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The Baltimore Consort's Restaurant Guide

Over the years, our touring has taken us to dozens of cities and towns across the US. As a group that loves to eat almost as much as we love to play music, we're always on the lookout for memorable regional cuisine. Here are some our favorite restaurants that we've visited in recent years, arranged by states.. Our favorite college cafeterias appears at the end of the list. (If you have some recommendations for us, we'd love to hear from you. Please email Larry at melal01@moravian.edu).

united states

ALABAMA

Clanton
If you happen to be on I-65 between Birmingham and Montgomery and need a driving break, stop in at Heaton's Pecan Farm for a scoop of fresh peach and pecan ice cream. And if you're in a sinful mood, pick up a jar or two of pecan maple syrup for later.

Huntsville
El Camino Real appears to be a family-run establishment with five locations in the Huntsville area. Impressed by the number of cars in their lot, we tried the one on University Ave. near UAH. The fish preparations --grilled pollock and shrimp in garlic--were so outstanding that the entire group returned the following evening for a business meeting. My whole grilled red snapper, served on a bed of rice, with refried beans and guacamole, was the culinary highpoint of a ten-day tour.

 

ALAska

We had our most amazing pre-concert backstage catered meal in Juneau, courstesy of Chef Stef, who was famously fired by Gov. Sarah Palin in a highly publicized and controversial cost-cutting move. Stef served as a whole smoked salmon, fresh figs with feta cheeses and balsamic vinegar, cilantro shrimp, and other scrumptious treats.


ARKANSAS

Little Rock
We had an outstanding lunch recently at Loca Luna, one of the trendier of the city's bistros.  The grilled salmon with orange sauce and the shrimp burrito were the standouts here, and the chocolate turtle cake is worth saving room for. On an earlier tour, Mark and I had some great fried catfish at Shorty Smalls', a popular local chain.  

Pleasant Point
This tiny community fifteen miles south of Batesville boasts an outstanding catfish house, Crick's, which in all ways blew Shorty Small's off the map. Great condiments and sides, too, and a warm blackberry cobbler that alone is worth a detour off the interstate.


CALIFORNIA

Los Angeles
El Cholo is an old-timey LA landmark: we love the tortilla soup, green corn tamales, and, of course, the margaritas. Fiddler's Bistro, near Farmer's Market, has great Belgian Waffles, multi-grain cereals, omelets, and fresh-squeezed juices.  They also have a terrific lunch and dinner menu as well; the complementary red pepper spread that comes with their bread is remarkable.

Pomona
We had a terrific Greek salad and spanakopita at Eleni's, and managed to leave room for some delectable desserts, made by the owner's mother.

Santa Cruz
What do you get when you cross Sri Lankin owners with a Guatemalan cook?  You get The Asian Rose, a fabulous vegetarian cafeteria in downtown Santa Cruz, with offerings that seem to combine the best of Indian and Thai cuisines (don't know where that leaves Guatemala, but try as I might, I couldn't detect any south-of-the-border influence). If you go for the eggplant with basil, the lemon-garlic mushrooms, and the spinach with tofu, you won't be disappointed.  And be sure to get a glass of the Thai iced tea to wash it all down.


COLORADO

Denver
Ronn, Mary Anne, and Custer had lunch at the Harvest Restaurant and Bakery on Colorado Blvd. during a recent tour.  After an exquisite carrot juice appertif, they sampled three fabulous soups; lentil ("best ever"--Mary Anne), tomato parmesan, and vegetarian chili.  The entrees included a hearty broccoli-walnut casserole and a wok stir fry.  This place has been voted the best vegetarian restaurant in Denver, and they serve beer, too!


CONNECTICUT

Litchfield
We normally list only homey, inexpensive restaurants on this page, but we're making an exception for the 3W and the Blue Bar, a trendy and fairly expensive place right in the heart of downtown Litchfield.  We threw our normally frugal selves to the wind and came here on three successive nights, so taken were we by the winter salad--a heavenly combination of field greens, pear slices, warm goat cheese, dried cherries, and honeyed walnuts--and a truly spectacular dessert, the mouth-watering pear frangipan.  They also have an excellent sushi bar serve terrific beers on tap.  So splurge; you won't regret it.


FLORIDA

Jacksonville
Heartworks is a funky vegetarian restaurant in the Five Points neighborhood serving outstanding and imaginative cuisine. My tofu mushroom stroganoff was excellent and the other entrees, such as corn crepes with goat cheese and mole poblano sauce, looked terrific.


GEORGIA

Atlanta
For a late night snack following a recent concert--when even the brew pubs had closed their kitchens--a few members of the consort repaired to the Buckhead Diner, which is certainly no ordinary diner. They have an extensive and selective wine list, fine beers, and some extraordinary (if not exactly lo-cal) dishes. We sampled the jalapeno coleslaw, some spicy onion rings, and a salmon BLT, which were all excellent. An outstanding new Greek restaurant in town is the Greek Island Taverna on Buford. We'd heartily recommend the tamarosalat and fava bean appetizers and the moussaka (both regular and veggie versions) for the main course. Perhaps the piece de resistance, though, was the free-range chicken, which truly has to be seen--and tasted--- to be believed. Fine desserts and Greek coffee, too.  A controversial entry, Fishbones, is included despite objections from certain members of the group who were put off the miniscule portions and high prices.  All true, but the preparations--from the haricots verts to the crisp red snapper-- were truly outstanding.

Jackson
In this tiny town, right off I-75 about an hour south of Atlanta, we found an outstanding Cuban/Mexican cafe, Chiko's, which serves delicious meals that have that homeade,  "grandmother in the kitchen" quality.  Excellent black bean soup, grilled shrimp with vegetables, and even tropical shakes, such as guanabana and mango.


HAWAII

Honolulu
Way off the beaten track and far from the glitz of Waikiki beach, we found an outstanding Japanese restaurant, Irifune, which redefines creative Asian cuisine.  The stir-fried garlic ahi was wonderful (garlic is the signature seasoning here), and even an item as prosaic as California roll, in the hands of this inventive chef, was unusually delectable.


IOWA

Amana
If it's German food that you like, the Amana colonies in Eastern Iowa have a plethora of choices.  On a recent tour, we had dinner at the Barn Restaurant, which served a delicious homemade soup and tasty side dishes such as fresh applesauce and creamed spinach.  The next morning, a few of us sampled the family breakfast at the Colony Inn, which featured an all-you-can-eat spread of delectable crepe-like pancakes, fresh eggs, and locally made bacon and sausage.

Davenport
During a week-long residency in the Quad Cities, we dined no fewer than six times at Lunardi's, a family-run Italian restaurant hidden away in an unpretentious strip mall on Rte. 61.  The place is definitely worth a detour off the interstate.  The veggie deep dish pizza pie--one of their signature dishes--was so spectacular that Mary Anne ordered it two nights in a row.  The made-from-scratch minestrone soup was one of the best any of us had ever had, and the sauteed mushrooms were perfectly prepared with plenty of garlic and white wine.  Their pesto and marinara sauces were exquisite.  If you have room, splurge on one of their cheesecakes; we tried the Baily's Irish Cream version (inspired, no doubt, by the neon four-leaf clover that dots the "i" in Lunardi's, and it was heavenly.  Our lunch stop of choice was Greatest Grains--a huge, unusually well-stocked homey health food store and cafe--which a had a plethora of tasty lunch selections; standouts were the tostados, spinach-potato pie, pasta e faggioli soup, avocado sandwiches, and black bean enchiladas.  The freshly-squeezed vegetablle juices became welcome elixirs that helped recharge our batteries for the afternoon school shows.


LOUISIANA

Shreveport
Our gracious hosts took us to a splendid lunch at Chianti's, where we feasted on grilled red snapper and a variety of fresh pasta dishes. Mark and I are both suckers for a good tiramisu, and the ones we polished off compared with the very best of them.


MARYLAND

Baltimore
We're lucky: within a few blocks of the Peabody Conservatory--our main rehearsal site--there are four excellent dining choices. Al Pacino's has the best pizza in Baltimore, with over fifty varieties of toppings, some I've never seen anywhere else. They serve other things, too, but we've never made it past the pizza page. When we're in the mood for Indian, there's the Bombay Grill, with an excellent and inexpensive luncheon buffet, though if we have more time, we'll drive out to the Ambassador on Canterbury for our curry fix. Donna's makes a terrific grilled vegetable sandwich and veggie burger, and you should definitely leave room for coffee and a tiramisu. Then there's always Louie's, the venerable bookstore/restaurant right on Charles St. I usually get the Maryland crab cakes or an oyster sandwich when the season's right. In Hampden, a neighborhood in north Baltimore where Mark lives, we'll often grab a veggie burrito--packed with rice, beans, and grilled vegetables-- at Holy Frijoles. For great pancakes, coffee, and a dynamite green chile breakfast burrito, we'll stop by the Golden West Cafe.

Rockville
Our all-time favorite Asian/vegetarian restaurant, The Vegetable Garden, is tucked away inconspicuously in a strip mall on Rockville Pike just north of the Beltway. The menu features a staggering variety of imaginative dishes, including many "faux" meat and fish preparations made with soy. Hard to know what to recommend here; it's all delicious. Though we've eaten here over a dozen times, we feel we've only begun to scratch the surface.


MASSACHUSETTS

Boston
Caffe Luna is tucked away in an unremarkable strip mall on Rte. 9 in Chestnut Hill, but they served a most remarkable grilled swordfish and spicy lentil soup.  Leave room for the tiramisu!


MISSISSIPPI

Cleveland
Cleveland is in the heart of Delta blues country, about a half hour south of Clarksdale on Mississippi's storied Rte. 61.  There, right off the highway, is the state's only four-star restaurant, KC's. We sampled their offerings on a recent tour and can vouch for each one of those stars.  From start to finish, this was an extraordinary, if rather pricey, meal.  My wild mushroom ragout on polenta was outstanding, and Chris inhaled his sea bass and risotta in about three bites.  The Bailey's Irish Cream creme brulee and passionfruit sorbet are definitely worth leaving room for, and the French- pressed international coffees made a perfect ending to the meal.  Our only regret was that we went there before, rather than after our concert, and were thus unable to partake in a wine. Their wine cellar is one of the most celebrated in this part of the country, and the wine list itself is the size of a small novel.

Wesson
After a school show, our hosts took us to Porches for a pre-concert lunch. Where to begin?  The restaurant is in a beautiful, stately Victorian-era home, filled with antiques.  The food is simply superb; truly, southern cooking at its finest.  We had outstanding catfish cakes with a red pepper sauce, succulent fried catfish, a delicious preparation of salmon fillets and a hosts of (to us) exotic and toothsome side dishes, such as rutabagas and hot pineapple (a kind of casserole made with cheese and crumbled-up Ritz crackers).  The two desserts on the menu that day were both excellent, but the bread pudding with almond sauce took the prize.


MISSOURI

St. Louis
The Canyon Cafe, located in the very upscale Plaza Frontenac Mall, specializes in Southwest fare.  Their grilled veggie tacos were a group favorite, as was the Sierra Nevada ale on tap.  On her own, Mary Anne had an outstanding tomato vegetable soup, Greek salad, and freshly baked bread at the St. Louis Bread Company.


NEBRASKA

Lincoln
It took us nearly 25 years to get to Lincoln and we hit the jackpot on our first visit.  The Fireworks brew pub in the Haymarket district proved to be the perfect place to unwind after our concert.  There were some fine brews on tap and a truly stunning carrot/jalapeno soup that had the whole table buzzing.  Some pretty fine catfish, too.  Spike and Olly's is the place to go for a terrific breakfast.  We recommend that you pass on the hot buffet, which is good but pretty much standard fare, and go right to the fabulous array of French pastries that make up the continental breakfast.  All you can eat of fresh croissants, fruit tarts, and scrumptious pastries for only $3.00! Such a deal!  In the same building we found Sadie's, a comfy tavern serving tasty family style meals of pan-fried chicken with delicious gravy and vegetables.


NEW MEXICO

Albuquerque
After a recent concert at the Albuquerque Academy, we repaired to Garduno's, a local chain with many outletsi n the area, including a modest one at the airport.  For a chain, they do quite well:  the  highlights included a made-fresh-at-the-table guacamole and a very tasty grilled red snapper.


NEW YORK

Amagansett
Way out on the tip of Long Island, the group discovered Hampton Chutney, an extraordinary establishment that served exquisite dosas, a kind of crepe-like dish that most Indian restaurants don't have on their menus.  I missed this particular lunch but kept hearing about it all during the next day from my gleeful colleagues.

Elmira
The lucky folks who live in upstate New York have (at last  count) twenty outlets of that fabulous bakery, Montana Mills, to choose from.  We stopped not once, twice, but three times n the one just west of Elmira, in the little town of Horsehead.  A sampling taable of tempting, freshly-baked breads awaits you as you enter, and it's hard to choose between the crusty whole wheat, the cheese-basil loaf, or the cinnamon swirl.  Great sandwiches, and a fine coffee bar as well.  They do a swift mail order business as well.  We hope they go nationwide soon.

New York CITY (Manhattan)
Mary Anne owns an apartment on the Upper West Side, so we often find ourselves prowling around that neighborhood. Amir's is a favorite spot (Broadway above 112th) for terrific falafels, and a Cuban restaurant, La Rosita de Broadway, between 108th and 109th, serves the best cafe con leche in the city. If you're hungry for breakfast fare, try one of their specials--two eggs served on top of black beans and rice.

Troy
Troy, the location of Dorian Recordings, is our home-away-from -home. DeFazio's pizza was one of the first places to use a wood-fired oven; we've been going there forever, and it's still one of our favorite places to visit during a session.  To gear up for a session, we always drop by The Daily Grind at least once a day for their intriguing selection of international coffees. And to unwind after a session, we always repair to our favorite pub, Holmes and Watson, with its world class selection of international beers. West of the city, on Rte. 7 in Latham, we often stop by Ginza for excellent Japanese and Korean delicacies. Chris and I usually get the "Hae-Do-Bop" with extra plum sauce.


NORTH CAROLINA

Asheville
Laughing Seed is a nationally known vegetarian restaurant, and it certainly lived up to its reputation in a recent visit. The hummus sandwiches and the asparagus cream soup were our favorite items. We passed up the desserts for a trip to the Old World Café, virtually across the street and up a flight of stairs. Here, you should try a marzipan pastry -- although everything in the case looked scrumptious -- and the outstanding espresso.

Elon
The "best ever" stuffed grape leaves, according Mindy, Mary Anne, and Ronn, can be found at the Acropolis Cafe, along with delicious spanikopita and Greek Salad.


OKLAHOMA

Durant
After an eight-hour drive from Jackson, Mississippi, Mark and I were more than ready for beer and a catfish, and so when the hotel receptionist told us about Bubba's Catfish and Crab Shack, we high-tailed it over there as soon as we unloaded our gear.  The fried catfish was so good that we returned for lunch the next day.  We brought Mary Anne, who in turn brought Mindy, Ronn, and Jose for a mid-afternoon snack.

Stillwater
Mom's Place is "where the locals eat," according to their publicity, and it did seem that nearly all of Stillwater was there one recent Saturday morning. Nonetheless, the service was excellent, and the food--particularly the biscuits--was unusually good. Eskimo Joe's is an off-campus burger and beer joint made famous by its extraordinary merchandising empire: their T-shirts have achieved a popularity nationally and abroad second only to the Hard Rock Café's. I enjoyed my pecan-smoked Bar BQ chicken sandwich and the group ravenously devoured a plate of cheese fries (endorsed by George Bush, according to the menu). For great espressos, lattes, and other gourmet coffee concoctions, stop by Prana, across from the Seretean Center for the Arts.


PENNSYLVANIA

Bethlehem
Billy's Downtown Diner on East Broad has wonderful omelets and inventive sandwiches for lunch. The group has enjoyed several meals at Nawab, an Indian restaurant on the south side of town. The Lipkis family dines there at least once a month: Linda usually gets the vegetable biryani, I get the lamb saag, Julia (age 15) will happily put down a bowl of Mulligatawny soup, and Rory (age 11) will consume fistfuls of spicy crackers. They both love the chicken wings, naturally. Other great ethnic choices on the south side include the Thai Kitchen and the Olive Branch (Middle-eastern). And, of course, there's always the Moravian Cook Shop, located in the historic Moravian Book Shop, with reliably tasty salads and specials.

Philadelphia
Mary Anne's sister owns Le Bus in West Philly, but we'd recommend it anyway, even without the family connection. Great soups and salads, but they're really famous for their incredible breads and baked goods. It's been awhile since we've been to Mariachi in Center City, but the group had a great time there once, feasting on gourmet Mexican fare and taking in the incredible show (four guys triple-up as chefs, servers, and Mariachi musicians).

Pittsburgh
Ali Baba's, on Craig St., near 5th, serves up a delicious Syrian repast. The hummus was unusually lemony, and the spinach-lentil soup was outstanding. Chris raved about his fish platter, and we all indulged in baklava servings that were lighter than air. Following the concert, a few of us made it over to the Church Brew Works, a converted Catholic church which now functions as a microbrewery. Shiny vats ferment away where once stood an altar. The brown ale I had was excellent, and the pizzas, which come out of the wood-burning stoves every few minutes, were delicious.  But speaking of brews, our new favorite watering hole is the Sharp Edge, on Friendship near Baum.  Twelve Belgian beers and ales on tap, plus some outstanding entrees (helpfully paired with a recommended beer by the owner, Sir Jeffrey).  You won't be disappointed by the chicken in Belgian cherry sauce, or the pizza with smoked salmon, red onion, capers.

Wilkes-Barre
The Saber Room is a clubby Italian restaurant with a warm interior of patterned, velvety wallpaper and oversized glass chandeliers.  The freshly baked, crusty sourdough bread served with olive oil was a perfect opening to a memorable dining experience.  Salads were generous and tasty.  The salmon with garlic mashed potatoes and the veal parmigiana proved to be the favorites entrees. We closed with some outstanding, house-made desserts, including a light but eggy crème brulée and a sinfully rich chocolate ganache.


SOUTH CAROLINA

Charleston
Pinkney's is a must stop for us during our nearly- visit to the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. A group favorite is the black bean burrito, but don't ignore their delicious fish specials. Speaking of burritos, there's a tiny hole-in-the-wall establishment near the College of Charleston called Juanita Greenberg's, which has outstanding, if less elegant, burritos. Then there's Lucci's for a quick pasta with a variety of tasty sauces. And if you're heading out to Folly Beach, a tiny shack called Anchor Line, located on the right at the far end of James Island, serves a delicious "shark snack."And for an upscale, delicious plate of steamed mussel in a variety of preparations, try the French Bistro, Cafe Jean.

Columbia
Not everyone in the group would want to be seen at this place, but Maurice's Piggy Park makes a mean and mustardy Bar BQ that lures some of us off the interstate on our way down to Charleston

Greenville
Within a short walk of our Quality Inn in the Haywood district were two outstanding ethnic restaurants.  Almalika serves healthy Greek fare; standouts were the light and fluffy falafel balls and the vegetarian moussage; an unusual but tasty presentation with eggplant and fava beans.  Excellent Greek coffee and baklava rounded out this fine meal.  On the other side of the globe, culinarily-speaking, but just down the block, is Pho Noodleville, a health-conscious Vietnamese restaurant, which offers a wide array of delicious appetizers and entrees--all brimming with fresh vegetables and spices.  The spring rolls were outstanding, as was the fried tofu. But the group favorite turned out to be the mango and taro root freezes, which are served in a parfait glass over a generous layer of large, black, chewy tapioca balls which you suck up through an oversized straw. (I'm not making this up!)

Hartsville
Who would have thought that tiny Hartsville would provide two memorable dining experiences? Before our concert, we had a terrific soul food meal at Josie's, an unpretentious family-run restaurant off the main drag near downtown. The collard greens, sweetened yams, and black-eyed peas were all beyond praise, and the smothered chicken was exceptionally tender and flavorful. After the concert, a few of us popped into Bizzell's for some delicious cajon crawfish soup and vegetable marinara.


SOUTH DAKOTA

Vermillion
Whenever we perform at the Shrine to Music Museum, we try to make it over to Emma's Kitchen for their delicious soups and sandwiches. I'd particularly recommend the roast turkey on wheat with homemade cranberry relish.

Sioux Falls
Mary Anne reports: At 8:30 on a Sunday night, with no vehicular transportation available, members of the BC registered at the Days Inn near the Sioux Falls airport found that the only restaurant other than Burger King within walking distance was a Perkins Family Restaurant. After having trudged resignedly up the highway starving and desperate from not having eaten, in some cases since breakfast that morning, we were imagining the usual meatloaf, mashed potatoes-out-of-a-box, and iceberg lettuce and menu. We fantasized about buying a 6-pack for later at the local convenience mart, when upon being seated at Perkins we discovered a little laminated tent card in our booth advertising Perkins' wine list: your choice of merlot, chardonnay, or blush wine for 2.58 a glass. On top of that, the menu offered a local fresh water fish special, baked walleye. An appropriate celebration was had, with BCers not worried about having to drive back to the motel. The atmosphere was further enhanced by the generally festive crowd in the packed restaurant, laced with large families and tables of guys in camouflage clothing with hunting caps male-bonding after a weekend of pheasant hunting.


TENNESSEE

Bristol
We had two excellent Italian culinary experiences here.  Bella's serves outstanding pizzas with an array of fresh toppings and sauces.  When we found out they even have dessert pizzas we indulged in a peach one, which was fantastic.  A few members of the group went to Valentino's and came back praising the vegetarian calzones.

Nashville
Blackstone's, a brew pub and restaurant near Vanderbilt, turned out some great pizzas for us, an excellent grilled trout, and, of course, some choice local libations.


TEXAS

Dallas
We had a great Tex-Mex pre-concert meal recently at Mi Cocina in North Dallas.  Custer's shrimp tacos were outstanding, as were Chris' veggie fajitas.  The spicy salsa made for unusually snappy tempos that evening.

fT. WORTH

Gloria's is a 5 restaurant chain in the greater DFW area that specializes in Salvadoran cuisine. You can get regular Tex-Mex fare there, but we recommend going for the more exotic dishes, such as grilled tilapia, or salmon baked iin banana leaves. And those margaritas.....!!!


VIRGINIA

Charlottesville
We were served an outstanding backstage meal before our concert at Piedmont Virginia Community College: penne with a vegetable marinara sauce.  We scarfed large quantities before the show, during the intermission, and after the concert as well.  Kudos to the caterer, La Cucina! 


WASHINGTON

Seattle
Over the course of a long weekend at Seattle Pacific University, we returned often to Still Life  (Mary Anne made it a record ten times--breakfast, lunch, and dinner).  This is a homey, quasi-vegetarian restaurant off of Fremont, with excellent soups and salads and incredible, freshly baked desserts. Practically  across the street is an outstanding Thai restaurant, Jai Thai.  I'm told people drive long distances to come here and it's easy to see why:  delicious fried tofu, spring rolls and steaming bowls of gingery, prawn-filled soups.

Cafe Flora, in the Madison Park neighborhood, is justifiably famous as Seattle's premiere vegetarian restaurant. The polenta with plum sauce--a seasonal special--was outstanding, as were the Oaxaca tacos. Even something as mundane as pizza comes alive in this place.

 


WEST VIRGINIA

Inwood
In this tiny town just north of the Virginia border on I-81, we found a real gem: Viva Mexico! The stunning décor features beautiful, hand-carved and painted tables and chairs in vibrant colors, all with a swan motif. The food, too, is outstanding: excellent salsa, rellenos and huevos rancheros. This is the real thing, in a most unlikely locale.


WISCONSIN

Ripon
After a concert at the College, we repaired to Norton's, in nearby Green Lake, and feasted on broiled haddock and scallops and shrimp over risotto.

Wilton
To be in Wilton (pop. 476) is like stepping into a Norman Rockwell print.  No stoplights, no fast food franchises, no franchises of any kind.  The place is a throwback to the peaceful, pastoral, rural America of our collective imaginations.   At the heart of this tiny town is Gina's Pies Are Squared--a unique establishment run by the friendly, energetic and indefatigable Gina Rae.  The place is a combination of a pizza parlor, antique shop, and concert venue, and Gina serves up scrumptious pizzas and fruit pies which are, well, square.  Her cheese and potato soup was also outstanding, and she stocks a fine selection of local beers.


INTERNATIONAL

AUSTRIA

Vienna
Two restaurants were standouts for us during a recent visit.  Gmoa Keller, right across the street from the Konzerthaus, serves delectable echt Austrian specialties such as veal goulash, schnitzels, and spaetzle.  In the shadow of St. Stephan's is the vegetarian/gourmet restaurant, Wrenk's, which delighted the discriminating palates of our most ardent vegetarians with creative tofu concoctions.

germany

Regensburg

The Historische Wurstkuche is nothing more than a tiny stone kitchen with a patio right on the Danube, but it's been around since the 12th century, so they must be doing something right. What they are doing right are their delectable finger-sized sausages, experly grilled and served with crusty brown bread. This is a must-stop and favorite photo op whenever we're in town for the Tage Alte Musik Festival.


CANADA

Salt Spring Island
Our generous hosts at Art Spring treated us to a memorable post-concert, pre-dinner snack at the Oystercatcher before we had to get back on the ferry to Victoria.  The crusty, salty bread--accompanied by butter served in an oyster shell--was sensational enough to warrant a website mention, but more treats were in store when appetizers arrived: delicious clam chowder ("best ever"--Mark), goat cheese roasted garlic, and cranberry-corn chutney served with warm pita, adn delectable shrimp tempura with a spicy dipping sauce.

Toronto
The Movenpick is a must stop for us whenever we're in town for a CBC concert. The concept is unique and fun: you grab a tray and rove about a dozen or so serving stations which dish out fresh pastas, grilled fish, crepes, lots of other entree items, and scrumptious desserts. It's all so tempting, you want to try everything, but it can add up to a pretty penny (Canadian) if you're not careful!

Victoria
Bartholomew's Bar and Grille, in the basement of the Executive House Hotel downtown, serves up some excellent local brews and one the finest veggie pizzas we've ever tasted.

John's Place on Pandora is a transplanted Northern California-style diner, with amazing cornbread, Egg Benedict creations, and outstanding cornmeal pancakes. The place is always mobbed, so leave plenty of time.


Our favorite college cafeterias

When we perform at colleges and universities and need to grab a quick bite right before the concert, we usually head over to the student union. And when we stay overnight on campus, we often join the students for breakfast (if we get up in time).  Here are some collegiate dining experiences that we've enjoyed recently.   We don't necessarily recommend that you make a major detour to eat at these places, but if you happen to find yourself on campus, by all means partake. 

Baptist Bible College, Pa.
A great salad bar, waffle bar, sundae bar, and coffee bar.  These kids are definitely well looked-after, gastronomically.

salisbury university, md.

The vegan-trained chef made a delicious salmon in bourbon sauce while we were there, along with many tempting alternative entrees and side dishes.

Emory and Henry College, Va.
A huge variety of delicious entrees, an impressive salad bar, freshly baked breads, and a scrumptious blackberry cobbler.  

Gardner-Webb College, N.C.
Freshly made stir-fry and --during the week we were there--unusually tasty French cuisine.

Goshen College, Ind.
Excellent chicken dumplings, stir-fry, and dessert crepes

Harding University, Ark.
Great waffle bar and pizza/pasta selections

Hampden-Sydney, Va.
Delicious and copious breakfasts, including made-to-order omelets

San Diego State University, Ca.
A terrific juice bar that also served tasty, healthful sandwiches

St. Gregory's University, Shawnee, Ok.
They warned us that the offerings would be slim due to Lent, but we had no complaints: the veggie gumbo and kale were outstanding.   For dessert, the group polished off an entire tray of unusually tasty Rice Krispy treats.

University of Richmond, Va.
Great fried chicken and excellent salad bar.

University of Washington, Wa.
The students in MacMahon Hall get to eat every day at "8," one of eight dorm eateries on campus.  If they're all this good, these are the luckiest college kids on the planet.  Dinner entrees included pasta with mussels in a marinara sauce, lamb with orzo, Mongolian hot pot, etc.  Dorm food was never like this when we were in college!

Western Kentucky University, Ky
Who would have guessed there'd be fresh sushi in the student cafeteria?