While you’re waiting on a new post to pop up (soon!) check out some photos of food from our travels in 2012 on First Bite’s Facebook page (click the pic).
Here’s a quick touch on things I’ve been doing/eating lately…warm weather means fun food events!
PHiNS Club of Jacksonville Gumbo Festival:The PHiNS, a group of philanthropic Jimmy Buffett fans, put on their 7th annual Gumbo Festival at the Jacksonville Landing. The event brought together nearly 20 teams–some professional, some just fun-loving friends–to vie for the gumbo cook-off title and raise money for a local nonprofit. Mario and I won tickets via Twitter from the folks at Jax Landing and had a great time sampling gumbo. I am VERY picky about gumbo (it’s hard to live up to my mom’s), so it’s worth noting that my favorite group also won both the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice awards.
Jax Truckies brought together a number of Jacksonville’s food trucks (who knew we even had “a number” of them?) for some friendly competition. Participants (and their Twitter pages, so you can track them) included Monroe’s on the Go, Mother Fletcher, On the Fly Sandwiches & Stuff, Driftwood BBQ, Mike B’s, Brucci’s Mobile Pizzeria, and Comfort Zone Foods. Although the day started out in a deluge, host Bold City Brewery was nice enough to set up tables inside until the weather cleared up. We loved our pulled pork & cheeseburger sliders from Monroe’s BBQ, and whatever the sauce is that On the Fly uses to top their items, it needs to be bottled. The chicken soft taco I tried was excellent, and I hear their ahi tuna was divine.
Jax Truckies Food Truck Competition:
I was recently invited to check out some new menu items at Sonny’s BBQ, including their new dry rub wing & ribs (try saying either of those 3 times fast). I enjoyed both, and their baby back ribs ain’t too shabby either. We tried a number of appetizers too–the fried okra needs serious improvement. Sliminess is not a good quality for okra However, there is just something about those yummy corn nuggets…
Sonny’s BBQ Blogger Dinner:
And finally…ITALY!! Mario and I took a “we’ve got no kids, let’s do what we want” trip to Rome and Florence (my most favorite city I’ve ever visited). On my last trip to Italy during a semester abroad, my travel buddies and I were pounding 2-a-day gelatos (no change there) and lots of cafe sandwiches for the cheap. I got to eat a little better this time around. So if you need to know where the best gelato is in Rome or Florence, or where Fiorentini stop for wine and crostini on a warm evening, I’m your girl.
Another spot in Dayton I decided I needed to try was City Barbeque. I could always smell the smoke wafting out when I stopped by Chick-fil-A, and let’s not even mention the fact that it’s attached to a Graeter’s ice cream shop.
Founded by a BBQ competition team in 1999, City Barbeque’s menu offerings cover many of the US’s barbeque styles. According to their website: “Our pork shoulder is reminiscent of the southeastern United States, the brisket and sausage take you to Texas, and the ribs exude a blend of Memphis and Kansas City.” When I floated into the restaurant on a wave of smoke à la an old Warner Brothers’ cartoon, I decided to keep it simple with a pulled pork sandwich (slider sized for lunch) and my first ever taste of fried pickles:
Well, I’ve made it out of Ohio, took a quick trip home for the 4th of July, and now I’m back in Atlanta. I’ve only got a few posts from Ohio as most of the area around me was populated with casual dining chains. One chain that I found and loved, however, was Penn Station East Cost Subs.
Penn Station is a sandwich chain that started in Cincinnati, OH in 1985 and now has 200+ locations across 12 states. They’re known for their cheesesteak, and I tried one on more than one occasion, along with their vegetarian Grilled Artichoke sub (among other things. I visited a lot.):
Hi faithful reader(s…maybe?)!
Just giving a heads-up that I’m away from my 2nd home of Atlanta for 6 weeks I’m doing top-secret if-I-tell-you-I-have-to-kill-you research for the Air Force at Wright-Patterson in Dayton, OH. Ok it’s really not so top-secret…but it sounds much more interesting that way, right? Not to worry, I do have a few Atlanta posts left to hammer out, and hopefully I’ll be able to whip up something decent from my extended stay hotel (“well” equipped with one pot and one pan). Any suggestions on things to eat/do in Dayton and surrounding areas are greatly appreciated! I’m already anticipating trips to Columbus and/or Cincinnati to spice things up.
Hit my inbox via the contact link above or leave your suggestions in the comments. Thanks for reading!
On my drive back to Atlanta, I made a pit stop at a little place in Mobile, AL I’ve been meaning to try out since I started making drives to and from Atlanta (~5 years). Wintzell’s Oyster House is apparently a Mobile tradition famous for its “fried, stewed, or nude” oysters. I didn’t visit the original location in “Historic Mobile”, but the Saraland location right off I-65 didn’t disappoint.
The interior walls of the restaurant are covered in corny one-liners–like, “What’s the most arrogant insect? A cocky roach!”–which kept me occupied during my quick stop. I ordered one of Wintzell’s lunch specials: a half dozen oysters on the half shell with fried crab claws and fries. The oysters are served “any way you want ‘em”, and Wintzell’s offers raw, grilled, Rockefeller, Monterey, and Bienville. I asked the waitress whether I could mix and match my cooking styles, and after a quick check with the kitchen I decided on half grilled, half Bienville (covered with shrimp, crabmeat, and parmesean sauce):
Ok, so my family only served one of those dishes for Thanksgiving, but isn’t that a great song anyway? I’ve been MIA since Thanksgiving because finals are next week, so I’m stopping in to share a few pics of my family’s spread, starting with some homemade Muscadine Wine from my aunt and uncle:
I don’t know what they did with this wine, but it was delicious and had a ridiculous alcohol content.
This next and final post on my Jamaica adventures (happily) consists only of things I tried. We’ll start off with…rum!
I had the opportunity to go on a tour of the Appleton Estate for a look at how rum is made. However, I think most people on the tour (including myself) were most looking forward to the tasting at the end. We started out by seeing the old methods of extracting cane juice from sugar cane and separating the brown sugar and molasses. We then got to see their “new” distillery and aging rooms. We were able to taste 5 or 6 different Appleton products, all of which were very good and quite strong. Appleton makes their own versions of a number of alcohols you may be familiar with, such as Coco (Malibu), Rum Cream (rum version of Bailey’s), and a coffee liqueur (comparable to Starbucks’?). An interesting tidbit: Check your bottle of rum for where it was made (Latin American country or elsewhere) and whether there is a number on the bottle. Latin American countries may list a number like “12″ to signify that the average age of the rums in the bottle is 12. However, countries on the British system, such as Jamaica, would list 12 signifying that the youngest rum in the bottle is 12 years old.
I made it back home in time for Mother’s Day, and I thought that our Mom’s Day meal was definitely a fitting “Back in Baton Rouge” post: CRAWFISH!
It has been such a long time since I’ve had boiled crawfish, so I was really excited when my mom said that was what she wanted to eat on her day. We bought these freshly boiled from Baton Rouge seafood staple, Tony’s Seafood. I was a little disappointed that my dad didn’t make them himself like usual, but Tony’s did an excellent job.
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I’m fresh off my trip to Jamaica, slightly sunburned, but wishing I was still lying out on the beach. Because I did a lot of “touristy” things while I was there, I wasn’t able to try as much local cuisine as I would have liked. So, this post will talk about a few things I did try, and a few I should have tried based on advice from tour guides and other locals. First off, Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and saltfish (photo courtesy of flickr user galif548).