local food

local cuisine in visited locales (I know, shouldn’t we be eating van food to save money 🙂

VAN food is what is the local dish these days. 

Kielbasa, Potato’s and Onions – Chop all ingredients. Boil the potato’s till almost done (still a little hard) then in a hot pan with oil fry the potato’s, onions and kielbasa.  Add salt and pepper.  That is the local favorite!

Not to forget Pat great breakfast! Yummy!

Taos Pizza Outback – Taos NM –  Ok….the best pizza ever!!!  they roll the ingredients in the crust.  Nice and thin.  If you are around the area – you need to try it.  Five stars!

Port of Call – 838 Esplanada Ave. Be prepared to wait for the “best burger in town”.  This place served a massive burger (choices:  plan, cheese, mushroom or mushroom and cheese) and a baked potato.  There is always a line to get in, people are in line up to an hour before they open in the morning!  We waited in the small tight bar area for an hour late in the evening and the burgers were good, but I would not wait in that line again.  If there was no line – you bet, I would be there with my bib and fork ready!  http://portofcallnola.com/

La Peniche – 1940 Dauphine St.  This is a good breakfast spot off the beaten path.  The food was great and in big portions.  Just make sure you wait to be seated (even though there is no sign that says “wait to be seated”). 

Pat O’Brien’s – 718 St. Peter Street.  The birth place of the famous Mardi Gras drink – The Hurricane (fruit and rum concoction).  To celebrate, we had to stop to get one and to visit Pat’s friend John who works there.  This place is crazy with people enjoying the drink. Wahoooooo. http://www.patobriens.com/patobriens/default.asp

French Market – 1001 Decatur Street.  This place has been serving real Louisiana specialties like hot spicy crawfish since before Andrew Jackson won the Battle of New Orleans. This is one of the only place that was serving boiled crawfish during Mardi Gras and it was spicy, tail chomp’n, head crack’n, lip smack’n  bliss!    http://www.frenchmarketrestaurant.com/

Buffa – 1001 Esplanade Ave. Neighborhood bar open 24/7 with a kick’n jutbox and burgers were almost as good Port of Call, in our opinion, with out the wait.    http://www.buffaslounge.com/

Cafe Beignet – 334 B Royal Street. Serves up the popular, tasty french pasty, Beignets (like a doughnut). These are covered in powder suger which makes a huge mess and are ridiculously umumumumumumum good. Got to try them if you come to Cajun country.  http://www.cafebeignet.com/

Pierre Maspero’s – 440 Chartres Street.  Another historic site serving up delicious Louisiana grub.  When we ate here they had the Mardi Gras Menu – order red beans and rice and jambalaya.  Can not go wrong.  They were serving $3 large daiquiris to go – dang good! http://www.pierremasperosrestaurant.com/

Laffittes Black Smith Shop -941 Bourbon Street. The building is believed to have been used for Barataria smuggling operations in the 1700’s.  It still keeps the yesteryear charm of wooden plank floors serving hurricanes that will knock or socks off. Grab a drink and head to the piano table or the court yard!  https://www.lafittesblacksmithshop.com/Homepage.html

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Tato-Nut Donut Shop – 1114 Government Street.  I don’t eat donut’s very often, but these where the best I have ever had!  What more can I say – Five star donut shop!

Tampa, Florida

Mi Ranchito Cafe2901 W Columbus Dr, Tampa FL – If you looking for a great low-key cuban buffet and to get your care tire flat repaired – this place can help you out!  They will patch your tire in seconds for $7.50 then you can go inside and have an awesomely authentic cuban buffet for $5.99.  The owner might just ask if you want to see his little ranch in the city – he houses chickens, geese, pheasants, quail, parakeets, just to name a couple.  Some of these birds maybe why the food tastes so fresh – if you know what I mean. On the weekends they even roast a pig – so much going on in this little place.

Giordano’s Pizza,  a number of locations .  This place claims to have a famous stuffed pizza with a number of awards. We tried it and was kind of disappointed – they messed up our order – requested jalapeno on the pizza, did not get any;  it took an hour to be delivered.  All and all it is kind of bland pizza…… http://www.giordanos.com/

Miami, Florida

Diana’s Cafe – 99 NW 1st St, Miami FL – Another great cuban restaurant.  You can get breakfast all day or a good cuban sandwich.  This place is right across the street from the courthouse so you can hear the legal talk of the works and the mix of the locals.  Very good casual cafe. Oh and  has a great papaya milk shake!

Sushi restaurant – have to ask Paul and Katia the name of the place.  This is a great sushi joint complete with the floating boat holding different colored plates determining how much you pay.  It is delicious for a good price!

The Fill Station – 95 SE 2nd St, Miami FL – This place has great burgers with an interesting twist.  Pat had a Mike’s Speed Racer…burger with spinach, mushrooms, jalapeno jack, bacon and a fried egg;  and I had Malibu Bleu…burger blackened and topped with bleu cheese;   all served with tots!http://www.thefillingstationmiami.com/index.html

Key Largo, Florida

The Fish House – 102401 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo FL.  Can you say yummy fresh sea food!  Delicious.  We shared a Broiled platter of shrimp, scallops, swordfish, and lobster with potatoes and corn on the cob. It was great and one plate was big enough to feed two.  Great place with a low key feel. http://www.fishhouse.com/

Upper Crust Pizza –  101600 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo FL.  On Thursdays they have a large 6 topping pizza and a pitcher of beer for $20.  Can’t pass that up.  The pizza is good and the beer is cold – perfect.

Puerto Vallarta – 105045 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo FL.  A place to get good mexican food and awesome Margaritas. There Margaritas are made just how they should be, big, on the rocks, and perfect mix of tequilla and mix!

Sharkey’s Pub & Gallery Restaurant – 522 Caribbean Drive, Key Largo FL.  A place to get one of the best blacken snapper sandwich and a cold pint of beer.  Also have a good happy hour, always important.

Key West, Florida

Hogs Breath

GreenParrot http://www.greenparrot.com/


El Siboney   http://www.elsiboneyrestaurant.com/

Finigans Wake

A taco place

Charleston, South Carolina

Noisy Oyster Seafood Restaurant – 24 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401.  After a long day of exploring Charleston the Noisy Oyster is a fun spot to stop and get a bucket of the local cluster oysters – so tasty with a cracker and hot sauce.  Yummy  http://www.noisyoysterseafood.com/

Bubba Gumb – 99 South Market Street, Charleston, SC 29401.  Same old Bubba Gumb that is in the Mall of America  but allows dogs to chow with you on the patio – Malto loved it!! http://www.bubbagump.com/locations/charleston/

Dahlonega, Georgia

Just Off The Square Country Cafe – 125 East Main Street, Dahlonega, GA 30533.  Great  spot for a real cafe breakfast – eggs, bacon, sasuage, homefries, pancakes (huge), ect….. all for a good price.  Five stars!

Caruso’s – Home of the Dahlonega Brewing Co. 19 East Main St. #B, Dahlonega, GA 30533.  This is italian restaurant right off of the town square.  It is also a favorite local waterhole for a pint of the homemade brew and a game of Keno. We join in!  It’s a neat little location and the only one open when we where there 🙂 The snow storm closed pretty much all of the town square. http://www.dahlonega.org/index.php/what-to-do/nightlife/425-carusos-home-of-the-dahlonega-brewing-co.html

Carbondale, Illinois

Quatro’s Deep Pan Pizza-218 West Freeman, Carbondale, IL.  This place was recommended to us by the Phoenix Bike Shop (who are helping fix our bikes).  The pizza was great!  We got the Quatro Challenge,  has a bit of everything on it like supreme pizza, it was supremely good. It is a good pizza for left overs. http://www.quatros.com/index.php

Northeast Minneapolis

Sen Yai Sen Lek Thai – 2422 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis MN.   A great Thai Restaurant. We asked the Chief to make his favorite dishes for us……..it was fantasitic! 

El Taco Riendo – 2416 Central Avenue, Minneapolis MN.  Good fast mexican food, kind of like a Chipotle but authentic with a variety.  They even give you samples while you decide what to order.  We got dinner to go and enjoyed every bite.


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