The Taste of the Towns

BY Tribune News Service TIMEJune 26, 2022 PRINT

By Lynn O’Rourke Hayes

Discover the flavor of a destination through regional specialties, food-centric fun and culinary traditions. Here are five tasty ideas for families to consider:

1. Memphis, Tenn.

A visit to this Southern gem may well include a stop at Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, long ago crowned the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Not only did the Memphis Flash love music, but his passion for creative comfort food was no secret. Not far from his legendary digs you’ll find the Arcade Restaurant, a 50’s style, family-owned diner that serves up Elvis favorites including his go-to sandwich comprised of fried peanut butter and banana on Texas toast. Bacon is always optional.


2. Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz.

There are plenty of reasons to hydrate when you visit the Valley of the Sun: Hiking in the desert, biking along the canals or playing golf on top-notch courses. Add to the list, sampling local salsas and chili-infused taste treats. The TeePee Tap Room has been the choice of presidents and is a family favorite for those seeking homemade Mexican food since 1958. The Mission, Barrio Queen and La Hacienda are also popular.


3. Kansas City, Mo.

You won’t want to visit this Midwestern town without savoring a dry rubbed, slow-smoked slab of barbecued ribs. According to the Kansas City Barbecue Society, there are more than 100 establishments blending a mouthwatering combination of flavors and styles. Among the favorites: Wabash BBQ, BBQ Shack and Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue.


4. Ohio’s Donut Trail

Are you a fan of simple glazed? Or do you fancy a more elaborate concoction, one featuring peanut butter pieces and perhaps a hint of bacon flavoring? There will be a sugary something for everyone when you wander along Butler County’s sweet Donut Trail. The road trip spotlights mom-and-pop-style bakeries _ no chains allowed _ where the stories behind the storefront are as interesting as what you’ll find on the donut shelves. Created by local tourism officials, travelers can download a map, get stamps on a passport and be rewarded with an official Donut Trail T-shirt for completing the tour.


5. Rhode Island

The Ocean State has a long history of cultivating oysters, one that dates back to the tribes that first inhabited the area. During a New England adventure, take time to learn about the recent boom in aquaculture and how oysters make their way from shallow waters to an icy serving platter. Whether you slurp those shucked in a dockside seafood shack or top spots such as Hemenway’s in Providence, your family will gain a new appreciation for this fresh delicacy.


Lynn O’Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or via

(c)2017 Lynn O’Rourke Hayes

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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