Monday, October 12, 2009

Food Porn: The Vacation Edition

Sadly, but truly, one of my favorite parts of vacation is the food. After all, vacation means no cooking (usually) and, even better for a foodie like me, the stimulating possibility of new culinary marvels to enjoy and dream about for months afterward.

The hubs and I actually have a "rule" that when on vacay, we try to eat at local joints as much as possible. Unfortch, for this trip, we didn't necessarily abide by the rule since we were on a tight budget. Yes, there were some trips to Taco Bell and Hardee's (which, btw, have you had a Hardee's bacon, egg & cheese biscuit? Oh my. They are tas-tee. Crispy buttery on the outside. Bacony, cheesy goodness on the inside. And BOGO right now. Word.) thrown into the mix. And the local joints we dined at were the, shall we say, more low-brow places. But we still had some good eats, peeps. Here's a sampling of the week's gorge-fest:

Gaze upon the golden goodness of hush puppies from Clam Digger's in Bedford, where we had our first and next to last night meal. Not the best pups I've had, but mighty yummers. Plus, this whole basket? Like $2.

Never one to turn down a bowl of New England clam chowder, this sample, also from Clam Digger's hit the spot. The dash of Old Bay on top was a nice touch. As were the retro oyster crackers.

This gem, however, was the jewel in Clam Digger's crown--the famous Crab Muffin. I am getting the vapors just thinking about it. Fresh crab goodness topped with cheese on a toasted English muffin. That? Is some good shizz.

I was prepared when we went to Charlottesville and had our lunch spot already picked (yes, I am a total food nerd--where's the surprise? really.)--Revolutionary Soup. They were featured in an article in Southern Living about Charlottesville early this summer--they use mostly local produce, organically grown, in their soups, salads and sandwiches. This delightful concoction was the Adam's Apple with turkey, arugula, apple slices, chevre, bacon and, hold onto your panties, homemade apple butter. Shut up and slap your mama! I bought a whole huge quart of locally made apple butter later in the week for the sole purpose of recreating this masterpiece at Casa Bunny. Yo.

As far as the soups at Revolutionary Soup, gaze upon the rosemary potato and butternut squash. That butternut squash soup? Like drinking dessert.

When in Staunton, we dined at Cranberry's Grocery & Eatery, a natural and organic store/cafe. This marvel is the Mediterranean Wraptatouille with couscous, sauteed tomato, zucchini, red pepper, onion, capers & kalamata olives. Again, Bunny will be trying her hand at recreating this delightful treat.

While on vaca, I enjoyed this new beer, Dogfish Head's Theobroma, which I actually brought from home. No drinks out--too pricey--so all imbibing was courtesy of the Casa Bunny mobile liquor cabinet. The little Hop City dude really talked this one up, and it was good, but I was a little underwhelmed. Perhaps because expectations had been set so high. I mean, Hell, the name means "food of the gods." Plus, it was a little too carbonated for me. Oh well.

We also abstained from dessert and decided to purchase goodies to enjoy back at the loft in our jammies. Did you know Paula Deen is making desserts for Walmart? Hellz yes, she is! That crafty Paula. And let me tell you, this fudge pie? Will 'cause you to cut a bitch to get a piece. Just sayin'.

See this? I think this was my favorite thing I ate all week. Sublimely good Italian lentil soup from The Artisan Cafe in Bedford. I begged and cajoled for the recipe to a resounding "no." But you better believe I am going to be trying to remake this one. Cup of heaven.

Accompanying the soup was the best sandwich--so fresh, so pretty, but what made it was the homemade olive spread (beneath the cheese). Seriously good shizz.

In Roanoke, we ran across the best. shop. ever. Chocolate Paper. It's a card/stationary & high-end chocolate/candy store. Otherwise known as my idea of heaven on earth. We stayed in the store for almost an hour. I laughed at the kitschy merchandise while inhaling the vapors of cocoa from the cases and cases of treats. Loves. Just loves.

Lunch in Roanoke was our cheapest meal--Texas Tavern. Founded in 1930, T.T. is Roanoke's version of the ATL's Varsity, but older. And smaller. Ten stools. They are known for their chili, but that hot dog relish was tas-tee goodness. We had a dog, burger, chili and drinks for like $8. No lie.

And this? This is the site of my future restaurant in Staunton--an old mill beside the railroad tracks. I am going to win the lottery and turn it into a brew pub. Stacks at the Tracks. You are all invited to the grand opening.

That's just a few treats we had. There were others, but some restaurants were just too dark to get good photos. Or I simply forgot in my rush to shove some yummy goodness in my pie-hole. What I loved most about the area of Virginia we visited is it is heavily agricultural so many of the local eateries use local produce in their food, producing seasonal fare and much of it organically grown. That's an encouraging trend I hope continues to catch on.

I reckon now you can see how I managed to bloat up last week, but it was totally worth it. I will be reporting back as I try to recreate some of these dishes, so stayed tuned. Later, peeps! Bun

4 comments:

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

That post was truly drool-worthy.
We do the same thing on road trips. We ask around in town where there is a good place to get lunch. We've never been disappointed.

My word-verification is ovenow.
Oven? Now? Should I bake?

robertga99 said...

The Italian Lentil soup sounds delicious. Hurry up and try to make it..I'll volunteer to be the taste tester :)

bunny said...

OMG..the food was so yummy! I may try my hand at that soup this weekend Bob--what'chu doing Sunday??

big sis said...

I have got to stop checking your blog before dinner.