Upcoming travels: Your advice?

This image is courtesy of the 2010 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon (recently sold out, but put 2011 on your calendar).  

 Enough CYA on copyrights.  News!  Now you can follow me on Twitter.   Besides restaurant news/tasty bites, I might share more about my recipes/cooking there--I try to keep this blog 99% dining out, but it turns out that we actually cook dinner 5-6 nights a week.  Imagine that! 

I'll be checking out 36 hours, Tom's Postcards, Yelp , and Urbanspoon for sure, but if you have any suggestions for the following cities, I would really appreciate it!  Some trips are sooner than others, and some are downright tentative.  But still!

1. Austin, TX (W&CP, I managed to find your friend's blog through Twitter--it's going to help on this adventure)
2. San Diego, CA
3. Savannah, GA (besides Lady & Sons, which I will go to even if you didn't have a good time slash waited on line for 4 hours, because Paula Deen is the southern grandma that I never had)
4. Charleston, SC
5. Pittsburgh, PA

P.S.  A few fun links.  This description of a blog (via @Slate) is hilarious and true.  The second comment is the best.  Also, these macarons. I may not have to run back to Paris as fast as I thought...


  1. God, I'm from Austin and I don't even know where to begin. Make the short drive up to Louie Mueller's in Taylor, though. Pork ribs and moist brisket. Best BBQ I've ever had, and a James Beard award winner to boot. If I even go into taco truck talk, I'm going to get all homesick again...

    Savannah - Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room
    Pittsburgh - Primanti's

    -Jaye V. (yelp)

  2. I know one dinner in Austin is at La Condesa--can't wait!!! ::adding others to my list::

  3. YAY! Austin is the best. make sure to go to allens boots, hey cupcake, and jaun in a million (get the breakfast taco item--it is profiled in my blog called 'crazy boots and juan in a million'). pittsburgh is DELICIOUS and you have to go to pamelas. if you dont go to pamelas and get the filled pancakes (w strawberries and brown sugar), lie to me and tell me that you did.

  4. Charleston: I highly recommend FIG (Food Is Good).


    Pittsburgh: The city closest to DC with a Steak N Shake. Why would I go anywhere else when I can get a double steakburger, string fries, and delicious banana shake? My favorite chain evah.

  5. san diego: go to the top of the hyatt (at least, i think its the hyatt). its the tallest building/hotel downtown, AMAZING view of the city, with a cocktail bar on the top floor. awesome cupcakes.

    we really didnt eat dinner too much downtown, but going to the shouthouse for some nightlife is a must. its a dueling piano bar and its an awesome time. wednesdays are $1.50 beer nights! theres a yardhouse downtown, but you went with us in long beach, so its nothing new. if you can make it up to la jolla (which you should, gorgeous, but its like 30 mins north), go to the cottage for brunch. YUM!

    if you end up going, lemme know cause i can def set you up with an itinerary/put you in contact with my surfer friends :)

  6. OK, San Diego, my favorite city. My favorite dinner spots are in La Jolla, mostly on the main street. For Happy Hour head to Roppongi (asian fusion). Great discounted appetizers and decent drinks. For dinner I would recommend George's Ocean Terrace (not the main hoighty toity restaurant), and order the soup (smoked chicken black bean and broccoli, my favorite!). My other go to was 910, I loved their hanger steak preparation. Here is the restaurant week page http://www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com/ . There used to be more than one week a year, but I am not sure for this year. In the Gaslamp we always enjoyed Monsoon for Indian food. The Fish Market on the water is good for, well, fish. Now please remember that my info is now a couple years out of date, but hopefully it helps!

  7. Second nominations for FIG in Charleston, SC. Also check out High Cotton. Have to have a drink on the Roof of the Vendue Inn as well.

    Austin- Kenichi for sushi then Fado Irish Pub after ( I am biased, I work there :))

    Amy J is right about La Jolla in San Diego - where the waitresses look like movie stars. Go early and walk the beach before dinner, its gorgeous

  8. Oooh my list is really coming along--John, I've been to High Cotton in Greenville, SC and we still dream about the barbecue duck hash we enjoyed. Looks like FIG in Charleston is a must must must. The order of these trips is Austin, San Diego, Charleston/Savannah, and Pittsburgh.

  9. Other recommendations:

    There's a Fado's in DC, so I wouldn't go to the one in Austin - it's a chain...

    Juan in a Million seconded. The local college fave is the "Don Juan" original ($3.65), ordered with an extra tortilla. It used to be like $2 when I was in college. Do not go during weekend brunch times unless you want to wait in a long line.

    Uchi is the hottest spot for sushi (Tyson Cole is a national name these days after winning the Food & Wine Best New Chef of '05) but it's seriously expensive - even though it's totally ok to wear shorts...OR a suit. Love Austin.

    Big Top Candy Shop. Old fashioned soda jerk & candy store - with a circus/vaudeville theme, complete with guys in mustaches and suspenders.

    Simple Taiwanese comfort food at CoCo's. Scallion pancake, mmm. Spiced egg. Mmm. Taro milk tea with egg custard. Mmm...with free soup.

    Casey's New Orleans Snowballs. Tons of flavors, creamy... on a warm day, from a truck.

    Iguana Grill - to watch the sunset, and for the best Mexican martinis in the city.

    For delicious, rich tres leches, Habana on South Congress (the rest of the Cuban food there is mediocre; I used to live in Miami).

    My favorite Vietnamese restaurant of all time is Sunflower (dinner menu); I even took my 70 year-old aunt here when she was visiting from Vietnam and she thought it was really good. The special battered prawns with chewy garlic noodles...omg. Sea bass is really good too (I put every last drop of the broth it's in on rice)... as is their version of bo luc lac (shaking beef). I also always get one of the many dishes you can wrap up too -- with rice paper & rice noodles/meat/veggies -- and dip in the nuoc cham fish sauce.

    Clay Pit - for modern Indian food. I've been to the big hitters in DC and still like this place better. My favorite dish is in their specialties - Khuroos-E-Tursh, chicken stuffed with seasoned spinach, mushrooms, onions & Indian cheese, simmered in a rich cashew-almond cream sauce...ordered spicy.

    Z'Tejas grill for your typical Texas fare. Spicy, ranch-inspired, Mexican inspired...etc. Southwest. Downtown or Arboretum hills location.

    But yeah, Central Texas BBQ. Even if you can't get out to the best in Taylor (Louie Mueller's), go to Rudy's BBQ/gas station and get some moist/fatty brisket. Salt Lick out in Driftwood gets all the press, but the brisket is not as good (moist).

    Ok, god, now I'm homesick. Especially with the snowbliteration coming this weekend.

  10. A few recommendations for SD...Near Uptown, the Corvette Diner is eclectic fun (and yes, maybe a bit of a tourist trap)...Though I've not been myself, Extraordinary Desserts also comes highly recommended...La Jolla is great for strolling/chilling/sidewalk dining.

    Also, thanks for the bakerella link. It seems that I can never quite master Macarons, so hopefully, these tips will help. Perhaps I'll give it a shot in this snowy mess. If you ever feel like letting someone else whip up the Macarons for you, I highly recommend Pralines Bakery in Bethesda. Their vast array of flavors are delectable, and a whole lot closer than Paris.

  11. If you are coming to Charleston the Rooftop bar at the Vendue Inn is a must! They definitely have the best view of the Holy City and the best cocktail as well. Also the Library Restaurant is a really romantic place to dine!