*** SHOW NOTES ***
Last week was a flight into Baltimore, then a drive to Harrisburg, PA then a drive to Albany, NY and then a flight home. Both these destinations were new, Baltimore was not.
In Harrisburg, I stayed at the Hampton Inn near Hershey and this was shot in the dark. I’ve never been there, no one I work with has either and my reason for the selection was that it was right off Interstate 83 nothing else. Recently renovated the lobby looked fresh, opened the door to my room new carpet, new furniture, and new wallpaper. Then I noticed there was no closet, just a New England style pegboard with coat hangers. Not a big deal then I noticed a sign next to the TV. If you need an ironing board and iron please call the front desk….. One of my packing tips is to travel with my dress clothes in the dry cleaner bags as it helps to reduce wrinkles. I still like to run an iron over them after unpacking. I never bothered calling the front desk and I just hung them in the bathroom and turned the shower on hot for about 10 minutes. I spent a couple of nights there and it seemed every time I was in the hallway I saw some poor employee hauling the iron and board to of from a room.
Just down the street from the hotel, we discovered O’Reilly’s Tap Room & Kitchen. Which was located inside the Best Western Hotel. A fairly authentic Irish pub, lots of wood mixed with brass and stained glass. Tyler, our bartender suggested I went with the Grilled Reuben. Think Smoked Corned Beef, Sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese and fresh thick grilled Marble Rye. Out of this world! Tyler ran us through the beer menu offering samples as we went. I settled on the You’ve Got A Friend In IPA from Pizza Boy Brewing Co. of Enola, PA. Weighing in at 7.5% ABV it paired perfectly with the heaviness of grilled Reuben. I always enjoy drinking local beers, you honestly never know what you’ll come across or bring back. In full disclosure, we ended up here the next night with some associates from Prague. They were intrigued with American IPA’s as it was not the same as English IPA’s. To me, an English IPA is a bit more sour, where an American IPA has more of a bit to it, plus its higher in alcohol content. That night it was
DDH Hash Head IPA – New England Stoneyard Brewing Company Brockport, NY. A solid 4-star beer tipping the scale at 7.5% ABV. After that, it was a Stunt Double IPA – Imperial Double Funk Brewing Emmaus, PA 7.7% ABV. I accompanied mine with an order of smoked wing coated in their JJ Sauce. Stick sweet with just the right amount of heat, grab plenty of napkins you’ll need them.
Next stop was Albany, NY, yes a four-hour drive from Harrisburg. After years of finding hotels, I thought I had seen it all. However, the Hilton Garden Inn Albany, NC threw me for a loop. It’s located next to the medical center and after circling the block three times I could not find an entrance to the parking lot. I could see parked cars but no entrance. On my fourth pass, I stopped my car right on New Scotland Avenue and walked inside. After picking up my key I asked, “How do you get into the parking lot?”. They quickly produced a laminated card will large letters and arrows, this wasn’t the first time someone inquired. After studying the chart I was parked in a matter of moments.
The first floor housed the Recovery Sports Grill, and it provided me an opportunity to drink a Crossroads Outage IPA. Recovery reminded of your local neighboorhood bar. They quickly welcomed me with the offer to share some of their wings.
Today’s focus is off the eaten path, South Carolina.
My Dad was born in Chapin, South Carolina and if you look in the phonebook there’s still 500+ Frick’s living in Chapin. Not sure if it’s a cult but it’s certainly dense. A fair amount of tasty food from the low country to Greenville there’s something for everyone.
Tattooed Moose – Charleston, SC
It’s been a few years since I’ve been here and this was a destination after watching Triple D. Like the show suggested I ordered Mike’s Famous Duck Club. This is a Triple Decker filled with duck confit, applewood smoked bacon, and hickory smoked cheddar, topped with garlic aioli, lettuce, tomato, and red onion on sweet Hawaiin bread. Yes, a hearty meal. But wait, you have to accompany that with duck fat fries. If you’ve never cooked duck it’s a bit on the fatty side, that’s why it’s tasty. If you’re a restaurant cooking all that duck what do you do with all that duck fat? If you’re the Tattooed Moose you fill the fryer with it and then hand cut a bunch of potatoes and cook them. A wonderfully unique tasty and absolutely healthy….. U think.
Hymans Seafood – Charleston, SC
Hyman’s is a 5th generation family owned establishment. And the seafood is so fresh it was probably still swimming this morning. Start with Carolina Delight Grit Cakes, nothing more than a deliciously fried grit cake and do yourself a favor and top it with shrimp. The Fisherman’s Feast gives you a perfect sampling of Flounder, Shrimp, Devil Crab and Oysters. One of my favorite parts about Hyman’s is that they have a walk-up window where you can order a serving of hush puppies to go. My last trip there was a very chilly spring break and one of the best memories was walking down Meeting Street eating those warm corn nuggets.
Shealy’s Bar-B-Que House – Batesburg, SC
Shealy’s is that South Carolina stop that my Dad and his tribe have been known to drive 3 hours to just for lunch. They’ve been around since 1969 and the food remains delicious. It’s an “All You Can Eat” buffet including BBQ, fried chicken, home cooked vegetables, salad and dessert bar.
In addition to their famous BBQ and Fried Chicken, they offer the following daily specials:
Monday – Chef’s Choice
Tuesday – Seafood (Supper)
Thursday – Country Fried Steak (Supper)
Friday – Fish (Lunch) // Ribs (All Day)
Saturday – Country Breakfast Buffet
They’re closed on Wednesday & Sunday’s so plan accordingly.
Lizard Thicket – Columbia, SC
People will argue with me on this, but I love the Thicket for breakfast. Being a fan of carb-loading I enjoy their Country Ham or Bologna and Egg sandwich when it comes to starting my day. They also make a mean omelet plated with tasty hashbrowns and fresh tomato slices. In the south, breakfast includes fresh tomatoes. I haven’t had many lunches there but I remember them as having a solid fried chicken plate.
Cooper River Grill – Greenville, SC
Greenville is one of my favorite towns. Over the past 20 years or so it’s been through a major revitalization. And with that comes restaurants and stores. We spent part of Thanksgiving 2018 once again in G-Ville. Just on the outskirts of downtown, you will find Copper River. They offer a great selection of steaks, but my last meal was their BBQ Chicken Sandwich and it was spot-on. The staff was friendly and the facility was spotless. The design reminds me of a rustic cabin, a perfect backdrop for an evening meal during November.
The British Bulldog Pub – Columbia, SC
Begin with some Baked Brie, light fluffy pastry can you ask for anything else. I’m not a fan or hardboiled eggs, but folks rave about their Scotch Eggs. The Fish & Chips have always been tasty. Some of the recent reviews indicate that it might not be as memorable as my last visit.
There you have it, safe travels and thanks for listening.
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