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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.

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