Friday, January 21, 2011

Vacation Food

I was browsing through some vacation photos tonight and they made me hungry. Being big food-lovers (and I say food-lovers instead of foodies because I feel like foodies are much more particular), eating plays a pretty big part in all of our vacations. In fact, we probably do more research on awesome restaurants and signature dishes in any given city we visit than we do actual activities or points of interest.

During my trip down vacation memory lane, I started thinking about some of my all-time favorite foods I've had on our trips. So I thought I'd count them down for you, and give you a few photos where possible.

10. Crepes from La Creperie at Paris Las Vegas
I'm sure that the crepe I had from a street vendor in Paris, France, was actually better, but the crepes at La Creperie inside Paris Las Vegas are pretty amazing. I'm not really a fan of savory crepes, but give me nutella and whipped cream and I'm in heaven. I try to go here once during every Vegas trip. There's just something about a crepe that makes you happy, oui?

9. Shave Ice from any beach-side stand in Honolulu
I have to admit that it took me a while to get over the fact that they call it "Shave Ice" when it should be "Shaved Ice." You know I'm a stickler for grammar, but obviously Pidgin English isn't. I got over it enough to enjoy shave ice just about every day on our honeymoon. Maybe it was the Honolulu heat, but there was something so super refreshing about chipping away at a shave ice while you strolled around on the island.

8. Pancakes from Snooze in Denver
I believe there are two types of people in this world: waffle people and pancake people. Snooze is for pancake people. You know they're good when you can get a Pancake Flight, which includes three of their incredible varieties. I skipped the flight, but had "The Graceland" which, as you'd expect, involves bananas, peanut butter and bacon. But Bill had "Pineapple Upside Down Cake" which was a-ma-zing!

7. Blueberry Ale from Salem Beer Works in Boston
So it's not technically a food, but I'm pretty sure that here in Milwaukee beer is considered a food group. Much to the chagrin of native Milwaukeeans, I'm not a beer drinker. But when I can find a fruity beer, I'll usually give it a try. Salem Beer Works in Boston had a blueberry ale, and what made it tasty was the fresh blueberries floating in it!

6. Arancini from Galleria Umberto in Boston
I'm going to confess, I didn't know what arancini was before I visited Boston. But when I learned they were Sicilian fried rice balls, I had to have one. Usually made with risotto filled with meat sauce, mozzarella and peas, then coated in bread crumbs and deep fried, arancini are unique but oh-so-good. They're quite possibly the best part of the very limited menu at Galleria Umberto in the North End.

5. Pizza from Galleria Umberto in Boston
Galleria Umberto is truly a whole in the wall, but known for making the best pizza in Boston. And it truly is the best. They open at 11:00 a.m. every day and close when the pizza sells out, which is quickly. Bill and I went twice during our trip to Boston in May and the line was out the door on both visits. All they have on the menu is Sicilian-style pizza (cheese only - don't you dare ask for another topping), calzones and arancini, but the few things they do they do well.

4. Dole Whip from the Dole Pineapple Plantation (and other ice cream stands) in Honolulu
You haven't lived if you haven't had Dole Whip! I'm not kidding when I say that a trip to Hawaii is worth it for the Dole Whip alone. Think pineapple flavored soft serve. Mmmmm! It's so light and super duper refreshing. I'm sure I could find a recipe and attempt to make it, but I'm afraid it would ruin the memory.

3. Teriyaki Chicken from the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Honolulu
You wouldn't guess that the best meal we had in Hawaii came from the cafeteria at the Dole Pineapple Plantation. But hands down, those teriyaki grilled chicken cutlets, two scoops of rice, salad and fresh pineapple spears were to die for. I'd give just about anything to relive this meal.

2. Cannoli from Modern Pastry in Boston
You have no idea how much I wish I could teleport myself to Boston for cannoli from Modern Bakery every night. I have a special place in my heart for cannoli because my grandmother made them on special occasions, so I always get excited to have one. But too many have soggy shells and way-too-sweet filling. Modern makes their cannoli just like Nana did. And they're perfect.

1. Sourdough Bread from Boudin Bakery in San Francisco
So San Francisco isn't technically a vacation destination because I still consider it home. But given how infrequently I go (a couple times a year if I'm lucky), it sometimes feels more like a vacation. No matter what, I always fill up on Boudin sourdough. As far as I'm concerned, Boudin is the ONLY sourdough. It's the perfect balance of crusty and chewy and is good any way you want it - as a sandwich, as a bread bowl, with a salad, alongside pasta. After the Golden Gate Bridge and the Giants, Boudin is my favorite part of the city.

There are probably dozens of amazing foods I'm leaving off the list, but if these were the first to come to me I figured they must rank at the top. Now that I've made myself so hungry, I can't wait to hear about the best foods you've had on vacation :)


  1. I was thinking about this and I actually had a pretty hard time coming up with specific places! That sounds kind of pathetic, doesn't it? :p I've got a lot of food related observations that are at the tip of my brain right now...

    Odessa, Texas. What a place-- tumble weed, oil pumps and dust storms, high school football... and apparently no maple syrup. No waitress there couldn't conceive of it, even when serving me waffles and pancakes. That was more nuts than the pace at which professional business got done, which was no pace at all. I thought only the English weren't aware of the existence of maple syrup, but that's obviously not the case!

    In terms of restaurants..

    There's this family style place called Tony di Napoli's, I think they have several locations in the city (midtown, Upper West Side, and most likely Little Italy or else that's shocker lol). All the portions are huge and everything is to the max, which means it was made for me!

    Also a bakery in NYC, Veniero's. They've got everything imaginable, they've got an attached restaurant and it's so old style and original, the place has been there since 1894. Next time I go to NYC, I'm go there as often as humanly possible.

    New York is endless though. In every sense of the word. Which is ironic since the island itself is pretty small.

  2. I can't wait until we get to New York ... my list of favorite vacation foods is sure to grow exponentially. The one place I absolutely have to try is Junior's Cheesecakes. I've seen those cheesecakes on the Food Network too many times and they look so good! We're going to have to spend weeks in NYC just to get to all of the yummy places I've seen on TV.