Isn't it amazing the amount of crap that we are willing to feed ourselves whilst on holidays? I can't remember the last time i ordered a coke with my dinner at home, yet for the last month i have been guzzling down free refills like they are going out of fashion. Note: Classic coke is SO much better than what we have in Oz! *Sigh*, i am going to miss it...
We have had some good and some pretty bad dining experiences on this trip. I don't think i will ever forget our first meal in San Francisco where, after choking down probably the most awful ravioli on the planet, we were served up a half eaten plate of gummi bears (from a departing customers table) as some sort of complimentary dessert. So weird. I also think i ate more chips over 6 days in SF than i have in my whole life. CHILLI CHEESE FRITOS are amazing. AMAZING. There is some super addictive ingredient in there i swear... i just couldn't get enough. No doubt this is part of the reason i am now carrying an extra tyre around my mid section. Apart from these cheesy delights, my newfound love for cream cheese bagels and Quiznos subs (so much better than Subway), I don't really have anything that positive to say about the food in San Fran... maybe the locals are hiding all the good spots?
LA was not exactly a huge improvement. I have to say I was expecting more healthy options, given that everyone is so fit looking. However, there seemed to be more take out burger joints than anything else. Again, maybe you just have to know where to go? A personal favourite would have to be In N Out Burger - that place is just great :-) We did manage one delicious meal in Beverly Hills, but i wouldn't have expected anything less from such a beautiful location.
Onward to Vegas we went... where we discovered the wonderful Jimmy Buffet's Margharitaville. Not only are they cranking out some super strong kick-ass margharitas in a suitably tacky Hawaiian themed restaurant, they are also delivering probably the biggest and tastiest nachos i have ever eaten! They were on the menu under "starter", but i don't know who or what would be starting with these bad boys - it took four of us to finish them off!
Jimmy Buffet's is also home to the taco salad, which, try as i might i was not able to finish. Seriously, these portion sizes are insane.
We were treated to probably the best meal of our entire trip in Vegas on our wedding night, at the Eiffel Tower restaurant. Unfortunately for me, i had managed to contract bronchitis by this stage of our journey, and i'm pretty sure my tastebuds were not up to scratch, but it was still hands down an amazing experience. I think the window seat looking out over the Bellagio fountains definitely added a few extra points too.
I had the lamb rack, and it was absolutely sensational....
After Vegas we said goodbye to our friends and headed off to New York. And what can i say... if i didn't love Australia so much i would definitely want to live in NY. It really is a world of its own. And in my opinion is certainly the best out of the four cities when it comes to eating out.
Initially we were staying in Lower Midtown, which i will now refer to as tourist central. Not the best place to stay for any extended period, but worth visiting for sure. Times Square is mad. We covered the standard touristy stuff including Central Park, which is just beautiful, and where i had my first NY hot dog... yum :-)
After spending a week around Midtown we decided to change it up and booked a hotel in SoHo. Let me just say, i heart SoHo! I would be more than happy to spend a few years living downtown. Although we managed to cover a lot of ground in the five days we spent there, i know there is so much that we missed out on.
Chinatown was a real buzz, with some awesome food to boot. Excellent Dumpling House (thanks Renee for the recommendation!) really was excellent - and SO cheap! We ate there twice and had to be rolled out the door, both times costing less than $25.
We also had some great experiences around Little Italy, the most delectable Thai food at Kittichai and of course, a few slabs of the famous New York pizza. In fact, just about everywhere we tried was awesome. Aside from one dodgy brekky in the East Village, but we'll forgive them seeing as everywhere else was so great.
All in all we had a wonderful trip, and as i write this from our hotel next to LAX i can't help but feel a little sad that it's almost all over. However, i am certainly looking forward to getting back to my kitchen at home, and attempting to drop some of this holiday belly....