Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Food memories--Springfield, IL

I've lived pretty much all over the place (on the east side of the Mississippi) during my adult years.  This has been both a blessing and a curse.  I've been fortunate to have a few close friends with whom I keep in touch from each place I've touched ground.  This is the blessing.  I've also developed a taste for regional specialty foods that simply cannot be had anywhere else in the country unless I try to make it myself and then it rarely comes out quite right.  This is the curse.  But I never thought I'd see an article on one of my most favorite dishes in an article in the Wall Street Journal (I was clued in by a fellow traveler from the Springfield, IL area).

I present to you, ladies and gentlemen, the Horseshoe.  The Horseshoe is a Springfield, IL delicacy that consists of two pieces of bread (preferably Texas toast) and meat (generally hamburger, but can be just about anything) in the center of a (rather large) plate, surrounded by french fries and the whole thing covered (nay, smothered) with Welsh rarebit sauce (aka boatloads of cheese-sauce goodness).  If you don't think that your arteries can handle a full Horseshoe, then you can order the PonyShoe, which is one piece of bread but everything else remains the same.  The info in the Wall Street Journal article does not match what I know of the lore of the Horseshoe (there is some debate as to the first place it was served--I was always told the Red Coach Inn) but just seeing pictures of that oh-so-bad, but oh-so-good dish makes my mouth water. 

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