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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

the best part of vacation

how about a recap of the grub?  sure, why not?
warning - there's a shitload of photos ahead.  i fear you'll lose interest as i lack the colorful commentary of my foodie blogger buddies, but maybe i'll get an E for effort.  we tried our hardest not to go anywhere that we'd have been able to get at home (starbucks excepted, of course).  now, i realize that a few of the places we visited were chains, but hey, they're not ones we have near us.  neener neener neener.

ready?  let's go:
our first meal in boston - breakfast, at dunkin' donuts.  we wanted something quick and easy, and hell, there's one of these about every 50 yards, it seemed.
then lunch at tia's on the wharf - lobster roll!

in cambridge, with trish & her hub at legal sea foods.  yummiest rolls ever:

and, dessert at jp licks:

lunch at red's sandwich shop in salem:

the bean's pancake was bigger than her head.  hell, it was bigger than the hub's nugget.  we went with their $6.95 "how do they do it?" specials, forgetting temporarily the old adage "you get what you pay for."  d-oh.

fun stuff at a cute store:

our newport dinner:

lunch at mystic pizza in connecticut:

NYC!  this place served me the best pasta dish i've ever had - housemade pappardelle with braised short ribs.  oh mah gah, SO good.  and the caprese salad with (also housemade) fresh mozzarella...to. die. for.

we found ourselves in chinatown the next day and followed a bunch of glowing yelp reviews for this place.  as one of them said, "it's called big wong.  you gotta respect a place called big wong, man."  heh.  too bad the bean fell asleep and stayed that way through the whole meal.  she'd have liked the noodles with the roast pork.  mmmmm.

the last two times we've been to NYC, we've eaten at stage deli.  this time, we chose to stride right past it (seriously, it was like right down the street) and right into carnegie deli.  'twas good, although they're quite comparable.  i decided that neither one beat out the other.  the hub and i both went with corned beef sandwiches, while the bean had mac & cheese topped with tasty pastrami bits.   the teen opted for cheese blintzes.  and don't tell her i told you, but she totally slipped out of veg mode for a nanosecond when she "accidentally" ingested a tiny bite of pastrami.  um, and loved it.  heh.

not long after, i was hit with a ridiculous craving for a black & white cookie and took the teen for a quick walk into times square to get me one.

the next morning, as the hub left to pick up our rental car, we found a fun street fair right outside our hotel.  we decided to breakfast on some nutella crepes, which were delish (of course).

our quickie stop to philly wasn't complete without trying out the two biggest cheesesteak competitors.  the line was most ridiculous for geno's (which also offered some...interesting bumper stickers for free), but we liked pat's so much that i went back for more.  the hub and i had split a sandwich from each joint, and found that we were still hungry.  i could smell philly cheesesteak on my hands for hours afterwards.

at a quick stop at a rest stop to fuel up, i picked up a lunchable for the bean to snack on as we drove.  when she got bored with it, she decided to create some porktastic art.  "look, mommy, a sad face.  now it's happy!"

the next day, we walked all around D.C. and stopped to have a hot dog in front of the lincoln memorial.

it was 4th of july, and with a 2-hour wait at our chosen restaurant (again, via yelp), we decided to take it to go and make a picnic out of it while we waited for the fireworks spectacular.

in colonial williamsburg, we had salad & sandwiches in a cute little café.  the bean decided to make "beds" for her goldfish crackers with the leftover turkey from hers.

i also discovered my new most favorite place in the whole wide world...CRACKER BARREL!...which has zero locations anywhere near home.  sad.  i was such a happy camper, munching away at my cracker barrel sampler (chicken & dumplings, meatloaf (gave that to the hub, ick), and ham with green beans, corn, hashbrown casserole and biscuits) that i forgot to take pictures.  oh, well.

and it has a fun store inside, too!  they had the most fantastic selection of nostalgic and regional candy and snacks.  right up my alley.  and, as you'll see, the bean's.

most of our "breakfasts" consisted of starbucks coffee drinks and pastries or egg sandwiches.  as luck would have it, most of the hotels we stayed at had a 'bucks café right inside.  although florida was frustrating, as it was nowhere to be found for miles between st. augustine and daytona beach.  their real estate guy kinda sucks.

our drive through charleston yielded a car charger for my iPad and our first taste of in-n-out's east coast competition.  it was really good, but i thought it was an unfair comparison - the menu was a little more elaborate.  perhaps i'm just biased.

the hub was stoked to try some real georgia peaches.  we found some at a roadside stand run by some dude trying to pay his way through college.

in st. augustine, we arrived at o.c. white's just as they were about to close.  although the servers were very accommodating and urged us to stay, we decided to just take the food to go.  this proved to be a bad move for me, because my seafood martinique (the one that looks like barf) ended up giving me the worst tummyache i've had in a long, long time.  we'll just say i was a bit sleep-deprived that night and leave it at that, mmkay?

at kennedy space center, we were amused to find dippin' dots, only here, they were "space dots."

at disney's hollywood studios park, we found ourselves dining at a couple of the kitschiest (but super cute) spots ever.  for lunch, the sci-fi drive in diner:

later, our brownie sundae made my 10-year-old-boy sense of humor giggle like mad.

i'd made two reservations - one at 6:45 at the "hollywood brown derby," and a later one at the retro 50's prime-time café.  we ended up at the latter.

since we were flying home out of fort lauderdale, we booked a hotel near the airport.  while checking the map for dinner ideas, we were pleasantly surprised to realize that miami is only half an hour south of there.  and what else would we eat in miami but cuban food?

the restaurant is owned by gloria estefan.  if you go, know that they automatically add 17% gratuity to the bill...which the hub remembered at 1:00 in the morning, after realizing that he'd added another 20% to our total.  record sales slipping?  bah.

i also really loved being able to get sweet tea just about everywhere.  mmmm, sweet tea.  i love that stuff so much.

wow, i'm hungry all over again.  and the nearest cracker barrel is way up in sacramento!  so sad.  perhaps i'll google for copycat recipes. 

i'm so lame.


  1. Seriously all looks delicious! You did a great job enjoying the local fare.

  2. Your eating adventures have left me hungry. I was most excited about Mystic Pizza. Had no idea it's an actual place. Looooove that movie. Julia Roberts at her finest.

  3. love, love, love this post! so exciting to see all those regional eats. I AM SO HUNGRY RIGHT NOW & everything you tried looks delectable.

    five guys is opening up close by. i'm excited to try it. :)

    btw, i made hash brown casserole recently. i think the recipe i have is pretty darn good, though i don't remember how cracker barrel tops it. check it out if you're interested:


  4. There's a Five Guys in San Diego now, is it worth the try?

  5. loved this post..it made me drool a few times. looks like you guys ate some pretty tasty food..though it sucks that one of the meals made you sick :(.
    anywho..looking forward to more trip posts and lots more pictures..yay!

  6. Cracker Barrel? REALLY?

    We weren't allowed to eat there as kids because of their (at the time) openly racist policies.

    Not to rain on your parade or anything ;P

  7. Wow, I can't believe how offensive Gino's bumper stickers are. Glad you liked Pat's better. :)

  8. Dude! You guys had some fantastic grub!!

  9. Hmmmm you're making me hungry again.

  10. You almost fooled me for a moment! No CB's in Cali, or Nevada. Closest to you is Kingman, AZ or Yuma, Az. I grew up in Va (not far from Colonial Williamsburg) so I know and love CB. I live in San Jose now, so I am sorely missing the hasbrown casserole!


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