There is a blogger from LA that I like to read, Chanfles. He lives in a small corner of Los Angeles, Lincoln Heights, kvetches--my word not his--like so many of us do, about what goes on in our community. He has a category "Shit I hate" and is funny. He's, among other things, a vegetarian in search of the perfect Huevos Rancheros and reports back when he finds the good ones as well as the not so good. His most recent food venture lead him to San Bernardino and stated he wasn't going back even if it was popular with the locals: sometimes the locals are wrong.
That story rang so true as my sister and I are foodies and while traveling together we try all sorts of restaurants. We even had one entire trip in search of the perfect tamale but ended up learning so much of the New Mexico cuisine I don't know if we decided. We did find posole, ah and don't forget the sopapillas.
One trip to the Southwest we were in search of some tasty Mexican food and after settling in at our hotel in Sedona asked the clerk if there was a good local place to satisfy us. There were directions and a full parking lot and a list to be added to for a wait so this all looked promising. Wrong. We thought, maybe the locals were Gringos because this wasn't hitting any bells with us.
Our next stop was Page, Arizona in the Northern part of the state. Tired from a full day of sightseeing we again asked a hotel clerk and she directed us to a restaurant within walking distance. Not to many in the joint but they had a bar which was now a big part of our criteria. With only one other table with customers they seated us on a large patio. I grimaced. What the hell, I'll have a hamburger but it smelled good with that gentle mix of lard and corn and the salsa was great. I had a good feeling in my gut, well, maybe it was just hunger but we stayed. I opted for Chili Verde, my benchmark in a good Mexican restaurant. We were so hungry by this point anything would do.
That turned out to be one of the best meals we'd had on our ten day vacation. So does that mean the locals were right? It didn't seem to matter that there weren't many customers so how do you actually find the good places? Luck, and the Kitchen Gods were happy with us that night.
How do you find good places when you are on the road? Do you hit the chain restaurants for something safe or are you adventurous?