Feb 20, 2018

A commoner dines at DiCillo Tavern, Mayfield Heights, Ohio

I know what you’re thinking.  What would compel a commoner like me to devote a blog entry to a rather unassuming tavern/restaurant tucked away in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, a far east side suburb of Cleveland serviced by Interstate 271.  But frankly, with its history, time-honored traditions, affordable prices and satisfying food, the DiCilloTavern is just the type of place I love to find when I travel. 

Feb 17, 2018

Mas Tacos, Por Favor (and pozole, too)!

Depending on how you interpret it, the title of this blog post could be a request, an order, a plea or even a rallying cry.  But for anyone in the Nashville, Tenn., area who craves a taste of authentic Mexican food, it's a destination.  That’s because Mas Tacos Por Favor (minus the pozole part) is also the name of one of the most in-demand taquerias in town for several years running. It’s also one more reason why it’s hard to beat the East Nashville food scene. 

Feb 5, 2018

A commoner dines at Uncle Joe’s Deli, Ina, Ill.

If you need proof that billboard advertising works for roadside restaurants, I present to you my first trip to Uncle Joe’s Deli.

For a couple of months, I would be drawn to Uncle Joe’s promise of great barbecue as I passed advertisements along Interstate 57 on the way back and forth from working in Nashville, Tenn.  I was always curious to try it but also a little skeptical.  After all, most delis aren’t known for their barbecue, and if they do it at all it’s almost an afterthought. 

Then, one early Friday afternoon, with time on my side and running out of original lunch options between me and home, I took a chance.  I followed the directions on the last billboard I saw, pulled off on Exit 83 at Ina, Ill., a small community near Rend Lake in southern Illinois, turned right at the truck stop and followed a familiar smoky smell of slow-cooked meat practically to Uncle Joe’s doorstep.    

A commoner dines at Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern, Monroe, Wis.

I wasn’t sure a place existed that could be the perfect representation of Wisconsin life, but then I traveled through Monroe, Wis., one week...