In all respects the North Carolina Ramble 2012 met and exceeded expectations. We have never been on an outing this long and we wondered several things going into it: will we be able to fill the time, will we get bored halfway through, will we miss the family, etc. The answers were resoundingly yes, no and definitely.
In total we rambled over 1,700 miles during our nine days, climbed to the two highest points in two states, explored two other 5,000+ ft mountains, got lost in the wilderness, learned a lot about not getting lost again, saw some really cool Americana machinery, ate at a bunch of great local restaurants (see below), pushed The Truck to new performance heights on a classic road and generally forgot about the world for awhile.
The planning for the next Ramble will begin soon and we will keep you informed as we move into 2013.
Till then....keep rambling.
Here is the official North Carolina Ramble 2012 Restaurant Guide. These are only the opinions of two non-foodie eaters so take it for what it is worth.
***** The rare find with food and service so awesome it leaves an incredible memory
**** Great food and good service
*** What you expect
** Substandard food and/or bad service
* Even we wouldn't eat this shit
Banner Elk Cafe - Banner Elk, NC **** Quick service, great atmosphere, very good breakfast. Outdoor seating is great.
Sunrise Grill - Boone, NC **** Quick service, quirky atmosphere, killer pancakes. 2-2-2-2 is a great combo - ask for cheese on the eggs.
Joey's Pancake House - Maggie Valley, NC **** You know a place is good when only open 7-12, has a massive waiting area with coffee and full of seniors (they know value). Only thing keeping from 5* is menu is pretty plain vanilla.
Lefty's - Blacksburg, VA **** Unusual menu, great homemade breads, Outdoor seating available.
Gillies - Blacksburg, VA ***+ Very good eggs, pancakes a little too thick, negative points for no bacon or sausage but you like it if your vegan.
Our Daily Bread - Boone, NC **** very good sandwiches with some unique twists.
Webo's BBQ - Asheville, NC ****+ Great! pulled pork, moist, great smoke flavor, great sauce selection. Might have gotten a higher rating if able to taste their chicken and ribs. Don't let the gas station location be a deterrent.
1861 Farmhouse Market - Boone, NC **** - very good sandwiches but when touting "the world's best sandwiches" the bar is set very high and contributes to negative points. Well worth the stop though.
San Dees Cafe - Newland, NC *** about what you expect but solid basic food.
Hurley's - Maggie Valley, NC *** solid attempt at prime rib, decent but not overwhelming service, creekside seating a nice plus.
Six Pence Pub - Blowing Rock, NC ***+ good British pub food selection but let's face it the Brits aren't known for their food. Fish and chips are a solid choice. Good beer selection.
The Woodlands Barbecue Restaurant - Blowing Rock, NC ****+ very good chicken and ribs (what pig has ribs this big???), great blue grass music. Bring an appetite and a bib.