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Touring America on 12 Meals a Day

They pen a column in Gourmet magazine, but the husband-and-wife food-critic team Jane and Michael Stern prefer Mom and Pop joints to restaurants with linen napkins and expensive wine lists.

For the past 30 years, they have traveled America's back roads looking for the perfect meal, producing 20 books in addition to the magazine column.

For their latest effort, Two for the Road: Our Love Affair with American Food, the couple covered more than three million miles, sometimes eating 12 times a day as they navigated quirky, out-of-the way kitchens and roadside barbecue stands.

Among their favorite haunts: Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C. Ben's has served chili hot dogs, half-smokes and cheese fries, among other roadhouse delicacies, since 1958.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.