For The Love Of Food!

I don’t know about you, but to me, one of the best parts of travel is the local food I get to enjoy.
(Depasquale Plaza / Federal Hill- Atwells Ave – Providence, RI)
Being from a predominately Italian neighborhood in Providence, RI called Federal Hill, and of Italian decent, I have no shortage of mouth watering Italian food options at my disposel. Camille’s – Providence, RI, Andino’s – Providence, RI, Marchetti’s – Cranston, RI and Luigi’s Restaurant – Johnston, RI all come to mind. If I had to recommend one dish, I say go for the gnocchi! 😉
 (Nothing like a refreshing, ice cold, Del’s lemonade on a hot summer’s day!)
I am not a seafood eater, so unfortunately I do not get to bask in the feast of the sea as typical New Englander’s do. No, I associate the New England to — Italian food. Sure we are known for lobster, clam cakes, chowder, Del’s frozen lemonade, coffee milk, wieners, blueberry’s, johnnycakes, just to name a few, but Italian food is where it’s at for me personally.
When I hit the open road, I have a list of restaurants I can’t wait to try and truth be told, I am mostly into it for the ambiance!
For example, when I head to the southern states of Tennessee and Texas, I have one thing on my mind…..BBQ! I have been fortunate enough to try some of the best BBQ in the country! Rendezvous in Memphis. Corky’s in Nashville. Rudy’s in Albuquerque. Jim-N-Nicks in Destin. The Salt Lick in Austin. The list could go on and on. I am always amazed at the different BBQ sauces and how distinct each restaurant’s sauce is. I also love the decor of a typical BBQ shack. I feel down right giddy when I see the red & white checked table clothes, stringed Christmas lights, neon beer signs, pool tables and hear the jukebox crank out some tunes. That type ambiance MAKES the experience for me.
 (Rudy’s BBQ – Albuquerque, NM)
I love listening to country music, blues or southern rock as I eat my BBQ turkey sandwich and coleslaw. What can I say…..I’m a simple woman!
Heading further south into the tropical state of Florida, my BBQ cravings are replaced with Key Lime pie cravings! And there is only one TRUE place to find the best key lime pie…..the Florida Keys, of course! I have been asked over and over where “the best” slice can be found and that is tough to say.
Everyone’s preference is different. I personally use to love Jimmy Buffett’s original key lime pie recipe serviced at the Margaritaville in Key West, however, the last time I was there (Feb 2010) they served a generic slice (seemed like something you’d find in the freezer section of a grocery store), not the one heaping with meringue and a thick graham cracker crust I craved. I was disappointed to say the least, and kept searching for a slice with with meringue on top (my preference) to no avail.  My second favorite key lime pie is from The Blond Giraffe (found throughout Key West). To be on the safe side, why not try a slice from every restaurant/shop you visit? 😉
When I am visiting a ski resort or mountain destination, I think of steakhouses and rustic decor. I admit, I am a gluten for theme restaurants. Most people mock me, but I don’t care. Throw a fake moose head on the wall and a pair of ski’s and I am a happy girl. Add a stone fireplace and I am over the moon! The Buckhorn Exchange in Denver is one of my favorites. I also love The Wobbly Barn in Killington, VT. Sugar & Spice is thee must visit place for breakfast when in the Killington area.
 (The Big Texan Steakhouse – Amarillo, TX)
Although not a ski/mountain resort area, I do have to mention The Big Texan as one of the best steakhouses around (located on Route 66 in Amarillo, TX). This is the home of the FREE 72oz Steak, well, if you can eat it (along with a salad, roll, shrimp cocktail and potato in under an hour). Pepcid, please?
When I am visiting beach resort towns, there is nothing I love more than a good-old-fashioned shanty seafood shack! Yes, this coming from the woman who doesn’t like seafood. It doesn’t matter! I still appreciate the smell of the fried fish and suntan lotion mixed together with the salty sea.
 (Ballard’s Inn – Block Island, RI)
New England is home to some fantastic beach front restaurants. My personal favorite is Paddy’s On The Beach in Westerly, RI. Ballard’s Inn Beachfront Restaurant on beautiful Block Island, RI is another must do — especially on the 4th of July Weekend.
 (Pompano Joe’s – Destin, FL)
Down in Florida there are too many to list! Some of my favorites include Pompano Joe’s in Destin, The Crab Trap in Destin, The Back Porch in Destin, Southernmost Beach Cafe in Key West, Schooner Wharf Bar in Key West, Louie’s Backyard in Key West, Holiday Isle in Islamorada, The Crab Shack on Tybee Island outside of Savannah, GA and Lulu’s Homeport Marina in Mobile, Alabama (owned by Jimmy Buffett’s sister, Lulu, of course).
 (The Pirate House Restaurant – Savannah, GA)
When I am in an area known for their ghost tours or haunted history, I like to dine at a “haunted” restaurant. Some of the best I have been to include The Pirate House in Savannah, GA, Napoleon House in New Orleans, LA and The Tavern on Main in Chepachet, RI.
As you can see, food and dining out are a very important part of the travel experience to me. Not only does the restaurant give you a sense of place, it is an excellent way to meet locals, find out about local history and enjoy food associated with the area.
I always try and recommend restaurants to my clients after booking a trip. I also love hearing their feedback when they return! 🙂 
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” ~ James Beard.
Happy Travels!
Desiree Sousa
Out & About Travel
2 Responses to “For The Love Of Food!”
  1. mascrub says:

    Like you, I agree that trying the local food is one of the best parts of travel.

  2. Speaking of moose heads, If you’re looking for one to throw on the wall or your ski chalet, we are selling them in our online store.

    Check it

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