on the plate. If you are trespassing... know the County Number before jumping the fence. Omaha cares less what you are doing in Harrison, Nebraska. How do I know? Just a guess.

Lets say you are in Wyoming. County 24, on top of Devil's Tower. Just checking if your are awake, and anyone from Wyoming knows this out of state gag.

When entering town, glance at the plate number most often seen. When there are more than one restaurant, look at the number of LOCAL Plates parked around. A ratio favoring LOCAL is preferred. Often a lousy restaurant will have employees park on the left and right sides of the parking lot. Just to attract... tourists that do not know better.

Much like fly fishing for trout... and you are the Trout. But, that of course, is a longer more delicate story to tell.

When the parking lot is Full and many locals... you found the one that has not poisoned their locals. Nothing like having to spend time on a toilet while traveling because you.... did not follow my instructions. Learned the hard way, like you probably will.

Some of the roughest exteriors of a restaurant out West means nothing. Paint is optional and most lumber is weathered, sold for interior decorating and new lumber applied if the lumber mill is still operating.

If Service seems to stink... so will the food. Unless you see happy faces eating similar meals and not leaving most on their plates. Half Eaten Food on a Plate... RUN away and do more browsing. Often these places will have your Coffee out in five point four seconds. That is the fishing fly to bring you to ordering. Look around. If you want to... RUN... finish your coffee, get refills and say you may want a doughnut, or something that may be frozen, but not free up your intestine to the point of being dehydrated for three days, kind of stuff.

So:
- Check for the ratio of Local plates versus Out of State plates.
- Ask someone coming out. If they are running, you need to be running away.
- Look around once seated. Piled up biscuit and gravy being left on plate... RUN. Hard to screw that up, anywhere.
- Opt for pancakes rather than toast. If you have to pay for the pancake, look at the plates left on the table... first. Toast might be a better choice.
- If you have pancakes and they taste like... trout... RUN. The Red and White Cafe in Casper, Wyoming in 1971 is this example. We should have RUN. We were training OSHA Inspectors and this may have been a hint what to look out for.

This is incomplete. We have thousands of Forum Members who EAT while traveling. Other than the Double Cheeseburger and Fries from Carl's Junior... you will need to take my and those giving fantastic advice how to pick a find Restaurant from one that will clean out your system by the time you set up your trailer at a remote campsite. Cursing to high Heaven and Why did I not listen to Ray?

Ray may be a opinionated, hard headed, cheeseburger any time of the time eater... but spending too much on the toilet, in your trailer... has a terrible view, as there is not wind.

Please Donate to the Cause. We all need to understand.
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:38 PM   #2
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If all of the cars and trucks are beat up wrecks with bondo and rust being the primary colors and more than 2 have a well worn "donut" spare just stay in your car and move on. The food will be cheap and gross.

If Greek food is on the menu it is a plus and if dyed in the wool rednecks still dine there it is a treasure - and the meatloaf will be fresh and delicious.
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Old 12-13-2019, 12:55 PM   #3
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Restaurant... out of town? Pointers!

I have DW go in the lead when checking a place out. If it doesn’t pass the ‘sniff test’ she performs on entry, we turn around and leave.

Generally if a restaurant does not smell clean and the food smells are not clean and fresh, it’s a real bad bet. Stale smoke odors, rancid carpet, greasy odors, and rotten food smells are a definite don’t go there.

Unfortunately most of the dining place recommendations I’ve gotten from my ‘redneck’ friends have been for places that serve the typical redneck food groups: Starch, salt, fat, deep fried, overcooked, beer, and lots of sugar in the ice tea.

Can’t handle that diet anymore. Don’t particularly like the big chains either, but it is possible to make decent choices at Cracker Barrel or, if all else fails, Denny’s in a pinch.

A little research on the ‘Yelp’ app on my phone can provide some initial insight on the toad, followed by DW’s obligatory smell check. So far, we’ve found some really great restaurants on the road, both small chains and a few individual places that were well worth another visit.
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:34 PM   #4
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Come on Ray, you know in much of Wyoming it's not about which restaurant. It's simply "the restaurant", if you're lucky. It could be that lunch is at Betty's back porch. Choices are for uppity urbanites.

Seriously though, look for the place with pickups parked outside with pictures of oil rigs on the doors. Energy folks ALWAYS know the best places to eat. Oftentimes they're bars. Places that come to mind are places like the Arvada bar (their sign on the highway said "Bugers" for years. Another is the Spotted Horse Bar. It doesn't have a lot of "curb appeal" but they make a great burger.
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Old 12-13-2019, 04:48 PM   #5
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Chef Robert... Seal of Approval

Oh my, lions and tigers and bears.... I said Carl's Junior... wrong.

Denny's Double American Cheeseburger, EVERYTHING, Steak Fries, Coke NO ICE. This is for breakfast, lunch or dinner. All the same to me. I also bring in my 42/44 ounce double or triple insulated truck X-Large cups for a free refill. The drink keeps longer when you double up... but triple up and it stands about a foot tall and the ladies are impressed I can handle that much for such a trim, handsome fellow.

This is the Going INTO the Boondocks Dinner for me. It takes two days to digest and maybe a week to burn off the carbs and natural beef oils. At times I will leave some burger grease on my lips for a goodnight kiss to Nancy. A western tradition of some sort.

Chef Robert Restaurant Impossible would be A++++ infinity. Chef Robert did a restaurant in Henderson, NV or south Las Vegas some years ago. We watched the program. Found it in the Strip Mall. Looked. Sniffed around as one would say. Out of Business and gone. Obviously some, like myself, are prone to disregard good advice. I take personal pride in ignoring most anything that looks out of place. Like a Fresh Doughnut dropping out of a carton of 12 when I step inside the door at home. The four second rule.

If I can get to the doughnut before one of our Two Blue Heelers... it is good enough to serve... to guests. Of course. Sometimes I manage to get only half back from Blue, the female Heeler. She is fast on her paws.

So... Be aware if you see doughnuts idling on the counter... leave them alone. No telling who licked them or even worse... stepped on.

I am a bit disappointed in the responses. And Thalweg... I paid an extra $20 each for the Wyoming Bronco, laser cutout on the rear mud flaps of the F350, installed a couple of weeks ago. Drilling rigs are so... Wyoming County 17.

My Wyoming County 17 Cloud Peak Energy coal stock is hovering about a third of ONE CENT. Lost some bucks on investing on Low Sulfur Coal. I was up $2,000 at one time. Burlington Northern would haul 120 cars to Pueblo, Colorado to the Power Plant every hour or so. Now... guess. I could sell today for... $1.00, but probably would have to pay taxes to someone over it.

They had a Road Kill Restaurant on the north end of Kemmerer, Wyoming. It had a squashed raccoon or could have been a possum playing dead... it was also out of business. Too many careful drivers, I assume. J. C. Penny's first store is in the middle of town. Just maybe... a raccoon hat?

How about a jar of Toasted Crickets for those who complain on a Wyoming Adventure? You do not want me serving a Pot Luck surprise in the Boondocks and you must be blindfolded to win a door prize, guessing what.

OK... are there only a few that actually eat outside of the Airstream when traveling?

There are restrooms, like one I found in western Colorado.

It must had been attached as an add on in the 1940's, as the small space leaned maybe 15 degrees, left to right. Like a Fun House, of sorts, but not too much fun. I would mention the town and possible restaurant, but Nancy is not available to recite the year, day, location, name of restaurant and total ticket. I did get some one elses meal, but he was already eating mine. His was something awful for healthy old people. I hope he got a belly ache with my choice.
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