This past year was scrumptious, spicy, piquant, a little saucy, and plenty delectable. Some of my favorite eats on the road:
Perfectly proper tea at Chocolate Maven in Santa Fe for a refined bachelorette party.
What’s better than birthday cake? How about adorable, precious, and simply sweet tiny pies shared with birthday celebrants under the California sun, at I Like Pie in Claremont.
The freshest fish taco, plucked from the Caribbean shores off the Virgin Islands with a bright seaweed salad and a cool Presidente.
Island breakfast: fresh fruit smoothie, homemade yogurt with toasty oats and tropical fruits. Building a foundation for hours of snorkeling.
My first johnnycake: kind of like a biscuit top (crumbly and soft) with melty cheese in the middle. Island-style grilled cheese that I can get behind.
Crispy on the outside, hot and fluffy on the inside, this homemade conch fritter is like a subtly sweet hushpuppy. Served just steps from clear blue waters with sea turtles sunning themselves at Vie’s Snack Shack in St. John.
The fresh crab salad at the Olde Port Inn at Avila Beach is so fresh and succulent, you might forget to look through your glass table into the waters below.
Why bother getting fresh grilled tacos at a hot rod car show in Southern California if you don’t add the caramelized onions from the gigantic pan? Oh the aroma of smoky onions calls you closer…
Pennsylvania Dutch food can be simple, comforting, homey. It can also be brilliant like this apple and gouda grilled cheese with a smear of sweet apple butter.
But please don’t event think of leaving Lancaster without a slice (or 8) of the sticky molasses bottomed and crumbly struesel-like topped shoofly pie.
Strawberries and cream from America’s oldest ice cream shop, Bassetts in Philadelphia. There’s a reason this classic ice cream flavor is favored by many: when it’s simply made with the best ingredients, you taste summer down to the last melted drop in the cone.
Pre-partying for BFF wedding duties with fantastic cocktails at the Red Owl Tavern in Philadelphia: Tom Traubert’s Blues and Of Two Minds.
Tackling a wood-oven baked pizza with plump shrimp, sweet corn and avocado while devouring and arugula and strawberry salad with creamy burrata at Revolution Brewing in Chicago. Paired perfectly with the Coup d’Etat.
Parson’s Chicken and Fish is a summertime DO for the Negroni slushy best consumed while making friends at the outdoor picnic tables on a warm Chicago day. Nevermind that it’s not legitimately a Negroni without the Campari, but it is legitimately delicious.
The stuff sugar-dreams are made of: the ooiest gooiest cinnamoniest sticky bun at Little Goat in Chicago.
Can’t decide on breaky? Have eggs-in-a-hole French Toast with strawberries and fried chicken.
Or an Indian-Latin American-Californian hodge-podge like a paratha egg burrito with avocado and beans.
The best part of my entire meal, without a doubt, was that 10AM Vietnamese iced coffee spiked generously with single barrel bourbon: thank you for this revelation.