Brand Spankin’ New Address

  • Posted on November 26, 2006 at 10:42 pm

We just got a new URL! You can now find our blog at:

http://www.kingsoftheroad.org/

The old address, http://extrafancy.net/vacation, will still work too.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Ice Cream

  • Posted on November 26, 2006 at 10:39 pm

On Saturday, after a very disappointing lunch at the proported “best Greek Restaurant” in Indianapolis, we headed to Handel’s Ice Cream for dessert. This is hand’s down the best ice cream in the world. No kidding. I think that they actually won the award for best ice cream in the world, or at least best in the country.
I debated trying something new, but I just couldn’t stay from my favorite flavor: chocolate raspberry truffle. It is soooo good.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Ice Cream Cone
After a relaxing five days in Indiana, Larry and I are back in Maryland now. We’re facing a busy month of work, school, and holiday madness before we head back to Indiana for Christmas. I’m counting down the days!

The King’s Castle

  • Posted on November 24, 2006 at 11:23 am

We drove to Fort Wayne, Indiana on Thanksgiving to spend the day with the King family. The whole clan was there, including Larry’s Grandma and Aunt Joan. It was really great to see everyone, and we had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Bill prepared the turkey this year, deep frying it in a vat of peanut oil. Way to go on the turkey, Bill! It was tender and juicy. I also really enjoyed the sweet potato casserole and the cranberry stuffing that Larry’s mom prepared. Delicious.

After dinner, Bill and Lori brought their dog Sassy over, and we had a good time watching her act like a spazz. She’s a little Jack Russell terrier, and she got so excited about all the people and all the food that we thought her little heart would explode.

This is my favorite picture of the day–I just love everyone’s candid expressions:

Family Portrait
Happy Thanksgiving!

Ah, Bonge’s…

  • Posted on November 24, 2006 at 11:02 am

We had the pleasure of eating at Bonge’s Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana on Wednesday. My parents, my brother Eric, and Larry and I piled into the Santa Fe and drove for what felt like fifty miles on country roads, passing farms and fields. Perkinsville is in the middle of nowhere, but it is definitely worth the trip.

Bonge's Tavern

We got there early, because there is always a long wait for a table. In fact, part of the Bonge’s experience is the wait–people tailgate in the parking lot for hours while they wait for a table in the 65-seat restaurant. It’s just that good. But on Wednesday, I think most people were saving their appetites for big Thanksgiving meals, because the restaurant was nearly empty when we arrived.

We got to catch up with Chef Tony, and he told us hunting stories and tales of black-antlered dear. It’s always fun talking to Tony, because he has such interesting stories and he seems to know everyone. He knows my parents’ neighbors better than they do.

Dinner was fabulous, as always. There are no paper menus, and the selections are listed on a chalkboard behind the bar. For an appetizer, we ordered the sauteed mushrooms and the oysters in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. The mushrooms were a mix of portebellas, oysters and shitakes, sauteed with butter and garlic. mmmmmmm.

Wild mushrooms are delicious
Oysters in Frank's Red Hot

For my entree, I ordered the Moroccan lamb chops, served with couscous, and the daily side dishes–spaghetti squash and roasted potatoes. The lamb chops were rubbed with cumin and had a dollop of roasted red pepper butter atop each chop. I ordered them rare, of course, having learned from my grandfather that rare is the best way to eat lamb chops. The lamb chops were incredible–cooked to perfection, flavorful and tender. Larry had the elk filet, served rare. The elk was also excellent, not gamey at all.

Moroccan Lamb Chops

We were too stuffed for dessert, although it was really hard to pass up the sugar cream cake with blueberry topping, one of Bonge’s signature desserts.

Tony, keep doing what you’re doing, because we love it.

Remodeling

  • Posted on November 19, 2006 at 6:41 pm

It’s no longer just a vacation blog.

We’ve made some changes around here–we’ve added some nifty features on the right-hand column, updated our “about” page, and redesigned the header. Now you can track what movies we’re watching on Netflix and what we’re listening to in iTunes. And because the holidays are coming up, we’ve made it easy to shop by adding handy-dandy links to our Amazon wishlists. Also, we added a link to our own Amazon store, so that you can look at our book inventory and buy something from us (actually, if you see a book you want, we’ll probably just give it to you.) Just try not to buy us something from our own store.

We’re going to try and post more often, so check back frequently to see what we’re up to.

Do you like what we’ve done with the site? Let us know what you think.

mmm…barbeque

  • Posted on November 18, 2006 at 6:47 pm

Today we went to Urban BBQ in Rockville, Maryland for a quick and tasty lunch. It’s one of our favorite places to go because the BBQ is consistently delicious It’s hidden away off of the main drag (Rockville Pike), a tiny little storefront next to a liquor store. It’s inexpensive and unpretenious and so good.

I’m partial to the Quarter Dark with a side of fries:

Quarter Dark

And Larry always orders the Beef Brisket Plate, sometimes with mac and cheese:

Brisket and Mac n' Cheese

The barbeque sauce is tangy and not too sweet; the fries are seasoned and just the right crispiness; and the cornbread is moist. If you ever have the opportunity, eat at Urban BBQ. You won’t be sorry.

Anthony, Jose and Michel

  • Posted on November 17, 2006 at 9:34 pm

Last night we went to a lecture offered by the Smithsonian Resident’s Associates program entitled Three Chefs and How They Learned to Cook, featuring Anthony Bourdain, Jose Andres and Michel Richard. I learned about the event from DC Foodies, a local blogger who writes about his adventures with food. Larry and I are are really big fans of Anthony Bourdain–he hosts a show on the travel channel called No Reservations. It’s a gritty, down-to-earth travel and food show where Anthony, a chef and author, travels to exotic locales looking for “real” food experiences. He eats what the locals eat, whether it’s kimchi (spoiled cabbage) in Korea or foie gras in Montreal. And speaking of foie gras in Montreal, his visit to Au Pied de Cochon on the Montreal episode is what inspired Larry and I go to Montreal this past August and visit that exact restaurant and eat foie gras. I am designing a Midwest episode for the show that I will soon propose to Anthony and his producers, where Larry and I will be his hosts as we take him to some uniquely Hoosier-style restaurants. So as you can see, we really are big fans. Oh, and Jose Andres and Michel Richard are local chefs who own a handful of fabulous restaurants, some of which we have yet to try. We’ve been to Minibar, one of Jose’s restaurants, and that was an experience we’ll never forget–it was 30 courses of experimental one and two-bite dishes.

The lecture was amazing! I was in awe when Anthony Bourdain walked on stage, larger than life–and large he was, at probably around 6′5″, tall and lanky, looking a bit nervous and out of his element. The three chefs bantered back and fourth, and Jose Andres didn’t miss any opportunity to herald the glories of his homeland Spain. These three chefs are truly masters of their art. And to them, it really is an art. What amazed me was the true passion that these three have for their profession, Michel Richard especially. Richard stated that the worst part about being a chef was delivering the bill at the end of the meal. This man loves cooking so much that he wished he didn’t have to charge people, because his gratification comes in seeing people truly enjoy his food. He wakes up every morning and he is excited to go to work, to cook and to feed. At the end of the lecture, I asked Larry if it made him miss being a chef and surprisingly, he said no.

After the lecture, we headed up Pennsylvania Avenue to Brasserie Les Halles, Anthony Bourdain’s D.C. installment of his NYC French-bistro style restaurant. We had a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau, Steak Frites and Profiteroles (me) and Molten Chocolate Lava Cake (Larry). The atmosphere did remind me of a bustling Parisien cafe, with close tables, brisk servers and dim lights. The Steak Frites was just okay–the unidentifiable cut of meat was chewy and gristly. The fries were delicious though, and the desserts were fabulous. Although Anthony, if you are reading, the menu says the profiteroles are made of puff pastry–since when are profiteroles made of puff pastry? The server confirmed that it was puff pastry, but when I received the dessert, it was in fact made from a pate a choux dough, the standard for profiteroles everywhere else.

Jose and Michel, we’ll be visiting your restaurants very soon!

Back Home in Indiana

  • Posted on November 15, 2006 at 4:34 pm

We’re going to Indiana for Thanksgiving next week. We’ll be hanging out at the lodge in Westfield, IN:

The Lodge
Although I’m guessing the sky won’t be so blue and the grass won’t be so green when we get there.

We’re also going to be hanging out in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I don’t have a picture of the King residence.

I’m looking forward to some time off, and seeing the families and the dogs. Hopefully, we’ll make it to Handel’s Ice Cream and Bonge’s, two of the most delicious places to eat in the Indianapolis area. Bonge’s is owned by Tony Huelster, a friend of my parents and a friend of Larry’s. Oh, and we’ll definitely be drinking some Bell’s Beer, one of our favorite breweries that doesn’t ship to the East Coast.

Check back for videos and pictures next week!