I only have 24 hours in Sofia, Bulgaria and it’s my first time here. Every moment has to count, especially because I want to tackle the local food scene. One day isn’t enough, but sometimes our schedules get in the way of our travel plans and we have to make the most of our time.
When I’m faced with an impossibly short stay in an unfamiliar destination, the first thing I do is find a food tour. There’s no better, faster way to get geographically orientated and learn about a place’s history and flavors. Plus, you get an opportunity to chat one-on-one with a knowledgeable local. Culinary tours are also safe ways to step outside your travel comfort zone to try new things.
Back in my weirdly retro Bulgarian hotel room, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I Googled “Sofia food tour” and the first site that came up was Balkan Bites, Sofia’s daily free food tour.
Hold up – a FREE food tour? As in, it costs nothing? I’d never heard of a free food tour, but it was meeting at 2:00PM in the old town’s Park Crystal and there was no way I was going to miss it. Read more
Episode 1: WHAT DO HOBBITS EAT?
It’s finally here! My new food adventure web series, “Off the Beaten Plate” is live on YouTube with Episode One: “What do Hobbits Eat?”
In the premiere episode of “Off the Beaten Plate,” we step straight into Middle Earth. This fantasy food adventure takes viewers on a trip to the Lord of the Rings film set in Matamata, New Zealand, where we find out exactly what hobbits eat, from Shire-harvested vegetables to a feast in the (very real!) Green Dragon Inn.
I’m thrilled to invite you into my crazy world, where there’s a food adventure in every destination…off the beaten plate.
Tokyo, Japan has officially embraced the international food truck craze, “international” being the key word. Throughout the city, mini restaurants-on-wheels dish out increasingly popular alternatives to traditional Japanese cuisine, from tacos to jacket potatoes to pizza.
In Minato City, hungry locals head to 246 Common, Tokyo’s hottest food trailer park serving international hipster cuisine from purveyors like Brooklyn Ribbon Fries, Curry Freak and Hawaiian Natural Foods. Even the trucks are trendy; micro versions of silver Airstream trailers and camper vans line a seated dining area of mismatched wooden tables and chairs. Read more
Minutes after landing in Maui, Hawaii, I learned two things: 1. “the Road to Hana” is a Very Big Deal and 2, the car rental agent will try to up-sell you on a tricked-out, gas-guzzling Jeep.
Here’s the thing: you don’t need a Jeep on the Hana Highway. It’s lush, gorgeous and prohibitively winding; you’ll most likely drive it at a snail’s pace in bumper-to-bumper tourist traffic. Another assumption is that the road from Hana (if you decide to circle the island) is treacherous and unpaved, and forbidden by rental companies. This is also UNTRUE! When asked, a rental agent stated they will not provide roadside assistance for this stretch of the Hana Highway. Fair enough. There’s a bit of a rough patch after passing Hana, but I found the drive “from” to be enjoyable and both roads worth the experience. Read more
Everyone loves a bar crawl, so on a recent visit to New Orleans – one of America’s favorite food cities – I thought, “why not a snack crawl?” I started hungry and strolled the length of the French Quarter, from Frenchmen Street at the edge of Faubourg Marigny to Canal Street. I based my trajectory on whim, cravings and local suggestions, resulting in new favorites and a few that fell short. That said, I’m sure I left out some excellent eats. Please let me know where your favorite French Quarter bar bites live and I’ll add them to my next snack crawl. Read more