Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 8:42am
We hit Birmingham around lunchtime. I had a quick business meeting and then we went to Bottega for lunch.
I am a fan of Frank Stitt and have eaten at Highlands Bar and Grill, often. The meals have always been great.
Bottega was an overall disappointment– slow, unconcerned service, long waits from the kitchen, and only one entree that was memorable.
We made it to Nashville late in the afternoon and I wanted to take my kids to Las Paletas to have Mexican popsicles– closed on Mondays.
We went to Gi Gi’s cupcakes instead.
To cover the Vietnamese leg our our international culinary tour, I had planned on dining at Kien Giang. This was high on my list. They, too, were closed on Mondays.
Strike three. We’re out!
We ate at a sushi restaurant in our hotel– Hotel Indigo on West End Blvd. They had a band in the lobby and an art gallery opening, too. Good rates, large rooms, wireless internet. Highly recommended.
My iPhone is acting quirky when I try to upload photos. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Here’s hoping that day two will be more productive. We’re on our way to the Pancake Pantry for Sweet Potato Pancakes before heading to Asheville.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 10:09pm
Breakfast at The Pancake Pantry– it was the kids first trip there, they loved it. Sweet Potato Pancakes with Cinnamon Cream Syrup rock!
Lunch at a Mexican chain– kid’s choice, tableside guacamole, though– excellent! Good salsa, too.
Mexican Posicles at Las Paletas– I had a plum popsicle, son had mango, daughter had lime, wife = strawberry and cream. All are homemade and made fresh every day. I am glad there’s not one of these at home, I’d be 100 pounds heavier and singlehandedly change Mississippi’s obese statistics.
Long drive across TN and western NC in the rain
Staying in a new hotel in Asheville– The Grand Bohemian, just across from the Biltmore’s front gate… a little garish, though cool in areas… best in-room a/v system I’ve ever seen… ever… worth the tackiness.
Dinner at Mela– Indian cuisine– killer naan, daughter loved the Tandori Lamb, son was not a fan of Tandori Chicken, but he ate it anyway. I have given him one “free no” to use on this trip. He decided not to use it here. He did, however, have a fake stomachache. Good shrimp.
Hitting the road early in the a.m., so hitting the sack right now.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 9:53pm
Breakfast in Asheville– Bavarian, potato pancake, Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese, and a poached egg… Austrian chef, Austrian-owned hotel. Typically, I’m not a fan of German/Austrian food, this was good, though.
Lunch in Winston-Salem– Downtown Thai– killer Thai cuisine, nice visit with the owner, great downtown, heavy on the arts… good stuff, that.
Afternoon snack at Five Guys– great homemade french fries. My Buddy, Bill Latham, has purchased the franchise rights to Mississippi… can’t wait (my waistline can, though).
Dinner with friends in downtown W-S.– Meridian–The plan is to visit as many international restaurants as possible — 10 days, nine states, two children. Tonight’s meal was continental (I didn’t choose). Though we went to a place for dessert– Sweet Potatoes– that was Southern (sometimes considered a foreign country).
Tomorrow– Breakfast in Winston-Salem, lunch in Durham, dinner in Washington D.C. (hoping for Spanish tapas).
It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to eat it.
I’m going to need a colonic!
Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 9:58pm
Breakfast in Winston-Salem– met my friend for coffee at Chelsee’s while the family was sleeping… joined by several locals, one of whom had read my column about how my grandmother used to give my family a batch of brownies for childhood vacations. Before I left the coffee shop, she handed me a Tupperware container filled with brownies she had prepared the night before– I was very moved, and extremely grateful. Thanks, Gena, they were great– as good as my grandmothers (by the way, I just realized I spelled your named incorrectly when signing your cookbooks… sorry)
Across the street to my friend’s loft for breakfast– eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, and sourdough toast– good food, great company.
Headed to Durham for a business meeting, toured the Duke campus at the request of my son. He says that’s where he’s going to college, said a quick prayer for future college scholarship opportunities
Ate a few brownies.
Hoped to do Brazilian for lunch, but my daughter got sick to her stomach in the van, and again, and again. Said a quick prayer hoping it wasn’t a stomach virus, grabbed some fast food (three of us, at least), and headed north.
Ate some more brownies.
At the recommendation of friends, we ate dinner at Four Sisters in the D.C. area, to make up for the Vietnamese dinner we missed in Nashville on Monday night. Joined by the friends, the day ended up being a success, despite the noon setback.
Brownies for dessert.
Sharing a meal with friends is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 7:29am
At the midway point, we were forced by our schedule to take a break from the International food mission.
Breakfast at the hotel.
A driving tour with my son highlighting all of the D.C. landmarks. I gave him a lecture on representative democracy (he actually payed attention… was interested, even)
Lunch at a friend’s house high above the Potomac. Beautiful.
A quick visit to Good Stuff Eatery for a mid-afternoon snack
Dinner with family in Maryland. Fun.
Family, friends, food, and fun… all day long. Great day.
Sunday, August 2, 2009 at 10:32pm
Smithsonian air & Space, and the National Gallery
Lunch in Chinatown– Eat First… great food… the real deal
Had to skip dinner to drive to Maryland for the McCartney concert. He was 1 1/2 hours late! We could have eaten dinner after all.
Got home at 1am
Not much time to squeeze in food
Sunday, August 2, 2009 at 12:14am |
01. Drive my Car
03. Only Mama Knows
04. Flaming Pie
05. Got to Get You into My Life
06. Let me Roll It/Foxy Lady
08. The Long and Winding Road
09. My Love
11. Here Today
12. Dance Tonight
14. Mrs Vanderbilt
15. Eleanor Rigby
16. Sing the Changes
17. Band on the run
18. Back in the USSR
19. I’m Down
21. I’ve got a Feeling
22. Paperback Writer
23. A day in the Life/Give Peace a Chance
24. Let It Be
25. Live and Let Die
26. Hey Jude
27. Day Tripper
28. Lady Madonna
29. I Saw Her Standing There
31. Helter Skelter
32. Get Back
33. Sgt Pepper’s reprise/ The End
Sunday, August 2, 2009 at 10:38pm
Trying to squeeze in as much International/exotic cuisine as possible, we ate at a great Cuban restaurant in Richmond on our way to Charleston– Kuba Kuba. Great food. Great atmosphere. A small, corner joint in a nice neighborhood. Unconcerned service, but it works in this atmosphere. Grumpy chef in an exposed kitchen- looked like Jerry Garcia. Friendly waiter working the floor looked like a young Castro. Interesting. One of the best meals of the last seven days.
Dinner at a Mediterranean place in Charleston– Muse. Ate late. Great Hummus. The sauce with the Pork Belly appetizer was one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Made with a Spanish port.
Drove all day– 12 hours due to traffic outside of DC. Worn out (yet full and happy).
Monday, August 3, 2009 at 10:37pm
Breakfast at the hotel on King Street
Lunch at Fast & French– hot ham and brie on a croissant. Great Cream of Broccoli Soup.
Dinner at Cypress with Charleston and Carolina cousins. The candied bacon and the milk chocolate lollipop were as good as any dish I ate at The French Laundry two weeks ago
Sashimi Tuna & Oysters
cilantro-lime glaze, pineapple wasabi
House Cured Salami
Barolo, Tuscan, Coppa, pork puffs, arugula
bbq Sea Island red peas, melted leeks
Beef Spring Rolls
spiced cucumber, soy caramel
Scallops & Bacon
hominy fricassee, pork reduction
cranberry-walnut chutney, baby greens, champagne vinaigrette
Carolina shrimp, fresh chervil
Dry Aged Ribeye
roasted cauliflower, mustard butter, steak sauce
Filet of Beef
Boursin cheese, fingerling potatoes, asparagus, Madeira sauce
New York strip, wild mushrooms, Gruyère potato fondue, truffle peppercorn cream
Keegan-Filion Farm Chicken
andouille gumbo, okra & tomatoes
Bread & “Butter”
grilled Tuscan points, pork butter
Crisp Wasabi Tuna
edamame, shiitake mushrooms, ginger-garlic glaze
jumbo lump crab, asparagus, crispy potatoes, béarnaise sauce
John’s Island Canteloupe Sorbet
compressed local canteloupe, basil-mint syrup
Coconut Tapioca Crème Brûlée
local peaches, blackberries, white peach sorbet
Milk Chocolate Mousse Lollipop
house made dulce de leche, chocolate chip cookie crumbs
Thanks to Donald and:
Craig Deihl ~ Executive Chef
M. Kelly Wilson ~ Pastry Chef
Onward to Atlanta
Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 7:42pm
Great lunch in Atlanta at Papi’s– Cuban
Dinner last night at Nava– Southwestern, killer lobster tacos, a great banana dessert
Lunch at Taqueria Del Sol– Fish Tacos, yumm
Highlights of the 10-day journey:
Indian food in Asheville
Thai in Winston-Salem
Breakfast with my friend in W-S (a lady made my grandmother’s brownies for the road)
Lunch in D.C. at a friend’s overlooking the Potomac
Watching my son sing “Hey Jude” while he thought no one was watching during the Paul McCartney concert
Dinner in Charleston with cousins I haven’t seen in a long time, but look forward to reconnecting with in the future,
The food item of the trip was a candied bacon (pork belly) appetizer at Cypress in Charleston
I’m going to eat nothing but oatmeal for the next few days… nah
2,500 miles and no major arguments from the back seat.
I will find out how much damage was done when I step on the scales in the morning. I’m guessing six pounds.
RSJ signing off