Diner – Elvis Ate Here

This was Elvis' favourite booth. His picture marks his spot. Could be him, couldn't it?

This was Elvis’ favourite booth. His picture marks his spot. Could be him, couldn’t it?

For the past month, as we have travelled across the top of the US on I-80, down through California and along I-40 to Memphis, our most recent stop, I have looked for authentic diners. In their heyday, during the first two thirds of the 20th century, nearly 7,000 diners dotted the American landscape. They were THE stop for travellers on classic roads like Route 66, or for those looking for a hearty, inexpensive meal in many cities.

Today fewer than 2,000 remain and most of those are in the east. So looking for one in the Midwest and west was like searching for a needle in a haystack. The fast food chains have supplanted this uniquely American institution in the hearts and appetites of Americans. So imagine my delight when, in Memphis, I found The Arcade, a diner that has been around since 1919! Continue reading

Hot Stuff – Chiles

peppers sMy mouth is on fire!

My first bite of adovada, pork cooked slowly in a sauce of red chilies, leaves me gasping. I’m trying this New Mexican classic at a 40 year old Santa Fe restaurant, The Shed, which specializes in local cuisine. This warning should be on the menu:  Do not order unless you have an asbestos tongue!
adovada sNew Mexico is all about food….and art….and music…and history….but mostly about food! And in New Mexico, food begins and ends with chilies or chiles. Huge ristras (bundled chains of red chilies) decorate the doorways of homes, drying in the sun. People eat chilies at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and chilies are incorporated into everything from sauces and condiments to honey, jams and even marmalade! Continue reading