Ask a Dilettante – Harry Potter’s Wand, Road Food

Is that a magic wand in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Yeah, that innuendo doesn’t really work on chicks. Dilettante will forgive you because I assume you’re caught up in Harry Potter fever. Not to be confused with Welcome Back Kotter fever, which died out years ago.

I didn’t know they were still teaching kids how to read, so this weekend’s Harry Potter phenomenon was a nice surprise. Of course, a quick glance at news reports from any major city showed much more than teens and ‘tweens in line. There were plenty of adults, too. And not just pedophiles. There are tons of parents who are buying the book “for their kids” but are reading it first, before there are grape jelly fingerprints inside.

Readers are pissed at the New York Times for reviewing the book prior to its release date because they claimed it ruined the book’s surprises. For the kiddies. I don’t think even the most precocious, precious children are sitting around Starbucks slurping down caffeine, munching on a bran muffin and reading the Times. If they are, they’re begging for an ass whupping from one of their more slovenly and slow-thinking cohorts. As for the adults who are pissed about it – DON’T READ THE REVIEW if you want it all to remain a surprise. I mean, really. Turn the freaking page. Unless someone has stretched your eyelids open and is forcing you to read the printed word. Then it’s not your fault. But I would suggest that you have more pressing matters to attend to than worrying about young Harry’s fate.

And regarding your question: Yes, I am happy to see you.

Dilettante, I’m about to take off on a road trip across America. Not so much Kerouac (Jack) as Roker (Al). I’m traveling in a Winnebago and not exactly roughing it. In order to balance out the trip, I’d love some suggestions on divey places to eat along the way.

On a road trip, the best eats are usually the places in between. The greasy spoon on the side of the highway. The shaved ice stand in an otherwise unremarkable little town. The random sushi place in the middle of nowhere. Actually, scratch that last one.

Roadfood Chowhound is the best bet for mapping out your culinary journey. Bon appétit.