US Roadtrip Highlights, A Directory


As a post-scriptum to the notes from my roadtrip across the US, I have put together a list of the restaurants we enjoyed (plus a handful of non food-related stores/services), should you find yourself in the areas we visited.



Jerry’s Famous Deli
Huge diner-type deli — breakfast served all day.
1450 Collins Avenue – (305) 532-8030

Puerto Sagua
Old Cuban diner in South Beach.
700 Collins Avenue – (305) 673-1115

Cuban restaurant-cum-bakery in Little Havana.
3555 SW 8th St – (305) 444-0240

Key Largo

The Crack’d Conch
The seafood shack of your dreams, with an alligator-shaped mailbox — if that doesn’t make you want to go, I don’t know what will.
105045 Overseas Highway – (305) 451-0732



The Brick Pit
Self-titled “The best d*** smoked bar-b-que in the great state of Alabama”. Everything expertly sloooooow-roasted (pulled pork, ribs, chicken), great coleslaw, superb banana pudding.
5456 Old Shell Road – (251) 343-0001

Satori Coffee House
A coffee shop and used record store in what used to be an individual house. Comfy porch, free wi-fi. (Right next door to the Brick Pit.)
5460 Old Shell Road – (251) 344-4575


New Orleans (Log on to to see which restaurants have reopened post-Katrina.)

Acme Oyster House
Oyster bar — also serves the usual suspects of Louisiana cuisine (&eacuteltouffée, gumbo, jambalaya, etc).
724 Iberville St – (504) 525-1160

Bon Ton Café
Louisiana dishes — generous crawfish jambalaya, service a bit curt.
401 Magazine Street – (504) 524-3386

Maison Bourbon
Jazz club — “for the preservation of jazz”.
641 Bourbon St – (504) 522-8818

Breaux Bridge

Café des Amis
Cajun cuisine with a sophisticated touch — loved the softshell crab and the stupendous cane syrup cake.
140 E. Bridge Street – (337) 332-5273

Large bustling restaurant with a cosy bar area. Live Cajun music every night.
325 Mills Avenue – (337) 332-4648

Norbert Leblanc
Swamp tours on Lake Martin — incredible guy, just meeting him and listening to his delicious Cajun-French would be worth the price he charges ($20 per person).
(337) 654-1215



The Goode Co. Bar-b-q
Texas-style barbecue, plenty of meat choices, their pecan pie will be the death of you. Outdoor seating on communal picnic tables.
5109 Kirby Drive (2 blocks south of Hwy. 59) – (713) 522-2530


Hugely popular taqueria that prides itself on the freshness of their ingredients. Very good corn tortilla chips that actually taste like corn.
1412 S. Congress Avenue – (512) 447-7688

Amy’s Ice-Cream
Limited number of flavors (always a good sign), limitless combinations of crush-ins (chocolate chips, cookie dough, etc.) that they’ll smash into your ice-cream. Yum.
1301 South Congress – (512) 440-7488

El Paso

H&H Car Wash
Coffee shop attached to an old-fashioned carwash. Teeny place, open kitchen, no-nonsense (and quite spicy) Mexican food.
701 East Yandell – (915) 533-1144

Anywhere in the south

Drive-in burger chain — loved the jalapeño burgers and the tater tots.
Multiple locations, most of them easy to spot from the freeway.

~New Mexico~


Tacos & Salsas
Simple taqueria — loved the shredded beef tacos, chile rellenos torta, and cute salsa bar.
On N. White Sands, on your right-hand side when you drive into Alamogordo from White Sands National Monument (I couldn’t find the exact coordinates).

Dollar Boots & Jeans
Everything you need to keep your inner cowboy/cowgirl happy.
2850 N. White Sands – (505) 437-4721


Huge restaurant that serves breakfast food, burgers, and New-Mexican dishes. I recommend the Frontier Burger Special (a cheeseburger with hickory sauce and thousand-island dressing) and the buttery cinnamon roll (they just call it “sweet roll”).
2400 Central SE – (505) 266-0550

Santa Fe

Tecolote Café
Friendly breakfast place. Great burgers on homemade buns, fluffy blue corn hotcakes with roasted piñons.
1203 Cerrillos Road – (505) 988-1362



Alpine Pizza
Very good choose-your-own-toppings pizzas, which can be shared with two new friends on the night of July 4th, to make up for the cancellation of the fireworks due to the recent forest fires in the area.
7 N Leroux Street – (928) 779-4109

Collin’s Irish Pub
Transatlantic pub grub. I recommend the drunken dog (but not the coleslaw, too much mayo) — perfect food to watch your team win the World Cup semi-finals.
2 N Leroux Street – (520) 214-7363


Arizona Botanical Gardens
Cactus nursery. Spectacular setting, extremely kind owners, wide selection.
1601 Hwy. 89A (road to Jerome) – (928) 634-2166


The Prescott Brewing Company
A mix of American and Mexican food — loved the pulled pork sandwich, big enough to feed a small army.
130 W Gurley Street – (928) 771-2795


Mr D’z Route 66 Diner
Kitsch technicolor diner. Very good sweet potato fries.
Route 66 & 1st Street – (928) 718-0066


Paso Robles

Joe’s Place
Breakfast place. Blissfully fresh salad, good biscuits with sausage gravy (ask for it on the side so you can decide how much of the white gloop you want on yours).
608 12th Street – (805) 238-JOES


Monterey’s Fish House
Seafood restaurant, very popular with those who wish to steer clear of the Fisherman’s Wharf options. Humongous and delicious oysters, very good crab cakes, and large choice of fresh fish, particularly tasty when charcoal-grilled.
2114 Del Monte Avenue – (831) 373-4647

Palo Alto

Our very favorite sushi bar. The place becomes a zoo at night since it is a popular destination for large groups of students, but that’s fun to watch.
140 University Ave – (650) 323-9449

Mountain View

Fast food, the fresh way. Very short menu, to which one has to add the (not so) secret menu (in French, that kind of open secret is called a secret de Polichinelle). My preference goes to the animal-style cheeseburger.
1159 N Rengstorff Ave – (800) 786-1000

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
The original glazed can’t be beat, but what I love the most is to watch the birth of the doughnuts in the mini-factory, especially when they glide through the curtain of glaze on the conveyor belt. (Make sure the “hot” sign is lit outside.)
2146 Leghorn St – (650) 254-1231

Los Gatos

Garden-fresh ingredients and elegant, inventive dishes, the kind you get when you put California, Spain, and France in a shaker.
320 Village Lane – (408) 354-4330

And this post marks the end of my roadtrip write-up, although you will most likely hear about it again when I attempt to recreate some of our favorite dishes — any Cajun cookbook recommendations?

  • mnemonica

    Oh, you stopped in El Paso! I assumed you’d be farther north, or I would have chimed in with a suggestion. Luckily, you went there anyway: H&H is a perfect choice for what you were doing.

    The trip sounds wonderful.

    — Monica, waving from El Paso

  • clotilde,wonderful

  • tarynkay

    I love this website and am eagerly awaiting your book. In the meantime, I ran across this today in the LA Times- it’s all about the origin and popularization of zucchini. This is the link:,0,6208796.story?page=1&coll=la-home-food
    If the link doesn’t work, the story is on and it’s called “The Bloom is Still On” by Russ Parsons.

  • Heather

    Now, that is alot of eating! Sounds like you had an incredible holiday. I am inspired: I shall add a road trip to my things-to-do-before-I-die list.

  • Ani

    Three cheers for the Frontier! I love their sweet rolls as well as their green chili to put on EVERYTHING (except the sweet roll, of course).

    I lived in New Orleans for 7 years and have found this website to be quite good for reference…

    It was wonderful to hear about your journey.

  • Amy

    Clotilde, what a terrific trip! I hope to eat my way across the country someday, too.

    My family is from St. Charles parish (southwest of New Orleans) and the River Road Recipes cookbook has been our bible for years. The recipes are very traditional–the kind of cooking our grandmothers do–but it’s a great place to start.

    Now if I can only find the perfect restaurants for my first visit to Paris in October…

  • rose

    how fun! thanks for the great write-ups. might you consider one last post mentioning the not food related highlights? you and maxence covered a lot of ground! thanks for sharing it with us.

  • c
  • Amy
  • It sounds like you and Maxence enjoyed a wonderful journey with lots of good memories.

  • Alexis

    Frontier sweet rolls. Mmmm! Frontier is classic New Mexican food of the mixed Albuquerque culture in the university area, very tasty stuff and the best flour tortillas ever (have them with butter and honey). Although if you are ever in NM again, I recommend Monroe’s, which has been my family’s favorite for 20 years now. They are friendly and have lots of wonderful, very traditional NM food. No sweet rolls, though. :/

  • shari

    I shall join the chorus of people who wish they could have waved as you passed – Goode Co. is just down the street from me. Houston may not be much to look at, but the food is *wonderful*.

    Amy’s (the one in Houston, just a little bit north and the other side of 59) introduced me to avocado ice cream and fig & pepper ice cream on the same memorable June evening two years ago.

  • BG

    As another person wrote, now you must plan a northern-US road trip! You can fly non-stop from Paris-CDG to Boston, then come to Cambridge (our fair city), which tries to market itself as “Boston’s Left Bank” (well, we are on the left side of the Charles River, and we’re certainly about as “left” politically as anywhere in the U.S.). We can show you the piece of sidewalk where “Bon Appetit — J.C.” is scratched in the cement — that’s the legacy of Julia Child, who did so much to raise America’s awareness of food and cuisine, who encouraged so many young chefs, and who lived for many years about two blocks from where I am right now. And from here, your loyal C & Z fans can guide you to the culinary treasures across the northern U.S. ….

  • noreen

    I always dreamed of driving all the way across I-10 from Jacksonville to California. But it’s a long way from Miami to Alabama. I’m curious as to where (besides Sonic) you might have eaten between Gainesville and Mobile.

  • There are several Amy’s Ice Creams in Austin also one in San Antonio and two Amy’s ice creams in Houston. I know Amy and she’s really nice.

  • I actually went to Guero’s tonight (Austin). I had a tamale, a cheese enchilada with rosa sauce, and a fajita beef taco (dinner combo #1). It was amazing.

    I’m sorry you missed Moonshine, an upscale “comfort food” place about a mile from Congress. Unbelievable food; the peanut butter pie is worth its weight in gold.

    I hope you got a cherry limeade at Sonic! Glad you had a good trip.

  • mary

    wow! paso robles is only about 15 miles from my house! i’m glad you visited. san luis obispo also has some really great restaurants. in fact, san luis obispo county is quite full of great eateries. i hope you’ll pass through again some time!

  • I used to live in Miami and I would go to Puerta Sagua every other night for dinner. It was delicious, authentic, and cheap. I used to have chicken, rice and beans for $8 including the tip.Versailles is also very good.

  • anne

    Hi Clotilde! I enjoyed reading your trip post!

    I have a question but it’s not about your US travel. I remember you wrote about Androuët sur le Pouce in your MSN article “My Paris is better than yours” in 49 Rue Saint Roch. I was in Paris early this month and stayed in an apartment in Rue Saint Roch and went looking for this place but could not find it! #49 is a Depot Vente called A Vos Souhaite and right next door is a small restaurant in brown facade that sure wasn’t named Androuët sur le Pouce. Do you know if they moved?

    Thank you!

  • teri

    What a yummy tour. I’m jealous. But why no Mississippi restaurants? A year ago, I’d tell you to stop at the Gumbo House in Ocean Springs; now, I don’t know if it’s there.

    No suggestions about cookbooks, just the more the merrier.

    But a couple of pieces of advice, if I may. First, throw back any gumbo, red beans and rice, or jambalaya recipes that call for tomatoes. Tomatoes belong in etoufee, and etoufee alone.

    A good gumbo starts with equal parts fat and flour that take a good hour to brown. (It helps if your friends come over and bring beers in the kitchen while you slowing stir. Two beers a piece ought to do it.)

    Any trinity mixture — onion, green pepper and celery, 2 to 1 to 1 ratio — used for any recipe should be pulsed in a food processor. I know this will go against your good dicing judgment, but you must. It needs to be just short of pulpy.

    Also, if you want to make food that tastes like New Orleans and southern Louisiana, you must buy two other things not currently in your own cupboard: onion powder and garlic powder. It’s sad, but true, and if you leave them out you’ll find something lacking, despite how many rue-making beers you down.

    If you’re reading good recipes, you’ll also notice another trend — for the most part, chicken, ham and sausage are paired together, while seafood stands alone. Therefore, if some recipe calls for you to make a chicken and shrimp gumbo, snap the book shut and move to the next.

    If a recipe for bananas foster calls for a splash of orange juice concentrate, well, that’s the real deal.

  • Breakfast At Brennan’s or Brennan’s New Orleans Cookbook – not much to look at ‘artie cookbook wise,’ but great food. Banana’s Foster – yummmmmmm!

  • Stanna


    I am going to Memphis, TN for a few days next week (from Denver). Can anyone recommend good places to eat there, including bakeries and coffee shops? Thank you.

  • Cyd

    Ah too bad your travels didnt take you to our neck of the woods, Montana… Big Sky Country. We would have served you a sumptious wonderful Montana breakfast here at the Fish Creek House Bed and Breakfast. Next time!

  • Congratulations on a great web site. I am a new computer user and finding you was like coming home. Continued success.

Get the newsletter

Receive FREE email updates with all the latest recipes, plus exclusive inspiration and Paris tips. You can also choose to be notified when a new post is published.

View the latest edition of the newsletter.