2006 Appies (Food)
- Best Local Fast Food: M & M Dairy Bell (Chesapeake, Ohio)
OK, I promised Stanton that I would not blog about hot dogs on ...ASAT, so I won't focus too much on their FIVE WEENIE-RATED HOT DOGS. I will instead mention that they have everything that a small-town burger joint/hot dog joint/dairy bar in Appalachia should have. The service is superb, the food is fast, fresh, and tasty, and the ice cream is so cold that it hurts your teeth. To my fellow Moneyton Metro folks that haven't checked it out, drive across the Robert C. Byrd Bridge and hang a left at the light. M & M is on the left, next to the second stoplight. Go. Now. Read the rest later. It'll be here.
- Best Local Sit Down Restaurant: Jim's Steak & Spaghetti (Huntington)
- Best Local Incredibly Freaking Slow But Still Worth It Food: Rocco's (Ceredo)
Arguably the best Italian food in all of Flyover Country. They get bonus points for making my pregnant wife a real cannoli (and not the generic whip cream kind) since here Italian grandmother was in the Pacific Northwest. A real class act all around.
Grocers and Grocery Goods
- Best Grocer (Mom 'n Pop Division): Julian's Market (South Side, Huntington)
The prices are kind of high on cereal, tuna, mayonnaise, etc., but they have by far the best meat and deli departments in the Tri-State. The beef is always fresh and competitively priced and their homemade sausages make any future coronaries totally worth it. Add to that their deli fresh Lebanese foods (especially their hummus) and you have Huntington's best-kept secret.
- Best Grocer (Supermarket Division): Food Fair (1st Street, Huntington)
Let me start off by saying that they have FOUR KINDS OF CINCINNATI CHILI!. IF that isn't enough, they do double coupons and have lots of specialty items that Kroger and Walmart can't be bothered with. You still may have to go to one of those two every now and then, but Food Fair can meet most of your needs.
- Best Store-bought Food: Dixie Chili
While some consider Dixie to be the RC of Cincinnati-area chili parlors (with Skyline being Coke and Gold Star being Pepsi) I find the company to put out not only the finest canned Cincy chili, but also my favorite heat-'n-eat grub overall. It has a more subtle flavor than its competitors that works on spaghetti, cheese coneys, or as a pizza sauce (as I write this, I am eating a pizza that I made with Dixie instead of pizza sauce and cheddar in lieu of mozzarella).
- Best Soft Drink: Coke Zero
Until Coke Zero came along, I have never liked diet pop and I had the waste line to prove it. It turns out that Diet Coke has a formula based on New Coke (remember that atrocity?), but Coke Zero is essentially Coke Classic with a couple of artificial sweeteners. Coca-Cola had to wait for FDA approval on one of those sweeteners (which had been used in Europe for years without incident). Now its here, and not a moment too soon. Now if I can just get the Coke guy at Target to stock enough...