movies and biking and hotdogs

I was going to call this post “A hotdog and a movie” … but that might be misconstrued as self referencing…

First the movie: Mr Pip with Hugh Laurie. If you love the great books and Dickens in particular, then this story of a small Island caught between the Soldiers and the rebels in a revolution – and the impact that story can have is brilliantly done. The location is exotic and the flashbacks to Pip’s England with an island flair are magic. The lesson is honorable as well, in that moment of choice – who do we choose to be. I just had to tell someone.

If you drive an hour or so out of Chicagoland into Indiana you can find the Erie Lackawana bike path. It’s a pleasant well maintained rails to trails kind of path. You can link it with the Monon trail which has a more urban feel and loop it in to get a nice 50 or so miles. This sign near the trail seemed to show the perfect business… 24 hour laundromat, milk-shakes and hot-dogs. Maybe Indiana is cycling heaven…

Have I fainted in the heat and awakened in cycling heaven ?  Well,  Indiana anyway.

Have I fainted in the heat and awakened in cycling heaven ? Well, Indiana anyway.

For our lunch, we had a hot dog and a root-beer float ( generic root-beer ) but hunger is the best sauce….

western root-beer food

The cabin is a long ride up the mountain and the road is rough so when Jan stocks up at the grocery store I check for any local root-beer.

Bedfords comes in a manly bottle, no twist off cap – you need an opener, or as I have seen, teeth, or an eye socket. ┬áThis root beer takes me back to the good old days.

found in Sheridan Wyoming

found in Sheridan Wyoming

This one has a big strong flavor. It’s not as smooth as some from the East coast, but the big flavor makes it unique.

rootbeer and chips – food cycling

We happened into an upscale restaurant halfway through a bike ride to LaSalle Illinois. Cycling into a town, you roll up and down the small main-street looking for a place that looks good. Across the street from a hot-dog place was the Uptown Grill. We normally try the hot-dog place almost every time, but since my daughter was riding with us, we decided a place with napkins would be in order. The grill turned out to be a very fine restaurant with a complex menu and fine wine list. But, for a biking lunch I threw down the gauntlet. What kind of root-beer do you serve ?

This is one fine root-beer.

This is one fine root-beer.

They say hunger is the best sauce for food, but a hot humid bike ride can help a root-beer taste pretty good. Hank’s from Philadelphia was a rich smooth root-beer, served in a chilled glass. A restaurant that cares about its root-beer just has to care about everything.

We had Gorgonzola chips, fresh made chips so crispy and light your fingers didn’t get greasy.

behold Gorgonzola chips, guilt free with a six hour bike ride

behold Gorgonzola chips, guilt free with a six hour bike ride

Having just been in France, this reminded me welcome back home to American cuisine.

if elvis likes it….

Among other things like truth and beauty, Read the rest of this entry »

root beer secret pleasures

One of my secret pleasures is to find regional root beers and taste them. The other night Jan and I stopped into World of Beer in Naperville and discovered….


Of course the Nitro Stout ( on left ) always looks and tastes good, but the goblet contains “Not Your Father’s Root Beer” 10% alcohol made by Small Town Brewery in Illinois. Rich and smooth with just the right kick. Next time we are bringing some vanilla ice cream to make floats the kick you back.

Once a friend from Germany asked me for a taste of root beer. “Acch… tastes like medicine” he said. I replied, that’s cause it’s good for you. May your root beer always be in a frosted mug.