I’ve visited 8 states and I lived in San Diego for a year. I still have lots to discover and below are the foods that really stood out on my trips.
San Diego, California
In Austin we went to Star Bar in downtown Austin for brunch. Tatsuya had heard they did a good Bloody Mary.
It’s a nice open bar with lots of space and a relaxed atmosphere. The set up there includes a Bloody Mary Bar, where you get your drink and add as many topping as you can.
I was a little disappointed they didn’t make it for you as I was expecting to have a gigantic drink bought over to me but if you’re looking for a Sunday brunch drink this is a good choice of venue.
The number one thing to do in Baltimore is to eat crab. Maryland is known for its delicious blue crabs and they live up to their reputation.
I’m a huge seafood fan and I loved how interactive this was, smashing open the huge crab shells with a mallet. We went to Canton’s Dockside which is unfortunately now closed but Baltimore is full of steamed crab places. As it was December, there had been a snow storm so the restaurants were running short of crabs. It would be a good idea to yelp the place and give them a call first to see if they have enough crabs, especially if you’re a big group.
Another Maryland thing is – Oyster Shooters. While in Baltimore we went down to Fells Point for drinks. I recommend this area, as it was lively and full of bars. The Baltimore natives I was hanging out with mentioned the oyster shooter and I wanted to give it a try – boy did I regret this!
The oyster shooter is vodka with a dash of Tabasco and lemon juice. It also has tomato cocktail sauce like they use in Bloody Marys and, of course, an oyster.
It might cure a hangover but I was not a fan.
Try these at your own risk.
I grabbed a National Bohemian beer (know as “Natty Boh”) a beer originally brewed in Baltimore, to wash the taste out of my mouth.
Samuel Adams Beer
Every city I go to with its own brewery, I try and visit that brewery. When I got to Boston I saw Samuel Adams everywhere. If you want to act like a local then a pint of Samuel Adams is the way to go.
The brand has an interesting history and the best way to find out about it is to visit the brewery. It’s free (except a $2 donation) and it’s totally worth it. While you don’t learn a great deal about the brewing process, they go all out on the tasting part.
After the tasting they offer a free ride over to Doyle’s Café where you can carry on trying the beers. It’s a cool Irish pub that has appeared in a few films.
I had a Samuel Adams beer at the Cheers Bar in Beacon Hill, where the TV show Cheers was set.
San Diego, California
I went to University of California, San Diego for my Masters. It was a great experience and I was introduced to Mexican food. Before San Diego I didn’t know a taco from a burrito but now I feel like a Mexican food pro.
If you only have time to grab one Mexican meal in San Diego then I recommend you head to Ocean Beach for some fish tacos.
Ocean Beach is basically stoner town, full of pot smoking hippies and surfers, and home to awesome tacos. South Beach Bar & Grille is the best place to go and as you’re in San Diego take advantage of the craft beers or get a pitcher of San Diego’s own Stone IPA.
I feel this needs to be mentioned as it’s a San Diego institution. It shot to fame when it appeared on Man v. Food. I visited the Point Loma location. On a weekend you’re looking at a 1 hour to 45min wait outside to get a table. They have live cameras on their website that show how long the line is.
You order the food at the counter, fill up your soft drink and gear up for the food. They give you a plastic bib, and while it’s not fashionable – you need it!
My friends went for the full baby back ribs and a side of fries, while I got the BBQ Broham (Pulled Pork).
If you’re in San Diego and you’re a meat eater, this place is worth the hype and wait in line.
If you’ve already been to the world’s first ever Starbucks, the next place to go to in Seattle is Pike Place Market for some clam chowder.
I really liked Pike Place Market as it still has the authentic market feel and if you haven’t already guessed, I love seafood.
Pike Place Market
In DC we stopped by Ben’s Chili Bowl. A famous restaurant in Washington D.C. known for its history during the 1968 Washington riots and the celebrities that have eaten there. Their photos cover the walls, most noticeably Barack Obama. The place stuck out on the street it was on but the inside was pretty basic. There was a mix of customers including hipsters and police officers.
I ordered Ben’s Famous All Meat Chili Dog. It was a bit too spicy for me but Tatsuya who likes spices loved it. For me, it was more about visiting this place for its history than for its food. It’s definitely worth the trip if you’re in D.C.