Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Road Trip!

As you all know, watching the Food Network can be very dangerous, especially at night when you're about to go to bed - it's like an ultimate test of self control (for me anyway). My battle of self control occurs when Diners, Drive-ins and Dives comes on, and self control losses 95% of the time. Instead of lounging on the couch during commercial break, I usually find myself walking towards the kitchen instead, looking for munchies, fully aware that I had dinner only a couple of hours ago and that I'm going to bed soon. I love this show yet I hate it (well my stomach loves it but my brain hates it).

Have you all seen this Diners, Drive-ins and Dives show that I speak of? It's one of my absolute favourite shows, not just on the Food Network, but in general. It's literally food porn at its best. II know it grosses a lot of people out but I LIKE IT. The show is about Guy Fieri travelling across the United States, visiting local establishments and seeing how they make their specialties. Hole-in-the-walls, mom and pop restaurants, and of course, "diners, drive-ins, and dives", are the type of places featured on this show. One thing's for sure - you won't find fine dining here, and yeah, the show is also not for vegetarians =D

Seeing Guy pulling up to these places, from one state to another, in his red, shiny Corvette, and biting into sloppy burgers and thick slices of pizza, cutting into gigantic steaks, holding pieces of succulent ribs, putting ginormous pulled pork sandwiches into his mouth, makes me go berserk. What gets me the most is his reaction afterwards: his eyes closed and his mmm-delicious "This is so good!" groan like it's the best thing he's ever tasted. Without fail. Every. Single. Time.


If you watch the show, you know as well as I do that even if the food tasted like crap, Guy will always act like he has never had anything so good in his life until that very moment. Not once did I ever see him take a bite and go "hm....it's ok...nothing special". Sometimes I even see Guy already making that "mmm-delicious" face a millisecond too early. But do I care? NO I DON'T. All I know is this: whatever he is eating, I want a piece of it.



Having said that, for the Family Day long weekend back in February, my boyfriend and I went on a road trip. We wanted to go away somewhere but not too far. I knew that wherever we were going, I wanted eat at places featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives along the way. We finally decided on Buffalo and Pittsburgh, which is pretty close to Toronto. There's not much happening in Buffalo, it was really just a stopover for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, was perfect as the Canadian dollar was above parity (and still is as we speak) and there is no sales tax on clothes and shoes in Pennsylvania *woohoo shopping spree*~

Now that I know where were were going, I did some research. OK, a lot of research. I made sure to incorporate some sight seeing, some shopping, and of course the Diners, Drive-ins and Dives restaurants. With the help of this Diners, Drive-ins and Dives blog that has all the information you will ever need about the show, I created the map below. Notice that 7 out of the 12 attractions are restaurants (the thumbtacks).


I also have an Excel sheet. The highlighted yellow rows are restaurants, and the columns have some standard information such as the restaurants' addresses and phone numbers, and also extra information such as their website, the YouTube link to their Diners, Drive-ins and Dives show, and a notes column detailing the dishes featured on the show.


Are you freaked out yet? Well you should be because sometimes I'm freaked out at myself too. But like how I planned my Montreal trip last year, I just want to ensure a good time, that's all hehe~ And I'm just born a planner, everybody who knows me knows this.

Not all the restaurants in the Excel sheet are from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. One restaurant is actually from the show Man vs. Food from the Travel Channel, and another restaurant is an actual restaurant (as opposed to a diner) because I thought it was absolutely mandatory that my boyfirend and I go somewhere nice for dinner on our last night before we head back home. 


Oh and just so you know, we did not end up going to all the restaurants that I've highlighted because even though my boyfriend and I can both eat a lot, there's only so much diner food that we can take on a 4-day trip (to be honest we felt pretty gross afterwards). Remember, not only was it diner food, it was also diner food with American portions O_o

So this is my little introduction about my Diners, Drive-ins and Dives Road Trip! For the next 5 Wednesdays I will be posting my Diners, Drive-ins and Dives road trip meals. I hope you will find them fun to read ^_*









24 comments:

Karen said...

hahaha ur too funny but luv that ur organized...im always the planner as well always wanna make the most of my trip so i create schedules hehe

i hate the food network but cant stop watching the shows...everytime i watch a show i have to have food on my lap so i feel like 'im eating too maybe not the stuff shown on tv but at least i have food in front of me'

Amy Lu said...

The portions are always so hugeee in that show! I love watching the cooks pour in lots and lots of spices while showing us how the foods are made, lol.

Chelsea said...

Stella... you are so hilarious... I love it! The spreadsheet is totally something I would do too (I did it for my trip to NYC and Niagara on the Lake) and I can't wait to read your posts! I would totally love to do a diner roadtrip of my own =|

kikisbff said...

one of my fave shows too... drooling when I watch that show and even so when reading first part of your blog....gee have been waiting for your post on that trip forever...
maybe next time you plan a trip like that, invite me along =P LOL... I don't think I can even paln like you

Richard said...

awesome. can't wait for the upcoming posts...

Chris said...

Looking forward to these posts! We have been to some of the same places! I did the same thing to Pittsburgh a few years ago! :D

@deguzzi said...

I'm already drooling...

cy_yung said...

you're so organized! :D:D
my friend went to all the locations in buffalo and some in boston i believe
super stoked that you went on such an epic food adventure!

Ugogurl said...

I think you capture every "foodies" heart when people do stuff like this. We watch the show(s) and drool the same way. But lots of people never get any further than the TV/couch.

Having done this whole planning/eating thing for a trip to "tax free shopping", I planned every meal around the same type of adventure. Only to realize the people I was traveling with "had other food plans already" and since I was not driving, I succumbed to their wants of multi-chain restos swearing never to do that again. O_o

It's great when you have someone who eats or wants to eat the same way you do, to go along, keep you company and incorporate other interests as well.

In the earlier shows (either his or Man vs Food) they did make remarks that indicated a not so favourable liking, or a so-so liking, but now they just seem to "loooooove" everything. Part of the allure I suppose and part of the positive vibe of marketing.

Can't wait to drool over the next posts.
Cheers

Joanne said...

Hilarious! My husband is like you in that he makes lists and spreadsheets. He's a planner too! (Are you a Gemini by any chance?)

I have to say when I did have cable and watched the Food Network, this show was one of my least faves. Watching Guy eat is a major turn-off for me. He eats like a ravenous animal. And he eats a LOT of meat.

Anyway, I like your US road trip idea, I just need to find an adventurous travel buddy to join me on a cross border culinary & shopping adventure as my husband does not like shopping malls or eating at greasy diners with huge American portions. Yeah, I know what you're thinking...boring! :)

SandyT said...

I LOVE this post and can't wait to see the next ones to come. Your mad organizational skills blow my mind!! The event planner in me is soooo impressed!! :)

vicky said...

OMG...Love the excel spread sheet.

foodieyu said...

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one (the planning and the eating) ^_^

foodieyu said...

Yup I love that too! I like to see the huge pots and ingredient portions that they put in...it's almost out of this world~

foodieyu said...

Isn't it great! The feeling of always being prepared? Hahaha but then I think maybe I need to be more spontaneous :/ But hey, somebody HAS to do the planning and research...might as well be us if we want to guarantee a good trip =D

foodieyu said...

Awesome! It's so much fun~

foodieyu said...

I know I'm SO LATE :( Been like two months now almost LOL. I will let you know next time I go haha I'm the ultimate planner as you can see~

foodieyu said...

Thanks! Too bad I didn't get to go to all the ones I've planned to go =( Oh well that just means that I gotta go again ^_^

foodieyu said...

Me too =)

foodieyu said...

Thank you, Sandy! Maybe I'm in the wrong field and should look into being an event planner hahah~

foodieyu said...

YES! I AM a Gemini! You are a psychic Joanne :) REALLY? Whenever I see Guy eat I get sooo hungry (i.e. turned-on haha) I'm pretty sure because I'm a carnivore and I love meat! Nah, your husband is just healthy ^_^

foodieyu said...

Thanks for your comment! Yes I'm very happy and thankful that my boyfriend is such a laid back guy in a sense that he is pretty much fine with eating anything lol =) He's not a picky eater at all and I think I've gotten him into being more adventurous in food too~ Similar to you, I have also traveled with others before that are not into food as much as I am and I pretty much gave up on suggesting where to go.

Oh I have not seen the earlier shows! I should dig it up and take a look :)

joanne said...

Nah, I'm not a psychic LOL! I just thought I'd ask if you were a Gemini. Turns out you are :)

Ronald said...

Foooooooood porn! Bow chica wow wow

Definately a food orgy road trip

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