Showing posts with label tasty travels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tasty travels. Show all posts

Thursday, September 3, 2009

phillie phanatic

The carnivore and I recently went on a trip to the east coast. We got to hang out with our family and friends in Maryland, Delaware, D.C., and Pennsylvania. In each place we had a great time and great food. We sampled everything from Boog's bar-b-que sandwich at Camden Yards in Baltimore (well, the carnivore did) to lavender ice cream on the boardwalk at Rehoboth's famous Udder Delight Ice Cream House (well, I did) to a classic big breakfast at Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington (which had fake sausage that was so good even the carnivore was fooled). But, our biggest accomplishment was in Philadelphia. In the city of brotherly love we managed to find a cheese steak for both of us. Can you believe it?

Now, for the carnivore this wasn't much of a challenge. Cheese steaks are all over Philly. There are the famous places, like Pat's and Geno's (for the record the carnivore is a fan of Pat's), and little dives all over the city. The carnivore found this one near his sister's house at at small spot called Chubby's. He ordered his with American cheese, not the traditional whiz. He also asked for his without - i.e. without veggies - go figure.

The bigger challenge was finding a cheese steak for me, the lone vegetarian in the family, in this meat haven. Luckily there is a tiny place my sister-in-law found for me called Govinda's To Go that caters just to people like me. All the creations have the traditional taste but use mock meat. And let me just say, it was amazing! Not only did I not have to get laughed out of line at one of the traditional places, but I also didn't have to settle for just veggies and cheese. There were real "steak" bits in my sesame roll.
To top things off we also tried another Philly traditional food - water ice. We ordered our water ice with soft serve at the recommendation of my sister-in-law and her boyfriend (who both ordered theirs this way, one with vanilla ice cream like mine and one with chocolate). The carnivore had the lime, while I had the strawberry, like our tour guides. I have to tell you I sampled both, and I definitely won. Lesson learned for the carnivore - listen to the locals.

Like I said, we had a wonderful trip, some incredible food, and even got to hang out with some pretty cool folks (the phillie phanatic included - and yes that overly excited girl is me). So, if you are a mixed diet family traveling around the east coast (or anywhere for that matter), take time to find the places that serve up the traditional dishes for all members of your family. If I can find a vegetarian cheese steak, it can be done. I promise.

Monday, June 15, 2009

breakfast nachos

As we were wrapping up our trip in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, the carnivore introduced me and our friends to yet another amazing restaurant that had found in the guide books or message boards or wherever he keeps finding these places. It was a little off the beaten path, but worth the walk. It has a long name, but we ended up just calling it the monkey place...
We went to the monkey place for breakfast (but it is open for other meals). We all started with drinks. A couple of my friends ordered fresh fruit drinks, but the ones that ordered the banana milkshakes won the taste test hands down. (Go figure - it is the monkey place, after all.)But, my coffee was good and came in the cutest little terracotta set.
The menu was extensive. Our group ordered everything from salad to crepes. It all looked yummy and fresh. And, several of the dishes came with super salty black beans.But, I think I ordered the best dish. It was something called chilaquiles. I can only really describe it as breakfast nachos, really good breakfast nachos. There was a layer of sauce that the menu said was made of red and green tomatoes and xcatic chili. This was topped with handmade tortilla chips, which was then topped with a creamy coriander sauce with onions. Finally, two eggs sunny side up and a couple of slices of avocado.
It was nothing short of amazing! It still has my head spinning of ways I can make nachos for breakfast now that I am back home...

Friday, June 12, 2009

when in mexico eat thai food

One of the reasons the carnivore and I love Playa Del Carmen so much is that it has really great Mexican food (which I could eat everyday and not get tired of) and since there are many Italian ex-pats here, there is also really good Italian food (the carnivores favorite food). But, there are also many other types of ethnic offerings. We like the Mayan food offered at Yaxche and even had our rehearsal dinner there. There are even Lebanese places and and Sushi bars. This time the carnivore and I decided to try another one of our favorite foods - Thai. We found a great little place called Babes.
It was decorated with lots of pin-up girl paraphenalia. No wonder it caught the carnivore's eye...
The carnivore order a few beers but I started the meal with what I can only describe as the world's biggest mango daquari.We then ordered some yummy apps. The carnivore had cicken satay and I had refreshing vegetarian spring rolls. And, as the menu stated - they were very fresh.For dinner the carnivore ordered the deep fried thai shrimp. I ordered the same thing in tofu form, but as the waitress informed me, "We are a Thai restaruant, but sometimes we are Mexican. We are out of tofu today." I was a little amused and a little bummed, but I ordered the veggie Pad Thai. The carnivore devoured his and mine was fine - just a tad sweet. I think I was still lusting for tofu.All in all it was excellent and fresh. The atmosphere was also fun. Plus, the next day, the carnivore stopped and got my some tofu while I was working from the beach. And, it was worth the wait. So, when in Mexico, eat some Thai food. You won't be dissapointed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

100% natural

Hello from Mexico! That's right, I am coming to you this week from my favorite place on the planet - Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. It also happens to be the place where the carnivore and I said our vows. So, I may not have a lot of cooking recipes this week, but there will be drink recipes coming and, like today, places we love to eat when we are here. Today, I bring you 100% natural.
We love this place mostly for breakfast. It has nice eggs dishes and fresh juices to start the day. But, before I can do any of that I have to have coffee! However, there is no splenda here to sweeten your cup, only natural brown sugar.
Now to breakfast itself. They have offering such as apple and cinnamon hotcakes and chocolate croissants, but we like a little more protein to start the day. The carnivore ordered an open face sandwich of eggs and ham on nutty brown bread (which he promptly made into a sandwich).I had eggs mexicanas which included spicy peppers, cheese, and onions with a side of buttery brown bread. It is also served with a side of refried beans - a wonderful addition early in the day.I also had an amazing juice drink which was a combination of guava, orange, and pineapple juices. Yum! The perfect cure for a hangover too...This place is a chain, so you can find it other places in Mexico. But, if you are in Playa, you can't go wrong stopping here to start your day.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

bar-b-que fest with a vegetarian

If you know anything about Memphis, you know that in May we have a huge bar-b-que fest right on the river. At this festival hundreds of teams from all around the world get together for a long weekend to cook pork, knock back a few alcoholic beverages, and generally enjoy the atmosphere. Oh, and it is a serious competition too. Now, I know what you are thinking - of course the carnivore would love such a gathering, but what would a vegetarian do there?Well, I have to admit at first, I was less than thrilled about attending. As a native Memphian I have been before, but it has been several years. But, I actually enjoyed strolling along the river while checking out the tents of teams, such as Serial Grillers, Contempt of Pork, Porkosaurus, Born in the Que-S-A, Slab yo' Mama, Here for the Beer, the list goes on... And when I say tents, I mean massive structures, sometimes two stories, lit up and decorated with every kind of pig decoration you can imagine. One even had an ice sculpture of a pig that people were doing shots from! (I am regretting the I didn't get a picture of this now.) Plus, the river was beautiful at sunset.
The people watching isn't bad either. Everyone there is having a good time. Many are dancing to the blaring music from the various tents. And some people dress in theme. One lady had on short with piglets all over. I wasn't brave enough to ask her for a picture. I saw another person with a tee shirt that said "I have a culinary boner." Classy.
And there is live entertainment. When we were at the festival there was a great blue grass band playing on the main stage. (The stage by the way decorated with giant pig sculptures and had an enormous blow up bottle of cattleman's sauce on one side.) But at other times they have blues or hog calling contest or even a "Miss Piggy" competition where men dress as pigs in drag - if that makes any sense.
But honestly, people come to this thing for the food right? I mean when else can you eat ribs for days without guilt? Now, for those of you not from here I should note that you can't just walk from tent to tent eating all you want. You either have to know someone with a tent or participate in the people's choice competition (for a fee) to get a taste of several of the teams' bar-b-que. You can also buy directly from some of the vendors that have booths set up. The carnivore knew a few folks and was happily able to get his hands on some free bar-b-que. Happy carnivore...So, what is a vegetarian to do in this pork paradise? Well, there are several other offerings available for meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike. You can get your hands on a veggie gyro or freshly grilled corn cobs at Shucks or or a bloomin' onion or fried sweet potatoes (we do love to fry things in the south) or everyone's favorite - funnel cake (also fried)! It's not exactly a well balanced meal, but you won't go hungry either.
And, if you do eat meat but are over bar-b-qued pork after a day or two of hedonism, you can try a turkey leg or a pronto-pup (Memphis' version of a corn dog that is dipped fully in mustard before being served). They also have lots of smoked sausages with all the trimmings if that's your thing. If you are really adventurous maybe you can try some fried gator on a stick (see my previous comment about southerners frying everything).
All in all it was a good time. So, I say to all of you vegetarians who live with carnivores out there, don't be discouraged at the prospects of attending a meat bash. It can be fun, and you can find something to eat. And, don't worry, they hand out beer and tums to anyone who needs it...
Blog Widget by LinkWithin