Start the car, and bring your appetite. Here are the absolutely best places to eat along Western highways
Simon’s Gourmet Hot Dogs, Sedona, AZ. Ambience? No. Simon’s is a booth inside a brewery. You eat your dog against a backdrop of stainless steel tanks. But chef-owner Felipe Roldan serves hot dogs inspired by his native Colombia: That includes one topped with pineapple, crushed potato chips, and mozzarella, just like back in Bogotá. Must-try: The Wunderhound, a nod to Peru, with Peruvian chiles, onions, dill pickles, and bacon. $; 2050 Yavapai Dr.; 928/496-0266.
The Linkery, San Diego (pictured). One of the nodes of San Diego’s crucial beer culture, the Linkery is also sausage central, sourcing its meat more carefully than even Alice Waters. Must-try: Käsekrainer sausage, in a sandwich, in a taco, on a picnic plate. $$; 3794 30th St., 3.5 mi. off I-5; 619/255-8778.
Sides Hardware and Shoes, Los Olivos, CA. Brothers Matt and Jeff Nichols named this restaurant in honor of the store that occupied this building more than 100 years ago. Everyone just calls it Sides, and lines stretch down the sidewalk for the albacore, pork belly tacos, and Hammered Pig sandwich or salad (“hammered,” because of the hardware connection, naturally). 2375 Alamo Pintado Ave.; sidesrestaurant.com.