There hasn’t been a lot of travel experiences to write about lately, so I decided to sum up 2012 as a transition into a new year of posts. Looking back on 2012, some of my favorite travel moments of included the following local and regional destinations:
- Atlantic City
- New York City
- Phoenixville, Pa.
- Philly & Del. Riverfront
- Bridgeville, Del.
- Cape May, N.J.
During a few of those trips, I ate at a few restaurants I hadn’t been to before and that takes me into my foodie side. Each time I visited NYC recently, I tasted a different flavor of what the city had to offer. At midtown’s A Slice of New York, I had a delicious slice of pizza with a pasta topping it; something I never saw before. An after-show dinner that same day was at The Stage Deli. I hoped to go back to eat there with a friend who would love the history of celeb customers who have stopped in for a bite. However, according to NYU Local, the deli is now closed. I loved the chicken salad sandwich I ate at the deli and wall decor of classic Hollywood stars and vintage Broadway posters.
On a following NYC visit, I tried a potato salad on-the-go from Roxy Delicatessen. Last March, the dining establishment of choice was the Cake Boss Cafe inside the Discovery Times Square museum. There are so many other restaurants and cafes I’d love to try in NYC, a lot of which I find about through email deals from the LivingSocial website.
In Atlantic City, some family and I ate at the Rainforest Cafe as a unique option near Boardwalk Hall. The elements of its namesake natural setting surround patrons’ tables, complete with a few special effects. Dining at the Rainforest Cafe was a great combo of food and conversation about its theme of being in the wild!
Long before going to Eastern State Penitentiary for a photo shoot with my college photography club, I had heard about Mugshots Coffeehouse & Cafe and wanted to check it out. When the day of photography at the old prison arrived, myself and a few others stopped into Mugshots. It was in the moment of spotting the cafe while looking for a place to park, that we all agreed to go grab something quick there before heading into the ESP. I didn’t get anything to eat that time, choosing only a beverage. But it was pretty cool getting to check it out, so I’ll have to go back again sometime.
When I went to Phoenixville, checking out the festival dedicated to the 1950s sci-fi “The Blob” was not the only first on that trip. I finally got the chance to eat at a Molly Maguire’s Irish Restaurant & Pub. Well, that is probably a somewhat planned dining choice, since I knew a location was up that way. But seeing the establishment right along the same street as the Blob Fest was a bonus. I saw a few other places I’d like to try next time as well. As for Molly Maguire’s, I absolutely loved their dish called “The Trio” and can’t wait to try it again, if not something else. There’s a somewhat closer location opening up this summer, according to their website. So, I’ll go to that Molly Maguire’s sometime as well and on future visits to Phoenixville, may try other restaurants that I don’t see elsewhere.
Going through southern New Jersey, a to-go order was made at a little diner called Southville Corner Restaurant. Only a few others were there at the time and the atmosphere was relaxing during the short stop. Later for dinner in Victorian Cape May, the new-to-me restaurant was Jackson Mountain Cafe. It was a lively scene, very busy with customers who were having a great time there. Every now and then, from where I sat, I could see the classic trolley full of tourists pass by and that added to the restaurant’s location appeal.
I loved how on those trips, where I ate at or just stopped in for a beverage was fairly random. Whether it was for a full meal or quick pick-me-up, nothing disappointed. There was great food and service everywhere resulting from those last-minute dining choices. I also just loved trying a new place or a new dish. A lot of times at various restaurants, I would order a particular menu item so often that I’d call it my usual. At least in deciding what to get, anyway. However, I began to branch out much more in 2012 and I think that is driven by a few factors. Those factors are definitely my interests in travel, certain movies, photography and social media.
When dining at various Italian restaurants in the area recently, I was especially in the mood to try menu items I hadn’t had before. That’s inspired by wanting to visit Italy and wanted to experience dishes that can be traced to various regions of the country. I keep thinking of Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat Pray Love” (2010). There is the scene when she is talking to her friend about why she wants to go away for a while. And of course, there are all of those scenes of dining in Italy; I am dreaming of doing that as well!
If only that travel wish could come true for me this year, as well as going to Ireland. All the buzz I’m seeing on various social media websites about The Gathering, a celebration of Irish culture, has me hoping that this is the year I finally visit the home of my ancestors. Turning those two international travel wishes into reality would make for an amazing 2013. Of course, visiting even just one of those destinations this year would be a dream come true. I just imagine taking in all the culture, attractions and eating at an Irish pub or an Italian sidewalk cafe.
I definitely have a great respect for the creativity of chefs, from seeing so many foods on the Travel Channel. One show I caught a few episodes of recently is “Fast Foods Gone Global” and I’d love to try the dishes featured on it. This might even lead me to interests in going places I hadn’t previously thought a lot about visiting. Sometimes, it is the tempting images of the food on that and a few other such Travel Channel shows that can definitely inspire travel.
Because of my love of photography, when I see creative images of food on websites such as Pinterest, I just want to try those myself. It’s a combination of the image composition and the delicious dish. Some desserts, though, inspire that thought of “it’s just too pretty to eat!” Check out some of my favorite recipes pin board; I’ve also got a few boards of recipes specific to various holidays. I love Pinterest! It’s definitely a source that has prompted the budding foodie in me, whether for recipes to try or pinned images of dining establishments at which to eat.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and fun, amazing travels and dining in 2013!