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 "'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 ^_*