Category Archives: ROAD TRIP

Road Trip Day 3 – Wytheville & Nashville

Posted on

Sorry about the long break in writing about the roadtrip, but it takes quite some time to put together! We took over 1000 pictures and sorting them according to city and then picking, choosing and compiling them is a quite some effort!

I last left off on Day 2 with the incredible stay we had at Trinkle mansion. We couldn’t wait to experience her breakfast the next day and it didn’t disappoint. It was all homegrown and organic ingredients which ultimately made a fresh and delicious breakfast. And if you read my previous post, Patti’s hospitality, attention to detail and personal attention made it even better.

The first thing that caught our eye and made us smile is this personlized menu made just for us. A vegetarian menu ofcourse.

100_0978.jpg

The table setting was impeccable and gorgeous.

100_0975.jpg

100_0976.jpg

Best coffee I’ve had in a while. Strong and yummy coffee.

100_0982.jpg

We started with a fresh fruit salad and a mini muffin. This fruit was salad was not like the one I ussually buy off a starbucks rack, or even the one I put together at home with fruits from my locak grocery store. These sweetness and flavor from these home grown fruits were worlds apart from anything I’ve had before. The mini muffins needless to say were out of this world!

100_0979.jpg

We then had a main course of scrambled eggs with onions & peppers, hashbrown patty, fruits and homeade buttermilk biscuits.

100_0987.jpg

Also had marmalade, butter and grape jelly for the biscuits. I have to tell you about this butter. Homemade, creamy and sweet butter. just delecious!

100_0995.jpg

We then finished off with a pear/cranberry/apple crumble with vanilla icecream. We were so engrossed in eating and having a delightful conversation with Patti that we completely forgot to take a picture of dessert!

After a scrumptous meal and a 2 hour conversation with Patti we headed off to Nashville at 9.30 AM and reached there at 4 PM. It was actually 3 pm local time, totally forgot about the time difference. That extra hour was when I wrote my first post on Day 1 of our roadtrip.

We stopped over at good ‘ol Tacobell for some quick lunch of Bean Chalupa’s on the way. We had a long drive ahead, no time for leaisurely dining. It surprsingly got dark relatively quickly in Nashville! It was dark by 5 PM although it was not very cold. We did some great Nashville touring by the night until 10 PM. Read about it in my other blog.

We went for late dinner to a restaurant called Sunset Grill. It was a laidback and understated place to eat with huge portions of pretty good food.

They were open till really late and beyind 10.30 PM they also have an interesting snack-type late nite menu. We made it before in time for the actual dinner menu though.

The bruschetta was an interesting presentation. It was a deconstructed version of the bruschetta and totally unconventinal. It had a gigande bean salad, grilled haloumi cheese and marniated cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, garlic and basil. Served with toasted baguette.

100_1247.jpg

The lemon zucchini soup was really yummy.

100_1253.jpg

This was the highlight of our meal, the Polenta cheese fries. It was creamy and gooey polenta with pecarino romano cheese on the inside, crisp and fried exterior served with a tomato-basil ketchup. Topped with fried basil leaves.

100_1256.jpg

A spicy and flavorful garlic-basil pasta dish with vegetables of my choice. The pasta shape was really interesting. The first time I’ve ever had this shape of pasta. It was a large, flower-like and squiggly looking pasta! But very very tasty.

100_1262.jpg

This was the Portabella Melt, a large portabella mushroom grilled and stuffed with a Rye, Vermont swiss cheese stuffing served with yellow-pepper cream sauce and side of crispy roasted cauliflower. Totally unique and delecious!

100_1263.jpg

As you may have guessed we were too full for dessert.Famished after the 7 hour drive and 5 hour walking tour we barely made it back to our hotel room and Zzzzzzzzzzz………..

Road Trip Day 2 : Washington DC

Posted on

The last I left off was on Day 1 after a day in Philly we reached DC and had dinner at the fabulous meal we had in the 14K restaurant in our hotel in downtown DC. . Now on to Day 2 of our trip :

Just grabbed a simple breakfast of cereal and coffee and started our hike at 8 AM. We had an exhausting 8 hours on foot in DC. I have been there a few times before but never spent this much time on foot! We walked around for almost 7 hours and covered quite a bit. DC was gorgeous with the fall colors still intact. Flaming red and orange leaves with the bright green lawns and gardens, crisp and cold 40 degree weather made the walking more pleasurable.

Read more about my non food related experiences in DC in my truth blog.
After an exhausting 8 hours on foot, we landed for late lunch at a great Italian place called Maggiano’s. We had a great meal there. Definitely one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve eaten in. It had a huge dining area, friendly waitstaff, beautifully decoration, very laid-back and family type dining atmosphere.

One small setback was I forgot to carry my camera in there I was kicking myself for the rest of the day for this. I had to make do with my cellphone. Pardon the really bad pictures, but hey at-least I got something!

Their menu was huge. And the reason I was in there was because of their vegetarian options usually there are a token 2 vegetarian dishes , but this place had it really figured out! There were so many veggie options that I actually had a tough time ordering.

If you have been reading my food blog for a while you know how much I love zucchini and what better place to get Zucchini Fritters than an Authentic Italian restaurant?

They were just delicious! Crispy on the outside with soft,tender and juicy zucchini on the inside. It was served with a tangy wasabe cream sauce and sprinkled with fresh Parmesan cheese on top. Just phenomenal.

img00021.jpg

We also had the Bruschetta. Warm just baked bread, topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and juicy tomatoes soaked in with olive oil, garlic and basil. Sounds heavenly doesn’t it? It sure was! The really fresh ingredients made it so much better than the regular ol’ bruschetta I’ve had in many other places.

img00020.jpg

The next dish we had was Stuffed mushrooms. Once again, as some of you might already know, I am not a big fan of mushrooms I always try to avoid it unless I have no other food options! But my husband loves them, hence the order.

This is the second place I’ve eaten in where I’ve loved the stuffed mushrooms. The other one was Tartufo in Newton, MA. Anyway more about then later and back to Maggiano’s.
These were succulent mushrooms stuffed with garlic, butter, breadcrumbs, herbs and baked till soft and delicious!

img00019.jpg

Their fettuccine with pesto sauce was sinful. The fresh fettuccine drenched in cheesy pesto sauce topped with toasted pine nuts was comfort food at its best.

img00024.jpg

Their cheese ravioli in pesto cream sauce was great. A lot of times cheese ravioli tends to be mealy, over stuffed and too heavy but in this case it was just right. creamy, cheesy yet very fluffy and light.

img00022.jpg

Now these potatoes are just about the most novel way of serving them. They were whole potatoes baked in salted butter. The red skin was crisp and salty and the inside was soft, and yummy baked potato. I don’t know how they do it, but I would surely go back just for this!

img00023.jpg

img00025.jpg

Overall we had a phenomenal dining experience there. I will surely go back the next time I am around the DC area.

We headed out of DC after lunch at around 4 PM and drove to Wytheville, Virginia. Why Wytheville? Well that town is mid point between DC and Nashville, TN. We couldn’t drive directly to Nashville because that’s a 13 hour drive, hence the break in Wytheville.

The stopover there started as basically just a pit stop but it turned into so much more. We researched a bit on this town and came across a true jewel in a bed & breakfast inn called the ‘Trinkle Mansion’.

I have written all about them in my truth blog. Make sure you take a few minutes to read about them. The experience there was phenomenal. If you are ever around there, I 100% recommend you go stay at the Trinkle Mansion.

We ended Day 2 with a relaxing and energizing stay in Trinkle Mansion. We couldn’t wait to start Day 3 with the breakfast at Trinkle Mansion and head over to Nashville, TN.

Keep Reading for more……….

Home Sweet Home

Posted on

We are finally back home from our whirlwind trip! I am totally spent, exhausted and awfully glad to be back home. Although, quite sad the week has come to an end. I’ve had the most exciting, exhilarating, eye-opening, insightful and fabulous time this past week.
It was worth every extra hour of sleep lost and all the exhaustion! I would do it again in a heartbeat ; meeting new people, seeing new places, experiencing southern culture and its cuisine, it was the MOST interesting week I’ve had this year.

I did write about it in a couple of posts before but I really couldn’t write more. Very spotty internet connections and ofcourse extreme fatigue by the end of every day!

Ofcourse I have many pictures and lots of stories to share. Now that I’m back home and back to schedule I will be quite regular with it and for the next few days you will be reading all about everything I did this past week.

Road Trip Day 1 : Philly & Washington DC

Posted on

Phew, We just reached Nashville!  It’s Day 3 of our road-trip. I just drove 350 miles from Virginia to Tennessee, my first time driving 6 hours at a stretch. It is by far the most gorgeous drive I have ever been on, just unreally picturesque and some stunning views!

Its 4.30 PM or so I thought…..It’s 3.30 PM since we are now one hour behind ET. And I finally got the extra hour and thought it’s the best time to blog!

Day 1 :

We started our road trip on 11/17 from Framinhgam, MA headed to Philadelphia, PA.

Our first stop was PetsHotel a kennel started by Petsmart, the pet store chain. It was a gut wrenching experience dropping off Sushi (our cat) for the week. It’s been around 10 months since we adopted her and this is the first time she has been away from us for more than 2 days. It makes it harder than she is in-fact a dog in a cats body. It’s really interesting to see how much she is like a dog, and has very little of the usual cat characteristics. Be it playing fetch with us, or how much she is emotionally dependant on us. She communicates with us, she is literally stuck to us whenever we are around. That sure made this harder….Sigh, I miss her as I am writing this !

We reached Philly by noon, in time for lunch and a few hours of sightseeing downtown. We passed through extremely crowded roads of NY and NJ.  I had a picked a Mexican restaurant called Copabanana in South Street.

100_0601.jpg

 Quite a bad experience we had there! We were there after a 6 hour drive, quite hungry. 30 minutes after we ordered, the waiter informed us that they had misplaced our order ticket in the kitchen, and they had prepared nothing ! We were angry, yet too hungry to now actually get out , find another place and order all over again. So we hung in there and gave in another order, this time with a $10 discount. The waiter was very sweet and offered to forgo his tip! We tipped him more than we were originally going to, just for his intention and genuiness.

100_0605.jpg

The food was just about okay. the highlight of our meal was the Bubble bread that was their specialty. It was interesting and quite tasty. It was special hot Italian breadsticks with a cold spreadable butter infused with overtly garlicky cheese and cream. It was heavenly!

100_0607.jpg

We also had the spinach, sundried tomato and goat cheese Quesadilla along with a side of mexican flavored rice, black beans, fried plantains and Mexican version of Mac’n’ Cheese.

The Quesadilla was quite average. The filling inside was still quite cold. The sundried tomatoes tasted a bit old and overall it had no seasoning. The guacamole it came with was made well. The usual onion and tomato salsa was also just about alright. Not too memorable. I could not eat more than one peice.

100_0609.jpg

The Fried plantains and Mac’n’Cheese were good. The Mac’n’Cheese was quite different and it had been made with mexican cheeses. Quite creamy, cheesy and well done, although no seasoning yet again. The Plantains were delicious.

100_0611.jpg

The rice and the blackbeans, the usual vegetarian sides were good. The blackbeans were notably well made. The rice had great flavor and had been made with butter. These two dishes were the highlights just second to the bubble bread.

100_0613.jpg

Right across from where we had lunch, we noticed this hole in a wall type of eatery with people lined up to  mile outside. The foodie I am, I had to find out why. It apparently is the ‘world’s’ best place to eat Philly cheese steak sandwiches. It’s called Jim’s Steaks.

100_0618.jpg

The crowd there and the amount of time they were waiting out there for a sandwich was just mind-boggling! Being a vegetarian, I couldn’t really appreciate the smell or the quality, but hey they have been review by Food TV and with a few hundered people lined up for miles outside, they have to be good !

100_0615.jpg

How could I go to philly and not visit Chef Morimoto’s restaurant? That was my next destination. It was not open, it was mid PM, but hey, it was still worth a picture! My husband has actually been there for dinner and he says it’s an experience that’s worlds apart from your regular dining. Hopefully the next time around, I can plan to go there for their acclaimed dinner menu.

100_0642.jpg

It was 4 PM and we had to over to DC to make it in time for our hotel reservation! We hit the road and I drove us into DC in under 3 hours. We checked in Hamilton Crowne Plaza in the intersection of 14th and K Street NW. In chaotic downtown after much frustrating navigation in the night, we reached our hotel, checked in.

We were dog tired and too exhausted to step out and it was already too dark to do any sightseeing, so we decided to stay in the room and order dinner from the 14K Restaurant in the hotel. Too tired for pictures of the hotel, although we did get some interesting pictures of dinner.

We started with their Chef’s special Butternut Squash Soup.

100_0673.jpg

This is the best soup I have had thus far in these many years of reading and recreating recipes. It was a unique interpretaion of flavors and it was so flavorful, creamy, light and fluffy. The Chef’s specialty touch was using Tahitian vanilla in the soup. It was salty, savory yet sweet because of the squash and the vanilla. The combination was out of this world! And the breads it came with were fantasti as well. Fresh out of the over herbed breads and ubtter rolls, the best of the best.

We then had a Classic Caesar Salad, also a chef’s specialty.

I’m afraid I’m sounding repetitive but this is once again one of the best Caesar Salad’s I’ve ever had. I am a big fan of Caesar salad, but everywhere I order it, it has been pretty generic in flavor. This was something else! The dressing had just the right amount of seasoning. it was creamy and the romaine lettuce used was the best of the best. The crouton it was served with was crispy, crumbly and garlicky goodness. It was also served with a Parmesan Tuile ( just a fancy word for parmesan crisps).

a.jpg

We moved on to Entree`s. We got the Roasted tomato and cross valley farm spinach risotto and Potato Gnocchi.

The Gnocchi was served with porcini mushrooms and pine nuts in a parmesan broth. Too intense of a mushroom flavor for my taste but my husband a mushroom lover enjoyed it. The combination of parmesan cheese, pine nuts, mushrooms with the light and creamy gnocchi was a great combination.

100_0675.jpg

I had the roasted tomato and spinach risotto which was again served with a parmesan tuile, drizzled all over with spinach-garlic olive oil. The tomato had been freshly roasted, the spinach was the most flavorful organic spinach I’ve had, and the rice was just perfectly cooked with just enough bite to it. The spinach-garlic oil was a fantastic compliment to the whole dish. 

100_0669.jpg

And that’s what we did, ate and relaxed for the rest of the night.

Keep reading for Day 2 and more and Check my other blog out for more on Day 1 and all our non food related experiences….

Road Trip

Posted on

Hey All! 

Here’s the excitement for the week. I am going on a 8 day road trip, a 3000 mile trip covering 8 states!   Framingham, Massachusetts – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Washington DC – Wytheville, Virginia  - Nashville, Tennessee – Atlanta, Georgia – Savannah, Georgia – Charleston, South Carolina – Virginia Beach, Virginia – Lewess, Delaware – Cape May, New Jersey – Framingham, Massachusetts…………Phew!  

This trip is going to be all about exploring new towns, experiencing southern culture, feeling the music in Nashville and finally, as you know me by now, drink in the food culture in every state. I am so looking forward to the authentic southern food that I’ve heard and seen so much in the years I’ve spent here! 

I will be good and try to blog everyday J about my day, places I see, things I do and of course things I eat. I will be connected and available by email and through my blog. Check both my blogs for daily updates and  Happy Holidays!    

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers