Sunday, February 17, 2013

Great Food is Everywhere

I've been called a food snob on more than one occasion.  Heck, I think our friends are scared to invite us over for dinner because they're afraid I'll be critical of what they cook.  In all honesty, that couldn't be farther from the truth.  Yes, when we have people over for dinner, I do tend to go a little overboard.  I love cooking meals in plated courses with elaborate presentations because I find it fun.  It's kind of my thing.  On the same token, James and I are also hardcore fans of good frozen pizza and frequently order  Domino's thin crust after a long day.  Basically, what I'm trying to say is, just because I love to cook innovative, fancy meals doesn't mean we eat like that on a daily basis.

This leads me to the bulk of my post.  Be open minded when it comes to food.  There is some amazing food out there in the most unsuspecting places.

In case you're not aware, the food truck revolution is in full effect.  I'm not talking about the quilted metal coffee trucks that pull up to construction sites with pre-made sandwiches, I'm talking about a full blown restaurant on wheels.  Made to order, hand crafted food curbside - you can't beat that for convenience.  In major cities like New York or Boston, there are literally hundreds of trucks serving up everything from tacos to handmade ramen to chicken and waffles.  Most have websites, Facebook pages or twitter accounts and are pretty easy to track down.  If you're ever in Boston, check out Roxy's Grilled Cheese and Bon Me - two of my personal favorites (Roxy's Rosemary Truffle Fries are absolutely to die for).

The airport is one of the last places I'd expect to find exciting meal options, but Earl of Sandwich in terminal E at Boston's Logan Airport is something I always look forward to when I'm flying.  I fell in love with Earl during my time working in Walt Disney World, as they also have a location in the Downtown Disney Marketplace.  I've referred numerous people there as one of the best value lunches available on Disney property.  For under $7, you get a generous sized sandwich on a freshly baked mini loaf of bread with top quality fillings.  One of my personal favorites has always been the caprese (tomato, mozzarella and basil with an olive oil drizzle) but there are countless great options.

How about your local supermarket?  Have you ever checked out the prepared foods section at a Whole Foods or Fresh Market for quick and easy meal options?  I had a preconception against precooked food for the longest time until I realized, many markets have restaurant quality kitchens and prepare their food fresh throughout the day.  Many smaller markets also have incredible options.  In Providence, Rhode Island, there's a store on Federal Hill called Constantino's Venda Ravioli that makes incredible eggplant parmesan and in Salem, NH, check out Tuscan Market for their fire roasted tomato antipasti.  Heck, my favorite pad thai comes from H-Mart's food court and costs under $8 for a plate that James and I split and often can't finish.

Check out ethnic areas of your city (China Town, Little Italy and the like) for some authentic world fare, often prepared by first or second generation immigrants who brought over their treasured family recipes.

Sometimes, that unsuspecting hole-in-the wall can completely knock your socks off.  Try being open minded and going a little outside the box - you might surprise yourself.  Think of it as a culinary adventure!  To me, loving food doesn't mean gourmet fare seven nights a week, it means being daring enough to try something new and finding that hidden gem.

I'd love it if my readers would share some of their favorite unexpected food finds!  I'm always looking for new and exciting places to try.

Remember, become a blog follower [click the button in the upper right hand portion of the page] and I'll donate $1 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for every member as of March 15th.  Also, you'll be entered for a chance to win a customized box of baked goods, prepared especially for you, with love, from The Tipsy Cupcake.

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