I am a genuine lover of food and I am not one to ever turn down a plate. Here is a running list of the best food I have eaten around the world.
This summer I travelled to Europe and was opened to a wealth of culture and delicious food. My first stop was London, England.
One of the things I had to try was the traditional English breakfast. When I first got off the plane, I dropped my bags off at my hotel and walked around the city for a bit. My first stop was at a cute restaurant about a block away from the British Museum. I was starving, and it was about 9 in the morning so I decided to get the day started right with the most important meal of the day. Now I know beans on toast is a weird concept in America, but it didn't taste that bad. Also, the flavors of the sausage, tomatoes, runny eggs and beans just all work together. I was in London for about a week and had an "English Breakfast" 3 times. When I go back to London, I wouldn't be surprised if I had it a few more times.
Another place I went to was Al Alrez, a Lebanese hookah bar and restaurant. Located in a very diverse section of the city, it had delicious food and great hookah. The service was okay...we arrived a little after 11pm after Wireless Festival had finished and it took a while to get seated and to place our order. Aside from that, the food was absolutely amazing. I had Sawda Dajaj, a sandwich with liver, pickles, tomatoes and garlic sauce, and we ordered tons of appetizers: french fries, stuffed grape leaves, fried vegetables and hummus. The food was absolutely amazing. Everything was delicious and the grape leaves and hummus were probably some of the best I had in my life. The atmosphere was great too. There were people of all different backgrounds hanging out in front smoking hookah and hanging out. We went there twice in a row and left both times around 2 or 3 am, I'm not sure what time they closed but we were definitely there for a while each night. When I come back to London, I'm positive this will be one of the first spots I visit.
Oh my god, this plate right here was one of the most amazing dinners I ever had in my entire fucking life. I still dream about that massive portion of macaroni and cheese and the giant fried pork knuckle, Schweinshaxe. I will admit, I was being greedy in the English Gardens. I had 4 plates and a liter of beer on my tray for no reason. But you know what, I didn't care, I had to try everything. How can I eat pork knuckle and not add German potato salad and skip out on sauerkraut? SAUERKRAUT FOR GOD'S SAKE. And Bavarian pretzels? Yup, add that onto the plate too. I paid for it later by throwing up half of my meal because for some reason I chugged my beer in front of a crowd of cheering onlookers from other tour groups, but I'll never forget that delicious food. Oktoberfest 2017, I'm coming for you, and you better load my plate up exactly like this picture.
Of course Italy has delicious food, how could it not? I made sure to say fuck carbs and indulge in pizza, pasta and tons and tons of gelato. Some of the best pizza I had in the world came from a rest stop in Italy, where I experienced major culture shock because I had just woke up from a 3 hour bus ride, and I was high off an Amsterdam space cake I had eaten at 6 in the morning, Aside from that, the pizza I ate was doughy, cheesy, meaty, salty and greasy all at the same time. The best pasta I had was the most basic recipe, spaghetti noodles and tomato sauce, but it was still way better than anything I had in the states. On top of that, gelato is not only great to eat to cool off in the 33 degree Celsius weather, they also come in so many flavors that it makes your head spin. I had at least 5 cones in 3 days, and it was totally worth it. My favorite flavors are the fruity ones, such as lime, peach and raspberry.
OBVIOUSLY I had to try escargot. It was good! I know a lot of people sniff their nose to it because it's snails, but who cares? Also, like I said, I'll literally try anything once. I should really be the host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel. On a side note, why are a lot of shows about food and traveling around the world hosted by white guys? Anyway, one of my favorite nights in Paris was spending it with a new friend I had made on the trip and her mother. We went to Camille for dinner, where I had steak and fries and escargot. The steak was definitely one of the best steaks I've had in my entire life. Cooked medium well and perfectly seasoned, I ate as much as I could but I was too full to finish it. Mainly because I had a small snack of stuffed grape leaves and hummus at a Lebanese restaurant around the corner from my hotel. Either way, that steak is definitely worth writing about. The area where the restaurant was super cute too. Paris is so dreamy and I can't wait to go back. Also worth noting is the abundance of diverse food the city has to offer. My hotel was near the Moulin Rouge and offered everything from a two floor KFC to Turkish Kebobs. I loved the diversity that was offered in terms of food, markets and people and it opened my eyes to what the real Paris looks like. For dessert, we went to Armorino, famous for making their gelato in the shape of a rose. Here's a picture of me with my raspberry gelato rose.
While traveling in Europe opened my eyes to different cuisines from a variety of cultures, there's no place like home for food.
The United States
I'm okay with admitting that I did not realize the heavy Spanish influence in Colorado. I didn't realize how big Mexico was before the gringos came over and fucked things up. With that being said, Colorado has amazing Mexican food. Two of my favorite places include Sancho's (top picture) and Amanda's Fonda (not pictured). Sancho's was AMAZING. I had a sopapilla which is a fried tortilla and it was smothered with cheese, chicken, lettuce and tomatoes and a tamale on the side. They're known for their tamales in Colorado Springs and they didn't disappoint. Also the sapapilla was crunchy and super fluffy. Amanda's Fonda had great queso for FREE so I jumped at that opportunity. Also, Amanda's Fonda was the first food my friends and I had after a hellish 3 days stuck in Tennessee with a broken down car and after driving 10 hours straight to Colorado. I would've eaten dirt and enjoyed it to be honest. Shoutout to the bartender we talked to who I flirted with. I'll see you soon Alexis, and I hope to cash in that free margarita coupon you gave me.
Aside from Mexican food, in Manitou Springs my friends and I ate at a cute Turkish cafe and indulged in amazing hummus (if you're just now realizing my obsession with hummus, you're not the only one, I didn't even realize I talked about eating hummus in 3 different countries until now.), falafels, warm and fluffy pita bread and I ordered some delicious iced chai. The place was called Sahara and it was cozy and comfortable to spend an afternoon after some great shopping in the Springs. If you ever get the chance, go to Manitou Springs in Colorado, I highly recommend it.
Our final destination in the Springs was a brunch spot called Over Easy. The honey lemonade was really the key element that made the meal for me. I had avocado toast with biscuits and gravy on the side which was delicious, but the lemonade was amazing. The honey flavor was strong but complimented the lemonade very well. I would try to make it at home but we all know it's going to be a disaster. Guess I'll just have to make another trip to Colorado...
In LA, I met the love of my life, Japanese Ramen. My friend took me to Tatsu the night we came in and after taking my first bite Soul Ramen of I was immediately hooked. I also had to go to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles because
A) I remember watching an episode of Snoop Dogg's show Father Hood in high school and he was obsessed with chicken and waffles and anything Snoop Dogg likes I like too. He seems like a good guy whose opinions I can trust.
B) My friend lives right up the street from it. Like a literal 3 minute drive. How could I not go to one of the most iconic hood spots in LA?
Although I stayed in LA for a total of about 18 hours, I know it's really big for a variety of food so I look forward to going back and seeing what other types of food I can sink my teeth into.
Having friends in San Francisco has its benefits, including getting the chance to eat at Apple Headquarters in their cafe. The Mac Cafe is the best because they offer upscale cuisine at an affordable price. I got seafood risotto that was black because it has squid ink in it and a side of Thai coconut seafood soup. (Hint, I love seafood) Risotto is definitely one of my favorite comfort foods, combining rice and creaminess all in one. It was delicious, but low key the mushroom risotto I had on my flight back to Washington DC on Air France was a little bit better, no shade to Apple though cause I damn sure ate that squid ink risotto. Other dining experiences in the city include the best panko fried salmon and white rice I had in Japan Town, which I ate entirely with chopsticks. I love salmon, but that salmon on my plate was other worldly. It made me realize that Japanese food is the shit and I plan on going to Japan soon to see what other foods I can try. Including ramen. A great brunch spot is Nopa, right up the street from the Painted Ladies from the opening credits of Full House. Nopa is a quaint modern restaurant that is highly popular in the area with an ever-changing menu. My brunch that day included sausage with hummus (there's that hummus obsession again) and poached eggs. I never thought about sausage and hummus together, but Nopa made me a true believer. On top of that, they have an absolutely divine custard french toast. I could totally go for some right now.
One of the main reasons why I love traveling, no matter where I go, is because of the food. I am curious about what foods are comfort foods in any culture, what food is the food you eat when you have no money, and what is the food you eat when you have some extra cash on your hands to spend. I look forward to more opportunities to travel around the world and try the delicious food, no matter how weird it looks, smells, sounds or tastes. Next time you travel, please do me a huge favor and say fuck it to your diet you're not even really sticking to, and try the weirdest thing you see on the menu.