Joy is food porn…

We both love food. We love experimenting with cooking and we love eating…sometimes too much! Some of the best highlights from our trip were food experiences. Here is a recap of the best places that we ate over the course of the 28 days we were gone. Before I forget, we decided early on that we would for the most part split all of our meals. Most restaurants give you enough food for a couple of meals anyhow. This would save us on money and more importantly on calories. We always had it in mind that if we were still hungry, we could order something else. But this way, we would not be wasting food (we did not always have a fridge/microwave) and more importantly, we were not going to gain a ton of weight.

The Garlic Press

We started our trip in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois, where we met up with our nephew, Alex, for lunch to celebrate his recent graduation from Illinois State University. To be honest- I have no idea what I had for my meal that day, but I do remember it being a delicious sandwich. Alex told us that the cookies there are awesome, but we were so wrapped up in chatting about life after college that we never went back in to get some.

Ernesto’s Wine Bar

One of the best parts about using AirBnB when traveling is that you get tons of off the beaten path suggestions from your hosts. In this case, we got into St. Louis earlier than we expected, so we stopped into Ernesto’s Wine Bar (literarly 50 feet from where we were staying). Neither of us were really hungry after our big lunch at the Garlic Press, so we decided we were going to split a flight of wine. Our server told us about their special for the day– Okonomyaki. We both said, “Gesundheit!” The guy went on to explain that it was eseentially like a Japanese pizza. We were both relatively grossed about by the list of ingrdients, but figured that in the spirit of adventure, we would try it. It was AMAZING! Here is one of a dozen different recipes that I found: Okonomyaki recipe.

 

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The Mud House

We LOVE breakfast, but we don’t tend to eat it, because more often than not we need a nap after having it. However, we woke up to pouring rain in St. Louis and decided we would grab a bit to eat before hitting the road and heading to Memphis. Once again our host suggested this local breakfast joint. We had such awesome success at Ernesto’s with asking for a suggestion that we decided to do it again here. We ended up ordering something called the Mud Slinger and it was delish! If you ever go…check out the super fun bathroom!

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Lamberts

I remember a year or so ago, one of my favorite students was telling me about this place where they throw rolls at you and that the portions are so big that there is no way you could possible eat all of the food. When I was looking for somewhere for us to stop between St. Louis and Memphis it turned out that Lamberts was just about half-way. What the heck, let’s check it out! The place is HUGE (BTW- they only take cash) and we waited (on a Friday early afternoon) for probably 20 minutes to get a table. They come around and sure enough they toss hot out of the over rolls over to you that are SO yummy that you could just sit there and eat them. Then people come around with all sorts of others side type things that they just put on a paper towel on your table. We were good and just tried a little bit of everything before we ordered a slab of ribs to share.

 

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Lafayette’s Music Room

We had one goal in Memphis to eat good BBQ and listen to live blues. Our hosts recommended Lafayettes as a good place to hear live music, so we decided to check it out on our first night in town. I’m sure the food was good, but we can’t remember what we ate. We listened to a cover band for a little while before heading back to our place. We were definitely searching for live blues, which we found the next day!

A Schwab

After a morning of exploring around Beale Street, we stopped into A Schwab to try a real soda at the old time soda bar. It had great atmosophere and was a cool place to stop to get out of the heat.

 

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Rum Boogie Cafe

We were waiting to go into the Gibson factory for our tour, when I suggested we stop into the big Westin across the street to see if they had any travel brochures for the area. One of the bellmen asked if he could help us. When we found out that they don’t have brochures, he asked us what we were looking for. We told him our visit to Memphis would not be complete if we did not get good BBQ and blues. Without hesitating he told us to go Rum Boogie Cafe around the corner from where were standing. He said the food would be fantastic and the blues would not disappoint. We ended up going there for lunch, because we wanted to hear live music at BBKings. We had a BBQ sampler that was outstanding. Our entree was definitely pricey, but since we split it, it was totally worth it.

 

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VooDoo BBQ

We left Memphis having loved the city and the experience. Now we were on the road heading to New Orleans. Once again, our AirBnB host set us up with awesome suggestions for places to eat near her house. We ended up eating at VooDoo BBQ twice in three days, because the food was so good. The first time, we split a meat sampler that was fantastic. We took the suggestion of trying the Sweet Potato Souflee, which was a big deal, because I don’t eat sweet potatoes. It was out of this world delicious! When we went back, we eat got our own meat samplers and once again it did not disappoint! It was the best meal that we had in New Orleans. A quick google search and I found the VooDoo BBQ Sweet Potato Souflee Recipe!

 

Morning Call Coffee Stand

Have you seen the movie Chef? I am pretty sure that I blogged about it here. Anyhow, it is a quinticential foodie movie. It was one of the main reasons we wanted to go to New Orleans. In the movie, he takes his son to Cafe du Monde to try beignets. We were not leaving NOLA without having a beignet…or three. Our trip to the French Quarter was anti-climatic at best. It was hot and humid and relatively miserable. We got all the way to Cafe du Monde and decided that we did not have it in us to wait in the heat for our beignets. I mentioned it to our host, Chrisy, the next morning and she suggested that we head out to The Morning Call in City Park. She claimed that the beignets were just as good and that we would not have to deal with the French Quarter. She was totally right. The coffee stand is in the middle of a huge park and the beignets were incredible…so good that we went back for seconds. With our iced coffees in hand, we set out to explore the sculpture park. Stay tuned for more on that later.

 

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The Rum House

We had plans to go to the World War II Museum in NOLA, but ended up exploring the long and awesome Magazine Street instead. A gal in a local bike shop suggested the Rum House for its awesome tacos. Little did we know that it was Taco Tuesday and all tacos were only $2 (some were usually $5-$7/taco, so this was a steal). We had really unique, fresh and delicious tacos. The food was really outstanding!

The Corner Muse

Before we talked to Chrisy about a place to find beignets, I had been doing some searching on Yelp, to see if I could find something. There were tons of awesome reviews for the Corner Muse, which was not far from where we were staying on Magazine Street. After our exploring, we decided to check it out. Vanessa does not serve beignets, but is is a super cute coffee shop that specializes in snowballs (flavored shaved ice concoctions!). We had an ice coffee and a sweet and sat and chatted with her for a while. Totally awesome little corner coffee shop!

 

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Seabrook Waffle Company

It seemed that everywhere we turned there was  a Waffle House (chain breakfast place). We joked that we were going to stop there just so we could see what all the hype was about. But instead, we got a recommendation from our host in Kemeh (closer to Houston than we thought) for the Seabrook Waffle Company. It is a little dive waffle house with outdoor seating. Once again I asked for a recommendation– I was in the mood for sweet and savory. I had the White Sails, which had cream cheese, strawberries and a jalapeno jam. It was fabulous. My husband had the monte cristo, which he loved as well. Definitely would recommend this super cute seaside town as well as the waffles!

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T-Bone Tom’s

We spent our one full-day in Kemeh at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Stay tuned for a whole blog on that experience. As we were driving back to our AirBnB, we decided to stop and have a bit at T-Bone Tom’s (another recommendation). I was in the mood for a fruity drink and some BBQ. T-Bone Tom’s did not disappoint at all. In fact, we enjoyed our fruity drinks out on a patio listening to a Jimmy Buffet cover band while picking at some awesome Texas BBQ. Once again, Kemeh is a great little town– especially if you like water. The people, who have chosen to live here have done so because they enjoy a certain lifestyle.

 

 

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Certainly all this reading about food has made you hungry. Go get a snack and I’ll finish up part two of food porn tomorrow!

 

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