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Desert Companion

Hot plate: Road food!

What’s a road trip without road food? Probably a road trip with fewer bathroom stops. But less fun! Here’s a sampler plate of what we ate on #DCRoadTrip2016

Bobcat burgerBobcat Burger at Hotel Nevada in Ely

This grease-ilicious gut-nuke with egg, bacon and fried onions was our reward for not letting the gale-force winds dash us against the U.S. 93 shoulder like a toddler smashing a milk carton. Not shown: side dish of tasty and nutritious fried everything, from pickles to cod chunklets.


Mexican foodVarious, Dos Amigos Mexican Restaurant, Elko

Like a lighthouse in a squall, Dos Amigos answered our call on a rainy Easter Sunday: “Yes, we’re open.” Within seconds of sitting down, there were chips with smoky chipotle salsa and Negra Modelo to drink while perusing the vegetarian menu. Vegetarian. In a Mexican restaurant! And then, spinach quesadilla, shrimp fajitas.


PaneerTrader Joe’s Palak Paneer entrée

So it was snowing and we were stuck in the RV, denied access to civilization’s life-sustaining hamburgers and pizzas. This prison-worthy microwave sludge speckled with humid cheesoid cubes wasn’t exactly gourmet fare — but it did stop us from descending into cannibalism.


Socorro'sVarious, Socorro’s Burger Hut

On the last leg of the trip, our intestines heaving under the glycemic press of a six-day diet of lipids and sugar, we were ambivalent about Socorro’s for, oh, about 1.7 seconds before saying hellwithit and ordering an Ortega burger, a jalapeño burger, a grilled cheese, a chili dog. And fries. And three milkshakes. It was as sloppy and nasty and tasty and guilty and glorious as you’d expect.


Beef JerkyBeef jerky, various stops

The perfect road trip song? Not “Born to Be Wild.” Not “Shut Up and Drive.” The perfect road trip song is the sound of slobberingly masticating jerky, food made for the road. We sampled many, but the standout was Black Rock Jerky Co.’s Sea Salt + Pepper Jerky, which, like true love and effective corporal punishment, struck the perfect balance between tender and tough.


Gemma'sVarious, Gema’s Wagon Wheel Café, Beatty

Southeast is home; southwest is our last stop for the trip; at the corner, a café. Should we break for lunch? In the limbo between impatient and nostalgic, Gema’s club and egg-salad sandwiches got our attention — toasted, cut into neat wedges, and served with fresh fruit. The perfect last meal together, homemade by locals.

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