|United States of America|
formerly Charley’s Family Restaurant
1705 Pulaski Hwy
Bear, DE 19701
Charley’s is the best breakfast restaurant in the entire universe, bar none. Their potatoes and gravy are to die for and the other stuff is just as fantastic. They even make fantastic lunch and dinner. It is owned by Turks and, since we lived in Turkey for two years, we enjoy talking to them. But we keep going back for the food and service. The name has been changed but the food and the service is very much the same. It is still owned and operated by Turks.
Getting there: It is on the north side of the road in the White Clay Shopping Center along US 40
5026 - 15th Street E.
Bradenton, FL 34203
This was our go-to restaurant (alternating with the local Five Guys) while Glenn worked as a Park Ranger at DeSoto National Memorial in Bradenton. The owners are Altin and Rozana Lavdari and the restaurant is named for their daughter. It is an old Arby's and they still operate the drive-through. It is now a neighborhood hangout and the staff is teriffic. Sandy, the Redskins fanatic, knew on our third breakfast visit that we wanted two black coffees and a glass of ice to start and that is how every breakfast begins. Amanda always has a smart alec remark and a super smile that just makes you melt. Robin and Kathleen have seldom waited on us but they are always making sure our drinks are filled and there are no problems. If these people can't make you feel at home you are an old stick-in-the-mud meanie who no one can make happy.
Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort
So OK, it's in the middle of a nudist resort. Live with it. The new chef offers a wide range of foods and caters to everything from Vegans to hamburger lovers. If it isn't on the menu just ask and he will accomodate you. Good food, great company, a friendly environment and all within a short walk of the hot tub, sauna, swimming pool and sunning deck. It just doesn't get any better than this.
Saint Simons Island, GA 31522
Hot dogs--that's about it. He's only open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday (Closed Sunday and on other days when it is too cold or too uncomfortable to open up). This is the best hot dog in the entire United States (and by extention, the World). I have no idea why but they are just perfect--and I have eaten Conies and Nathans and all of the other really great hot dogs. Get a couple of dogs and a drink and walk the two blocks to the pier and the Atlantic Ocean.
Getting there: Exit I-95 at either Brunswick exits and follow the signs to Brunswick. Take the Torres Causeway off of US 17 to Saint Simons Island. Go straight until you get to the circle. Take the first right off the circle and drive adjacent to the airport runway. Turn left at the traffic light. Just past the second traffic light Hot Dog Alley is on the left. Look closely it is easy to miss.
218 S. Main St.
Grover, NC 28073
This restaurant is on the border of North and South Carolina, right next to a railroad track, and less than a mile from I-85. We got hooked on the hamburger basket, which comes with plenty of French fries, but there is plenty of other good home cooking on the menu. Grover is a little Norman Rockwellesque town. We found it while volunteering at the Kings Mountain National Military Park, SC—about seven miles away. All of the people are extremely friendly and the atmosphere is clean and homey. If you want to go native you can order red eye gravy (coffee mixed with ham drippings) and grits. We tried it and have decided it is a taste you must be born with.
Getting there: From the north exit I-85 at NC exit 2, turn right. At the T turn left. Continue about 3 miles to metropolitan Grover. Just before the gas stations on the left, turn right and cross the railroad tracks. The restaurant is ahead on the right.
From the south, exit I-85, in SC at the Grover exit, turn right past the gas stations into NC (gas is cheaper in SC than in NC). Turn left at the first railroad crossing. The restaurant is ahead on the right.
Restaurant and Bakery
90 Buford Ave.
This is one of the few restaurants in town that caters to the locals. The food is good and the price is reasonable. The staff is friendly and very good at providing positive service. We mostly go here for breakfast during the summer months when I am employed as a Seasonal Interpretive Park Ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park. Check out the specials and the exceptional baked goods.
Getting there: From the circle in Gettysburg head west on Chambersburg St. which is US 30. The highway will go right and become Buford Ave. Just after the turn pull into the parking lot on the left. Coming from the west on US 30 you will go through part of the National Park, through a traffic light. You will then drive down into a swale and up onto another ridge. Gen. Lee's Headquarters and Appalachian Brewing Company is on the left. At that point the Chambersburg Pike becomes Buford Ave. Dunlap's is on the right across from the U. S. Post Office.
309 S Main St.
Manheim, PA 17545
One of the few Twin Kiss drive ins still remaining. The car hops are gone, replaced by a sit-down room with booths. Make sure to order a root beer in a frosted mug and finish off your meal with a vanilla/chocolate twin cone. We like the Hollywood burger and the chili dogs, but they also have a new favorite—sliders (see Krystal below).
Getting there: From Lancaster take PA 72 north to Manheim. The TK is on the right as you come down the hill into town. (If you get there early and need breakfast we would recommend the Barron—a true diner at the top of the hill on the right.)
PA Routes 72 & 419 south of Lebanon
Quentin, PA 17083
While the menu has an eclectic mix of quisines, this is the place for good Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. We have yet to order anything that wasn't very good. This is a good eatery where the locals congregate and tourists enjoy their respite. The staff is very friendly and anxious to serve, but the waitresses still maintain that air of legendary waitreses of the past that makes you smile and encourages a mild competition. You just can't beat the food for taste and the diner-like atmosphere for the ambiance.
Getting there: West on US 322 or north on PA 72 (from the Lancaster-Lebanon exit of the PA Turnpike) go past the Mount Gretna exit and stay in the right lane toward Lebanon. The restaurant is on the left. South on PA 72 from Lebanon it is on the right at the light in Quentin. East on US 322 from Hershey or Harrisburg look for the turn to PA 72 north and turn left. The restaurant is on your right at the light in Quentin.
132-134 Rider Ave.
Lancaster, PA 17603-4831
This is a small family restaurant and bar, with the emphasis on small. My Italian friends keep reminding me that their spaghetti is not authentic Italian—We don’t care, we just love the spaghetti with marinara sauce. One word of warning: order a small or child’s plate. The only person I ever met who ate a large got sick from eating too much. They only have about a dozen tables and little room to wait for someone to vacate a table so you end up eating with people standing next to you waiting for you to finish and leave—it is surprisingly collegial. The waitresses are mostly family and are super friendly people. But, patience is required to eat here. Some people adopt the European dining practice of inviting others to use empty chairs at their table.
Getting there: From downtown Lancaster head west on Orange St which merges with King Street and becomes Columbia Avenue. Two blocks after the merge turn left on Rider Avenue, the restaurant is two blocks on the right. Rider Avenue ends at Columbia Avenue just in front of the Hamilton Arms Apartments (formerly Hamilton Watch Company)
The Fast Food Compendium
This is the only place we know of where the Combo #1 is a Big Mac, pom frits und bier. That is the ONLY way to eat a Big Mac. However, the red wine at the Burger King in Madrid, Spain does come in a close second.
|United States of America|
This is a combination of the best of McDonalds, Steak and Shake and In-n-Out Burger. The menu consists of only five items: Burger, Cheeseburger, Baconburger, Hot Dog, Fries and Drinks. Order a regular of any of the burgers and you get two patties, to get a single patty you need to order a Little version of the burger. All condiments are free including mushrooms and grilled onions. But the Idaho potato fries are to die for. They are cooked in peanut oil and served in a brown paper bag (they usually also throw in an extra scoop of fries with each bag). They even post the town in Idaho where the potatoes came from. As you are waiting for your order you can take a hand full of peanuts and enjoy. The employees always smile and seem to be in a good mood. The decor is early garage with white and red tile walls and posters extoling the wonderfulness of Five Guys. The place is genuine camp and fun from the first step to the last bite. Only downers are the lack of Dr. Pepper and some of the music that is apparently picked by the local manager (some of whom have very anoying tastes in music). Do yourself a favor and get a Little Baconburger with letuice, onions, mayo, ketchup and mushrooms, a regular fry and something (not Dr. Pepper) to drink. It doesn't get any better than that, unless they start offering Dr. Pepper.
Top of the heap, king of the world, best plastic meal on the road anywhere. Located only in the Midwest and South, the Combo #1 gives you a double steakburger™, two sides (Glenn always gets double fries) and a milkshake. We like our milkshakes thin so that is always a challenge for us. Their staff is routinely very friendly and service is usually first rate. It is a bit pricey for fast food but it is worth the additional cost for the food and the service.
We grew up on White Castle (sliders, belly bombs, and some less attractive nicknames) and always considered it a treat. We still enjoy White Castle but in the south we truly enjoy the Krystal burger. They also have a free wi-fi connection at each store which is a great help to those of us who travel.
We like Taco Bell because it is cheap and is just about everywhere. As we travel we know that we can usually get a meal that we can eat and enjoy and it won’t cost us an arm and a leg or take all afternoon. As senior citizens, by taking advantage of the free small soda we can often get a nice lunch for under $10 for both of us (Except in Key West and other tourist spots where the prices are jacked up for the tourists).
Only in California, Nevada and Arizona this is one of those unique places where the menu is only a dozen or less items. It is primarily a drive-thru with limited inside seating. When you get your burger it is wrapped and put into a box so that you can reach over while driving, pick up your burger and commence to eat.