Posts Tagged Travel
For those of you that don’t know…I travel… ALOT. I went to New York City (one of my favorite places on Earth) this weekend for about 18 hours. It was a fun little trip, complete with Joe almost running over John Legend (yes the famous singer, and yes it was really him!).
We ate at Lombardi’s, one of our favorite pizza places on Earth. We tend to eat here each time we go because it is so yummy.
We also stopped by the new Brgr and it was delicious. Very much like Oklahoma’s own Republic, but a more fast food type restaurant.
Quick trip to the greatest city on Earth.
So many of you may know I’m a HUGE Washington Nationals fan. In fact, I also write for the Nats blog, We’ve Got Heart. This past weekend, I went out to DC for the first time since we moved back to Oklahoma. My dear husband, a proud C-5 pilot in the West Virginia Air National Guard is on a 3 month activation which will probably be filled with a few trips back and forth to Afghanistan. We figured we would spend the weekend eating some of our favorite foods and going to the Nats Opening Day on Monday. For a baseball fan, this feels like Christmas. All the fanfare, being back in that haven of baseball goodness, and a great DC tradition of the President of the United States throwing out the first pitch. Basically, this was such a great day for me.
We actually didn’t arrive until Sunday. I arrived a few hours before Joe and I stopped at one of my favorites for lunch, Noodles and Company. (DISCLAIMER: Yes, I eat at a chain restaurant now and again… Yes I know this isn’t very “foodie of me. BUT, I’m a fan of food that tastes good. Even if it may not be your typical “foodie” place…if its got great food…I will eat there!) Noodles and Co is obviously a chain restaurant, but is just oh so very good. While I lived in DC, I was alone quite a bit because Joe was gone for the military. I would go to Noodles and Co and grab it takeout, but the big draw was that they had DR PEPPER OUT OF THE FOUNTAIN. It’s amazing the things you miss when you live away from a place. Fountain Dr Pepper was one of my big ones. Anyways, I always get the Pasta Fresca with chicken and parmesan. It’s a very simple dish with penne noodles, fresh spinach, tomatoes, onions, lots of cheese and chicken. It’s a very quick, fresh meal that is a good alternative to McDonalds or Five Guys (love it…not good for the waistline). Anyways, I’m slightly obsessed with Noodles and Co (way more than I should be) and it is proving to be one of the things I miss about the DC area.
After I got my chain food hankering out of me, I got over to Georgetown to see if I could get my absolute favorite dessert in the world, Red Velvet Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake. Unfortunately, the line was A BLOCK LONG, so I decided to just get some shipped to me. I know it won’t be the same as the fresh cupcake with the cream cheese icing that melts in your mouth. There are quite a few cupcakeries in DC, Red Velvet, CakeLove, Baked and Wired, Hello Cupcake, etc., but none, in my opinion, even come close to Georgetown Cupcake. It is like a little slice of heaven in your mouth. Purely delicious.
I did a bit of shopping at Anthropologie and stopped at Trader Joe’s on my way to the Metro. Trader Joe’s is simply the best grocery store of all time. Oklahoma could totally use one. After Trader Joe’s, I headed to Eastern Market to look at all the fresh produce and yearn to live in DC again so I could buy it. I am a huge fan of farmers markets and this has to be one of the best in the country.
That evening, Joe and I met up with our good friend Karl (one of the things/people I miss most about DC!) at a foodie staple in the DC Area, Ravi Kabob in Arlington. I first ate Ravi Kabob with Karl and my good friend over at kitchengeeking. I’m not going to lie… I was a bit nervous. This is a hole in the wall Pakistani restaurant off of Glebe in Arlington that is very busy with the local Pakistani community and foodies of all types. I always order the chicken kabob and Joe gets the lamb kabob both with chickpeas and rice. I’m generally not a fan of lamb, but the
lamb at Ravi changed my mind on this meat. It is beyond amazing and is the only lamb to date that I like. Karl got the special samosa as an appetizer. This is really a great starter dish, but watch out, it will burn your mouth!!
We got up bright and early Monday and drove back to DC for OPENING DAY!!! This was my first time to go to Opening Day. I’m a huge Nats fan, so I was thrilled to be back in Nats park, which was basically my second home while living in DC. I knew exactly what I wanted to eat: A half smoke…all the way…from the Ben’s Chili Bowl in the ballpark. Ben’s is a DC staple that is over 50 years old. The only location besides the Ben’s in the ballpark is on historic U Street and has been quite popular with Bill Cosby and President Obama. This place is truly the most DC thing someone could do if they come visit the city. Because I only had two days in the city, I decided there was not near enough time to go to the original locale, so Joe and I got us a half smoke at the ballpark. Ben’s has interesting chilli. It’s got quite a kick to it, but the half smokes (half pork, half beef) are just great. They have a great crunch when you bite into them and the flavor is unlike any other hot dog I have. I definitely miss my regular trips to Ben’s.
Obviously, New Orleans is not in Oklahoma, but I travel quite a bit and of course I plan my trips around food! A few things I learned about New Orleans on this trip is A) the REALLY yummy food is quite expensive B) Central Grocery with the good muffaletta’s closes at 5pm and is closed on Sundays C) No place has Dr. Pepper D) A lot of places are cash only. I am also sure that there is some great food outside of the French Quarter, but I was so busy, we had to stay in the area. All that negativity aside, I had a decent foodie experience even with the small budget and a jam-packed weekend (seriously…I had to leave meetings to find time to eat.. NOT COOL). I DO plan on making another non-meeting surrounded trip down to New Orleans in the near future to really indulge myself in the great food/shopping/fun/debauchery the city has to offer.
THURSDAY= I arrived quite late in New Orleans as well as did some of my friends. We decided to of course go out on Bourbon Street. The rest of the night is kind of a blur (wonder why?!), but we definitely stopped by a diner down the road from our hotel and oh do I remember it vividly. It was called Daisy Dukes and I indulged myself in a 3am Cajun omelette. It was delicious…but NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT EAT A CAJUN OMELETTE AT 3AM WHEN YOU HAVE A MEETING AT 8AM… But I of course enjoyed it at the time, not so much when I woke up pregnant with a food baby that morning.
FRIDAY= We were on the hunt for seafood and went to a local recommendation and the wait for a table was over an hour, so because we were all STARVING and frankly in a hurry…we opted for the Sugar Shack across the street. To tell you the truth, I was not expecting much from this place. It just looks like your run of the mill sports bar, but it was quite busy, so we went in anyways. Our appetizer of barbeque shrimp came out and it was delicious. The shrimp was not fried as I was expecting and it was in a Cajun barbeque sauce. The sauce was interesting, but delicious. It had a soupy texture with the normal barbeque sauce flavors with a little Cajun kick to it and LOTS of vinegar. Being a fan of vinegar based barbeque sauces, I was pleased and wanted more! For my entrée, I ordered the soft shell crab plate. I will be honest with you. I am a foodie yes, but this still freaked me out because I kept thinking of the crab being alive and what not. Needless to say, I quickly got over this and it was DELICIOUS!
SATURDAY= We ate at the historic Napoleon House. It was built in 1791 and was going to be used as a house for Napoleon at one point, but is now a bar and restaurant. This was I think my favorite place of the weekend besides my Sunday adventure (read below). The prices were cheap (think $5 an entrée!!!!), the wait was short, the drinks were strong, the ambience was perfect complete with classical music and French antiques, and the food had great flavor. The waiters at the Napoleon House all wear bow ties and there are antiques and old paintings all over the restaurant. It is almost as if you have stepped back in time.
SUNDAY= I had my best experience on Sunday. My dear friend Colin Curtis and I had breakfast at Cafe Du Monde. I got quite a bit of recommendations from foodies out there via Twitter (follow me: @OkieFoodie) and comments on posts, so I had to try the famous beignets and the cafe au lait. I of course wore a black jacket and dark pants when I decided to eat fried goodness covered in powdered sugar. Powdered sugar gets EVERYWHERE, but the beignets were amazing. It is almost like a funnel cake, but WAY better. The cafe au lait is delicious for both coffee whores like me, or for the coffee novice. This is a must stop in New Orleans.
Surprisingly, we did eat sushi on Sunday evening. Yes, not the type of food you would think about eating in New Orleans, but it was great! Check out my UrbanSpoon link below for the info.
New Orleans is a great city, but I’m definitely happy to be back in the Sooner state!