Sunday, November 12, 2017

Weekend Cooking: Eating our way around America

In my last post I mentioned that my son has moved to Kansas to go and play junior college basketball. He has moved to a really small town in Kansas. It is only right that we make the effort to go and see where he is living now so that we can visualise where he lives, goes to school, trains and plays basketball etc. And, it's only fair that if we go to visit him, then should take the opportunity to go and visit a big city that we both (being the boyfriend and I) have previously said we wanted to visit. And finally it's only fair that we take the opportunity to catch up with friends as well. Given how fair that all sounds, we did it! And had a great time doing so.

We flew from Melbourne to Wichita via LA and Denver. This wasn't our original plan. Originally the plan was to fly to Kansas City via LA and San Francisco but there were issues in San Francisco so we ended up changing our flights. On landing in LA we had one of our stranger meals (deep fried ham and cheese sandwich on really sweet bread which was then served with jam/jelly. Having said that on the way home we had really great pizza in LAX and I also tried the Orange Chicken from Panda Express that my son loves there too. I may have also had my first and then last margarita in the airport, but there were also a few in between

Denver was where our food adventures started. I know that it is only airport food, but we had dinner in Denver at the Mexican restaurant and it was delicious!! I don't really know why but Mexican food and margaritas taste much better in the US than they do here. Maybe more authentic or less homogenised or something. I'm not really sure.

The town that the boy lives in is really small but it has some fast food options which keeps a teenage boy happy. The best thing we had there was at the sports bar where we had a philly cheese steak sandwich. So delicious!

We were also able to have soda's at an old fashioned soda fountain.

That was quickly surpassed though by what was probably the best meal we had in the US on this trip. One of the things we wanted to try was Kansas BBQ and we had it on the Sunday night we were in Wichita. Oh. my. goodness. The pork ribs were sooooo good.

On the not so good scale were the donuts we had there. They were advertised as one of the best places to get donuts in the city. If they were the best, I am concerned because I would much rather eat the donuts from the place about 10 minutes from my house. I was a little bit brave at the donut shop and tried to the pumpkin donut with spiced cream cheese frosting. The frosting was amazing. The donut...not so much. I know that at this time of the year the whole country goes crazy for pumpkin flavoured pies, coffee, and lots of other things, but it was really a bit of a no no to this Aussie who eats her pumpkin roasted or in soup.

We were hoping to go to the home of the first ever Pizza Hut but the building was in the process of being moved and so we couldn't find it! We did, however, get to drive through the university grounds.

We really enjoyed our time in Kansas and I hope to do another post to talk about the non food related highlights at some point, but we'll see!!

Our next stop was New York, the Big Apple!! And of course we had to do all the touristy stuff. For both of us it was our first time in the city and it was somewhere we had both wanted to go for a long time. With only a few days we wanted to see the sights, but also allow ourselves enough time to spend time in specific places as well.

First foodie stop.... cheesecake!! And the Red Velvet Cheesecake did not disappoint. Robert had an apple crumble cheesecake which was also really good. Whilst we were in New York, of course we had to have a hot dog (didn't really live up to expectations), we had pizza at Lombardi's, fresh bagels for breakfast, cinnamon scrolls, cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery (oh that frosting) and more.

 Our final stop after 3 and a bit hectic days in New York was Tuscon in Arizona. Talk about a contrast to New York! Tuscon is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy which was surprising, and we (my friends and I did a foodie walking tour which gave me some insight into why. I am planning to write a specific post about the Taste of Tuscon tour, but let's just say we had some really good food!!

The reason we went to Tuscon is because 3 people I have been friends with online for over 10 years had organised a girls weekend months ago. At the time, they asked me to go and had said that I couldn't because, well, it's a long way from Australia to Tuscon just for the weekend but the timing worked out well because we were in the country at the same time as the weekend, so I could go.

We spent time at a craft market where there were some interesting looking displays including a guy selling all different types of pies etc. We did get some to try but we ended up eating so much on the walking tour that I forgot to eat it! Oh well. Next time.

For breakfast on the first morning my friend cooked biscuits and gravy which was a first for us. The second morning we did bacon and eggs. A little more normal for us but still tasty.

One of my friends bought these delicious little morsels and I could easily have eaten the whole bag by myself. Instead a bought a few handfuls home and tried to ration myself to only a few a day but I wasn't totally successful.

You would think that being on our way home would be the end of our foodie adventures in America for this trip, but you would be wrong. In order to get from Tuscon we had to fly via San Francisco. The next flight was delayed (there's a pattern here!!) and so we had a few hours to kill so we ended up having clam chowder in sourdough bread which was really good, and just a taster for when we get to spend time in the city proper.

Our final foodie stop was at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant in LAX where we had a delicious pizza. Happy eating at the airport indeed!

We don't need to talk about the plane food because it was suitably average but the airport food was pretty darned good.

The only thing that we had been really looking forward to that we didn't get to do was to have down town apple pie from a diner, piled high with whipped cream, but for some reason that was harder to find than we expected. It's on the to do list for next time. In the mean time, we are on a quest to find a really good American style apple pie. I tried a new recipe last week that was good without being amazing so watch this space as we continue this quest.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.


  1. Your view of American food is very interesting to me, a life-long midwesterner. I guess that eating in airports is in fact a kind of indicator of how we all eat, at least when we are in kind of a hurry and not free to move around much. Barbecue, hot dogs, and Mexican fast food are, I guess, quite truly American.

    best... mae at

  2. Junior's Red Velvet Cheesecake is a must-have in NYC, good choice. My family is convinced that there is something addictive added to Brookside- we all can't stop eating them!

  3. Your sone is going to a good school! There are a lot of awesome restaurants in that area.

    As for apple pie, I feel like that’s more of a homemade thing? I’ve only ever had pie homemade. The best one was an apple pie from one of my grandmother’s friends and it was so good I swear to god I seriously considered stalking her.

  4. What an awesome food tour! I agree with Tasha, apple pie is one of those desserts that begs to be homemade, and each family seems to have their own recipe (which they claim is the best). YAYAYAYAYAYAY for spending time with your friends in Tucson! (I was traveling last week and have just found time to visit my visitors!)

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