Tag Archives: Happy Mouth

Road Trip 2014 Wrap-up

So another road trip is in the books.  This year’s was marked with genteel Southern towns and the heat. My goodness, the heat. All the places we visited declared their summer to be temperate with the heat really only coming on in the last couple weeks — OUR weeks. As usual, we didn’t stay in any one place to form an accurate impression of the place. We just formed impressions based on our short experience there. Here they are:

Atlanta happily traded in their part in Southern history for urban sprawl and crazy traffic. We got a sense of the tremendously storied history from our visit to Oakland Cemetery — a cemetery different than any other we had been to or heard of. It’s a gathering place, a place to celebrate and a place to soak in the beautiful gardens. Our most memorable meal was at Daddy D’z BBQ, festooned with spray paint art and great messy ‘cue. Another amazing thing was picking up a peach at a roadside stand in Geogia. Such peachiness. Much juicy.

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Savannah, GA was the most picturesque stop on our road trip. Each of its 24 downtown squares were showcases for Southern charm. It’s historic houses were pristine and it was a joy to walk through it’s downtown, despite the heat. One of our favourite meals there was at Vic’s on the River. A mix of elegant and old school, we’re still talking about it.

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Hilton Head, SC was the odd one out for this trip. It was a pure beach-sun-and-fun stop and we embraced it. We originally wanted to soak up some of the Gullah history but it’s really only alive in the stories of those who grew up there before the island opened up as a resort area. This happened in the 80s and beyond, so everything had that kind of corporate-ish feel, but once you got beyond the bad architecture, the places were great. We loved the Low Country Backyard restaurant so much we went there twice!

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Charleston, SC was another beautiful, genteel Southern city like Savannah. It was a holiday weekend and was quite crowded when we were there and its was crazy hot, but the town’s charm still shone through. We loved dinner at the Craftsmen Tap Room and Kitchen, and the Tomato Pie at the Dixie Supply Bakery and revisited our affection for Cheerwine, the Carolinas’ own softdrink.

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Wilmington, NC really didn’t see us for long. We had a nice breakfast the morning we left but the real highlight of the day was whole hog BBQ at the Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC. They had chopped whole hog on a bun, or on a paper plate, cole slaw and cornbread and that was it. When you’ve reached perfection, do you really need anything else on the menu?

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Norfolk, VA was another quick in-and-out stop on the road trip. We had a fun breakfast at Doumar’s, one of the oldest drive-in restaurants in the US, then it was on to Washington via the Virgina Byway.

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Washington, DC saw us in traditional decompression mode as the last stop in our road trip. There was, of course, lots to see and do in DC, but not the energy to blog it every day. Highlights included seeing the DC landmarks and taking a side trip to Jefferson’s Monticello.

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Here are our “Trippys” for this journey:

Best meals:
Dinner: Vic’s on the River in Savannah, GA
Best Lunch: Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC for whole hog BBQ
Best Breakfast: Ria’s Bluebird in Atlanta

Nicest Drive:
Virginia Byway from Charlottesville to DC

Gotta-go-back-to:
Charleston & Savannah when it’s not so hot.

Food Discovery: Last road trip we discovered Bourbon. This one had a serendipitous drop-in to the Savannah Honey Company that had a lasting impression. We had already been deeply impressed by this article in Afar magazine, about how single-source honey is a perfect reflection of the land of which it comes. And tasting the various single-source honeys fills your head with pictures of where the honey comes from. We’ll definitely follow this revelation up with a honey tasting of some sort.

Parting thought: America wears its history on its sleeve. Every location and story is celebrated. We need to do more to connect Canadians, especially Ottawans to their local and very rich history.

Our 100th Post!

Wow. It’s our 100th post. We launched just over a year ago, on March 13, 2010, with a healthy backlog of road trips across the continent, recipes we loved and other food experiences we were looking forward to share.

Killer breakfast at the Kingfish Cafe in Seattle, WA

A hundred posts later, we’re still going strong, publishing an average of two posts every week across many thousands of kilometres of open road, through the US Southwest, Southeast, West coast, Ontario, Miami, Rome and numerous other locales. We’ve published dozens of recipes, turned you onto new products and described countless meals in countless cafes, restaurants, shacks and food stands.

Beef Carpaccio in Rome.

Through it all, two things have remained constant:

1) A tireless search for honest and authentic food experiences;

2) You, our readers, giving us the support and appreciation to keep us excited to share our thoughts, photos, and experiences, good and bad.

We love doing this blog. We hated that it took so long to bring new version to you, but we are back in the swing and have many new articles to write, new highways and byways to explore and new things to try.

Thank you so much for sharing it with us and letting us know you find it worthwhile.

Rob and Maureen

Shrimp fajita at Magarita’s in San Antonio
BBQ and Famous Dave’s in Austin, TX
Voodoo Donuts, Portland, OR
Impromptu Picnic, Sattui Winery, Napa
Smoked seafood, Chelsea Smokehouse, Chelsea QC
Mexican Mole Pork, HM Kitchen
Uncle Funky’s Grit Bowl, Tomato Jam, Ashville, NC
Pho, from Pholicious, Happy Mouth’s Pho Mile
Morrocan Chicken, HM Kitchen

Happy Mouth 2.0!

Welcome to our new home on the web. We’ve changed blog platforms so we can take Happy Mouth to more people and have more flexibility with our content. We’re sorry for our absence, but good things come…and all that.

We wanted to hit the ground running so we’ve already published several new postings for you to catch up on. We hope to maintain our usual pace of one or two new postings every week.

Our original blog site is still up and available at the link on the right.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll alert you to new postings there.

Check out our new postings on our recent trip to Miami Beach and a new family favourite recipe.

Upcoming: new recipes and our upcoming  trip to New York City.

– Rob and Maureen