Top Stores and Snacks from AB Road Eats 2014

Jerky & Vine (Greenville, SC): Dried beef, pork, fish, turkey, etc. This store had jerky for everyone. And they carry my favorite brand to boot.

Nifty Nut House (Wichita, KS): I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. This place is a national treasure. It’s nuts. Absolutely crazy. I walked into a store that housed enough nuts and candy to fill an airplane hangar. Literally. They had every nut covered or dusted in everything imaginable. They also stock candies I haven’t seen on shelves in years. The staff was so friendly. And let me add this. It’s nice to walk into a shop and have the ability to try what you’re about to buy. I left the store stuffed-by-samples.

Aglamesis Bros. (Cincinnati, OH): There’s nothing like a soda shop. Except … an old-fashioned soda shop that also houses homemade chocolate. As you enter in Aglamesis’, on the right you can get shakes, malts and egg creams galore (I got an egg cream). On the left, piece-after-piece of really, really good chocolate. I picked up some sea salt caramels and dark chocolate pecandes. I should have picked up more.

Broad Ripple Chip Co. (Indianapolis, IN): These chips. Where do I even begin? I picked up a bag in Your Local Deli not knowing what to expect. I am kicking myself for not picking up five bags, as I finished these in a 10-minute sitting. These chips are incredible. Fried to a crunchy crisp and seasoned perfectly. They were so good.

West Side Market (Cleveland, OH): This is home to Cleveland’s oldest public market and it’s pretty darn cool. Stall after stall of local meats, cheeses, pastas, chocolates, etc. line multiple rows in this gorgeous building. Come with an empty stomach so you can sample as much as possible.

Fear’s Confections: I walked into Fear’s and a gust of brownies baking in the oven hit me hard. Yeah. Terrible, I know. From the warm welcome of Ms. Fear’s to her memorable confections, I’m glad I made the time to stop in. The brownies were great, but what caught my eye (and so many of my fellow Whovian fans would agree) are her Dr. Who-themed chocolates (see photo above).

Reading Terminal Market (Philadelphia, PA): First off let me confess this. This was my first time to the market. In all these years, I never had the time to venture in. What an incredible experience this was. While it was packed to the brims (it was lunchtime on a Saturday), I enjoyed walking around all the stalls and smelling the varied foods. There is something here for everyone.

Vena’s Fizz House (Portland, ME): I’ve never seen anything like Vena’s before. When you walk in you’re greeted with countless bitters, some I’ve never heard of. After you’re done browsing the shop, head up the stairs to a bar serving some of the best mocktails around. I suggest ordering a Lumberjack Love if you’re in the area.

I’ll be back out on tour for Edible Inevitable 2015 (get cities and dates here) and I’m asking you again: Where should I eat? In each city, I’m looking for coffee shops, restaurants, late-night snacks and sandwiches available in the area. Share your recommendations here.

Images © Alton Brown, 2014


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  1. 2
    Wayne Feller

    You asked about where to eat, and I noticed that you have added a date for Salt Lake City. We actually have quite a food culture here, and one that is often overlooked. given the many different cultures that came to Utah either for the mining or the Mormon church, there is an amazing variety of restaurants and cafes to choose from.
    One place that often get’s overlooked is a chain of Mexican fast food restaurants, known as Rancherito’s. They have faithfully been serving the late night partiers, and blue collar workers of this area for several years, without all the aplomb given to places with a trendier, more nouveau cuisine oriented places that get all the raves. It is a simple fast food joint, often built in buildings where another franchise went out of business. The places aren’t pretty, but the food is out of this world, and ridiculously filling! My personal favourite are the carne asada fries. Shoestring french fries are topped with carne asada, guacamole, and you can then add one of their various salsas. It is immoral heaven, and easily split between friends who don’t mind killing each other with calories.
    They are found thorughout the city, but my personal favorite is found at 775 West North Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84116.
    With all of the Red Iguana’s, Burger Bar’s, and Blue Plate Diners, it is easy to see why such a small local chain of hole in the walls could get overlooked. But once you eat there, you are hooked!

  2. 3

    If you grew up in the Appalachians able to readily choose from NC, SC, Memphis, KC, and all regional nuances and really don’t dig ‘Texas’ BBQ (I don’t) but happen to live in Dallas, there are a couple of atypical places to try – Smoke (west Dallas), and Pecan Lodge (Deep Ellum) – possibly worth a try.

  3. 4
    Stefanie B

    If you have time before your Jacksonville, FL show. Make a stop in St. Augustine. Take a walk down St. George Street and then go to Ice Plant Bar. It’s the best. Housed in an old ice plant and right next to St. Augustine Distillery.

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