Monday, September 12, 2011

Driving the Mother Road

The Vegas Burger post made me remember another trip two years ago on the legendary Mother Road. Route 66 has got to be my best road trip yet, and what makes it even more special are the interesting food stops along the way. Driving from Vegas all the way to Amarillo, Texas, with stops at the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico, all in thirteen days. Aside from the attractions along the way, the best part of any road trip is the food. Nothing like gas and food stops to suck in the local feel of the place. And here are some of the notable stops...

Steak and eggs with country style  potatoes at Bright Angel Lodge, Grand Canyon. Starting the day right before the hitting the trails. Major protein and carbo loading. Filled with tourists, the overall atmosphere is warm and friendly. And the food's great.

The 16 oz. Ribeye at Cameron Trading Post, Arizona. Prime USDA beef, with no frills, just good eats.Tender, perfectly grilled. And with a cold Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, you just can't ask for more. Great way to end the day after hiking the trails at the Grand Canyon. And grab some souvenir t-shirts and Navajo dream catchers at the gift shop too.

Oven Roasted Duck with Plum Sauce, one of the dinner specials that night at the El Coronado, Grand Canyon. Rich, tender and juicy, the kind that's really good but bad on your cholesterol levels.

Light breakfast at the Galaxy Diner in Flagstaff, Arizona, just off Route 66.  Classic Americana, with neon displays, jukeboxes and 50's rock & roll posters reminiscent of the classic diners of old. Interesting local vibe. Oh, and the food's not bad as well. Great way to fill up before the long drive to New Mexico.

And this is where the locals eat. Sadie's, great southwestern food. Taco plate special, tasty and filling. A must stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Loud, packed, always fun.

One of the best in Albuquerque, El Pinto offers traditional southwestern cuisine. Good Chili Relleno, peppers stuffed with cheese, with refried beans and rice on the side. Owned by the Salsa Twins, they also have great bottled chili, bring one home if you can. The Green Chile Sauce is amazing.

Taco Plate at La Cocina de Taos in Taos, New Mexico. Great lunch stop before hitting the Pueblo. Also great with the green chile sauce.

I decided to try something different for a change and went for the Souvlaki instead at City Cafe, in Santa Fe. Nice grilled tender beef kebabs and a refreshing side salad, but with green chile. Nice.

Classic road warrior along just off Route 66...awesome.

Crepes at The French Pastry Shop in La Fonda Hotel, Santa Fe. Tasty and filling.

Hot chocolate with chili? Definitely. Try the best at Kakawa Chocolate House in Santa Fe.

Late night Tapas at El Farol, Santa Fe. Great atmosphere, great Spanish food. Authentic Jamon Serrano and grilled beef tenderloin, great starters.

The long drive to Amarillo...

The Cadillac Ranch along Route 66 on the way to Amarillo, classic Americana...

A sign of good things to come...

Finally in Amarillo in The Lone Star State. And for steak lovers, The Big Texan is the place to go. Home of the 72 oz steak challenge, this is an original Route 66 attraction. If you finish the four and a half pound steak in less than an hour, including the salad, rolls and shrimp, then it's free. Pretty good challenge.

And here she is...the mother of all steaks, The Big Texan 72 oz special.

After giving the challenge some serious thought, I decided to play safe and went for the 12 oz Fort Worth Ribeye instead. Tender, juicy, real good. Excellent choice. Nice taste of Texas.

Brunch at The Cracker Barrel in Amarillo. Country Fried Steak, deep fried Okra, collard greens and coleslaw. Great local hang out, great food. 

Two years later, I still can't forget the incredible Route 66 road trip experience. There's just something about driving along Route 66, even just halfway, that makes you feel both connected and detached from the world at the same time, almost a spiritual experience. The great natural attractions, the friendly locals and fantastic food, it's a road trip like no other. You definitely get your kicks on Route 66.

Dude for Food is now on Facebook, check out the FB Page for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB "Like" widget on the right sidebar. 


  1. whew, that was a LOT of food! i wonder how much weight you gained after this trip.:p

    1. Hi Luna, quite a lot actually! This road trip was a real food trip! Thanks for dropping in!

  2. wow!!!!!!!!! im drooling here! love all the food! yum!

    from FTF

    1. Hi Emzkie, thanks! And thanks too for visiting!

  3. woohoo! men...look at all these delish foods, am sure it fills you up after a long road trip :-) Returning the visit from FTF

    1. Hi Jessy, it was an awesome road trip! Thanks for visiting!

  4. its like we're having a food road trip too...everything looks awesome, i bet its all delicious! thanks for sharing it. visiting from FTF, see you around. thanks and have a great week. :)

    1. Hi cHeRrFuL, thanks, great to hear that, it was an awesome road slash food trip. Thanks for visiting and have a great Easter weekend!


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