July 15, 2011

The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Dining on Road Can Be a Trip

By Denise O'Toole Kelly (Everybody Eats)
July 13, 2011

"Eat Here and Get Gas."

That pun, posted by fun-poking proprietors of roadside pump-and-diner establishments since the old days, was on my mind as my husband and I motored along highways and a few byways to the Pittsburgh area and back. The perennial play on words draws chuckles for a reason: highway offramps often lead to culinary lowlights. The interstate system's familiar white-lettered blue panels bearing logos for restaurants have in large part merely made mediocre meals easier to find...

At one exit (in Myersville, Md), Joe Kelly and I beat the system...there on the right was the Old Town Diner. The homestyle American and Greek specialties at the newly opened family-owned restaurant were comfort food for the rest of the road.

Michael's Seafood Carolina BeachThat bit of good fortune built upon a delicious discovery the previous day, during a side trip to the Pleasure Island beach communities of southeastern North Carolina. We knew from an Internet search that we wanted to try Michael's Seafood Restaurant on U.S. 421 in Carolina Beach during our 20-hour sleepover and sightseeing visit. The Captain M's Seafood Chowder -- clams, crab, scallops, vegetables, potatoes, herbs and spices in a rich cream base -- lived up to its website hype. The chowder and chef/owner Michael McGowan were fresh off of their third consecutive first-place finish in the seafood category of the Great Chowder Cook-Off in Newport, R.I...

Read the full story here.

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