Five days, 2300 miles, four new states. And even better, two winter storms avoided. January is not the best month for traveling, in case you weren't aware. Besides the possibility of bad weather, a number of the fun places to stop along the road are closed. Still, it was a good road trip.
One of the things I've learned about eating on the road is the delight of discovering local cuisine. I used to think local cuisine was a Cracker Barrel or a Waffle House (or any other chain restaurant not available in my area). Recently, though, I've tried to turn away from chains. I want to eat somewhere that serves fresh, scratch-made local food (this desire is possibly linked to my love of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network). Of course, unless I've done a lot of pre-planning, that isn't always what I get. But even a mediocre local place is generally just as good as a chain, and taking that risk is part of the travel experience.
On this trip, we did a bit of pre-planning to find some good places to eat. We looked through Food Network's resources (mostly Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and The Best Thing I Ever Ate) to see if we were passing anything promising. We also looked at some Memphis tourism sites to get ratings for area restaurants. We ended up with a short list of places we wanted to stop.
Since we were in the South, we knew we'd need to have some barbecue. We ended up stopping at the Nashville location of Neely's Bar-B-Q (yes, the Neelys from the Food Network - I am slightly obsessed with it). This time we had the address off of their website, but it turned out to be incorrect. But the food gods were on our side once again - as we were doubling back, I just spied it out of the corner of my eye, tucked into a corner of a shopping plaza.