We have just started our online plan to take over the world one bite at a time, and have our first big food trip planned for May (see the next post for an amuse-bouche about that). But before that, we poked around in our files for some tidbits from past trips that involved some cool sights and even cooler tastes. Here’s just a sampling of some of our favorite moments when food met travel.
Hilton Head Island, SC
WE LOVE THIS PLACE! We have gone almost every year of our marriage and stayed in a condo on the beach. We have only gone one time “in season” and we actually prefer it in the off season. The weather in November and December tends to be mild enough to enjoy the beach (maybe not for swimming–Lisa did this once and got some strange looks, along with a rather refreshing icy dip). And the crowds are non-existent, while most of the good places to eat are still open for business. The grocery shopping is also very pleasant, and we usually cook in as much as we eat out.
One of our very favorite places is Kenny B’s. It’s New Orleans cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Sunday brunch is very popular and rightly so. Here’s one of our favorite things there, a po’ boy with sweet potato fries. This one had scallops, but the shrimp and oyster versions are delish as well.
Another big favorite of ours in Hilton Head is Crave by Daniel’s. It has a global menu with some really creative and delicious dishes, in a surprisingly posh but cozy setting. You feel like you’ve left the beach/tourist boardwalk vibe and entered a New York hidden gem. The decor is very modern but tasteful. This dish is one of Chris’ favorites. It’s seafood crack, essentially. It’s called Spicy Shrimp and Calamari.
New York, NY
Ah, New York. Cliched perhaps as a food destination (isn’t Queens the new Brooklyn now?), and even described as disappointing in a recent food podcast I listened to (say it ain’t so!), but we do love New York. We have really only scratched the gargantuan and dizzyingly global surface of this food megapolis, and it’s allure remains for us. Maybe we’ve watched one too many food travel shows with frustrated envy, but I think it will be a long time before our food lust for New York is sated. We now have family close by on Long Island, along with friends in Brooklyn, so more hungry journeys north are inevitable.
We’ve each spent time there alone prior to being a food-hunting Wonder Twins duo (Lisa more than Chris), but we did get to spend one glorious week there in May a few years back, and we made some delicious memories. Here are some highlights.
Dominique Ansel is a pastry genius, and while the Cronut craze may have all but withered in the harsh light of the next big thing, finally eating one was oh so worth every anxious minute in line. This one I think had a citrus vibe (maybe mandarin orange?). I won’t go on and on about it, since you can Google it and probably be up for hours reading Cronut stories and commentary. Let me just say it was &$%#^ delicious!
The weather that week was more than perfect, and we had some magical times in Central Park. Here’s a picture of something really beautiful. The tulips and dogwoods were nice too. (Yes, I just did that. Sweet, huh? Oh, Chris is writing this. Lisa’s not THAT vain!)
We also had a blast at Eataly. Maybe it has Disneyfied the historically rich and glorious thing that is Italian cuisine, but for foodies who really love all things Italian, it was a giddy ride. The eateries inside are really well done, and the displays and variety of food invite exploration. We especially enjoyed the handmade pastas, and took some back more than once to our hotel to cook (we had us one of them fancy dancy kitchens in our room!)
Of course we had to do the bagel thing. This was quite the bagel breakfast. Don’t worry, she may be small but she’s mighty when it comes to the eatin’.
I had a day alone in Brooklyn when we stayed with friends(Lisa had left NYC to go to an academic conference), and I had a really unexpectedly magical time in Coney Island. It was a warm, muggy day, and after wandering around for awhile, I took a train south and arrived to find the weather suddenly cool and breezy. It was a weekday prior to the high season, so the boardwalk was more or less deserted. I had a refreshing walk, and the sea air created a huge appetite. Hot dogs then happened. These were just what I needed, and lived up to Nathan’s historic reputation.
The Cronuts were undeniably amazing, but we experienced probably the best doughnuts we’d ever eaten when we visited Smorgasburg, down by the water in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. These doughnuts were from a place called Dough. The ones on the left were passion fruit glazed. May sound weird, but great googlymoogly–those were some unbelievable doughnuts. Texture and flavor were just perfect. I can’t even explain how good they were. If you get some, don’t try to be nice and share them later with friends (Like we did. We, our friends, and the doughnuts all suffered from the delay). They must be consumed when absolutely fresh.
Speaking of the Brooklyn Bridge, we decided we just had to make the trek across it from Manhattan. It was really fun. Until Lisa saw something shiny and walked ahead into the crowd. I literally listened for a splash and began to search the crowd with all the frenetic intensity of Olivia Benson on SVU. Luckily, she was happily wandering through the crowd, wondering why I had lingered at the railing for so long. Here we are all smiles, before the shiny thing came along. She must be part bird. She loves her some shiny things.
This is just an introduction to the food-themed travel we love. Now that we’re going all out and social-media’ing this thing, we will have even more to share in future posts. Our next post will be a teaser for our upcoming Europe trip that we’ve been eagerly waiting for since we got married. Three countries, five cities, and who knows how many yummy bites—here we come!