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7 Great Roadside Restaurants

One of the (many) nice things about taking a road trip is the fact that you get to try regional cuisine at mom-and-pop restaurants that are not on a lot of travelers’ radars. Of course, since there’s no way to tell where you’re headed to (or from for that matter), here are seven spots along some pretty popular routes that have been talked up by the media lately:

  • Baby Blues BBQ. If you’re headed down through Venice, CA, stop by this Lincoln Blvd. restaurant for some seriously tangy barbecue and some equally swingin’ music. Zagat-rated and loved by all, if ‘cue’s your thing, don’t miss this local fave.

  • Grinders. If you’re anywhere near Kansas City, MO, then hop in your rental car and head down to this restaurant on 18th Street for some handmade pizza, burgers and “Death Wings” – super-hot wings that, simply put, aren’t for the faint of heart.

  • Joe’s Cable Car. On Mission Street, in the heart of San Francisco, you can find handmade burgers made with house-ground meats and top-quality toppings. For dessert, sip a made-to-order shake in banana, malted milk, strawberry… or any of the more than half-dozen flavors this famous burger joint offers.

  • Matt’s Big Breakfast. Organic, fresh and local. These aren’t just buzz words… at Matt’s they’re a way of life. Hop in your rental car and head into this Central Phoenix diner and find out just how fresh the food really is. Using local, organic ingredients, Matt Poole cooks up country breakfasts, like the salami scramble, and mouth-watering lunches, like the Big Butter Burger, from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. six days a week.

  • Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge. Get your drink on (and your dinner) at this funky little lounge filled with Tiki-themed decor and some of the best trashy party food around. Think tater tots, beer-battered cheese curds and the best pizzas in town. If you’re of age, order up a Paralyzed Polynesian or Coconaut in a tacky tiki mug you can keep. And if you just must have the mug – it’s yours for $4 more.

  • Iron Barley. With locally crafted brews and some of the tastiest new American cuisine in this city (or any other), Iron Barley on St. Louis’ Virginia Avenue, turns out world-class soups, sandwiches and hearty, classic entrees that will tempt the taste buds and leave you dreaming of another trip.

  • El Indio. The birth place of the taquito, El Indio on San Diego’s India Street turns out shredded beef, shredded chicken and potato taquitos that are crisp, light and filling. Don’t miss the other made-to-order specialties on the menu, like the restaurant’s world-famous chips and salsa, fresh tamales and classic carnitas.

Heck, even if you live in one of these towns and just haven’t happened by one of these restaurants, hop in your car and head down… because word on the street is that they’re all about as good as it gets!

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