Valenzuela’s – one family owned since 1952

A big part of the road trip experience is food, opportunities to try regional specialties (deep fat fried Twinkies?) in unique or fascinating settings. Even if the food is average or something you can get at home, it just seems special after a day on the road or if you are eating that chicken fried steak in an historic cafe or restaurant such as Clanton’s in Vinita, Oklahoma or taco platter at Valenzuela’s in Needles, California.

For me it’s good pie and cobbler that always gets my attention. On the last road trip I enjoyed a great beef stew and excellent coffee at Clanton’s Cafe, but it was the blackberry cobbler in a diner that has been managed by the same family since 1927 which was a real stand out. Telling people where to go since 1990 has become our tag line at Jim Hinckley’s America. The cornerstone of that mission is seeking out good pie or cobbler, good meals, and unique places to enjoy both, such as the now defunct Cave Restaurant in Richland, Missouri.

Victoria’s Sugar Shack in Kingman, Arizona is little gem that is tucked away several miles from Route 66 but it is well worth the detour.

Join me this October for another gastronomical odyssey along Route 66. Follow the A Year With Jim series on Instagram or Twitter, as well as our live stream programs on the Facebook page. See you on the road, mi amigos.

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