Food Lovers on the road

When a couple of food lovers, like Kenny and I, get on the road, you know where we are going to eat is part of the plan.  Interesting food experiences are important to us, so we make seeking them out a priority when traveling.  We love good food and trying new things.  We have eaten at some awesome places over the years!   

Looking back at some of our travel experiences, the unique places we have eaten and the dishes we have tried keep coming up in our conversation.  Those eating establishments are part of the allure of going back to some locations.  How sad is it when a destination just doesn’t have good local food?

The Sweet Onion

For instance, while visiting Waynesville, North Carolina during fall a few years ago, we discovered The Sweet Onion.  I didn’t take any food pictures there but it was a great dining experience.  We ate there at least twice and were very pleased both times.  The sweet onion soup, of course, was delicious on a cool day and I am still thinking about their special that I had on one occasion.  I tried looking it up on their menu and couldn’t find anything similar, but it was some type of pork, maybe pork belly, as a sandwich with a blackberry or raspberry sauce.  It was fantastic!  I think Kenny played it safe and had meatloaf which was equally tasty!  

Great East Coast Food Stops

Around four years ago we traveled up the east coast eating some magnificent dishes along the way.  Most notably for pure good taste, that I can remember anyway, was Finn’s Irish Public House.  Located near one of the entrances to Acadia National Park in Ellsworth, Maine, their food might have been our best of the trip.  That is saying a lot because I ate lobster along the water in Camden and Bar Harbor and clam chowder that was perfect in Salem, Massachusetts.  I can’t remember our exact dishes although I know they involved chicken and pork and cabbage.  Our dinner was accompanied by great service and lively music.  If you are ever up that way, this is the restaurant that I would recommend one hundred percent!

On the same trip, we stayed in an Airbnb that was near the Schoodic Peninsula.  It was mid October, but the off season had just begun and there was only one restaurant available nearby.  I still get a giggle when I think about its name, The Pickled Wrinkle.  This was such a fun establishment.  The food was good and plentiful but you had to wait for it because this place was crowded!  The atmosphere was like one giant party with a band, locals joining in, and lots of folks getting “pickled.”  It felt like we had dinner each night with the crew from a lobster boat and their families.

Exceptional food in the Texas Hill Country

Another foodie experience that was unparalleled was a trip we took across the hill country of Texas to see the spring bluebonnets.  I don’t think I have ever had such consistently good food and experiences in restaurants.  Every location had great music and the food choices were outstanding.  

The Homestead in Waco had the absolute best steak I have ever eaten.  Sadly, I read that it has since burned down.  Poblanos on Houston Street in San Antonio had awesome appetizer plates and dessert.  Compadres Hill Country Cocina was an unexpected treat for a quick lunch while traveling.  Ottos German Bistro was an interesting fine dining experience.  Community Pizza and Beer Garden in WImberly was so amazing we ate there twice. I also came home from there with a renewed interest in making homemade pizzas with some tricks borrowed from that restaurant.  Hays City Store Cafe had great food and entertainment.  The list in Texas Hill country is almost endless.  I know I have left some really good places out.  I encourage anyone who enjoys great food and music to visit the hill country.

western Eats

Most recently, we traveled the Great River Road up to Minnesota and then US HWY 2 out to Glacier National Park.  We had some good food on this trip as well.  However, there are only a couple of places that I am going to mention here.  

Jenny’s Kitchen in Havre, Montana had a great western atmosphere and large portions.  We really loved the tortilla soup with smoked pork.  The Ptarmigan Dining room in one of the lodges inside Glacier was fantastic!  Maybe we were just hungry after a long hike, but the food here was really wonderfully prepared.  My absolute favorite dining and music experience of this trip was at the Gunsight Saloon in Columbia Falls, Montana.  A young couple we spent a hike with recommended it and we ended up eating there twice.  The food was simple but delicious and we loved the atmosphere.

This most recent trip kind of redeemed our view of food on a western road trip because nothing really stood out to us as fantastic on our first two trips out west.

seeking out Local flavor

Traveling can be enhanced so much when you seek out local flavor.  Even if you aren’t going far away from home, look for local favorites.  I think it is important to try new things and take part in the culture of an area.  You can find new flavors that you enjoy, learn to cook in different ways, and learn to create interesting presentations.  Take a risk, try something new, and enjoy the trip!

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