Posts tagged turkey

Tio Wally Eats America: Thanksgiving in Tulsa

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Greetings from Tulsa, Oklahoma
N 36° 07.893’  W 95° 48.956’  Elev. 747 ft.

Before I get accused of lying about being in Peculiar on Thanksgiving Day I want to confess: I lied about being in Peculiar on Thanksgiving Day.

The truth is the cast and crew of the SS Me So Hungry awoke in Atlanta and eventually landed in Herculaneum, Missouri on Thanksgiving Day. You’re no doubt familiar with Herculaneum. It’s north of Festus, just south of Pevely. And for dinner we had nothing; we got a large Vienna Roast coffee and a glazed donut at the QT for $1.81 the next morning.

Friday night we made landfall in Tulsa where we had the good fortune to use and abuse the hospitality of our friends Linda and Lewis, and pig out for a couple of days on their leftovers. And, boy, were they good — the people and the food!

Evidently a bit of rivalry had taken place between their son and future son-in-law which culminated in a turkey-cooking competition. One of them deep-fried a bird, while the other smoked his fowl. Much to my dismay there was a marked absence of spatchcocking (or, if you prefer, spattlecocking) of any poultry that day.

While both claimed victory, I thought the smoked one was a little better although I have no idea why. Both were tender and tasted like, well, turkey. Linda thought the smoked bird was a little too sweet — something about injections and brown sugar and such — but I couldn’t taste it. I thought they both tasted great.

Along with the leftover Competition turkey I had great dressing and really scrumptious yams. But the best was yet to come.

For dessert they had it all: Pumpkin Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Pecan Pie, Cheesecake and German Chocolate Cake. I’d hit a mother lode! Unfortunately I was too stuffed to have any dessert that night.

Then the next day tragedy struck: the Lemon Meringue Pie had disappeared before I was able to snag a piece. Dropping to my knees in despair, I asked “Can a greater misfortune possibly befall one who has beheld, with his own eyes, the pie?” Don’t answer. By the way, it really was a photo-worthy beauty.

Another real treat they had in their refrigerator were Pickled Asparagus Spears. They were thin spears, slightly spicy-hot and had both great flavor and texture, tender and crispy simultaneously. They reminded me of, and were every bit as good as, those Spicy Pickled Blue Lake (Green) Beans I love so much. They said they liked them with beer. I could see that. They’d also make the ultimate Bloody Mary garnish.

If that weren’t already enough, Saturday night Linda made Turkey and Dumplings. Real dumplings! Unlike the bogus dumplings the Pennsylvania Dutch are so famous for foisting on the unsuspecting, Linda made the real things: succulent little doughy balls in a super creamy broth. Sort of like slightly undercooked biscuits in gravy. Unbelievably good.

All in all we’re pretty grateful our belated Thanksgiving dinner(s) worked out so well. And Lewis, bless his heart, hid away the last piece of pumpkin pie especially for me. The only downside, could there possibly be one, is that Skippy didn’t get to eat his Phil.

And so we roll.

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.


Tio Wally Eats America: Sunflower Family Restaurant

I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Greetings from Charlotte, North Carolina
N 35° 17.609’  W 080° 50.309’  Elev. 797 ft.

I sailed past the place and thought it looked interesting.

It was lunchtime and the parking lot was packed. Miraculously, there was enough room across the street to land the SS Me So Hungry. So I gave the order to “Come About!”

As I walked toward the place I started taking pictures, which is my usual modus operandi. I took a picture from across the street, and one of each of the signs on the outside. As I approached the front door a man, about 35 years old dressed in kitchen garb, appeared from around the corner.

“What you doing?” the man politely demanded, in a Greek accent. “Why you take the pictures.” He eyed me with great suspicion, which I understood as I look suspicious. So I explained about the food blogging, et cetera.

My explanation however was met with a somewhat bewildered stare. Finally I asked if he knew what a food blog was?  “No,” he said. So then I attempted to explain what a food blog was.

It quickly became apparent that he really didn’t understand and/or wasn’t interested in what I was talking about. He asked if I was going to come in and eat. When I told him Yes, he said “Okay then.” And off he went and I went in.

As I looked at the menu I was struck by the incredible variety of food this little family owned restaurant offered: from gyros and souvlaki to grits and livermush. But what I wanted was one of the specials I’d seen on the sign:
“One Meat, Two Vegetables + Cup Of Soup.”

There were five different specials offered under the menu section called Monday Specials. They offer different specials daily, which are all priced between $6.59-$7.59.

I ordered the Roasted Turkey ($6.59) over dressing w/cranberry sauce and gravy. For the sides I chose rice & gravy and lima beans. (Is there any bean more ignored than the lowly lima?) It was served with a corn muffin and a very heavy dinner roll.

On the waitress’ recommendation I chose the Clam Chowder; the other soup that day was Chicken with Rice. I was not disappointed. It was a classic New England chowder, with plenty of tender bits of clam and bacon, big chunks of potato, and not overly thickened. Perfect.

The roasted turkey, a mix of white and dark meat, was likewise perfect, incredibly moist and juicy, with dressing that was absolutely awesome. The dressing was so moist that, I swear, it must’ve been cooked in the bird. And, thankfully, it was of the turkey giblets variety and not that inedible sage crap.

(Dressing is really iffy on the road. Too many restaurants use a recipe for sage dressing that calls for, I think, six or nine tablespoons of sage per two-ounce serving that is, in a word, abominable.)

The rice and (turkey) gravy were likewise a delicious treat, and something I don’t think I’ve ever seen on a menu before. Like livermush, maybe it’s a North Carolina thing.

I was hoping that the lima beans would be as good as the ones I’d had at Jackson’s Soul Food Kitchen but, sadly, they weren’t. Of course, I’m not sure one could get lima beans — they called them butter beans — that awesome anywhere except Jackson’s. Still, they were good, tender little medium-sized limas, though markedly meatless.

The roll and muffin were also good, although I wished the muffin would’ve been a corn meal muffin rather than the corn flour variety. They’re just not as sweet.

In all it was a great meal at a great price, and the portion was so generous that I couldn’t finish it all. But it sure made for some great leftovers.

I would’ve liked to have taken more pictures but, as I was taking pictures of the menu, a woman came over — I think she was probably the owner/cook’s wife; she commanded the cash register — and said “He said you can’t take pictures inside.” As a result I had to take the pictures of my food furtively. (Furtive Food Fotos?) It would’ve been nice to’ve taken pics of the breakfast menu, which is served all day, as well as some of the other great stuff that came out of the kitchen, all of which looked scrumptious.

As I was paying the woman, who turned out to be really nice, I told her how great the food was, thanked her for the great meal, and again explained about my taking pictures. While we were talking the Greek Cook Guy peaked his head out the kitchen door.

The food was really great, I said to him, Thank you very much! “You’re welcome,” he said, and ducked back into the kitchen.

As I left I had the distinct feeling that he still felt I was up to something. Something suspicious. Probably no good.

And so we roll.

Sunflower Family Restaurant, 5400 Statesville Rd., Charlotte, North Carolina
Open Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday 6-1.

Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.

Christmas Buffet at the Islands Dining Room at Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios

This Christmas dinner buffet was heavy duty. King Crab legs, Roast Pork Ham with cracklings, Turkey legs, Chorizo stuffing, Oysters, Hula dancers, Santa Claus and Scooby Doo. I believe it was around $46/person with unlimited champagne. Definitely one of the better buffets I’ve had. But I guess you get what you pay for. There’s a $6 dinner buffet at the Sizzler and $4 breakfast buffet at Ponderosa. There’s sure lot of buffets in Orlando.

My only problem with buffets like this is that I know I should be stuffing my face with the King Crab Legs. But I really do love me Mashed Potatoes. If they were of the same value, it’s no contest. Potatoes all the way. What is a person like me supposed to do? I guess eat both.

Islands Dining Room at Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios – 6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, FL

It’s funny looking at my brother-in-law’s face looking at me looking at the hula dancer.

Deep Fried Tofurky: A Thanksgiving Miracle

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for!

Perhaps you have many questions. I put annotations on the video if you watch it on Youtube.

We Deep Fried Tofurkys

I tried to find a Popeye’s Cajun Fried Turkey, but they were all sold out in my area. Fortunately, Dan wanted to deep fry a Tofurky. It was a Thanksgiving miracle.

Video coming soon. [UPDATE: HERE’S THE VIDEO!]