The big 5-0! My 25th post in the series! How can I properly celebrate this occasion? I suppose the best I can do is talk about food and civil forfeiture. Well, food’s pretty good, right?
Map 49 shows what states can do with your property if you are arrested. Civil forfeiture allows police officers to “seize someone’s property without proving the person was guilty of a crime; they just need probable cause to believe the assets are being used as part of criminal activity… Police can then absorb the value of this property — be it cash, cars, guns, or something else — as profit, either through state programs or under a federal program known as Equitable Sharing that lets local and state police get up to 80 percent of the value of what they seize as money for their departments”. If this doesn’t scare the crap out of you it should. I consider myself to be a law-abiding citizen. I don’t break the law other than the occasional speeding ticket (something I’ve been avoiding for three years now). The problem is, the law allows police departments to take your car, your house, or whatever they want if you are believed to be utilizing that vehicle or residence for illegal activities, even if that’s wholly untrue.
For more information and examples of Civil Forfeiture, consult this video of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on the subject.
Thankfully, Minnesota law requires an actual conviction of some crime before property can be seized. Only five states have citizens so lucky, including Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, and New Mexico. If you live in any of the other 45 states I recommend reading up on Civil Forfeiture and knowing your rights. It also wouldn’t hurt to obey the law at all times and avoid carrying around large sums of legal tender (pun very much intended).
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Map 50 is great if you’re hungry and don’t want to cook. There are fine dining establishments all over America but I much prefer a less restrained (and cheaper) eatery. That’s why I gravitate to a particular Food Network program called Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. This show, also known as Triple-D, is hosted by Guy Fieri, a very, um, colorful character.
Triple-D highlights restaurants throughout the United States (and 17 in Canada and Mexico) that meet a particular standard. They represent every different cuisine you can think of but have quality in common. A lot of the restaurants featured are small, old, weird, or hidden away but if Guy Fieri has visited them, you can bet the food is great! Check out the map below to see how many locations are in your neck of the woods. The most frequented states are as red as the Camaro Fieri drives on the show.
California is Guy’s base of operations and comes in at number one with 134 locations. Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois round out the top five followed by my home state of Minnesota. I’ve been to one of Minnesota’s Triple-D eateries and six in other states. I know you’re dying to know which ones (should I call 911?) so I’ll give you a brief run down below. We like to scope out Triple-D locations when we’re on the road. I look up the list and map on FlavortownUSA, a Triple-D fan site, before all of our trips. It is a great way to find new places along our given route, although a short detour for a delicious meal is always worth it!
Beth’s dad, Ken, also likes to visit Triple-D eateries. He’s been to 16! Unfortunately for Beth’s family and me, our route to Winnipeg for the Women’s World Cup in June did not include any. Guy’s never featured any restaurants in Western Minnesota, North Dakota, or Manitoba (the Minnesota locations are all in the Twin Cities and Duluth). Restaurants in Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas and Vermont have also never been featured on the show. The Food Network does take and feature fan submissions so if you know of a cool diner, drive-in, or dive be sure to head over to the Food Network and let them hear about it. I’d like to hear about your experiences too so leave me a comment below!
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives restaurants where my wife and I have dined (ranked by me in order):
1. Lankford Grocery and Market: 88 Dennis Street, Houston, TX 77006 Website
Burger joint, best burger I’ve ever had, spicy mustard is the one of few substances known to my wife to be “spicy enough”
2. Federal Donuts: 1219 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 Website
Fried Chicken and Donuts, both specialties absolutely fantastic, they usually sell out by 2pm so get there early
3. The Nook: 492 Hamline Avenue South, Saint Paul, MN 55116 Website
Burger joint, known for cheese-filled patties called “Jucy Lucys”, bowling alley in the basement, very much a dive
[The Blue Door Longfellow: 3448 42nd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55406 Website
Burger joint, tiny and busy, fantastic ‘Blucys’, technically only the St. Paul location was featured on Triple-D]
4. Grovers Bar & Grill: 9160 Transit Road, East Amherst, NY 14051 Facebook
Burger joint, humongous patties and portions, willing to stay open late for two people picking up a to-go order
5. Tattooed Moose: 1137 Morrison Drive, Charleston, SC 29403 Website
Bar, known for unique twists on bar food and Duck Confit, definitely qualifies as a dive with sharpie drawings everywhere
6. Maple and Motor: 4810 Maple Avenue, Dallas, TX 75219 Website
Burger joint, fun atmosphere, limited parking, food was good but not the best burger I’ve ever eaten
7. Niko Niko’s: 2520 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, TX 77006 Website
Greek restaurant, very busy, I had the Chicken Parm Gyro and wouldn’t recommend it, terrible choice on my part probably
We eat at all the non-Minnesota Triple-D eateries on vacation. Read about them here:
Until next time,